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Close Reading Lesson: Faithful Elephants by Yukio Tsuchiya

Close reading is when a reader analyzes the details of a text to make interpretations and develop a deep understanding of the passage. Often the reader uses a short text and rereads the passage several times focusing on a different literary element with each read... Continue Reading

February 22, 2017

3 Categories of Knowledge New Math Teachers Need to Be Successful

Helping new teachers acclimate to their positions is one of the primary jobs of mentors. One thing that has been helpful for me in framing my discussions with newer teachers is thinking of what kind of knowledge they need to be successful in the classroom. This post explains how to do just that and includes a downloadable checklist you can use when you are working with new teachers.

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February 15, 2017

How to Use Teddy Bear Counters in the Elementary Math Classroom

Teddy bear counters have become near and dear to many early elementary math educators. Having come from mostly a middle- and high-school teaching background, I first encountered the use of teddy bear counters in an early childhood development class. At first I thought it was simplistic, but the more I have learned about elementary mathematics, the more I see their benefit to math teachers and students alike.

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January 31, 2017

Look for and Make Use of Structure Using Place Value in the Elementary Math Classroom

A topic that I have been thinking about recently is the use of area models to teach multiplication. Today’s post looks at how we can look for and make use of structure (Standard for Mathematical Practice 7). We will combine the topics of place value and area models in the elementary curriculum in order to help students see the structure of multi-digit multiplication. Today’s download will help your students see how the structure of the number system place value can be used to multiply two numbers. This method is a step in the process of the conceptual development of multiplication in Grade 4 that will help students eventually learn the standard algorithm for multiplying two two-digit numbers by the end of Grade 5.

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January 25, 2017

Blizzard of Numbers Factors and Multiples Game, Grades 6–8

My students have come to love math centers. They call it "game time," but I know it is really a time where they can apply their newly learned math skills. One of the activities in the center focuses on a card game of factors and multiples. The theme of this activity is Blizzards. My students always get excited when it snows, so I thought having a game with a blizzard theme would get them excited about factors and multiples.

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January 19, 2017

Coherence in Teaching Mathematics: How Multiplication Fits in the Curriculum

Whether you are a principal, a math supervisor, a math coach, or a classroom teacher, you may wonder how different elements of the math curriculum are connected between and within the grade levels. That’s why I’m excited about this new monthly series of articles on coherence in the math curriculum. Having a command of how the backbone of the mathematics curriculum is constructed helps support teachers or encourages teachers to support each other while schools help students grow in their mathematics understanding.

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December 12, 2016

Mean Absolute Deviation and the Concept of Variability in Middle School

Recently, I was working with some of my students on topics they had failed in? last year’s state testing. The topic of the day was mean absolute deviation, and while they were able to perform the calculations, they were struggling with the concept of statistical variability. To help them, I developed this example and used it with many students. It helped to start conversations about a real life situation (basketball) they could relate to. We were able to talk about the variability in the basketball scores quite naturally. That gave more meaning to the mean absolute deviation that they were calculating.

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Math tips from our Math expert Jeff! 

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Interactive Read Aloud Bundle, K–5

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Close Reading Faithful Elephants, Grades 4–5

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Comparing & Contrasting Texts: Ruby Bridges, Grades 4–5

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DOK & Blooms Reference Sheets

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Notice & Note Signpost Posters K–5

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Interactive Read Aloud, Harvesting Hope K–5

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