What Do Turtles Have to Do with Multiplication?

When teachers (and other well-meaning adults) can’t explain something in a way that students can understand, sometimes they resort to cute tricks, gimmicks, and shortcuts.

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Playing with Equations

Putting myself into the shoes of a fourth grade student, I can’t imagine a much more dry, repetitive, and boring task than filling out worksheets with numbers that don’t mean anything.

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Teach Them to Fail

There is much to be said about the benefit of failing, especially at a young age. Unfortunately, the “bubble of parental protection” can at times give students (and teachers) a false sense of proficiency, resulting in failure of a summative assessment. Productive struggle and early failure are vital to the learning process, build character and perseverance, and must become the norm.

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You’ll Never Have a Multiplication Unit in Life

Often, we teach math skills in partitioned silos, inadvertently teaching our students to compartmentalize their thoughts, effectively hampering/shutting off their critical-thinking and ability to reason.

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Start With the Heart

Too often, narratives are bogged down in introductions full of superfluous info, causing the heartbeat of their story to flatline because they rushed both it and the conclusion.

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Teach the Math Behind the Methods

Let me start off with a confession: when I was a student, I had no idea what I was doing in math. Come to think of it, I don’t think many of my peers understood what was going…

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Using Google Forms as Exit Tickets

If all we use laptops or other technology for is replacing (and not improving) what is already being done with paper and pencil, then we’re missing the point. We might as well have $1,000 paperweights for each student.

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As You Think, So They Are

What if we use confirmation bias and the self-fulfilling prophecy to our advantage? What if we believe in our students’ ability to meet high social and academic standards?

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Breaking Bread – Lunch with Students

We sit outside on the picnic bench under the eaves in the school courtyard and chat about life. I ask silly questions like, “If you had to eat one thing for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?”

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Shifting Our Mathematical Mindsets

As the PD started, we were asked to write down three words to represent thoughts or emotions we had about our own math experiences when we were young students. My words? Confused, frustrated, and bored.

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