Category: Mathematics

Math Explorations to Engage Your Students

As the school year ends, it’s easy for students to lose their momentum. One way to help ease students into summer mode, but still sneak in some math review, is to find engaging activities. Kathleen Palmieri shares favorites from Jo Boaler that can also be saved for fall warm-ups.

Math: the Perfect Place to Teach Character

In math class students can be challenged to build both their character and their math proficiency if we adopt the roles of cultivator and guide. Mona Iehl calls on teachers to follow the principles of ECHO and help each student embrace a leadership role in the learning journey.

How to Differentiate the Teaching, Not the Task

Mona Iehl once labeled her math students high, medium or low and gave them different problems. Now she thinks about differentiation as the amount of support she offers so that every student gradually reaches grade level expectations working the same problems. Here’s how.

Number Sense Builds a Strong Math Foundation

There’s an immense difference between rote memorization and giving students tools that allow them to work flexibly and thoughtfully with numbers, writes Kathie Palmieri. When kids learn number sense and can use multiple strategies, they have choice in how they solve problems.

Stop Using These Four Words in Math Class

To reduce confusion, math professor Dan Ilaria recommends: Stop saying “cancel” and use “name the operation.” Stop saying “plug in” and use “substitute.” Stop saying “reduce” and use “rewrite.” Stop saying “cross-multiply” and allow students to make sense of what they are solving.

How to Teach Students to Grapple with the Math

Mona Iehl’s students were shocked when she first asked them to grapple with math problems BEFORE they received instruction. Then, to her surprise, “they got out the blocks, and drew pictures, and tried!” Her trust in productive struggle grew as she saw their confidence increase.

Use Music and Exercise to Teach Math Fluency

Without good math fact recall, many students become discouraged about building math knowledge and solving equations. Kathleen Palmieri uses song and movement to engage fifth graders in computation fluency. Watch the music and exercise videos that are hits with her kids.

Avoid These 3 Mistakes During Math Debriefs

Never skip the math class debrief, writes teacher and math coach Mona Iehl. That’s when you can help students take what they’ve explored and worked through and make sense of it all. Using clear language and examples, she describes how to avoid common debriefing mistakes.

A Single Open Math Task Can Work for Every Student

Teacher and coach Mona Iehl shows how using one high quality math task enables educators to better meet all students’ needs without the alienating effects of some differentiation strategies such as ability grouping or creating activities at varying degrees of difficulty.

A Plan for All Kids to Build Math Proficiency

Mona Iehl’s Word Problem Workshop lesson plan helped her realize that teaching math was just like teaching everything else. You have to allow students to bring themselves to the work – letting them use what they know and are able to do to figure things out. Then you step in.