Archive for the ‘Mathematics’ Category

  • Getting Your Hands On Math: Multiplication

    on Oct 3, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Mathematics • with Comments


    I watched my three year-old, Monkey, coloring with colored pencils this morning. He was testing out the white pencil even though it was on white paper. I knew what was going to happen and I had to resist the urge to tell him not to do it. But I bit my tongue and watched him draw three little circles on the white paper. Slowly a look of confusion replaced the smile on his face as nothing showed up. I smiled and leaned over, “What color is that?” I asked pointing to the colored pencil. “White,&#

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  • Addition and Subtraction of Fractions

    on Sep 5, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Mathematics • with Comments


    For many topics in mathematics teaching the concept before the algorithm can lead to deeper learning. Teaching addition and subtraction of fractions with different denominators is one such topic. Using pattern blocks for this topic gives students a visual representation that they can translate to the algorithm for this topic. You may want to review equivalent fractions before proceeding. If you read my article on using pattern blocks to show equivalent fractions, you will have a reference point for this lesson. Remind students that the hexagon represents 1, the trapezoid ½, the rhombus ⅓, and

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  • Introducing Equivalent Fractions

    on Sep 2, 14 • in Elementary Classrooms, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Mathematics, Policy • with Comments

    Teaching equivalent fractions is often a difficult task. In this article I am going to show several methods that should make this task a bit easier. I previously posted an article for using patterns blocks to teach parts of a whole. In order to provide some consistency with that article the first method I will explain here will use pattern blocks. I believe that teachers should use their own creativity in planning their lessons; however, what I am offering here are suggestions that you may want to use as hands on activities to introduce or

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  • Fractions – Parts of a Whole

    on Aug 13, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Mathematics • with Comments


    Fractions can be one of the most frustrating topics to teach to elementary school children. Linking the experience of your students with fractions in their daily lives to fractions in the classroom can make this task easier. Young children have early experiences with the concept of fractions when they want to share a sandwich with a friend. They know that if they have a sandwich that is cut in two parts they can share it by keeping half for themselves and giving the other half to their friend. This experience gives them the foundation for

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  • The Difference Between Calculation and Mathematics

    on Aug 5, 14 • in Common Core, Instruction&Curriculum, Mathematics, Policy • with Comments


    This piece originally ran on on July 29, 2014; In mid-July last year, I was ready to try something completely different. I had previously taught Algebra I, but I was moving to a new content; geometry. I’d taught it before under the old Tennessee state standards but had left the course feeling like the kids never truly connected to the content. They were great at calculating and finding the right answer, but weren’t connecting to the math. Surely there was a better way to make the course meaningful! In that spirit I decided to do

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