Lamplighter Honors

2010: Marilyn Burns

2010: Marilyn Burns

Marilyn Burns 
Math Solutions
2010: Hall of Fame

Read Marilyn Burns' AEP Blog entries about her career in educational publishing.

  • Part 1: Her greatest influence and the advice she would give to those choosing educational publishing
  • Part 2: The greatest challenge she faced and the next big challenge for the educational publishing industry
  • Part 3: The accomplishment she is most proud of

Listen to Marilyn's Hall of Fame Induction and Acceptance.

Marilyn Burns is an educator, an author, and the founder of Math Solutions. Dedicated to improving students' learning of mathematics and guided by the belief that teachers are the key to students' success, Math Solutions has been providing K-8 mathematics professional development for more than 25 years. Math Solutions courses have been attended by thousands of teachers and administrators nationwide. Math Solutions publications include more than 80 professional development books and DVDs.

A former classroom teacher, Ms. Burns continues to work regularly with students, relying on her classroom experiences to inform her writing and talks. She is currently the lead author for The Middle School Math Reasoning Inventory (MSMRI), a web-based assessment tool uniquely designed to support face-to-face interaction between teachers and students. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the assessment provides teachers important information about their students' numerical understanding and skills. It will be available in 2012.

From 2006-2008, Ms. Burns led the development of Do The Math™, an intervention program published by Scholastic for helping elementary students catch up and keep up in math. In 2005, she created The Marilyn Burns Classroom Math Libraries, also published by Scholastic, to help teachers in Kindergarten through grade 6 integrate children's books into their teaching of mathematics.

Her resource, About Teaching Mathematics, now in its third edition, is widely used by K-8 teachers and in pre-service education courses. So You Have to Teach Math? Sound Advice for K-6 Teachers answers questions teachers have posed about teaching math. Her other books include Math: Facing an American Phobia, which makes the case for why what was good enough for us when learning math is not good enough for our children; several curriculum units in the Math By All Meansseries Writing in Math ClassMath and Literature; and A Collection of Math Lessons for grades 1-3, 3-6, and 6-8. Her articles for teachers have appeared in Arithmetic TeacherEducational LeadershipKappanInstructorLearning, andCreative Classroom.

Ms. Burns has developed four series of professional development videotapes that show actual lessons taught to students in K-8 classrooms. Teaching for Understanding shows how the NCTM Standards can be implemented in elementary classrooms. Mathematics with Manipulatives demonstrates how to use manipulative materials in K-6 classes. Assessing Understanding shows individual assessments that focus on number sense and understanding of place value, whole number operations, and fractions. Mathematics for Middle School shows problem-solving lessons in grades 6 through 8. All four series were produced for Cuisenaire Company of America. Ms. Burns has also developed a 20-minute videotape for parents, Mathematics: What Are You Teaching My Child?

She continues to bring her messages directly to children and is the author of more than ten books for children, including the best-sellingThe I Hate Mathematics! Book and The Book of Think. In 1994, Ms. Burns launched Marilyn Burns Brainy Day Books for Scholastic with The Greedy Triangle; there are now five books in the series, including Spaghetti and Meatballs for All. She also edited Scholastic'sHello Math Reader series, a series of 40 books for K-3 students.

In 1991, Ms. Burns was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Bank Street College of Education in New York. In 1996, she was the recipient of the Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award, given by the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics to one mathematics educator each year. In 1997, she received the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education by the Association for Women in Mathematics.