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Never too Young to Learn

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My husband is a word guy. He challenges his high school students often by exposing them to new vocabulary. A couple weeks ago he read an article about the importance of using quality vocabulary with babies. He was all in. Between reading to our granddaughter and using big vocabulary words with her, she is on track to being a reader.

I, on the other hand, am the math girl. I love it and I hope some day so does our grand daughter. I too will read her lots of books, but we will also be working on those math skills.

Here are just some ideas of how we will be doing that:

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Four Tips for Small Group Math Time

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As I travel and walk-through classrooms, I have the opportunity to observe small group math time. Often, I am asked by administrators and teachers about making this time effective and conducive to student learning. Here are four tips to getting the most out of your small group math time.

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Comparing Fractions in the Common Core

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How did you learn to compare fractions? I learned to find a common denominator or change them to a decimal. Have you thought about other ways? Consider how the understanding of a unit fraction can create multiple ways for comparing fractions. The CCSS expects third grade students to understand unit fractions. Here are four possibilities:

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Procedures Are Not Enough

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My husband asked me to return something to a local craft store recently. Upon arriving at the store I handed the clerk my receipt, which she promptly allowed the computer to scan. The computer beeped at her and indicated the receipt was too old. She informed me that only merchandise purchased within the last 60 days could be refunded. Since the item had been purchased more than 60 days ago, she would have to give me store credit for the lowest price in the last 60 days. I indicated that was fine and she proceeded.

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Math…It’s Not One Size Fits All

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Since I majored in mathematics in college, I obviously have a love of numbers, but I am not Rain Man.  I can’t multiply two digit numbers by two digit numbers in my head quickly, and I figure out the lowest unit cost at the grocery store by using my calculator.  However, I do have a pretty good conceptual understanding of mathematical processes and how they can be applied to solve problems.  I’m not saying mental math is useless, but if we constructed a mathematical skills hierarchy, it wouldn’t be anywhere near the top.  Unfortunately, teachers often focus on memorizing multiplication tab

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My Top 5 Math Common Core Websites

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So have you hear the saying?…It's a journey, not a destination. Lately, I have heard that mentioned several times when discussing the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in math. Here are five websites that I believe will provide teachers with tools that make it a bit more of a comfortable journey.

 

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Not a Four Letter Word

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Fraction is not a four letter word! Then why does it cause so many teachers and students to groan when that is the math topic of the day? Fractions are everywhere. Measurements, tools, music, sports, percentages, statistics, prices, food, and I could go on and on. We use fractions daily. So why such a sour face when I say the word?

 

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Expectations Impact Results

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Throughout my career, I have experienced teachers that say, their students can’t or their students are not developmentally ready. In fact, just recently I heard a teacher say the same thing about the new Common Core State Standards for math. The fact is...students are capable of mastering the CCSS math standards at the grade level for which they are written. The standards are evidence-based. 

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