Teaching Long Division. I can almost feel the pain just typing the words. I think I have some residual PTSD from erasing a hole through my paper in Ms. Donahue’s fourth grade class in the 80’s. Guessing wrong how many times 37 “go-zin-ta” 566… and not knowing until the end of a traumatic subtraction exercise complete with WAY too much… Read More

## How to Teach Multiplying Fractions

It took me years to figure out how to teach multiplying fractions so that students could conceptualize a part of a part. I learned that the traditional algorithm had to take a back seat to drawing and color coding models. When teaching this unit, I’ve found that the most important tool for my students- is sharpened colored pencils. We draw… Read More

## Subtracting Mixed Numbers with Video Lessons

Every year, many of my students struggle to subtract mixed numbers when regrouping is needed. Flipping my instruction around subtracting mixed numbers has made a HUGE difference! Once I have initially launched the concept, students work through problems at their own pace. First, they attempt a problem independently. Next, they click on the problem within a digital worksheet and watch… Read More

## Fact Fluency and Number Sense in Sixth Grade

A while back I took stock of what we were doing as a math department to improve kids’ math fluency. It seemed that every year we had a chunk of kids who came up to sixth grade with amazing fact fluency. We had another chunk who fought with basic addition and multiplication much like struggling readers fought with multisyllabic words…. Read More

## Teaching Fractions: 3 Keys

If you’re thinking about fractions, you might be a 5th grade teacher… Thanks to the Common Core State Standards, fifth grade now throws the wildest fraction party on the block! I taught 6th grade math back when that was fraction central, and I learned 3 key things along the way. They have been just applicable in the 5th grade classrooms… Read More

## Talking About Fractions in Math Class

“The ones that are doing the talking are doing the learning.” I know that. But, no matter how many times I say it, the impact on student learning in front of me is profound and somehow surprising. There is no example stronger than that of talking about fractions in math class. I’ve spent most of my career spending part of… Read More