Archive for August, 2013

Flourishing in Math

Posted on August 30, 2013. Filed under: Classroom environment | Tags: , , |

A community is a place where social bonds are established and individuals can flourish (Bredekamp and Rosegrant 1992, 81).

I love this!  What does it look like when everyone in our classroom is flourishing?  How do we strive for that as educators?

P.S. As quite as it’s kept….everyone can flourish….it depends on the perseverance of the teacher!

P.S.S. (of a person, animal, or other living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, esp. as the result of a particularly favorable environment.

Wow!—-what a difference a classroom environment can make…a favorable environment helps students to flourish…to thrive…to soar…

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki


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Building a Community of Thinking Mathematicians

Posted on August 28, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

A community is a place where individuals share common values, goals, and activities (Bredekamp and Rosegrant 1992, 81).

Building a collaborative community of thinking mathematicians is one of the most important things that you do the first few weeks of school.  It is then that children learn messages about who counts, who doesn’t (even though everybody should), how to talk, treat each other, how to persevere or quit, how to learn or not learn.

How are you setting up your mathematical community?  What are the common values?  How are these established?  What are the common goals?  How are these established?  What math rituals and routines do you do that reinforce these?

Here are some thoughts about teaching values, goals and routines  in math class:

Values: Perseverance counts…we stick with stuff until we get it… we get it at different times… we don’t rush each other… we respect the need to think…we value talk….we learn together….

Goals:  We set them …we state them….we track them……we strive to think about things in many ways… (we also value it)…

Routines: We do things like number talks and number of the day and fraction of the day and decimal of the day and calendar math because it reflects our values (we hang out with numbers…we get on friendly terms with them throughout the day, week and year…we value numeracy) and it helps us to meet our goals.

Happy Mathing and Have a Great School Year,

Dr. Nicki


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Assessing Ourselves

Posted on August 23, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |


We do so much assessment.  Do we ever assess ourselves?  What do you really know in terms of content and pedagogy?  What do you kinda know?  What do you need to know more about?  What’s your plan?  I’ll start.  I want to expand my repertoire of teaching decimals.  I want to increase  my pedagogical knowledge of how to teach this.  I want to know more about modeling this with students.  I know several models but I want to read and find out more about what are the best models?  What are the proven strategies?  Beyond what the textbook says… what does the research say?  What are the best practices for teaching children decimals?  These are the questions I am committing to ask myself this year.  Your turn…

Happy Mathing,

Dr. NIcki

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Happy Back to School!

Posted on August 20, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Hello Everyone,

We have before us another great opportunity to impact the world, to make things happen, to do things better, to mold and shape the minds of the next generation.  I love back to school because it is  filled with amazing possibilities.  I encourage all of us – let’s teach like we’ve never taught before.  Let’s pull out all the stops.  Let’s love it deeply this time!  Let’s promise that we will do our very best to reach everybody.  Let’s promise to persevere with the learning, ask questions and connect with all of our students and their parents.  Let’s make this the best year ever!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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4 Must Have Workstations: Problem Solving Part 2

Posted on August 6, 2013. Filed under: Common Core, Math Centers, Math Workstations, Mathematical Proficiency, Problem Solving | Tags: , , , , |

In the word problem station, students should also be writing problems.  Remember that reasoning has to do with both contextualizing (numbers to words) and decontextualizing (words to numbers).  So, make sure you give the students opportunities to write word problems at least once or twice a week.  The research states that it is important to give the students the units along with the numbers.

Must read article: The Answer is 20 Cookies, What’s the question?

See my word problem Pinterest Board for some ideas (anchor charts of Think Math)

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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