The first week of school, I read a book called "The Dot" by Peter Reynolds to my students. If you haven't seen this picture book, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy. In it, a little girl is frustrated when she cannot draw and her teacher gently guides her to "Just make a mark and see where it takes you." The book has so many "big ideas" and is a wonderful way to introduce students to the ... Read the Post
New on the Blog
Decimal Place Value Challenges Today was our first day back to school, and I had a decision to make. We wrapped up our decimal unit before break, and I wasn’t super pleased with the results of our summative assessment. I was pretty disappointed—all the formatives had looked pretty good, I had done lots of small group and one on one work, and I really felt like the students were ... Read the Post
Explicitly Taught Learning Behaviors and Standards for Mathematical Practice
I know I have written about quite a range of topics since the beginning of this little blog, but recently I have seen a number of blog posts (here included!) about goals/resolutions for the new year. Returning to school in January can be a great time for goal setting--and a great time to revisit some of those "back to school" things we do automatically in the fall. Teaching Students What ... Read the Post
Five on Friday: Creativity Counts!
I had a "wee hours" brainstorm when my feline friend woke me up...it frightens me that the first thing I think about when awakened at 3:00 in the morning is my blog but...I think I might try a "Five on Friday" posting on Fridays...a list of 5 "somethings" that are worth thinking about...worth looking into...worth trying in your classroom...or worth doing for yourself. So--we'll see if I can ... Read the Post
Number Lines, Number Sense
Well...it's time to start thinking about upcoming units in my fourth grade studio--and I wanted to share with you something I have been doing more and more of this year with great results. I challenge you to think about how you can incorporate this simple strategy into your math instruction over the upcoming months. Number Sense and Number Lines As you all know, number sense is critical for ... Read the Post
Problem solving does not mean word problems!
So...I was right. Snow Day! So--what do I do in between rounds of shoveling? Make more homemade caramel corn? Wrap presents? Clean a bathroom? So many things to do--and here I sit! The beautiful snow (sure wish you could train it to only fall on the grass!) makes me think of how much fun the kids are going to have at recess tomorrow--then winter ... Read the Post
Multi-tasking! Teaching Technology Skills with Science Content
Not sure if any of you have noticed this, but we seem to be being asked to do more and more every year...teach more "stuff", learn new curriculum, assess more, report more...and much of what we are being asked to do is really good "stuff"--REALLY good! However, if you are like me, you may also have noticed that they have not added a 25th hour to our day (YET!), so somehow we need to get ... Read the Post