Unit Coordination

Rich Questions

This month kicked off with a bang! It started with a trip to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula for the California Mathematics Council (CMC), North Section – Asilomar Conference 2016. If you have not been before, switch over to your calendar right now and mark off the first weekend of December for the conference. Then you… Continue Reading

Skip Counting with a New Goal

If you are an elementary school teacher, I am sure that you are already familiar with skip counting. We want students to learn how to count by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, etc. We think of this as preparing them to understand and efficiently multiply. I have recently learned from the research that if we add a… Continue Reading

Coordinating Units, Part 3: Fractions

When looking at coordinating units, it is important to consider concepts other than just multiplying. One of those is fractions. Fractions would be first among these encountered by a child in school. Mental operations that must develop for a child to understand fractional ideas include partitioning, iterating, and splitting. These developments are not taught, much… Continue Reading

You Can’t Teach Math

A week or so ago I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Les Steffe, whose research we have been learning from. As he was speaking, he made a statement that I think we notice, but often as an educational system, we tend to ignore. He said, “You can’t teach math.” Now, what did he mean… Continue Reading

Coordinating Units, Part 2

This post continues my September 20, 2016 post, “Coordinating Units: A Brief Introduction”. Last time, I introduced a problem to illustrate the basic differences between additive reasoning and multiplicative reasoning used to solve a problem. I also defined levels of units and what it means to “coordinate units”.  In addition, I said that “in activity”… Continue Reading

Knowledge Inspires Interaction

Knowledge implies interaction, and we cannot step out of our domain of interactions, which is closed. We live, therefore, in a domain of subject-dependent knowledge and subject-dependent reality… We literally create the world in which we live by living in it. (Maturana, 1978) One of the most exciting experiences for me is watching someone else… Continue Reading

It’s Obvious…

As I was working on my Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, I had a professor that drove us all crazy. He would be discussing a topic, new to all of us of course, and as he was going through his process on the board, he would skip all sorts of steps, casually stating “it’s obvious”. My… Continue Reading