Category Archives: Cheese Mover

I’m Placing a Hit on the Pseudo-Context

This robs students of everything mathematics should be… The “real world” connection The step-by-step procedure Circle the numbers you need to solve the problem The pseudo-context word problem. Lesson 19.2 infers that this unit is front-end load with procedures and formulas … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 3-Act Tasks, 6-8, Against the Norm, Cheese Mover, Intellectual Need, Measurement and Data, Modeling | 20 Comments

Beginning a Unit with a 3-Act Task

I’ve recently spent a lot of time visiting 3rd grade classrooms as they begin to dive into division. Here’s what I encountered on one of my first visits which was a crippler for everyone involved. Saw this today & was crushed. For … Continue reading

Posted in Cheese Mover, Intellectual Need, Making Math Accessible, Teacher Content, Who Knows? | 4 Comments

Math is a Social Sport: Becoming a “Wise Consumer”

I’m continuously reminding myself that I need to be a “wise consumer” of math resources. Whenever I’m asked to review a resource, I reach for the Standards of Mathematical Practices.  The SMPs are like Kryptonite and will break down even … Continue reading

Posted in Cheese Mover, Math Tools, SMPs, Technology, Who Knows? | 4 Comments

Undoing Concrete Models

Students can create models that represent their understanding, but can they undo models that explain the reasoning of others?  It was time to find out.  I showed this picture to a 5th grade class and asked them to write an equation … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 6-8, Cheese Mover, Estimation, Math Tools, Modeling, Number Sense, Strategy Development | 5 Comments

Take a Math Trick and Make it Bleed

I hate math tricks and avoid them at all costs. Tina Cardone and many members of #MTBOS are huge advocates of conceptual learning which is how we became blessed with this gem. There’s no denying that students love tricks, especially the … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 6-8, Cheese Mover, Estimation, Fact Fluency, Math Tools, Number Sense, Strategy Development, Teacher Content | 2 Comments

Teaching Keywords? Forget About it!

I received an email from a principal in my district last Tuesday: Please send me info on why teachers should be careful about teaching kids to pull out keywords from word problems as a key way to define what operation to … Continue reading

Posted in Cheese Mover, Intellectual Need, Making Math Accessible, Modeling, Planning, SMPs, Strategy Development, Teacher Content, Who Knows?, Word Problems | 9 Comments

What’s Left to Teach Now? Modeling…That’s What!

My dear friend Krystal Shaw texted me this Vimeo Clip at 5:23am so I knew it had to be good… My gut reaction…this is awesome! The focus on number crunching has superseded our students’ ability to problem solve for far too long.  There’s … Continue reading

Posted in Against the Norm, Cheese Mover, Math Tools, SMPs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Flashcards: Weapons of Math Distraction

What did SMP #1 say to the flash card? ……“You suck!” We’ve been using a math reasoning inventory as our benchmark assessment for the past 5 years.  In that time there’s been tremendous growth (in small pockets), but unfortunately our struggles continue.  This post was inspired by Robert Kaplinsky‘s How Old is … Continue reading

Posted in Cheese Mover, Fact Fluency, Teaching in a Context, Word Problems | 6 Comments

Understanding Content Beyond Your Grade Level

Imagine having a conference with your child’s 2nd grade teacher and the teacher says… “your child is doing really well in reading and a lot of her questions stretch my thinking”.  As a parent you’d become super stoked, proud of your … Continue reading

Posted in Cheese Mover, Who Knows? | 3 Comments

Teaching Without Numerals: Lesson #1

This whole “how to teach math without numerals” kick I’m on  is blowing my mind.  I tried this out in a 3rd grade class using one of my favorite problems.  Here’s how two students solved this problem and what’s awesome … Continue reading

Posted in Cheese Mover, Strategy Development | 4 Comments