Showing posts from 2015

"My 20+20 is different than her 20+20"

If you teach math and are not doing number talks in your classroom, you and your kiddos are missing out! If you're looking for high engagement, mathematical discourse, risk taking and deep student thinking, number talks are the ticket. Simply put,
"Number talks are 5-15 minutes classroom conversations around purposefully crafted computation problems." ~Sherry Parrish  The name "number talks" is fitting because it means engaging students in, you guessed it, talking about numbers. The goal of number talks is computational fluency, and this is furthered by students using mental math to become more flexible and efficient in their problem solving.

I have been so lucky this year to support teachers in bringing number talks into their classroom. I've gotten to train teachers, demonstrate number talks as a guest teacher, and watch teachers hone their own practice in their classrooms. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with a 4th grade class on a number…

#MondayMathBite: Fluency Myth Buster

Myth: We are no longer working towards fact fluency in math, and students no longer have to know their math facts.

Fact: The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics call for rigor which "requires that conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application be approached with equal intensity" Fluency is defined as accuracy, efficiency, and flexibility. So, indeed, fluency is the end goal of all the foundational work that we are doing in math.

Furthermore, students are indeed expected to have fluency with math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division at the following grade levels:

The big picture here is that "fluency" is no longer just speed an accuracy. One of my favorite quotes regarding fluency comes from Henri Poincare:
"Number sense and fact fluency is built up of facts as a house is of stones, but a collection of facts is no more [fact fluency] than a pile of stones is a house." YES. THAT.

9+6, the Journey #mondaymathbite

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” 
― Ernest Hemingway
Welcome to the new and improved Adventures in Common Core! I'm so excited to have a new design and can't wait to share more math with you!
As math problems and videos continue to go viral, I feel compelled to step up to the plate to address some of the misconceptions. The angry rants about Common Core ruining our children are not letting up, and it seems that the basis of many of these oppositions is that Common Core makes math harder rather than easier, that it has convoluted mathematics somehow.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  Many parents who are anti-Common Core have the best of intentions; they want what is best for their child, and when they see something outside of their own comfort zone, they jump to their child's defense: "This is too hard! My child has always been proficient in math and now they're struggling! They got an answer;…

Notice and Wonder: Division and Easter egg math

Some of the best math is the math that happens organically, math born out of a need to answer a real-world question that has importance to the mathematician. Since Spring has officially sprung, naturally the meaningful math that is happening at our house revolves around plastic Easter eggs and the treats that go inside. The problem solving began with these materials below:

My daughter is supposed to bring 12 filled Easter eggs for the Kindergarten Easter egg hunt this week, so the question that we wanted to answer was: If we want each egg to have the same amount of Smarties, how many packages of smarties will each egg get? Two powerful questions guided our conversation:
I asked Cora what she noticed. "I noticed that there are 12 eggs because there are two bags of 6, and I noticed there are a lot of Smarties!" I then asked if she thought there were more or less than 12 packages. She thought about it for a brief moment and said with confidence, "Definitely more than 12.&…