# Category Archives: Math Tools

## 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

## Geometric Subitizing: A Different Kind of Number Talk

These Geometric Subitizing Cards have been in beta the past two years. I asked our buddy Joe Schwartz to take them for a test drive last spring and he reported back. Joe’s all in. How do they work? Let’s play… Last week I took them for … Continue reading

## The Progression of Division

Last month I posted The Progression of Multiplication hoping that a couple of friends and parents would find it helpful. Well, here’s my stab at the progression of division. I understand that there’s lots of ways to model division and this is only … 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

## 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

## 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

## 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

## 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

## 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

## 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