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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

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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September 13, 2016

Attend to Precision in the K–8 Classroom: Math Standard 6

Today’s Standard for Mathematical Practice, Attend to Precision, is one of the ones I work with the most in my classroom. Students can engage in some great discussions about precision. Also, when you have a discussion-based classroom format, you will notice whether students are precise in their use of vocabulary and reasoning. The download for this post is a teacher tip sheet, part of the series of tip sheets for the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

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August 11, 2016

Three Ways to Use Appropriate Tools Strategically (Mathematical Practice 5)

There is a great deal to say about how to use appropriate tools strategically, which is Mathematical Practice 5 from the Common Core State Standards. It is simple to say that this standard is about using a compass, protractor, ruler, or similar physical tool. There is so much more to using tools than just the use of physical objects. As I read in an article recently, even extremely simple tools are the product of a long period of experimentation, experience, observation, reflection, and recollection. This is the focus on tools I will address in this post.

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May 12, 2016

3 Ways to Reason Abstractly and Quantitatively in the Middle School Classroom

In this post I will share several ways that you can use Mathematical Practice 2 in your classroom. For me, this practice was one of the more confusing ones when I first tried to understand it. I hope that you will understand it better after I explain it to you. You will then be able to help develop your students’ abilities to reason abstractly and quantitatively. I am going to break the standard down into three parts. The download for this blog post is a tip sheet to remind you of these ideas.

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April 21, 2016

How to Make Sense of Problems and Persevere in Solving Them, K–8

Making sense of problems and persevering in them is Mathematical Practice 1, a part of the Common Core Mathematical Practices. This post covers this standard and how it can be simplified for grades K–5 and 6–8. At the end of the post, you’ll find downloadable posters in student-friendly language that you can display in your classroom.

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March 28, 2016

Two Ways You Can Begin to Implement the Math Practice Standards

The eight Standards for Mathematical Practice, often called the math practice standards, are part of the Common Core. Don’t get confused as they are referred to in so many ways: the math practices, the standards for mathematical practice, the SMPs, or the MPs. They all mean the same thing! Most often I see them referred to as MP1, MP2, and so on. Whether you are a fan of Common Core or not, these math practice standards will help your students think mathematically, conceptualize math, and become better problem solvers. Here are two ways I have started using them in my classroom.

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Math tips from our Math expert Jeff! 

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