Welcome to valeriefaulknermathclub.com!

I have designed this site as a resource for Students, Teachers, Parents, College Professors, and Administrators who want  to be part of a community that shares mathematical lessons and ideas that connect to the brain! I began this idea because I was frustrated with the fact that many of the ‘flip the classroom’ videos, including the Khan Academy videos, are well-intended but maintain the procedural emphasis that, in my experience, does not ‘unlock’ the key to math for students. I want everyone to think of themselves as a Math Person because, through some effort and conceptual repetitions there is no reason why we can’t all be pretty darn good at math.  Here is a link to my TEDxNCSU lecturewhere I discuss these issues.  This video will give you an idea of my philosophy and why I think it is so important that we all work together to get better at math.  Forgive my Cindy Brady* moment at the beginning and I think you will enjoy the talk.

As part of this site, I will be blogging about once a month and my topics will likely be of two sorts.  Type one will be making completely geeky math stuff accessible to everyone.  Here I hope to leave the reader with more answers than questions. Type two will  be pondering issues of policy and culture in relation to mathematics.  With these blogs I hope to leave the reader with more questions than answers.

I am extremely excited to have this site up and running.  Please take a look around.  I have already posted a lot of information, but am working with many friends and colleagues to get more videos, links, and information available to you all!

For now, take a look around the site and start giving me suggestions on what you want to see.  Ask questions, provide feedback and let me know what you do and don’t understand and what you need.

Thank you!


*For those of you who did not grow up in the 60’s-70’s there is a very powerful Brady Bunch episode where Cindy Brady is totally prepared for a game show she is on and then, when the red light goes on to get started, she goes blank.  I am literally thinking about that as I get started with this talk.  I knew that cute little Cindy was bad news…

Categories: Uncategorized


I am a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Elementary Education department at NC State where I specialize in Math Methods. I went to Duke where I earned a B.A. in Anthropology and played on the Golf Team. I have an M.Ed. in Special Education and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in mathematics education, both from NC State. My interest in Math waned in middle and high school. But when I began to support high school students in math as part of my job as a special educator, I became interested in the cultural and instructional aspects of mathematics. And now, 20 years later, that's pretty much all I think about. But I do love to swim, garden and, with my partner Jenn, watch our backyard bees make honey which they store in their hexagonal spaces--see 'the isoperimetric problem' or take a look at this website: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artsep98/hexagon.html


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31 Comments on “Welcome to valeriefaulknermathclub.com!”

  1. Ellen McIntyre
    April 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Hey Valerie, I love to see your work made accessible for all of us. Thanks!

    • April 26, 2012 at 8:27 am #

      Thanks Ellen! Awesome that you are my first WeBlog Commenter! thanks for taking a look. vnf

  2. hmw
    April 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    This is amazing because we met at P2P or whatever M and R (you know who I mean) called it, you know–potluck and ping-pong–and I was looking forward to talking more about Mike Krzyzewski (I didn’t even have to look that up), especially his shortcomings, but you and J (you know who I mean) never showed up again and in the meantime I decided to study calculus and I found Khan Academy and discovered that before I studied calculus I ought to brush up on my algebra and before that my pre-algebra, and now I’m deep into slope and Y-intercept intuition and have 31,000 plus KA points and I read your introductory comments on flipping the classroom (and in fact just last night watched SK’s (you know who I mean) TED lecture about just that but my point is that I am ALL OVER studying math and I’m sorry but I love KA (31,000 points worth), but my real point is I am excited about your club and your blog and math and all, so consider me signed UP!

    JO (you know who I mean, or ask M or R)

    • April 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      Awesome! I am really glad that KA is working for you! Yes, I remember you from p2p and yes I was a slacker!

      Take a look at the algebra videos I have posted. you are way past that now and into calculus, but I would be interested to see what you think. They are under student help.

      As for calculus, there is a cool book called A Tour of the Calculus (here it is on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A-Tour-Calculus-David-Berlinski/dp/0679747885) that really helped me re-think and think through calculus content. The author uses some odd analogies at times, but his use of visual structures and connections really make it worth the read. And the first few chapters include really cool explanations of the different types of numbers.

      Let me know what you think!

  3. Cathy Crossland
    May 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    Do I get bragging rights as your adviser for both graduate degrees? I like to think that we offset the Duke education! Maybe, I can just get some of your DNA and we can transfer your knowledge to the students with whom we work – sounds like the easiest way to get the wisdom you have gained. Seriously proud of you, Val – in every way- and am delighted you are now a colleague in the Academy. You are shaking things up in the right direction, as you have been doing from the first time you walked into my office all those years ago.


