Department of Mathematics

Southwest Colorado Math Teachers’ Circle:
Collaborating to Build Community around P-20 Mathematics

Math Teachers’ Circles are professional communities of K-12 mathematics teachers and mathematicians. Groups meet regularly to work on rich mathematics problems, allowing teachers to enrich their knowledge and experience of math, while building meaningful partnerships with other teachers and mathematicians.

We explore the trajectory of P-20 mathematics so that teachers at all levels can understand the evolution of thought and habits of mind that students need to develop for success in math.  We aim to use challenging and engaging problem solving not only to strengthen teachers’ mathematical content knowledge, but also to stimulate teachers’ excitement, positive dispositions and confidence for doing and teaching mathematics.

Our activities include:

  • Monthly Math Teachers’ Circle workshops during the academic year.  At these workshops, teachers build community while engaging in challenging and fun math problems.
  • Annual Julia Robinson Math Festival geared towards students in grades 4 – 10.
  • A weeklong intensive summer teachers’ workshop focused on mathematical problem solving.

How do you join?

Just RSVP or register for one of our events listed below.

Math Teachers' Circle Events

Support the Math Teachers' Circle

Thanks to our partners and donors, we offer all of our events for free or at a generous discount.

Please consider supporting us:


Thanks to:

Our Goals

  • Develop and deepen the connections and collaboration between P-12 mathematics teachers and college mathematics faculty.
  • Provide the resources and environment in which teachers can expand their excitement about learning math and their confidence about teaching it.
  • Provide professional development for teachers not only in math content, but also habits of mind that set students up for success in future math classes.
  • Help instructors build classroom environments where students view math as relevant, interesting and fun.
  • Offer another level of cross-district support to novice teachers in smaller districts that may not be able to provide much mentoring.
  • Help teachers understand how student learning at their particular grade level fits into the P-20 trajectory of student learning.
  • Provide a venue to discuss the attributes and challenges associated with curricular standards (Common Core State Standards, Colorado Academic Standards, and district-specific guidelines) and how to work within those standards to best serve students.

Our History

From January 2014 – June 2015, the Title IIA Improving Teacher Quality Grant brought together Fort Lewis College Mathematics faculty and 17 local teachers of mathematics in grades 4 – 10. The teachers participated in a variety of grant activities including Math Workshops, classroom visits, and Math Design Collaborative training sessions. Pamela Smith and Anne McCarthy, both of the FLC Math department, wish to continue this important collaboration, having built good relationships and effective communication with many classroom teachers through the Title IIA work. The Math Teachers’ Circle model is an excellent fit, as the focus is on higher education Math faculty partnering with classroom teachers in a way that supports best practices as we all work to help students succeed in mathematics.


Pam SmithPamela Smith
Pam has taught Math for Elementary Teachers content courses at Fort Lewis College for 18 years and has worked with local teachers of mathematics in three grant funded professional development projects. Pam is especially passionate about supporting those who teach mathematics in the elementary grades. Pam has a degree in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and a Doctorate in Education from Temple University.


Anne McCarthyAnne McCarthy
Anne McCarthy has been helping others to understand math since she started tutoring as an undergraduate at the University of San Francisco. Upon completion of her doctorate from Northwestern University, Anne spent a summer volunteering in schools in Honduras, working with students in middle school and high school classrooms. In her seven years at Fort Lewis College, Dr McCarthy has taught courses ranging from College Algebra through Senior Seminar courses for math majors. Anne also works with many of the college students preparing to teach secondary math and has coordinated the drop-in tutoring Math Assistance Center.