Focus on Math

Helping children become mathematicians!

Twain Sullivan Elementary Revisited! November 28, 2013

Screen shot 2013-11-28 at 2.12.06 PMA big shout out to all the participants of the workshop last week at Twain Sullivan Elementary in Houston, BC! I appreciated your participation and your enthusiasm as we delved into the wonderful world of mathematics!

A focus for the day was on sense-making in mathematics — that it is important for students to be making meaning in what they do each day. We talked about the importance of number relationships, particularly the whole-part-part relationship. The more ways a student knows to pull apart a number, the stronger his mathematical thinking! We played with mental math in halving and doubling (even using Russian Peasant Multiplication) and in using number strings.

We used a variety of visual tools for making sense in mathematics:§    Fraction pocket charts (link here for a blog post on those)

I trust you had ideas and tools to use right away in your classrooms with your students. Let me know how it goes!

Mathematically yours,



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