    Dr. Cathy Crossland
    Professor of Special Education
    and Director of the
    Diagnostic Teaching Clinic
    North Carolina State University

  4. May 9, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    I have been checking out many of your posts and i can claim pretty nice stuff. I will surely bookmark your site.

    • May 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      Thank you! I am still adding videos and will be building it all spring. So suggestions welcome as I prioritize.

  5. May 11, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    mathclub! is cool.

  6. Matt Hoskins
    May 15, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Valerie, this is great! I love the idea and the contrast to Khan Academy! I look forward to your updates. I will definately be sharing this and your TED talk to teachers and school psychologists in Guilford County!

    • May 16, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      Thanks! I hope you enjoyed the change we made to unit 7, String Around the Earth, based on your einsteinian comments so long ago. Please let me know if you have any ideas about things we should share with other trainers, or spots you want more input on.

  7. Casandra B Seed
    July 25, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    Really appreciated the info you gave us today in our workshop at UNCG. Spoke with my EC Director about getting me started with Foundations and Number Worlds. You are obviously passionate about what you do! Means the rest of us need to step up to the plate to become Teacher Leaders (just got my Masters, can you tell?)

    • July 26, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      thanks CAssandra! Good luck with your pursuits and keep me posted. I am in the process of re-loading that division of fraction video. Should be ready to roll in a few minutes. Hope to post a bunch more stuff next week.
      Thanks for your participation yesterday. It was a really great group and a productive session!

  8. October 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Enjoyed the TED video..and interested to following your posts. I, myself, am always looking for ways students can believe they are mathemagicians 🙂 I’m constantly searching and experimenting AT strategies / applications in math education…Cheers…Valia

    • October 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      Thanks Valia!

      I am adding videos as fast as I can (which is not very fast, but will pick up over winter holiday and the summer breaks!). I will be blogging more regularly now that I have things up and running. What grade do you teach?

  9. December 9, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Where are the videos posted? I would love to see more of your work. I am teaching Alg. 1 to 9th graders, all of whom have math challenges. Thanks. Diane

  10. Kelly Tennyson Phillips
    October 8, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    Hello! I am so glad I found your website!! You truly helped me learn to love math after I reached out to you for help. I was working at Fuquay-Varina Middle School. I now try to share your enthusiasm and accurateness for math with all the kids I work with (including my 6 year old son!)

    • October 10, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      Thank you kelly! I appreciate the kind words and remember working with you. That was almost ten years ago wasn’t it?! Let me know if you have any questions or need a password.

      • October 10, 2014 at 9:30 am #

        Valerie, your website and resources are amazing! You have really amassed a huge amount of experience and created great resources! I’m blown away Nikos Chremos Spanish/English Interpreter and Translator 919.824.2592

      • October 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

        Thanks Nikos! I appreciate your taking a look. I want to post more, but it is hard to keep up!
        Let me know if you have any suggestions.

  11. Ann Stantus
    June 22, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

    Just finished “math camp” today. It was an intensive 5 days and I have to say that I will miss this class. Even my daughter is amazed how my idea of math has taken a total 180! Or she stated the Earths rotation must have changed. Thank you Val and Chris for coming to Utah!

    • June 29, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

      Thank you Ann! Chris and I had a great time and really enjoyed watching you and the crew grow throughout the week. Well done, and really fun. Hope to see you next year!
      Ps we spoke about all of your groups cool ideas around the painting walls problem at the umtss conference!

  12. Felicia Sturdivant Brown
    August 26, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    Mrs. Faulkner, I was in a training with you in Anson County and we are supposed to do a Number Knowledge Test due Sept 8, 2017. I don’t remember where we are supposed to access the test. I just need to know since its due in about 2 weeks.

  13. August 30, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    Were you able to find this from asking a colleague? If not, take a look here at Sharon Griffin’s website. Go to the Assessment Tab and all you need is there: http://www2.clarku.edu/numberworlds/

    Contact me at faulkner.valerie@gmail.com if you have any other questions!

  14. Clare Russell
    April 30, 2018 at 6:51 pm #

    When I typed in your name, Valerie, I saw an Obituary notice. It kind of tripped me out. Am I to presume you are alive, well and still watching your bees and their hexagons?

    • May 1, 2018 at 7:58 am #

      Thanks Clare for checking on me. I actually saw that obituary too a while back. That is not me.
      My bees did not survive this past winter, but I did. Will re-stock the bees and keep moving forward! Hope all is well with you.

      • Clare Russell
        May 1, 2018 at 10:44 am #

        My colleagues are in the middle of the walk-out in Arizona. I’m in my classroom because I’m the main breadwinner. Once I catch up on paper work, I will end up being bored off my nut, I’m sure.

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