Outreach / Misc

Frontloading

I have facilitated many demonstration “number talks” this year throughout Fresno County.  I even blogged about it earlier this school year.  Talking mathematically in our classrooms is so important that I can’t stop sharing the idea of number talks, even if it is being repeated for some of the teachers that I work alongside.  … Continue Reading

Believe

In a prior post, I talked about our theme for the year here at the AIMS Center – BELIEVE.  Since that time, I have been given a book published by Compendium Incorporated simply entitled, Believe. Each week we post a new belief statement on our website, I write it on the window in my office,… Continue Reading

Traveling Practices

Our work as learners, educators, and researchers takes us into spaces where we encounter new ideas, people, and experiences. We may enter schools, classrooms, faculty lounges, community centers, or other places of learning where we hope to better understand the patterns of interaction among individuals we meet. While our attention may be on what we… Continue Reading

What is Mathematics?

That doggoned Cathy Carroll…I have still not stopped thinking about her colloquium and podcast which pushed us to redefine “fluency”.  So let’s take that even further!  What is “mathematics” anyway? If I were to ask a primary teacher, “What is mathematics?”  I would expect them to say something about learning to add and subtract.  Intermediate… Continue Reading

Piaget’s Water Level Task

While it might seem obvious that living in a three-dimensional world would require a certain amount of innate spatial abilities, it is less obvious in how this spatial ability informs science and math learning. Current research in visuospatial ability does show that children who have an understanding of how shapes fit together, and can see… Continue Reading

Talking Math

Allowing our students to talk to each other about mathematics is very important in today’s educational culture.  Gone are the days when students sat in rows quietly working on repetitive worksheets.  Instead, we want to hear what students are thinking.  How are they processing information?  What do they see as important?  What solution pathways are… Continue Reading

Defining Fluency

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting Cathy Carroll, a Senior Research Associate with WestEd and our state President-elect of the California Mathematics Council, as she facilitated a colloquium  to investigate “fluency” in mathematics.  She also followed up with a podcast to delve deeper into what it means to be fluent.  I have been… Continue Reading

From Red Rock to Green Wall

I have nearly 30 years experience in the teaching of mathematics and the teaching of the teaching of mathematics. Some of my favorite teaching moments have centered on the use of, or focus upon, problems to teach with or from. Every summer for nearly 15 years I would teach the Problem Solving course at Fresno… Continue Reading

Which is Bigger?

Which is bigger 5/6 or 7/8? If the answer isn’t popping into your head in seconds, you are not alone. Fractions are one of the most misunderstood concepts among both young and old in mathematics.  They don’t seem to follow the same rules as whole numbers.  Many of us purposely never work with fractions at… Continue Reading