Why Teach Patterns? "Patterning" is something that has typically been a focus of primary classrooms. Pass by any kindergarten or first grade room early in the school year and you can expect to see SOME sort of patterning work happening. The simple truth is that we sometimes forget WHY we get our youngest students thinking in terms of patterns. We NEED students to be able to recognize and ... Read the Post
Word Problem Mistake: Making All Your Word Problems Match Your Content
Over the years I have noticed that students tend to look for routine in math class. If it’s a division unit, they will divide any two numbers they find! If it’s a subtraction unit, they try to regroup everything! So what does this mean for word problems? It means we need to put students in a position where THEY need to think and decide what operation and strategies to choose. If we constantly ... Read the Post
Daily Math Warm-Ups: Infusing the Math Practice Standards
The first ten minutes of your math lesson will set the tone for the rest of the class. Students must be "activated" and engaged so that they are ready to learn. Using high-level math warm-ups at the start of each lesson will accomplish this goal. My Math Warm-Up Routine I have my problem for the day ready--either ready to project, ready to glue into notebooks, or ready to send ... Read the Post
Solving Word Problems…a Gradual Release Model
For many students, word problems and problem-solving strategies are the most difficult part of math instruction. They can learn algorithms and procedures but struggle to independently make sense of problems and work through them. So what can we, as teachers, do to help? Let me walk you my thinking and see if there is anything that resonates with you! Gradual Release of Responsibility Model ... Read the Post
Problem Solving in the Real World!
Let's face it. Sometimes students look at you while your teaching and you can read their minds. "Why in the world are we doing this?" And in their defense...when they are filling out worksheets or pages of a math workbook, it's easy to lose the "real world" in the math and focus instead on the answers in the boxes. Whenever humanly possible, I try to make math meaningful to my ... Read the Post
Loved That Lesson! August Edition–Getting Ready to Teach Perseverance!
Well...it's my final "Loved That Lesson" of the summer...and September will have a REAL lesson to use! For today, it's another "I can't wait to..." lesson! So...what am I most excited about for this school year? It's hard to say...with each year comes new challenges and new excitement--but one thing I started last year that I am SO excited to continue is to explicitly teach about the concept ... Read the Post