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...

## 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...

## 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...

## Understanding the Distributive Property {FREE Lesson!}

I distinctly remember the week in 7th grade pre-algebra that was spent learning and (supposedly) understanding the distributive property. I remember this week so vividly because, for some reason, it made NO sense to me. None. At. All. Eventually I understood what it meant, and how to use it and apply it in the wonderful world of Algebra and solving equations and working with expressions. But I never forgot how confusing and nonsensical it Keep Reading...

## Math is a Foreign Language: So Treat it Like One!

*This post contains affiliate links, which support the work of this site. Feel free to read our full disclosure policy here.* Math is one of those subjects that strikes fear in the hearts of students everywhere. It is a four letter word that dare not be uttered. As a teacher, I often got complaints about the difficulty of this crazy subject that made no sense. Math was supposed to be about numbers, and yet here were all these letters-x,y, even i 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...

## 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! -->Pssst! Do your Keep Reading...

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