Teaching and learning mathematics with children

The “Low Kids”

Disclaimer: this post refers to “low kids” and “high kids” as ways students are often talked about in schools. I hope as you read it, it’s clear that I am using these terms to describe how students are consistently categorized in narrow and dehumanizing ways, and that we as educators need to stop doing this […]

Math in the Age of Distance Learning – Part 2

Recently, I came across a Twitter question that asked Kindergarten teachers about their favorite virtual routines or ways of interacting with students online. It got me thinking about what felt the most successful in my distance learning with Kindergarteners. I’d been spending so much time thinking about the fall, and about what hadn’t worked or […]

Math in the Age of Distance Learning – Part 1

I’m naming this blog “Part 1” to hold myself accountable to write a “Part 2” in a couple months, when school is over and I can look back with a more summative lens on the various successes and challenges of teaching math to Kindergarteners in a distance learning setting. For now, though, I’ll share my […]

#DebateMath in 3rd Grade

Last month I spontaneously took part in a Twitter chat about Chris Luzniak’s book, Up for Debate! – about using techniques from debate to encourage engagement in mathematics. The book says it’s for grades 6-12, however, as a 3rd grade teacher I was curious anyway and wanted to learn more. I won the book through […]

Play in Math: “Math Recess” in 4th Grade

So, I’ve begun my adventures in subbing. I spent most of the summer panicking that I didn’t have a job yet, and when one finally came along, it wasn’t quite what I expected. I’m grateful for a job in any form, but it’s been a process sort of mentally giving up plans I’d made in […]

3 Act Tasks

“All those ways are correct, it’s just what you feel most comfortable with.” -Student reflecting on different strategies to solve a 3 Act Task The first time I tried a 3 Act Task was in a school I’d never been in before, in front of a group of unfamiliar students at a grade level I’d […]

Mathematical Art: Kolam

A few months ago I came across this article that explores an ancient Indian art form, Kolam (written கோலம் in Tamil), and its connection to mathematics, gender and culture. This piece was particularly interesting to me as I grew up watching my aunts put kolams outside their doors in the morning when I’d visit India. […]

“Learning New Ways to Play Games”

Mancala, Nim and the Social Aspects of Mathematics What is math? I asked this question to eight surprised second graders on a Tuesday in late April. “Um…numbers? Plus or minus…like one plus one equals two?” I was trying to individually interview a few of my students to better understand what they thought about math and […]

Which One Doesn’t Belong?

One of my favorite activities I did regularly with my 2nd graders in the past couple months was inspired by Christopher Danielson’s “Which One Doesn’t Belong?” posters. These are an incredible resource! Find them here. The posters came in a set of 8 – a perfect amount for us to explore one per remaining week […]

Counting Collections

Also known as: My Absolute Favorite Activity to Do with Children “Ms. Janaki! Come look at how we counted! We put thirty on each plate and now we’re putting five more on each plate until we run out.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen students as excited in math as when we were counting collections. […]

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