Even young students can develop healthy habits of saving toward short-term and long-term goals, and intermediate students can learn to research and invest virtual money in the stock market.
Math Questions Worth Asking
Let's look at the qualities of questions that call on higher order thinking skills and consider how we can infuse our math classes with questions and activities that target those skills.
Spreadsheets: A Dynamic Path to Understanding Math
A spreadsheet program might be one of the most underappreciated assets on nearly every computer. Let's take a look at what we can gain from using spreadsheets in a classroom math program.
Teaching Place Value With Arrow Cards
Arrow cards are a set of place value cards with an "arrow" or point on the right side. Students can organize the cards horizontally or vertically to represent numbers in expanded notation, or overlap cards and line up arrows to form multi-digit numbers.
Picturing Mental Math
We can help students become more mathematically literate by giving them the tools for quick mental math and by modeling those tools concretely. Think of it as mental math with training wheels.
Math Problem Solving With Pictures
We teach students many problem-solving strategies, but probably the most powerful and flexible problem-solving strategy is, "Make a picture or diagram." Picturing a problem often is the key to helping students understand the problem and identify a solution.
Connecting to Math in the News
Who needs word problems when the world around us is rich with real-life math problems? Discover some practical suggestions for tapping into newspapers and online news sources as an integral part of your math program.
Enhanced Visual Instructional Plans
A Visual Instructional Plan is a set of step-by-step visual prompts that provide an outline of what a student is expected to do. I'd like to propose an adaptation that also includes a thinkingprompt.
Connecting to Math in Real Life
It's easy to connect to the real world in math class with online collections of real-world math activities, math activities with a specific real-life focus (including natural disasters), online data sources, portals for collaborative math and science projects, and more.
What Is Math?
It is worth pursuing a clear understanding of the meaning of math so we might provide students with a richer learning experience and help them more fully appreciate the beauty and power of mathematics.
When, instead of passively receiving and believing everything we tell them, students become hungry to convince and to be convinced, they become active learners. They are doing a mathematician's work.
Psst! Have You Been to an NCTM Conference Lately?
There's something for every preK-12 math educator at an NCTM Annual Meeting. Here's one teacher's view on what to expect, why it's worth attending, and how to get the most out of the experience.
Whether you live in an area that sees lots of snow or one that never feels a flake, you and your students can enjoy the fun and fascination of mathematical snowflake explorations.
Writing About Math
Writing about math can be a positive learning experience. Here's a look at some of the benefits; a variety of writing categories and topics; and suggestions for creating a positive environment for writing about math.
Twenty Questions for Math Class
The challenge of Twenty Questions increases exponentially if you place a mystery math word on the back of each student and let students wander about with the goal of trying to figure out "What am I?"
Math magic tricks can create a sense of wonder and curiosity about math. Not only that, math magic creates a new context for algebraic reasoning as students go beyond "What's the answer?" to explore "What's the trick?"
Even Teachers Make Mistakes
Last year, when a student caught me in a math mistake, I said, "This is the first one I've ever made!" From that point on, students took it as a friendly challenge to catch the math teacher making another math mistake.
Functions in the Real World
When we introduce students to functions, we typically bring the concept to life through the idea of function machines. But functions will really begin to come to life as our students find uses for functions in the real world.
Halloween is a time for math fun -- for measuring pumpkin waistlines; for drawing spiders with coordinates and discovering the math woven into spider webs; for categorizing costumes; and for graphing candy counts.
Fall presents opportunities for bringing math to life in meaningful ways, as students observe and quantify changes in the world around them. Discover a windfall of math activities related to leaves, weather, and seasons.
How much richer an appreciation our students might have for mathematics as a living science if we share with them the budding of new ideas in math heroes past and present! It all begins with "I wonder."
Growing a Summer Math Garden
Will the long summer yield a math drought, an occasional math drizzle, or a flourishing garden of math skills for your students? Activities to help their summer math garden grow.
In springtime, you and your students might like to explore math in the great outdoors. Wendy Petti offers a number of creative ideas for teaching math outside the classroom.
A Student-Led Math Family Fun Night:
Wendy Petti provides a rough road map for student-led Math Nights, and the hope that these tips might prove useful as you begin to think about planning a student-led Math Family Fun Night at your school.
A Student-Led Math Family Fun Night:
Learning from the Planning Process
A Math Family Fun Night planned and led by students presents wonderful learning opportunities for students (and teachers, too!). Take a peek as fourth-graders prepare for their school's first Math Family Fun Night.
A Math Toolbox in Every Home
As teachers, we know the value of hands-on exploration with math manipulatives. Extend that sense of discovery into students homes by helping them assemble math toolboxes to be enjoyed by the whole family.