Category Archives: Estimation

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

Posted in 3-5, 3-Act Tasks, 6-8, Estimation, Fractions, Intellectual Need, Math Progressions, Modeling, Teacher Content | 9 Comments

Conservation: The more things change, the more they stay the same

Every once in a while I stumble across Piaget’s 7 Conservation Tasks and then I move on. This week was different because my thoughts around conservation won’t go away. In a recent meeting with kindergarten and 1st grade teachers we discussed the importance of students being able to … Continue reading

Posted in counting, Estimation, K-2, Making Math Accessible, Strategy Development, Teacher Content, Teaching in a Context | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The Progression of Multiplication

There’s a lot happening in elementary mathematics and it’s really tough for teachers to keep up with it all…let alone parents and administrators. I keep reminding myself that the turtle won the race. It’s my hope that in creating and … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, Estimation, Making Math Accessible, Making Sense Series, Math Progressions, Math Tools, Number Sense, Planning, Strategy Development, Teacher Content | Tagged | 59 Comments

More Bang for your Buck: The Power of the Estimation Station

Time IS NOT on our side! In a 1st grade planning session I was asked,”How do we fit it all in?”  I loved this question because it asked for a solution to problem we know exists. We collectively tackled this question … Continue reading

Posted in counting, Estimation, K-2, Making Math Accessible, Math Tools, Number Sense, Planning | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Not Your Mom’s Flashcards: Conceptual Understanding of Multiplication

What’s the purpose of flashcards? There’s 2 answers I frequently hear and only one I agree with. Answer 1: help kids know/memorize their facts Answer 2: help students build fluency through the automatization of strategy I know how Tracy and many … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, Estimation, Fact Fluency, Games, Math Tools, Number Sense | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

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

Posted in 3-5, Estimation, Fractions, Making Math Accessible, Math Tools, Number Sense, SMPs, Strategy Development | Tagged , , | 6 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

Subitizing to Foster Multiplicative Thinking

Learning basic facts through tricks or a mnemonic song lead students down a path of memorization, not understanding.  I previously discussed the idea of conceptual development here.  When students practice their multiplication facts, they’re expected to move from concrete to abstract … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 6-8, Estimation, Fact Fluency, Games, Math Tools, Number Sense, Strategy Development | 13 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

On Your Marks. Get Set. Number Talks

I’ll start off by saying that I’m definitely not a Number Talks guru and over the past 4 years I’ve learned just enough to be dangerous!  The first day of school is less than 12 days away and my summer is … Continue reading

Posted in Estimation, Fact Fluency, Strategy Development, Teacher Content | 10 Comments