## What does = mean?

How often do we make assumptions about students’ mathematical understanding in the younger grades because they are able to compute equations such as 5+7 or 12-7?  In a Gr 2-3 class we asked the students to independently solve the following question: 8 + 4 = _ + 5 Just … More What does = mean? »

## Understanding Equality Using Pattern Blocks

Recently a primary teacher asked me for suggestions for hands-on activities for balance and equality.  As I mentioned in a previous post we have a tendency to focus more on patterning and less on algebra, but here is a Grade 1 teacher understanding the importance of moving beyond.  In … More Understanding Equality Using Pattern Blocks »

## Big Ideas, Learning Goals and Feedback

“The purpose of assessment is not to rate, rank and sort students, but to provide meaningful feedback that leads to high performance for all students.” (Mariano & Heflebower) It is imperative that educators understand the power of the relationship between big ideas, learning goals and feedback. To impact student thinking … More Big Ideas, Learning Goals and Feedback »

## Solving for “x” but “y”?

As a result of my numerous opportunities to be in junior classrooms I have noticed that many students are able to create, identify and extend patterns.  The challenge that I have observed over and over again is the difficulty these students have making future predictions based on the identified pattern. … More Solving for “x” but “y”? »

## Ten “Tens” You Say!

One of the highlights of my work is that I get to interact in depth with small groups of students for longer periods of time than may be available to a classroom teacher.  I view these opportunities as a window into understanding challenges and misconceptions that other students may be … More Ten “Tens” You Say! »

## Let’s Focus on the Math!

“It’s fine to work on any problem, so long as it generates interesting mathematics along the way – even if you don’t solve it at the end of the day.  (Andre Wiles) This quote reminds me of a couple of key ideas that I have encountered through my work as … More Let’s Focus on the Math! »

## Everybody Has Questions!

“In mathematics the art of proposing a question must be held in higher value than solving it.”  (Georg Cantor) The art of proposing a question is critical in our math classes because as educators we want to promote thinking and reasoning.  Some questions posed by adults can be very closed … More Everybody Has Questions! »