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

## 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 response

## A Spatial Reasoning Task Using Pentominoes

Observing people of all ages enthusiastically engaging in mathematical tasks is what fuels my passion for the work I do. I had such an experience recently at a K-8 elementary school on a PA Day. Last year I had been involved in a Ministry of Education Spatial Reasoning Inquiry and

## Be a Problem Solving Detective!

With the best of intentions we implement something e.g., a model or graphic organizer and think that this will be the solution to difficulties we are experiencing in the math classroom. In an earlier post I wrote that a challenge with writing is that something “three-dimensional” can often appear

## 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

## 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.

## Ten “Tens” You Say!

## Math Can Be Everywhere!

Please comment and share your ideas! Planning for mathematics can seem like a daunting task, so I thought I would talk a bit about a few things I did as a classroom teacher. I began my planning by looking at the whole year and plugging in special times that happen

## 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

## 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