Fact fluency is an absolutely essential component for young, developing mathematicians. Thankfully, however, math educators are following research and moving away from rote memorization and timed tests. A strategy-based approach to teaching math facts is far more effective and meaningful to students. But we do want students to become fluent with their basic facts, and […]

## Building Understanding for the Math Operations

How did you learn arithmetic? By that I mean basic multi-digit computation, such as subtracting with regrouping, multi-digit multiplication, or “long” division. I learned totally by memorizing a series of steps for each operation. The teacher demonstrated the steps, and we practiced. I’m at good memorizing, so I was able to successfully compute. I’ll be honest […]

## Math Activities That Do Double Duty

One criticism I hear again and again is that there are too many standards to “cover”. I agree that if you just look at the volume of standards for each grade level, they do seem quite overwhelming. But the thing about math is that so many skills are interconnected. For example, it’s pretty hard to […]

## Making Ten: Ten Flashing Fireflies

A few years back, I found a nifty little activity for composing and decomposing ten that gets kiddos up and moving around. The activity came from the book Common Core: Math in Action, K-2 and is based on the book Ten Flashing Fireflies. In the book, ten fireflies are flying around in the night sky, and one by one they […]

## Exploring Equality and Composing Numbers

I’ve been working with my Firsties on the following TEK: 1.2(A) recognize instantly the quantity of structured arrangements Although it is not mentioned in the TEK, the mathematical word for this skill is subitizing. The dot patterns on dice and dominoes are very common and easily recognizable, so they are perfect for practicing this standard. […]

## Subitizing: Instantly Recognizing Quantities

I’m currently working with my Kinders and Firsties on subitizing. If you’re scratching your head about the word “subitizing”, you might not be alone. Consider this–how many fingers are displayed in the picture above. I’m pretty sure you answered eight. I’m also reasonably sure that you did not count the fingers one by one. That, […]

## The Hiding Assessment in Action

Fluency and flexibility with numbers are the hallmarks of mathematical thinking. For our students to excel in mathematics, they must understand how numbers can be composed and decomposed. That’s why learning the combinations for numbers to 10 should be the primary focus in our Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms. Not convinced? Check out where a number […]

## Fly on the Math Teacher’s Wall: Back to School Math Game Hacks

Every couple of months, I get together with a group of amazing math bloggers for the Fly on the Math Teacher’s Wall blog hop. Usually, we are *squashing* math misconceptions, but this time around we’re passing along some *buzzworthy* ideas for back to school. At each stop along the way, you’ll find not only great […]

## Ten Frame Mania–FREE App

Put two of my favorite things together–Greg Tang and ten frames–and I’m a happy camper! I am in awe of Greg and the amazing resources he provide teachers for free on his website. If you have not tried his Word Problem Generator, you are truly missing out on a spectacular tool. Using it, you can […]

## Modeling Addition and Subtraction Structures

I am finishing out the school year with my first and second graders by trying to give them a solid foundation with the different structures for addition and subtraction problems. I’ve been using a marvelous free resource called Thinking Blocks. They offer a variety of free iPad apps, but I’ve been using the web version on […]

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