I recently shared this number sense activity from Creative Family Fun. I love this simple activity because it gets kids thinking outside the box, and forming connections between number representations, place value and more. As I thought about ways to do this with my kids, I thought it would be fun to do something similar with a "Thanksgiving" twist! This "Build a Turkey" number sense activity is great because it allows kids to be creative, and Keep Reading...

## Solving Problems Using Guess and Check

Welcome to the last week in my series on problem solving strategies! There are so many different ways to approach math word problems, but it’s important that we share these various methods with kids so that they can be equipped to tackle them! This week I’m explaining a strategy that doesn’t sound overly mathematical, but can be extremely useful when done properly: solving problems using guess and check! As with the other strategies I’ve Keep Reading...

## Problem Solving by Finding a Pattern

One important math concept that children begin to learn and apply in elementary school is reading and using a table. This is essential knowledge, because we encounter tables of data all the time in our everyday lives! But it’s not just important that kids can read and answer questions based on information in a table, it’s also important that they know how to create their own table and then use it to solve problems, find patterns, graph equations, Keep Reading...

## Problem Solving by Making a List

As I’ve mentioned many times, one of the main goals in mathematics education is to raise up confident problem solvers. And while there are many ways to go about solving math problems, and we as adults may often see strategies as common sense, these are things that need to be taught. Giving kids as many tools as possible will set them up for success so that you can “let them loose” and see their creative minds work and explore. To continue my Keep Reading...

## Problem Solving by Working Backwards

As I’ve shared before, there are many different ways to go about solving a math problem, and equipping kids to be successful problem solvers is just as important as teaching computation and algorithms. In my experience, students’ frustration often comes from not knowing where to start. Providing them with strategies enables them to at least get the ideas flowing and hopefully get some things down on paper. As in all areas of life, the hardest Keep Reading...

## Exploring Patterns in Pascal’s Triangle {FREE Printables!}

When I taught Algebra, there were lots of ways I loved to explore patterns with kids and help them make the connection between a number pattern, a table, a graph and an equation. One way we did that was by looking at fractals. Another really fun way to explore, play with numbers and see patterns is in Pascal's Triangle. The pattern known as Pascal's Triangle is constructed by starting with the number one at the "top" or the triangle, and Keep Reading...

## DIY Mancala Game Board! {Learning Math Through Play!}

Have you ever played the game Mancala? Growing up, this was definitely a favorite at our house, and I can remember playing it over and over again! And while you can certainly buy a nice, wood folding Mancala game board, why not just create your own? Let the kids get involved and then take turns playing this fun game! To create this simple DIY Mancala Game, all you need are a few items from around the house! *Please Note: Some of the links in Keep Reading...

## Disney Math: Frozen Fractal Snowflake {FREE Printable}

Do you know what a fractal is? I LOVE fractals! Fractals are geometric shapes with self-similar patterns, created by repeating a process over and over again. While there is a wonderful complexity to fractals, there is also a beautiful simplicity that even small children can enjoy! In this next post in my Disney Math series, I'm sharing how I introduced my kids to fractals, based on the movie Frozen. Learn how to make a simple fractal snowflake, Keep Reading...

## Exploring Triangles with “The Greedy Triangle!”

The Greedy Triangle, by Marilyn Burns, is a great way to introduce shapes to young kids. It explores various shapes and gives copious examples of shapes in the world around us, and gave us a great starting place for exploring triangles! In addition, it provides an important character lesson: be content with who you are! Or as Dr. Seuss put it, Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you." *Please Keep Reading...

## 8 Reasons Making Mistakes in Math is a GOOD Thing!

Far too often, math is seen as a subject that is either right or wrong, and so you better get the answers right or you’ll fail the test. And while it is technically true that we want students to understand math concepts deeply and be able to correctly solve math problems, creating this kind of mindset can cause students to feel frustration and a sense of failure anytime a mistake is made. The reality, however, is that mistakes are a part of the Keep Reading...

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