What's Going On in This Graph? with The New York Times


Our Core Maths Summer Festival is an extensive series of online interactive workshops. Each session will provide resources and activities which you can take straight to the classroom.

During the festival, we will cover a wide range of mathematical topics and contexts which will benefit maths teachers and teachers of other subjects, in particular, Biology, Geography and Psychology. You can download the Core Maths Summer Festival 2022 Programme to see a summary of all nine sessions.

Please note that the main session content will be delivered in the first hour and a half of each session and the remaining time will be dedicated to questions and support.

Who will benefit from attending?

This session will be useful for teachers of:

  • Key Stage 3
  • GCSE Maths and Statistics
  • L3 Core Maths
  • Geography
  • Biology


Teaching students how to read, interpret and question graphs, maps and charts is a key 21st-century skill. The New York Times has a brilliant weekly feature, ‘What’s Going On in This Graph?’ which provides an authentic way for students to interpret graphs, evaluate their reliability, and draw logical conclusions. 

Each week on The Learning Network, they spotlight a new Times graph — on topics ranging from pop music to climate change. On Wednesdays, teachers from the American Statistical Association provide live facilitation to help students notice, wonder and deepen their analysis. And on Thursdays, they provide additional background about these graphs and relevant statistical concepts.

In this session, Sharon and Dash walk you through the components of their “What’s Going On in This Graph?” feature. They:

  • Show you how to select graphs that will engage your students and connect to their lives, and your curriculum
  • Discuss successful ways teachers have used “What’s Going On in This Graph?” with their students.

Explore how “What’s Going On in This Graph?” fosters in-depth student discussion, activates critical thinking, and strengthens skills in making observations and inferences.

In the latter half of the session, Sharon and Dash will also feature some of the NY Times Math Lessons of the Day. Resources include:

  • Misleading maths of pre-natal tests (probability)
  • Vaccine efficacy (probability and experimental design)
  • Electric cars (linear equations)

Mathematical Focus: Interpreting Graphs

Sharon Hessney is an award-winning mathematics teacher in Boston and graph curator for the New York Times Learning Network’s “What’s Going In This Graph?” feature. 

Dashiell Young-Saver-high school statistics teacher, founder of Skew The Script and moderator for the NYT Learning Network’s weekly feature “What’s Going On in This Graph?”

Materials and Equipment

The sessions will take place via zoom. If you register for the session, you will be sent a zoom link one week before and on the day of the event.

We aim to emulate as much of the ‘face-to-face’ experience as possible and strongly encourage you to put your webcam on for some or all of the session. Please also come prepared to discuss and reflect for short periods in breakout rooms as this will be a feature of some of the sessions.

Due to the interactive nature of these events, they are not recorded. If you are looking for Core Maths PD that you can do in your own time we recommend our ‘On Demand Core Maths top-ups’.


All teachers are eligible to apply for a place at the festival. If the festival becomes over-subscribed, teachers from state-funded schools and colleges are given priority; this may mean that we may be unable to provide places to non-state-sector applicants.


The sessions are free of charge to all teachers in England.

Key Facts

Event ref:




Curriculum focus:

Core Maths

Event format:

Live Online Professional Development

Event length:

2 hours




Tue 12th Jul 2022

Course times:

16:15 - 18:15


Free for teachers in England


Printable Version


If you have any queries about this event, please do not hesitate to contact:

Teacher Support Team
[email protected]
01225 716494

The AMSP, through MEI, holds the NCETM CPD Standard

National Centre for Excellence in the teaching of Mathematics

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