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

Posted in Against the Norm, Intellectual Need, Making Math Accessible, Modeling, Planning, SMPs, Teacher Content, Teaching in a Context | 7 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

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

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

Posted in Cheese Mover, Math Tools, SMPs, Technology, Who Knows? | 4 Comments

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

Posted in Planning, SMPs, Teacher Content, Teaching in a Context | Tagged | 8 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 | 10 Comments

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

Posted in Fractions, Making Math Accessible, Math Tools, Modeling, Patient Problem Solving, SMPs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Against the Norm, Cheese Mover, Math Tools, SMPs | Tagged , | Leave a comment