# Category Archives: Domains

## 3-Act Task: A 5th-grade lesson captured

A while back I shared a kindergarten lesson and I was really happy with the way it turned out. The 5th-grade lesson below, not so much. The students did great but there are definitely some things I need to improve. We recently finished up … Continue reading

## I’ll Rip Your Face Off: The Art of Defacing Manipulatives

It’s our fault. We have no one to blame but ourselves. We unknowing pigeonhole student thinking with the manipulatives we use. Take fraction tiles for example. Much to my disappointment, they come with labels and it kills me. Manipulatives that … Continue reading

## Making Sense of Invert and Multiply

As elementary teachers, we rarely have the opportunity to explore division of a fraction by a fraction. When we do, it’s normally accompanied with Keep-Change-Flip or the saying “Yours is not the reason why, just invert and multiply.” Both are conceptual … Continue reading

## 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

## Take it to the Bank

It’s never been a secret that Superman fears Kryptonite. But I think the same can be said for many 2nd grade teachers and the way they feel about teaching money. There’s no way around it…teaching money to students is hard. With … Continue reading

## A number line, number string, and Number Talk walk into a class…

As teachers and students ramp up for testing I was invited to visit a 5th grade class and asked to focus on fractions. Before the lesson, the teacher and I discussed the importance of a number line, which was an extension of … Continue reading

## Difficult Tasks Allow Misconceptions to Shine

Last week I was reminded why I love being a teacher. I’m currently throwing down a PL gauntlet in my district for all our elementary and middle school teachers. For each grade level I’ve focused on 1 or 2 of the big … Continue reading

## More than one way to skin a task!

I tried “the Big Pad” with a 4th grade class and my anticipation of possible solutions was way off!!! I mean, c’mon Graham, think outside the box. Our students attacked this problem in more ways than a charter bus filled with senior citizens attacks an … Continue reading

## Undressing Tables, Naked Numbers and Modeling

I had the 2nd grade names and the information I needed, so I created this table and asked the students WDYN? Immediately students recognized the names of their 5 classmates and the perplexity session began! Lots of different ideas and “noticings” were floating … Continue reading

## The Manipulative Trap

I’ve spent the past month visiting classrooms, reading blogs, attending workshops, sitting in grade level meetings and I’ve noticed a common theme which is concerning. Before I continue I want to acknowledge that the use, and proposed use, of manipulatives is rampant and … Continue reading