AIMS Center

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

Permission to Change

Don’t forget to remain a student while you teach others. To me, that is what being a teaching/learning professional is all about. I also think it is about the support that comes with the permission to change as an educator. And it’s about learning in a way that makes sense, so a person can make… Continue Reading

Kindergarten

There was always something special to me about teaching kindergarten. While I didn’t always teach kindergarten, I did spend the majority of my teaching career there. I would hear things from other teachers like, “It takes a special person to teach kindergarten,” or “I don’t know how you do it, I could never teach ‘the… Continue Reading

Cotton Balls and Place Value

It is important to remember that when we engage students in experiences meant to help them build meaning behind math concepts, what might appear to be happening may or may not be actually happening. Let me explain. Place value is one of the times in math when understanding what the concepts represent requires more than… Continue Reading

Learning from Others – Dr. Nora Newcombe

Spatial reasoning can be described as a skill that helps us move through our physical environment. While this skill seems like one that intuitively develops over time, research indicates that one can improve their spatial skills with practice. Spatial reasoning has also been linked to not only mathematical ability but to success in any of… Continue Reading

Staying on Track – I Am Learning All the Time

Increasing student achievement: three words many schools incorporate into their mission, vision, and goal statements. Schools are making commitments to strengthen every student’s conceptual, representational, and abstract understanding of what they study. To ensure we are meeting the demands of 21st century learning and increasing student achievement, we must ensure teachers have a deep understanding… Continue Reading