I love listening to kids and their math reasoning when you give them an opportunity to tell you how they think! They have masterful minds. I love the ways they come up with to tell you how their brain is thinking, and even if they aren’t sure how their brain is thinking, they tell you in their cute five-year-old way!
Kids can look at a digit and recognize it as an 8, but they often don’t understand what’s behind the digit. Yes, the symbol means 8, but 8 could be 4 and 4, or 5 and 3, or 6 and 2. In some countries, they teach letters last and the sounds first. If the student doesn’t know what sound the K makes, there’s no point in looking at the symbol and knowing its name. The same is true of math.
Today, schools seem to place so much pressure on students to be able to do “fast facts.” Schools are giving out awards and incentivizing the memorization of facts with things like ice cream parties where students are only allowed to get a certain amount of ice cream or toppings based on the groups of facts they know.
Ever get confused by all the strategies out there for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division? What if there were a fun, friendly, character that you could associate with each strategy to help you keep them straight??
Whole numbers are a familiar concept, one we can wrap our brains around. Consequently, whole number number talks seem to be pretty simple. However, when it comes to fractions, most of us have an anxiety about them, even in our everyday life.
I was given a referral by a colleague who asked if I was interested in doing any work in the Dutch Caribbean. At first, I thought he was joking. But when it turned out that he wasn’t, I told him I would MAKE time!
We have all been there…trying to get students to develop one-to-one correspondence with concrete objects. You have a pile of counters ready on your table.”Watch how I do it,” you say. “1, 2, 3, 4.” And with great patience, you carefully move one counter at a time from one side of the table to the other.
Math is not about memorizing steps and procedures, it’s about developing a conceptual understanding. In division, this is incredibly important!
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