One thing that I have noticed over the years as I have done more "kid watching" as I teach...is that we have most definitely conditioned our students to "fill in the blank". Whether we use workbooks, do worksheets with cute graphics, or encourage students to track their scores--we definitely convey to them that there is a "right way" to do things. Of course, in math, we usually DO want ... Read *the* Post

## Open Ended Challenges–NOT Just for Enrichment

One thing that I really try to be mindful of when planning my math instruction is how I "spend" my minutes. There are some things I really try to minimize as I plan:
Transition delays
"correcting" things
passing out/collecting materials
filling out practice pages
And I try to spend as many minutes as possible doing the following:
high-level problem solving
math discourse
small ... Read *the* Post

## Critique the Reasoning of Others…In a 5 minute lesson!

So I just wanted to share a super quick lesson idea that you might want to try. It was NOT in my plans, but I saw that a ton of my students made errors on a decimal number line problem and I knew I needed to do something ASAP. Those Standards for Mathematical Practice are SO important, so I took this opportunity to really give my students some work on critiquing the reasoning of ... Read *the* Post

## Partner Problem Solving: Earth Day

Looking for an easy math lesson idea to help you get some much-needed one-on-one time or small group time with students? See what you think...
I always have a pocket chart or two on my wall where I keep word problems or other challenges at all times. I can change these out to be more seasonal, to be more review, or to match the topic we are studying. In this case, I ... Read *the* Post

## Area and Perimeter Studies: Part 2–Math Talk, Guided Practice, and More!

I blogged a few days ago about some of the fun area and perimeter activities we had done in class (If you missed it, just CLICK HERE.) and I promised you a follow-up post!
With "big" concepts, I tend to have a sequence of teaching that doesn't really follow a formula but does have a certain sequence. First of all, I want the students to explore and build their understanding. That's ... Read *the* Post

## Perimeter and Area: Constructivist Learning

Some of my favorite math units/topics are those where I feel I have a handle on how to really get my students to construct their own understanding. This is NOT the way most textbooks operate! Most textbooks have you set a clear learning target:
I can find the perimeter of a rectangle by using the perimeter formula.
Then, the teacher models how to do the problems...talks through ... Read *the* Post

## Why Line Plots? Deep Thinking, Test Prep, and More!

Chances are, if you teach third through fifth grades, the term "line plots" has become a part of your vocabulary. If you give standardized tests, you've probably realized that test makers love them! Unfortunately, many textbooks and other resources really don't seem to provide many rich and meaningful experiences with line plots. Most activities are simple "create the plot" ... Read *the* Post

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