Common Core Math

Do We Really Understand What Math Is?

Do We Really Understand What Math Is?

What would you or your students say math is? Some common answers could be numbers, addition, subtraction . . . Below are the posters a group of AIMS trainers created answering that question. Most people don’t understand what math really is. If you have read some of my previous posts, you know my elementary and… Continue Reading

How to Equip Your Students to Better Understand Multiplication, Part Three

How to Equip Your Students to Better Understand Multiplication, Part Three

I never liked word problems as a student. It was difficult for me to figure out which procedure to use, but I really didn’t like problems like this: Robert is three times as old as his younger brother Mark. Mark is 7 years old. How old is Robert?  As I reflect on my experience, I… Continue Reading

How to Equip Your Students to Better Understand Multiplication, Part Two

How to Equip Your Students to Better Understand Multiplication, Part Two

Using arrays has become much more prominent in the classroom. At first glance arrays seem very straightforward and simple for students. But what are the connections that are essential for students to build understanding of the concept of multiplication through arrays? Arrays are a model of multiplication. Just because your students can build an array… Continue Reading

Friday Institute: A Common Core Resource

Friday Institute: A Common Core Resource

I want to share with you two very helpful, quite extensive Common Core Math resources that are available from the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. The first resource is an interactive map of all of the Common Core Content Standards organized into 18 learning trajectories or progressions http://www.turnonccmath.net/index.php?p=map. For example,… Continue Reading

How to Equip Your Students to Better Understand Multiplication, Part One

How to Equip Your Students to Better Understand Multiplication, Part One

As I have coached and taught in the classroom, the three most popular ways to describe multiplication is showing ______ groups of ______, using repeated addition and making arrays. Now all of these methods have their place in a student’s understanding of multiplication, but if these methods are all they know, their understanding is limited.… Continue Reading

Making Word Problems More Engaging, Part Three

Making Word Problems More Engaging, Part Three

This is my last post in the series; Making Word Problems More Engaging. Creating analogies for students to understand addition and subtraction is important. Whether you use Trevon, Bobby, Jada, and Maya, or come up with your own characters is not important. What is important is giving students a complete conceptual understanding of addition and subtraction.… Continue Reading

Making Word Problems More Engaging, Part One

Making Word Problems More Engaging, Part One

As I watched my daughter Bethany do her homework last night I had an Aha Moment. She complains almost every day that she has addition and subtraction homework. Apparently, she does not have her mother’s love of math. (I’m working on that.) Her paper had simple numeric addition and subtraction, and she decided that she… Continue Reading

Teaching Addition and Subtraction, Part Three

Teaching Addition and Subtraction, Part Three

This blog post will be the final in a three-part series on teaching addition and subtraction. Part One talks about the Change Plus/Change Minus, and Part Two talks about Composing/Decomposing. Our last situation is Comparison. After reading Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood, I realized how foundational comparing relations (talking about two sets being more than,… Continue Reading

Teaching Addition and Subtraction, Part Two

Teaching Addition and Subtraction, Part Two

I remember my first experience in a Mathematics Methods Course of a Part/Part Whole Mat. I really liked how the mat could be used for both addition and subtraction. This was the beginning of my pedagogical understanding of composing and decomposing as an addition and subtraction situation. I have already written a series of posts… Continue Reading

What’s the Difference?

What’s the Difference?

I was helping my daughter, who is in kindergarten, with her homework. She claimed the homework was too hard. She was working on subtraction in her class and the instructions for her homework were: FIND THE DIFFERENCE. I thought to myself, does she even understand subtraction as a comparison situation? Was that the thinking her… Continue Reading