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...

## Brilliant Ways to Use a Hundreds Chart

In my shopping for homeschool curriculum this year, I was able to find all sorts of wonderful math manipulatives at really amazing prices (thank you, consignment sales). *Please Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Feel free to read our full disclosure policy here.* One small thing I picked up is a hundreds chart. It doesn't look like much (mine especially, it's rather well used), but it's an incredibly useful tool for Keep Reading...

## Dyscalculia: What it Looks Like and How to Get Help {An Interview with Sharon Harding}

I'm fairly confident that just about everyone reading this has heard of dyslexia, a reading disorder that affects reading and language abilities. I'm almost as confident, however, that most of you will be unfamiliar with the term dyscalculia. Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito (´･ω･) via Compfight cc {text added} Dyscalculia is a math learning disability that experts estimate affects the same number of people, and yet very little is known about Keep Reading...

## Sometimes Quality is More Important than Quantity

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc {text added} When I was student teaching, one of the classes I taught in was an honors 8th grade pre-algebra class. It was a fun group, and I really enjoyed working with that teacher, but the thing that sticks out the most is the day we spent the entire class period working on one problem. Yup, forty-five minutes, one problem. At the time, I was shocked that the teacher would spend so Keep Reading...

## Mental Math Challenge: Exercise Your Brain! {FREE!}

Do your kids rely too heavily on the calculator? Do you want something fun and engaging, yet challenging for their mind over the summer? It's important to keep up mental math skills like adding, subtracting and multiplication or they will be forgotten. It's also a good workout for the brain to be challenged and to work out math problems that might otherwise be plugged into the calculator! I know my kids don't always jump for joy at the Keep Reading...

## 5 Tips to Teach Math with Confidence

So far, I have successfully taught one out of four of my children to read. While that is incredibly encouraging and exciting, I was definitely not confident and sure of myself when we first started on this journey! I’m a math teacher. I don’t know anything about teaching reading! What I have realized, however, is that for many homeschooling moms, it’s just the opposite. The thought of teaching your kids math is terrifying. Maybe you were never Keep Reading...

## Problem Solving by Drawing a Picture

I am a very visual learner. Whenever I am facing a word problem of any kind, my initial reaction is to draw a picture. Even if it is a fairly simple problem and I think I already know how to solve it (or even already know the answer), I will almost always still draw a picture. While this is an especially useful strategy for visual learners, I believe that problem solving by drawing a picture can be helpful for any student! Maybe I'm drawn to Keep Reading...

## Problem Solving by Solving an Easier Problem

One of the most important things students should be learning in math class is not some specific, useful math topic or skill, but how to problem solve. Math is not easy! If students understand that math is hard, and requires thinking and practicing, they will be less likely to give up at the first sign of trouble. If students understand that it’s ok to wrestle with a problem for a little while, and maybe even make some mistakes first, they won’t Keep Reading...