Archive for the ‘Mathematics’ Category

  • Addition and Subtraction of Fractions

    on Sep 5, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, 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, 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, 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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  • Learning Disorders in the Math Classroom

    on May 19, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Management, Mathematics, Special Education • with Comments


    The combination of Common Core standards, especially in math, and placing students with learning disorders in the least restrictive environment possible has become a conundrum for teachers and students alike. Neither common core nor least restrictive environment is going away any time soon so we need to find a way to actively engage all of our students in the math classroom. All of the suggestions that I am making in this article have been used successfully in my own classroom with students who had a variety of learning issues. 1. Place students in groups of

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