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Category Archives: Strategy Development
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
Posted in 35, Estimation, Fractions, Making Math Accessible, Math Tools, Number Sense, SMPs, Strategy Development
Tagged fractions, number lines, Number Talks
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
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 35, 68, 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 35, 68, 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 35, 68, Cheese Mover, Estimation, Fact Fluency, Math Tools, Number Sense, Strategy Development, Teacher Content
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 Fawn Nguyen, manipulatives
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
Pulling the Plug on a Lesson (The DoOver)
I returned to the class where I sucked more than Maggie Simpson. I wrote about it here. The highlights from yesterday’s doover: For the most part it went way better and the additional pieces I created to scaffold the lesson helped out. Some … Continue reading
From Memory and Memorization: There IS a Difference
Question: If you memorize your basic math facts have you learned them? The term from memory is used twice in the K5 math standards (here & here) and they continue to be the most misunderstood words I encounter each day. The term “from memory” does not suggest that … Continue reading