# Category Archives: SMPs

## The Task Graveyard

It’s where my ideas go to die. But like the mighty phoenix, I have one idea for a task that keeps rising from the ashes. It just won’t die. If Bruce Willis was a math task, I’ve seen his face. … Continue reading

## 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

## 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

## 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

## Standards for Mathematical Practice…for Teachers

They’re really for me but I plan to share them at some upcoming PL sessions. I’ll take any suggestions and comments of how to make them better… 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them – Teachers of mathematically … Continue reading

## 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

## 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

## 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

## 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