Reifying Math

In school mathematics, we spend a lot of time making math very formal, very sophisticated, and very unreachable for most people because it doesn’t feel real. Perhaps more time should be spent playing with math, exploring math, and making math real for everyone. In ancient times, people often did very sophisticated math problems, but they… Continue Reading

Mathematizing: Highlighting the Mathematics in the Young Child’s World

“From the ages of 3 through 6, children need many experiences that call on them to relate their knowledge to the vocabulary and conceptual frameworks of mathematics – in other words, to ‘mathematize’ what they intuitively grasp.” (NCTM/NAEYC 2002, p.16)  So what does it mean to “mathematize”? Mathematize is defined as: To regard or treat… Continue Reading

The Feynman Technique of Learning: Part II

In part I of my blog, “The Feynman Technique,” I began discussing Richard Feynman’s method for learning something new.  Feynman’s personal mode of learning was based on constructivism, building understanding from first principles.  As I mentioned, all of us at the AIMS Center have been tasked with learning new concepts outside of our field of… Continue Reading

Episode 21 | Additive to Multiplicative Thinking with Brook Lewis

Brook Lewis talks about the research she has been studying regarding how students progress from additive thinking to multiplicative thinking. Children start early to count, but we can help them to “segment” their counts into various speech patterns. She references a face to face meeting with Dr. Les Steffe the major researcher we look closely at here at AIMS. She introduces to us the concept of a “composite unit” and how to help children to recognize that it is possible to make use of that form of counting. We discuss a multi-dimensional representation of the interconnections she is seeing between composite units and other areas in our research here.

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Don’t Forget The Students

Here are my thoughts for today. I want to challenge every reader to be opportunistic and see what is right and bright in education. We educators have a daily view from within our schools and classrooms, and that is where we have the opportunity to shine – to make differences that matter. I challenge you… Continue Reading

The Shift, Continued

In my last post, I mentioned that I had been seeing a pattern in the presentations at conferences this past fall. Many of the keynote and special guest speakers had incorporated a frame of reference that seemed to me to be a focus on student thinking. “Why is this an important shift?” you might ask.… Continue Reading

Shapes Here, Shapes There, Shapes EVERYWHERE!!!

In January, I had the wonderful opportunity to present to a group of 50 dedicated TK/K teachers in Clovis Unified School District. My colleague, Jason Chamberlain, and I provided the research on the importance of children having early math opportunities prior to kindergarten and weaving math opportunities throughout the day. We provided a variety of… Continue Reading

Episode 20 | Universal Design for Learning, Productive Struggle, and Formative Assessment

Meagan and Brandon Dorman chat in the studio this week. We discuss a topic that is important in the Special Education world known as Universal Design for Learning, and how it can assist in creating an environment for all students to learn well, something that is central Meagan’s work. Also we focus on a related topic of Formative Assessment (assessing student knowledge along the path to learning not merely for grading or at the end of a unit). We discuss how shifting to these two foci supports a strong learning environment, rich with opportunity for students to learn. The use of several technology tools are brought up as Brandon’s work is completely focused upon this aspect of the learning enterprise.

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