Big Ideas Learning Conference Recap: NCTM 2014

We had a fabulous time exhibiting Big Ideas Math at the NCTM  2014 Annual Meeting in New Orleans last week. We would like to thank all of you that visited our booth, shared your stories and brightened our days with your Big Ideas Math experiences and love for the book and program that we work to provide you with. It was fantastic to hear such enthusiasm surrounding Big Ideas Math from amazing educators and professionals at the conference.
This year we debuted our new High School Series.

 We received an abundance of praise and excitement from current Big Ideas Math users, and excitement from those that were new to the program. A lot of attendees were eager to get copies so that they could start using them in their classroom.

In addition to our new books, we also show cased our Dynamic Technology which features STEM videos found in the High School Series and our Dynamic Assessment and Progress Monitoring Tool.

On Friday, April 11th Dr. Ron Larson had a book signing at National Geographic Learning and Cengage Learning’s booth where he gave away t-shirts, signed books, and posters. In addition to the book signing, Big Ideas authors Dr. Ron Larson and Dr. Laurie Boswell signed books at the Big Ideas Learning booth. Many that came were very appreciative of both authors commitments to education.

 For more pictures from NCTM, click here

We had a fantastic time at NCTM in New Orleans. We look forward to NCTM in Boston in 2015. How was your time at NCTM? Let us know in the comments!

Big Ideas Learning: Social Media Recap – March

As this month raps up and we look to April, you may not have had a chance to catch up or see our great links, pictures, and posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Big Ideas Learning recaps content posted throughout the month of February in this month’s Social Media Recap.


  1. Big Ideas Learning Leadership Conference & Recap“I wanted to share a funny story… Tonight, I showed my new Big Ideas T-shirt to my boys that are in 3rd grade and 10th grade.  Immediately, they both shouted out their answers to how many 1/2′s are in 1/4.  The 10th grader shouted out ‘2’ and the 3rd grader shouted out ‘that’s easy, 1/2!’
  2. 69th Annual ASCD Conference & Exhibit In Los Angeles, California. – “This year we offered a sneak peek of our NEW High School Series (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2) making its official debut at NCTM in April.”
  3. Big Ideas Math 3-Tier RTI Model – “The Big Ideas Math program completely supports the 3-tier model. Using research-based instructional strategies, Big Ideas Math helps teachers reach, challenge, and motivate each student utilizing the three tiers.”
  4. Larson Texts, Inc. and Big Ideas Learning, LLC Receive Awards from the Text and Academic Authors Association – “Big Ideas Math: A Common Core Curriculum 2nd ed., by Dr. Ron Larson and Dr. Laurie Boswell, has received the Textbook Excellence Award (“Texty”) recognizing excellence in current textbook and learning materials in their 2nd edition or later.”

We’re on Instagram! Follow us @BigIdeasMath

Helpful links/articles:

  1. How to get reluctant children to embrace math
  2. Why 5-Year-Old Kids Can Do Algebra
  3. A Math Teacher Explains So-Called “New Math”
  4. Math: Make Your Career Count
  5. 20 Signs You’re Actually Making A Difference As A Teacher

Upcoming: NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition – New Orleans

On April 9-12th, 2014, Big Ideas Learning will debut it’s High School Series at NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans. If you’re heading to the meeting, be sure to stop by booth #1718 to talk with authors Ron Larson and Laurie Boswell, our mathematicians, consultants and Big Ideas Learning team. We can’t wait to see you at the conference!


Recap of NCTM 2013 Annual Meeting in Denver

We had a fabulous time exhibiting Big Ideas Math at the NCTM 2013 Annual Meeting in Denver last week! We would like to thank all of you that visited our booth and brightened our days with your Big Ideas Math stories and experiences.

This year we exhibited with a brand new booth design. We were very excited to showcase our new Common Core Curriculum program, and the new design highlighted it perfectly. In case you were unable to attend the conference, here are some pictures of our new setup:

Big Ideas Math at NCTM 2013

Big Ideas Math at NCTM 2013

Ron Larson Introduces New Focal Points Curriculum

Original Article By:

I was thrilled earlier this year when we were asked to be the Ohio representatives for Ron Larson’s new Focal Points curriculum for middle BIM Overview Smallschool. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, Dr. Ron Larson is a rock star in the math education world. Introduce him to a math geek and they will be as gaga as the uninitiated would be when meeting Lebron James, Tiger Woods or Simon Cowell. And deservedly so, Ron Larson is the real deal. He’s a professor at Penn State University in Erie and author of numerous math textbooks published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Ron has teamed with his long time writing partner Laurie Boswell, to publish their own series, Big Ideas Math for middle school. Laurie is also the real deal. She’s a mathematics teacher at Riverside School in Vermont and is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematic Teaching. Additionally Laurie was a Tandy Technology Scholar and recently served on the NCTM Board.

Together Larson and Boswell have created Big Ideas Learning which is an answer to every educator’s complaint about the current ‘mile wide and inch deep’ nature of today’s mathematics curriculum. Big Ideas supports the new world-class NCTM Focal Points. The middle school program focuses on fewer topics at each grade level to provide a narrower and deeper course of study so that students can master each benchmark as they move forward.

Focal Points were developed over a period of two years. Part of the research included an examination of state standards and curriculum that was published as A View from the Nation . The analysis included a study of curriculum frameworks in 49 states plus high-achieving countries like Japan, Singapore, Finland, China and Korea. For more information click HERE to visit the NCTM web site Focal Points page.

Although Larson and Boswell are math people, they’re far from dry. Their approach is challenging, exciting and fun. For example Larson created a Cartoon 1pair of cartoon characters, Newton and Descartes, to help middle schoolers grasp many of the abstract concepts of math. Ron wrote the cartoons himself and they were drawn by his nephew, a cartoonist. These cartoons are more than fun, they help students make the connection between abstracts concepts and the concrete. Real middle school students participating in focus groups loved the characters.

The Big Ideas program is rich and deep in resources. The hard bound student books, one each for sixth, seventh and eighth grades appear small’no more than 500 pages. But the entire book is taught. When you look at the table of contents you are also looking at the pacing guide. There is ample time for every concept. The student book is available in print, as an interactive online book or in digital format as a PDF. This is music to many educators’ ears.

In their wisdom, Larson has made a PDF of each text available to view online. I think it’s great that they have made it so easy for potential customers to evaluate the product. However the site is password protected so please e-mail me at if you would like one issued to your district. Just include your name, school and/or district and I’ll send it back as soon as it’s issued.

In addition to the student books the program includes a Teacher Edition, Record and Practice Journal (available in print or online), Assessment Book (also available in print or online) and Resources by Chapter.

Big Ideas Math is also rich in technology. They have teamed with ExamView to utilize their assessment suite specifically created for this program. It also includes their LessonView, PuzzleVie and QuizShow.

For more detailed information visit the Big Idea Learning web site or e-mail me for an online text review password.

Dealing with the people at Big Ideas Learning is like a breath of fresh air. Everyone is totally dedicated to this program and their enthusiasm is infectious. Even if you’re not studying math for a few years I highly recommend you take a look at this program and get to meet the people. You’ll be a Larson groupie in no time.