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
THE DISCOVERY This past summer, I bought Rory a YOXO Helicopter construction toy (for only $10 at Chapters!). As soon as we got home, he was dying to dig into it, but I said no (...after watching Shonda Rhimes' TED Talk I might have answered differently)! I wanted him to wait until I had time to … Continue reading Full STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) ahead!
All things are not created equal...including the understanding of the equals sign! Did you know that Americans have a very poor understanding of the equals sign, especially when compared to students in other countries? “Ninety-eight percent of the Chinese sample correctly answered 4 items indicating conceptions of equality and provided conceptually accurate explanations. In contrast, … Continue reading All things are not created equal!
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!
What are number bonds? Number bonds are just another way to visualize addition facts and are a huge component of Singapore math. What is Singapore math? It is a collection of computation strategies that arose out of Singapore, where students are supposedly ranked among the best in the world in math achievement. So are number … Continue reading The good, the bad, and the ugly about number bonds
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
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!