I can remember getting assigned work from the math textbook almost every day. We were only asked to do the even numbered problems. It didn’t seem strange that the teachers were assigning only half of the problems – everyone knows the answers to the odd numbered problems are in the back of the book. I understand why my teachers commonly did this, but it did not help me learn math.  It only reinforced t...


There is a shift occurring in how math is being taught. The focus is moving from computation to problem solving. Conceptual understanding, instead of memorization, is the goal teachers have for their students. With this shift comes a change in the instructional resources teachers need to use. Graphic organizers are a great way to help students “organize, record and communicate mathematical ideas” (Mat...

“When I say go, flip over your paper and answer as many multiplication facts as you can in one minute.  Go!”

This is a very familiar situation to many students and many teachers.  Timed tests are frequently used to learn basic facts.  But do they really work?  Are students learning facts or merely memorizing them?  Years of research suggests that timed tests do not provide the desired results.  In fact...

I remember setting up my first kindergarten classroom.  I was so excited for the bulletin border, posters, decorations, desk tags, etc.  When it was finished, my classroom was full of bright colors and patterns all following my chosen theme.   I had a cozy reading corner where I was certain students would love to relax.  Hanging up the alphabet chart over the chalkboard was the moment I knew I was a r...

Learning math should be fun, so why not use board games?  Many foundational skills, including quantification, counting, and symbolic representation can be reinforced while playing these games.  Unfortunately, not all board games are created equal.  If a child is interacting with a game that is either too easy or too difficult, these positive results will not be achieved.  It is likely that a child wil...

Of all the numbers that surround us, zero has the best story.   This seemingly unimportant number has been influenced by multiple cultures, famous philosophers and centuries of economic changes.  Our modern concept of zero is relatively new.   Many civilizations did not see the need for a symbol that represents nothing, but consider how much that symbol is taken for granted in our current society.  Fr...

Please reload

Training Spotlight

1st-3rd grade educators worked together to learn engaging ways to develop number sense. Students will develop fact fluency while playing games that use their number sense strategies. By learning their facts in this way, students are not merely memorizing, but rather learning to work with numbers flexibly.  “Low achievers are often low achievers not because they know less but because they don’t use numbers flexibly – they have been set on the wrong path, often from an early age, of trying to memorize methods instead of interacting with numbers flexibly.” Jo Boaler,  Stanford University, 2009


April 8, 2019

Please reload

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
Pre-K 4 SA Professional Learning
RSS Feed