Understanding how to compose and decompose numbers is a very important skill in the early grades. This means understanding how to break numbers apart or combine numbers in different ways. For example, 3 and 4 make 7, but 2 and 5 also make seven. A great introduction and visual for kids is to create rainbows to show different combinations. But I also love the visual of number bonds. So this simple apple math lesson combines a fun, hands on tool Keep Reading...

## Adding & Subtracting Decimals Partner Challenge {FREE!}

I we wrap up our series on adding & subtracting decimals, I'm excited to share not only a free practice activity with you, but also one of my favorite classroom teaching strategies, called a Pair-Share-Check. This adding & subtracting decimals partner activity is specifically designed to help kids practice in multiple ways and then to think about what strategies are the most useful to them. So I hope this proves to be a useful tactic in Keep Reading...

## Finding & Filling the Math Gaps

The difficulty in math is not that some people get it and some people don't (there's no such thing as a math person). It's not that there's so much to memorize (you can't understand math by memorizing). It's that math is relentlessly sequential. New math concepts and skills build on previously learned concepts. And while you may be able to get by ok for a while with gaps in your math learning, eventually you're going to hit a wall. And it will be Keep Reading...

## The Great Debate: The Role of Calculators in Math Education

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...