AIMS Center

A Heart for Professional Learning

Who do you rely on professionally? I could name a long list of people, places, journals, periodicals, podcasts, and websites, but most recently I listened to my colleague Chris Brownell’s recent podcast with Director of Special Education Studies at Fresno Pacific University, Megan Chaney. Megan is doing her doctoral research on teachers dispositions and she… 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

Change Unknown

Recently, while working with students, we offered up a situation where nineteen counters were placed under a cloth.  Seven of the counters were pulled out and the students were asked how many remained under the cloth. One child extended ten fingers, pulled them back, and then re-extended nine. He pulled back seven fingers, one by… Continue Reading

Intensive Quantity and Extensive Quantity

In discussing coordinating units as a way to understand multiplicative reasoning, it is not always evident that there are differences in multiplicative and additive reasoning. What I want to do is give some examples to help clarify the differences. Multiplication is often presented to children as repeated addition. But there is more. In math classes,… Continue Reading

Children Are Natural Mathematicians

In my last BLOG, I wrote about mathematizing our young children’s worlds. No sooner had I written and submitted my BLOG for posting, that my grandnephew came over to visit. Isaac is 3 years old and very shy, but when he decides to talk, he doesn’t stop. This little guy loves to build and create… Continue Reading

Little Steps, Part 1

There you are, sitting in your classroom after all the students have left for the day and you’re pondering just how much you think your students have grown academically throughout the school year. I know this situation, I can remember being in it many times. Unfortunately, I focused a lot more on what my students… Continue Reading

Pi – Pe – Pa Principles

This past weekend I heard a powerful, inspirational presentation by a wise, older gentleman, Mr. Janzen, who has been a college president, a pastor, and a counselor. He talked about three principles that have guided him through the years. He calls them the pi – pe – pa principles, where pi stands for powerful insights,… Continue Reading

Spring is in the Air – Bloom with Early Mathematics

Spring is just around the corner and families will soon begin enjoying more outside activities such as walks, picnics, and working on the yard. Our world is a giant playground but statistically, children are spending less time outside than when their parents were children. What can parents, grandparents, caretakers, and early learning staff do to… Continue Reading