Category Archives: Making Math Accessible

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 | 61 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

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

Get Your Model On: Modeling in the Elementary Grades

Dan Meyer’s work on mathematical modeling has been instrumental in shaping my own understanding.  I’m super thankful for Dan’s commitment to SMP #4 over the years. So when he recently posted that he was shifting gears, I was bummed.  It was like … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 3-Act Tasks, 6-8, Intellectual Need, K-2, Making Math Accessible, Modeling, Patient Problem Solving, SMPs, Teacher Content, Teaching in a Context | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

When Student Thinking Hits the Wall: VNPS

First week back to school and I was chomping at the bit to begin working on my #1TMCthing. My quick backstory about Vertical-Non-Permanent-Surfaces (aka VNPS) I first found out about VNPS on Nathan Kraft’s blog which referred me to Alex Overwijk’s … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 3-Act Tasks, Making Math Accessible, Math Tools, Modeling, Number Sense, Patient Problem Solving, Teacher Content, Teaching in a Context | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The Manipulative Whisperers: The model tells a story

If you listen carefully you will hear them. They sit motionless in every classroom, on top of desks, waiting to tell a story. Without the story they are nothing.  What’s most difficult is that you can’t speak for them because the … Continue reading

Posted in Making Math Accessible, Math Tools, Modeling, Patient Problem Solving, SMPs, Strategy Development, Teaching in a Context, Who Knows?, Word Problems | Tagged , , , , , | 7 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

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

Posted in Fractions, Making Math Accessible, Math Tools, Strategy Development, Teacher Content, Who Knows? | 2 Comments

The Algebrafication of Kindergarten

Counting and cardinality is critical in kindergarten. Without it, all math fails. With that being said, counting can be extremely boring which causes many students to quickly lose focus. One thing I’ve tried to do this year is identify ways to engage … Continue reading

Posted in counting, Intellectual Need, Making Math Accessible, SMPs, Strategy Development, Teacher Content | Tagged , | 3 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