Marilyn Burns is one of today’s most highly respected mathematics educators. Over the course of more than 50 years, Marilyn has taught children, led in-service sessions, spoken at conferences, contributed to professional journals, written more than a dozen books for children, and created more than 20 professional development resources for teachers and administrators.
In 1984, Marilyn formed Math Solutions Professional Development, an organization dedicated to the improvement of math instruction in Grades K-8. Working with a highly qualified team of in-service leaders, Marilyn offered specialized courses to teachers and administrators nationwide.
Soon after, Marilyn began writing and publishing to further support teachers, and provide districts with the resources they needed to implement in-depth and long-lasting change in their schools. Her book, About Teaching Mathematics, has been widely used for pre-service and in-service teachers. Her series of resources include Math, Literature, and Nonfiction; Teaching Arithmetic; Lessons for Algebraic Thinking; and A Collection of Math Lessons.
In 1991, Marilyn was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the Bank Street College of Education in New York.
In 1996, Marilyn received the Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award from the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics for her influence on mathematics education. The nominators took special note of Marilyn’s humor and compassion, saying: “Few professionals have touched and inspired so many math educators. She has taught us several important lessons. . . . We must treat teachers with respect, honesty, and a thoughtful vision. We must turn to student work to make sense of student understanding and achievement.”
In 1997, Marilyn received the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education from the Association for Women in Mathematics.
In collaboration with Scholastic in 2007, Marilyn developed Do The Math, a 13-module intervention program that focuses on Number and Operations. Do The Math targets addition and subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions. In 2011, Marilyn developed Do The Math Now!, extending Do The Math to serve students in grades 6 and up. In 2012, working with a team of Math Solutions colleagues, Marilyn developed a web-based formative assessment tool suitable for grades 5 and up, Math Reasoning Inventory (MRI), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Also in 2012, Marilyn and Scholastic developed Math Reads, a program that helps teachers use children’s literature for teaching mathematics.
Marilyn continues to bring her messages directly to children and is the author of more than ten children’s books, including the best-selling The I Hate Mathematics! Book and The Book of Think. She 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.
In 2010, Marilyn was inducted into the Educational Publishing Hall of Fame by the Association of Educational Publishers.
Marilyn continues to teach regularly in the classroom, finding the experience essential to developing and testing new ideas and materials.