A 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!