Why is place value so hard? Place value is the understanding that the place of the digit determines its value. So a 2 in the ones place is far different from a 2 in the tens place. It is one of the most important concepts to understand in math because it is the root … Continue reading Place Value Cards for Primary
I love teaching math with stories. Not only do I value the authentic nature of solving math problems from books, I love how quickly they can engage a whole class. I find it so rewarding when a child makes the connection between the story and the math involved. I taught with a book the other … Continue reading Story time in math class!
Rory was playing the Osmo Numbers Game (he was pretty spoiled by Santa this year!), and he was getting really frustrated because the game wanted him to make the number 12, and he kept doing 1 and 2 (instead of 10 and 2) and not getting it right. This led me to wonder how I … Continue reading Digits versus Numbers
Never heard of a rekenrek? You’re not alone, but I’m here to tell you, it is one of the best manipulatives for developing number sense in early primary, and you can make it yourself! Originally developed in Holland, it looks like a mini-abacus, but functions quite differently. Although you can have many rows in a rekenrek, … Continue reading What the heck is a rekenrek?
Why bother?! In this age of technology, do we still need to learn number facts? Absolutely! Thinking flexibly about numbers opens up thinking for more complex mathematical problems. Mental math is also a survival mechanism when you are out in the real-world! Think of how often you use it: How many km am I going … Continue reading The Facts about Facts!
The importance of patterns Young children are naturally drawn to patterns, but as a parent, you may wonder why exploring patterns is such a useful activity. “Learning to look for, describe and extend patterns are important processes in thinking algebraically.” Van de Walle Patterning is the process of discovering repetitions or regularities and can be … Continue reading Feeling Peppy for Patterning!
Say what?! Melissa and Doug make pattern block toys?! Of course the lead manufacturer of educational toys would make something appropriate for the pre-school generation and I thank them for it! What are pattern blocks? Pattern blocks are a type of manipulative made up of different shapes (triangle, trapezoid, hexagon, square, parallelogram, and rhombus). As … Continue reading Pattern blocks for pre-schoolers!
The thing with children is they change so quickly and if you blink, you feel like you missed the moment when a major milestone was achieved. For example, Rory used to say he wanted a hangaber for dinner. Alan and I thought it was adorable, and did nothing to encourage the proper pronunciation of the … Continue reading Sorting and grouping
If you’re not a teacher, you may not be familiar with the term manipulatives, but you can probably infer what they are. Manipulatives are models that help children think and reflect on new ideas in math. They include resources that allow children to explore, question, guess and check, but more importantly, to play with the … Continue reading Making Math Meaningful with Manipulatives!