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David B. Spangler

Spangler, David

David B. Spangler is the recipient of the 2014 Lee E. Yunker Mathematics Leadership Award, sponsored by the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The award honors an Illinois teacher for providing outstanding resources to mathematics teachers. David has devoted his professional career of more than 40 years to mathematics education. He began as a middle-school mathematics teacher in an individualized setting. Later he taught at Triton Community College, where he gained direct experience interacting with struggling students in a developmental math laboratory. Currently he teachers mathematics methods courses through National-Louis University and ActiveMath Workshops, a professional development company he co-founded in 1994 ( Some of the methods courses and workshops he facilitates address special needs students, intervention, computation, and error analysis at the elementary level. His workshops are designed to help teachers implement the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. David has literally worked with thousands of students and teachers during his career.

For many years David has worked as a mathematics textbook editor at the K–12 level. He has authored several books and has written numerous articles for mathematics journals, such as the popular "Cartoon Corner" for Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.

As an educator, David’s goal has always been to teach mathematics for meaning rather than in a way that promotes rote memorization. Strategies for Teaching Whole Number Computation and Strategies for Teaching Fractions were written to help teachers achieve that goal. David’s other professional goals include exploring ways to teach mathematics through engaging, real-world applications and to explore humorous aspects to mathematics, especially mathematical blunders that illustrate mathematics illiteracy. David is a frequent speaker at conferences of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and other professional organizations, addressing teaching mathematics for meaning, teaching mathematics through real-world applications, and teaching mathematics through humor. He also delivers after-dinner talks on the subject of mathematical humor.

David lives with his wife, Bonnie, in Northbrook, Illinois. They have three grown children, Ben, Jamie, and Joey.