AIMS Center

Learning Together, Planning Together, Achieving Greater

I describe the elementary school classrooms of today with terms such as collaborative, talkative, active, thinking, and problem solving. Close your eyes and envision such a classroom. Do you see students moving around? Do you hear the students talking? Do you see collaborative work being done and problems being solved? These images make me smile… Continue Reading

The Perks of Mistakes

I want to tell you about a boy that we call Greg. If you’re a teacher, you’ve likely had a Greg in your class before. He’s the one that fascinates you because he thinks so deeply, is so curious, and seems to already know everything you’re trying to “teach” him. He’s also the one that… Continue Reading

CCAEYC 2018 Keynote Speaker Reflection

I just returned from attending and presenting at the California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAAEYC). These three days were filled with learning, meeting new educators, sharing our love for early education, and spreading our knowledge from AIMS regarding early mathematics through play and spatial activities. On Friday I attended the keynote presentation:… Continue Reading

Mr. Miyagi Should Not Teach Math

“Wax on! Wax off!” Most people can identify these words as being from the classic 80s movie “Karate Kid”. In the film, Daniel, a karate student, is told his lessons will involve waxing a car. This makes no sense to him, but he follows instructions. Following this “lesson” are others involving painting the fence, sanding… Continue Reading

Reaching a Destination Without GPS

The Global Positioning System, more commonly known as GPS, has greatly reduced driving time and increased the confidence of travelers. Using a large unfolded map to determine step-by-step directions to a destination has become an almost entirely extinct method of navigation. I wonder how many children under the age of 12 actually have utilized or… Continue Reading

Participating in Play

One of our primary ways of working with preschool teachers and children has been to consider together the ways children learn through play. “Play” itself is not an easy concept to define – and perhaps attempts to define it limit its potential. What is considered play for one may not be considered play for another.… Continue Reading

Principals Leading Change

More than 30 engaged, collaborative-minded elementary school principals made for a lot of fun last Thursday in Indianapolis. I was there to help them do some thinking about how their teachers might incorporate more hands-on mathematics into their classrooms with the end goal of increasing math achievement scores in their district. At AIMS, we believe… Continue Reading

4×4=1?

Sometimes, early mathematics learning is necessary even in college math courses. A week or so ago, a community college math instructor told me, “You all at AIMS should visit my classroom to study a couple of my students.” He knows that we work with children between the ages of 3 and 8, but thinks there… Continue Reading