At breakfast today, Rory asked me: “Why don’t I get $10 a tooth like my friend Gavin?”. Well, after I finished choking on my coffee, I tried to think of some reasons that were more kid-friendly than my initial thought: “their tooth-fairy is on drugs!”. Here are some of the ones I thought about: The … Continue reading The Truth about the Tooth-fairy
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
With summer almost upon us, I often have parents ask: how can they keep their kids practicing math facts over the summer without having a full out rebellion on their hands?! Well, KenKen is the answer! It is a brilliant math puzzle that helps build fluency in addition and subtraction facts, as well as multiplication … Continue reading Kindies doing KenKen!
I went and asked a few Grade 5 students to tell me about odd and even numbers, and this is what they said: Student A: “3 is odd, 2 is even” Student B:“anything ending in a 0, 2,4,6,8 is even and anything ending in a 1, 3, 5, 7, 9” is odd. The students told … Continue reading Odds and Evens
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
Rory was writing out numbers the other day and some of them were backward and all I wanted to do was tell him that they were backward and that he should fix them. Instead, I bit my tongue, and silently thought “positive feedback, positive feedback” in my head and then said, “Good job, I see … Continue reading Representing 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 place value I always start the school year with number sense. Why? Because it gives me a good indication of each student’s comfort with numbers. Number sense is the one strand that is always interwoven into other strands in mathematics. It is also the most telling predictor of a child’s success in … Continue reading The Importance of Place Value in Primary