## Make Math Matter With Concreteness Fading

Importance of Context and Concrete Manipulatives From Kindergarten Through Grade 12 During the first half of my teaching career, I would spend what seemed to be the first half of a math lesson teaching a new math concept by sharing definitions, formulas, steps and procedures. To make things more challenging for my students, I would simultaneously introduce the symbolic notation used to represen...

## Counting With Your Eyes: Subitizing

Have you ever looked at a group of items and just knew how many there were without actually counting? This ability to "see" how many items are in a group without counting is called subitizing. The ability to subitize is an important part of developing a strong mathematical foundation and understanding of number (Baroody 1987, 115). Playing with dice, dominoes, and asking children to find a spe...

## Lower the Floor in Math Class

Making Math More Accessible Through Concrete Manipulatives and Visuals What comes to mind when you think back to learning math in school? It would seem that most people I ask typically respond with a negative or neutral response and very few with something positive. Since many of us were taught primarily using procedures and steps, it is unlikely that too many of us could see math as anything m...

## Knowledgehook Math PLC Planning Tool

Have you been using Knowledgehook’s Free Gameshow Tool or the Premium Mission Feature? I was pleased to find out today that Travis, Lambo, James, Arthur and the rest of the team at Knowledgehook have released version 1 of their Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Tool to assist district math leaders, administrators and school math leads to easily and more effectively plan their professional ...

## Year In Review: 2017

Looking Back and Planning Forward What an amazing year 2017 has been! For those of you who have been with me since the beginning, you likely remember this blog as a place to share my learning from a Teacher Learning and Leadership Program (TLLP) project where I went paperless in my math classroom. Boy, have I learned a ton since 2012. Over time, this blog has undergone a complete transformat...

## Using Tasks to Teach Lessons

Instead of Teaching Lessons to Do Tasks Over the past 5 years, I’ve been exploring the use of Dan Meyer’s 3 Act Math Task approach in my math classroom and share many of my own tasks when facilitating workshops. After participants experience these tasks in the role of the student, they quickly understand why 3 act math tasks are useful. After their own curiosity is sparked, it would seem reason...

## Why I Ask Students to Notice and Wonder

Recently, Jon Orr and I received some descriptive feedback from James Francis from Knowledgehook after watching us co-present a workshop titled “Making Math Moments That Matter” at the GECDSB Math Symposium. After sharing some of the pieces he really enjoyed, he also shared some constructive criticism: What I personally didn’t enjoy was the really general "what did you wonder" questioning that ...

## Exploding Dots for Global Math Week

Let's Get Over 1 Million Students Engaging in Joyous Math! If you've ever checked out my 3 act math tasks, you will quickly notice that I am all about sparking curiosity in order to fuel sense making for our students. Well, Exploding Dots nails the curiosity AND sense making pieces of the puzzle and with Global Math Week coming up next week, what better time than now to jump right in! It was o...

## The Progression of Division

Division From Fair Sharing to Long Division and Beyond Over the past school year, I have had an opportunity to work with a great number of K to 8 teachers in my district with a focus on number sense and numeration. As a secondary math teacher turned K-12 math consultant, I’ve had to spend a significant amount of time tearing apart key number sense topics including the operations. While I often he...

## Avoiding Ineffective Uses of Technology With SAMR

While in Austin, Texas for iPadpalooza back in 2014, Tim Yenca (@mryenca) was kind enough to give me a lift to dinner with a group of presenters. After noticing a parking lot with a sign advertising $5 parking, we found ourselves a spot and made our way to pay the fee. After looking around the lot for a payment machine, I ended up back at the sign near the entrance. Have a look: After taking...