Math Puzzle Monday!

My apologies for not posting for so long… we’ve recently moved to a new apartment and that has been taking up all of my energy. Starting today, I’m going to try to actually post a puzzle each week, as well as continue explaining my educational philosophy in other posts. This week’s puzzle is a math … Continue reading Math Puzzle Monday!

Math Puzzle Monday!

Another Monday, another puzzle! This week, we have a magic square, but a trickier one. In this puzzle, you aren’t immediately given a complete row or column, so you can’t simply solve for the common sum and then solve for all the other entries. There’s a trick to these… can you figure it out? Click … Continue reading Math Puzzle Monday!

Math Puzzle Monday!

Sorry I’ve missed the last two weeks﹣we’ve been a bit too busy around here! I’ll try to keep up with the puzzles (and other posts) moving forward. This week’s puzzle is a crossword. This one uses multiplication as well as addition and subtraction: Click on the puzzle to open a pdf file. And here’s the … Continue reading Math Puzzle Monday!

The Basics

The more I post on this site, the clearer it becomes to me that what I need is a “basics” series: a series in which I explain how I introduce the fundamental building blocks of elementary mathematics. Only in the context of these definitions will the work I do with my kids make sense. What … Continue reading The Basics

Math Puzzle Monday!

Time for another puzzle! This one is an equation grid and it’s relatively straightforward for a child who has a good understanding of place value, the arithmetic operations, and equality. Note that a child does NOT need to be able to actually subtract 27 from 25 to be able to check whether 2 = 25﹣27. … Continue reading Math Puzzle Monday!

The Operations

In this post, I’m going to give a brief description of how I introduce each arithmetic operation. Due to my focus on mental models, I give a specific definition for each operation and then give the children a lot of time to explore them. This exploration is done in the context of place value. I … Continue reading The Operations

Lesson Plan: Introducing Place Value

Required Skills: the ability to fluently count on, preferably the ability to read numbers up to 100 by rote (although this can be taught concurrently.) Required Objects: any counters that can be used to distinguish between ones, tens, and eventually hundreds. Inspired by this excellent post, I use differently-colored poker chips, but you could also … Continue reading Lesson Plan: Introducing Place Value


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