Math should make sense. It’s a relatively simple statement, yet for many it’s the stuff of dreams. I know that as a child growing up, math certainly did not make sense to me. Math was about memorizing procedures and performing tedious calculations. That was then, but surely it is different now, right? Well…let’s say the […]

## 5 Must-Have Math Talk Resources

“I want noise and plenty of it–productive, purposeful, and meaningful noise–from everyone, students and teachers alike.” Christine Moynihan, Math Sense Note: Join me on Wednesday, October 19th, at 9:00 PM EST as I guest moderate #3rdchat. Our topic is math talk! If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat, this would be a great one to start […]

## Encouraging Student Self-Reflection

As part of my school’s PBIS behavior management system, students have the opportunity to earn “tokens” they can save and redeem for rewards. A student favorite is the Stinky Feet pass, which allows students to work in the classroom with their shoes off for the day. Teachers can give students a Rocket Buck when they observe behavior that […]

## Using Precise Mathematical Language: Place Value

If we want students to use precise mathematical language (and we do!), then we have to be sure we model what that sounds like. Let’s look at some shortcuts we often take in our own language and see how they undermine our goal of having students deeply understand place value. Eight-O-Seven is a Time The […]

## Math Attitude Surveys: Making Student Beliefs Visible

Why use a math attitude survey? When your students enter your classroom this fall, it’s likely that a very large elephant will follow each of them into the room. That’s a lot of elephants in one room! The source of all this overcrowding? Negative beliefs and attitudes about math. Our students come to us disliking […]

## Balancing the Equation Collaborative Book Study: The Equilibrium Position and Effective Mathematics Instruction

Balancing the Equation: A Guide to School Mathematics for Educators and Parents, Matthew R. Larson & Timothy D. Kanold Chapter 4: The Equilibrium Position and Effective Mathematics Instruction “Let us teach our children mathematics the honest way by teaching both skills and understanding.” —Hung-Hsi Wu, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley The primary audience of Unit […]

## Math? Yes, You Can! Fostering a Growth Mindset

“Why is it that as a society we’re willing to freely admit that we’re not competent mathematicians but would disguise any struggle we had with being literate? What if we decided that numeracy and literacy are both languages we should be fluent it?” Leslie Minton, What If Your ABCs Were Your 123s? How society views […]

## What Do Mathematicians Notice?

Ever since hearing Annie Fetter talk about Notice and Wonder at the Atlantic City NCTM Regional Conference in October, I have been obsessed with the strategy. What I immediately noticed (no pun intended) was that my students didn’t notice much. Because I believe so strongly in the power of the strategy, I kept asking them to notice […]

## Direct Instruction…Do We Need It?

I thought that would get your attention! Now just hear me out. I want you to consider that there is really very little in math that students must learn through direct instruction, that is explicit instruction from a teacher. Let me give two examples, and then I’m sure you can think of others. Take, for example, expanded […]

## Book Study Monday: Creating Cultures of Thinking, Part 6

What a great summer of learning through our online book study of Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools, by Ron Ritchhart. I hope you’ll use these links to review our previous posts. June 8, Introduction and Chapter 1 June 22, Chapters 2 & 3 July 6, Chapters 4 & […]