The great debate over calculator use in the math classroom, particularly in elementary school, will probably never be resolved. There are those who say there is no place for calculators in the classroom, whether elementary or high school. Then there are those who say that “mental math” is no longer necessary. That we live in an age of technology and memorizing multiplication facts or working math out with pencil and paper has become obsolete and Keep Reading...

## How to Use Doodle Notes to Explore Absolute Value

As student attention spans get shorter and shorter, teaching for long-term retention becomes more challenging. Students groan at the thought of taking notes and listening to a lecture, and yet in math class, it is inevitable that there will be some direct instruction each time we introduce a new concept. Today I want to introduce you to a new method of note taking, and provide a free sample to explore absolute value with your Keep Reading...

## Adding and Subtracting Integers {FREE Lesson!}

One of the most important concepts introduced in pre-algebra (or algebra) is integer operations. I can distinctly remember learning "the rules" and fun little tricks to remember them. But I also remember wondering why in the world subtracting a negative means you add! So when I saw this method to introduce adding and subtracting integers, I knew I had to try it. *Please Note: This post contains affiliate links which help support the work of Keep Reading...

## 6 Little Known Benefits of Taking Math Outside

Are your kids excited each day to do math? Maybe they love math. If so, that's great! If not, I want to encourage you to find ways to make it less painful and maybe even a little bit fun. If you have a reluctant math learner, there are things you can do to help and support them. One of my favorite ways to get kids more involved and excited about learning math is to take it outside. There are so many benefits of taking math outside that I hope you Keep Reading...

## Snow Day Math: Addition in the Snow

I am really ready for spring. I'm ready for warm weather and t-shirts. I'm ready for my kids to spend the better part of the day playing and exploring outside. Unfortunately, we've had snow for the last week. And it's still coming down. So instead of staying stuck inside, I decided to embrace the cold and take school outside! So last week I took my kids outside to do math in the snow. It was a nice change of pace, and a good excuse to get out of Keep Reading...

## Simple Problem of the Day Christmas Countdown!

Whether you are a classroom teacher or a homeschool parent, there's no denying that December is one of the hardest times of the year to get kids to stay focused! All of the excitement and anticipation get the best of even the most studious kids, making it hard to introduce new topics or review old ones before pausing for Christmas break. So if you're looking for a fun way to take your kids' excitement for the holidays and use it to actually get Keep Reading...

## Fall Number Bond Practice! {FREE Printables!}

One of the earliest math concepts students learn is addition. This is an important concept for so many reasons! A strong foundation with addition and fact fluency will pave the way for students to understand subtraction, multiplication and more! And while there are many strategies for helping kids understand and learn addition facts, one that I have been spending a lot of time on with my daughter is number bonds. And although we have started to 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 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...