Category Archives: pedagogy

Day 79: Targeting 2500

On Target! is perfect for practice for any concept, with estimation and strategy thrown in for good measure. In this variation, played with a class of 4th graders, the target was 2500. Players select 4 cards from the deck (1o’s … Continue reading

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Day 75: The Candy Shoppe

During the summer I took Jo Boaler’s online course How to Learn Math. It was incredible. One of the assignments was to revise a problem or activity to make it more open. The result was The Candy Shoppe Problem. By … Continue reading

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Day 73: Which Place?

Estimation is subjective. While certain estimates are more reasonable than others, estimation is about the mental math and/or logic behind them. Why is it that the moment I ask my students to estimate the solution to a problem, someone calls … Continue reading

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Day 72: Counting by Decimals

Note to self. Students need exposure to counting decimal numbers by 0.1, 0.01 and 0.001. We teach students to count sequentially by 1 and skip count by 2, 5, 10, 100 and even 1000. Why isn’t more time devoted to … Continue reading

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Day 68: Area Model Success!

One of my goals this year as a math coach is to introduce the 4th grade teachers and students to a variety of multiplication and division strategies. Though they were a bit nervous and apprehensive at first, I am so … Continue reading

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Day 66: That’s So Cool!

“That’s so cool!” said one of my 5th grade advanced students as he started to realize that all of the factors of a number can be determined by rearranging and/or grouping the prime factors of the number. (Yes, I know … Continue reading

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Day 58: Dividing Fractions and Whole Numbers Aggravation

When you strongly believe students should develop understanding of a concept through hands-on activities, exploration and discussion, teaching division with fractions (among other concepts) can be down-right aggravating. Sometimes I wish I could erase memorized procedures from memory and replace … Continue reading

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