Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You Had


Becoming the Teacher You Never Had - Book Cover

By: Tracy Johnston Zager Mathematics Professional Reading I just recently had the opportunity to read Tracy Johnston Zager's new book, Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You Had and I'm so glad I did. The Foreword begins with a reference to the author, Tracy Zager’s quote that “Good math teaching begins with us” and tells us that the book will take us on a journey through a number of differen...


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Counting Principles – Counting and Cardinality


Counting Principles - Principles of Counting and Quantity Featured Image

A Progression of Counting and Quantity As a former secondary math teacher and intermediate math coach, my new role as K-12 math consultant has led to a wealth of knowledge that I wish I had during my years spent in the classroom. My conversations about student learning needs with intermediate and senior math teachers always seems to come down to gaps in student understanding, however rarely wer...


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The Progression of Fractions


The Progession of Fractions from K-12

Exploring Fraction Constructs and Proportional Reasoning Fractions are a beast of a concept that causes struggles for many adults and students alike. While we all come to school with some intuition to help us with thinking fractionally and proportionally, the complexity quickly begins to increase as we move from concrete, to visual, to symbolic and from identifying, to comparing, to manipulatin...


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The Progression of Multiplication


Progression of Multiplication - Area Models and Standard Algorithm Featured Image

Arrays and Area Models to The Standard Algorithm Did you know that the words "array" and "area model" appear in the Grade 1-8 Math Curriculum a combined 22 times? Not only do arrays and area models help to support the development of proportional reasoning when we formally introduce multiplication in primary, but they also help us understand how to develop strategies that lead to building numbe...


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The Progression of Proportional Reasoning From K-9


How Many Doritos Are In A Bag - Consolidation

The Foundation and Development of Multiplicative Thinking Proportional Reasoning is a big idea that is connected in some way to all mathematical strands and stretches across many grades in the Ontario mathematics curriculum. While many focus on the importance of proportional reasoning for students in junior and intermediate grades, I believe that we can see the early development of proportional r...


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Talk Less, Listen More


Talk Less, Listen More

Time flies, doesn't it? It is hard to believe that this is my first post of the 2016-17 School Year and it is the middle of October. After doing some travelling to present throughout the summer and spending the balance of my time with my family, the beginning of the school year came fast and furious and hasn't slowed down yet. There was definitely no "ease in" time for my new role as K-12 Math...


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[Updated Post] Does Memorizing Multiplication Tables Hurt More Than Help?


North American Multiplication Algorithm 12 x 9 = 108

Post update: Saturday May 21st, 2016 This post was originally written two years ago and admittedly took an angle that downplayed the importance of automaticity of multiplication skills which was not the original intention. Please read on as I attempt to clarify the original intent of the article. Let's Promote Understanding to Build Automaticity Over Time As you may have heard in the Globe and...


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What Makes A 3 Act Math Task So Effective?


What Makes A 3 Act Math Task So Effective

When delivering teacher workshops, I almost always include a 3 Act Math Task as a way to model the 4-part math lesson framework and for teachers to experience the power of introducing new concepts by leveraging curiosity. Although my workshops spend a significant amount of time exploring interesting lessons, teachers often want a formal description of what defines a 3 Act Math Task from any othe...


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Is There a Best Way to Learn Mathematics?


Is There A Best Way To Learn Mathematics?

Which Is Best: Inquiry or Explicit Instruction? The ongoing debate over whether math concepts should be taught using a discovery approach versus explicit instruction has been going on for years. These "math wars" (see examples here and here) typically paint effective instruction in mathematics as an either/or situation between the two extremes. Some might interpret inquiry based instruction as ...


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Earning Versus Learning


Learning About Earning - Maximizing Return in the Stock Market and In the Classroom

Maximizing Your Return on Investment In recent months, I've been doing quite a bit of reading about investing in the stock market. I've always had an interest in finance and saving money, but I have never really had a deep understanding of how to be a successful investor beyond handing my money over to a financial advisor or picking random mutual funds. As I dug deeper into the investing world,...


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