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 […]

## 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 […]

## Making 100, A Fall Themed Freebie

Last year, I posted a little fall-themed freebie in my TpT store called Closest to 100. The idea of the game is to find the difference between a number and 100. For example, the difference between 53 and 100 is 47. The player with the smaller difference wins the round. A themed hundred chart is […]

## Assessing Computational Fluency–The Portrait

After blogging about Mia’s great strategy for checking her multiplication problem, several people asked me about the Portrait I referenced in that blog post. Of course I’m happy to share what we’re doing! Let me give you some background. I taught 5th grade for many years before stepping into the coaching role. Every year, I […]

## Computational Fluency in Action–Mia’s Story

This year on our campus, we implemented Number Talks in every K-5 classroom to help develop our students’ computational fluency. It was a huge undertaking, but both teachers and students embraced it with enthusiasm. As the year comes to a close, we administer a computational assessment called the Portrait of a Maverick Mathematician, lovingly referred […]

## Anchor Charts for Addition and Subtraction Strategies

Sssssssh! Keisha doesn’t know that I sneaked into her room and took pictures of a bunch of her anchor charts while she was at lunch yesterday. But she owed me, right? 🙂 Now, I just want to say that as pretty lovely stunning as Keisha’s anchor charts are, they also feature great math. Remember, it’s not just […]

## Knowing How and Knowing When

This post could be titled Arithmetic Meets Mathematics. What’s the difference? Arithmetic is commonly thought of as the nuts and bolts of mathematics. It’s the computation piece. Mathematics is the broader picture. It’s the relationships, patterns, etc. In other words, arithmetic is usually considered a subset of mathematics. I read somewhere on the Internet that […]

## Analyzing Mistakes

Look at the following multiplication problems and see if you can tell why each one produced the wrong answer. I’ll wait… Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Okay, so did you figure it out? Fig. 1 represents the most common error made when multiplying by a 2-digit number. The student did not adjust for place […]

## Concrete Learning for 2-Digit Multiplication

I visited in a 3rd grade class today and saw CRA in action again. Let’s backtrack a bit. A couple of weeks ago during planning, one of my 3rd grade teachers literally broke out in hives at the thought of teaching 2-digit by 1-digit multiplication. Probably the same way I’d feel about teaching poetry! Anyway, […]