Math

The Five Triangle Puzzle: Composing and Decomposing

The Five Triangle Puzzle: Composing and Decomposing

Beginning in first grade and continuing through the grades, the Common Core Math Standards emphasize composing and decomposing shapes. One way to give students experience with composing shapes is through put-together puzzles. Actually, working at put-together puzzles involves lots of composing and decomposing. Sometimes what we compose is a solution; sometimes it’s not. While the… Continue Reading

Do Algorithms Sometimes Get In The Way Of Mathematical Thinking?

As a professor of mathematics education at Fresno Pacific University, I often have the opportunity to work with K-6 teachers in their schools. One such visit sticks out in my mind. A lesson study team comprised of myself, another university math educator, a district math specialist, and four fourth grade teachers had planned a lesson… Continue Reading

Moving Beyond the Answer

As a student, I received good grades and loved following all the procedures. As a teacher and coach, I wanted all students to be successful: the students needed to be able to understand, not just follow the procedures. There are only a small percentage of us that only follow rules and are successful. I have… Continue Reading

Frank Lloyd Wright, Froebel Geometric Gifts, and Hands-On Learning

Frank Lloyd Wright, Froebel Geometric Gifts, and Hands-On Learning

This post is a continuation of the story of Froebel’s geometric gifts that was introduced in my previous post. I ended with a promise to tell a story about the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1876, when Wright was eight or nine years old, his mother attended the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Wright describes in… Continue Reading

Dimension, On the Shoulders of Giants

Dimension, On the Shoulders of Giants

I’ve spent forty years teaching mathematics to undergraduate and graduate students in mathematics education. Through all these years, it was geometry that I most enjoyed teaching. I still have a passion for geometry, and it is this passion and some of the things I’ve learned and continue to learn that I hope to share in… Continue Reading