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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 Two

Making Word Problems More Engaging, Part Two

Dinnertime is a place stories are told at my house. One of my favorite storytellers is my husband Matt. When he tells a story, you feel like you are there. Stories are memorable, they can take us to another world, and for mathematics, stories bring context to the abstract. Our world is full of exciting… 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

Teaching Addition and Subtraction, Part One

Teaching Addition and Subtraction, Part One

After writing my last blog post, What’s the Difference?, I thought it would be helpful if I blogged about all the different addition and subtraction situations. This post will talk about one of three addition and subtraction situations: the Change Plus/Change Minus situation. What I find fascinating is how researchers have found that Pre-K children… 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

Decomposing Numbers with Kindergarteners Part Two

Decomposing Numbers with Kindergarteners Part Two

In my last post, I talked about the connection between decomposing numbers and place value. Understanding how numbers can be decomposed into parts lays the foundation for breaking apart numbers into specific groups. These specific groups could be anything, but for our numeration system they will be ten. You may want to check out the… Continue Reading

Decomposing Numbers with Kindergarteners Part One

Decomposing Numbers with Kindergarteners Part One

Field Testing Experience During my recent field-testing in Kindergarten, students worked with different pictures of teddy bear counters and with five frames. I would give the students a picture and they would build the picture in their five frame, then fill in their sentence frames and read them. They did a great job! They were… Continue Reading