# All things are not created equal!

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!

# What the heck is a rekenrek?

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 in Primary

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

# Feeling Peppy for Patterning!

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!

# Pattern blocks for pre-schoolers!

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!

# Tenzi Frenzy!

We are away for the summer at a cottage, with no internet or TV, which I usually love. We’ve already read lots of books, frolicked in the waves, swam to the Big Rock,  sailed to Seagull Island, canoed...dumped the canoe and had lots of good old fashioned fun; but my heart still felt the pitter-patter … Continue reading Tenzi Frenzy!

# Sorting and grouping

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

# Estimation is easy!

Anyone who has had me as a teacher in Grade 6 or 7 has heard me echo, “Estimation is Easy!”...but is it?! Estimation can be a difficult skill to learn because it involves number sense, spatial sense, measurement sense and lots of mental computation. This important skill is often left out of the curriculum, or … Continue reading Estimation is easy!