Building Number Sense with Decimals

Developing students’ number sense can feel like hard work because it’s not something that comes quickly. It takes time and usually it’s a while before we see growth in our students. Building number sense with decimals is no different. We have to give students plenty of experiences seeing and working with decimals in different ways in order to see increased number sense with decimals.

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Brittany Hege
Using Number Choice to Differentiate Whole Group Math Instruction

I’m not sure what the official name is for this strategy, but one of my favorite ways to differentiate a problem in a whole group setting is to give students options for the numbers in the problems. It is quick, easy, and you can do this with any problem from any curriculum. I believe the first time I came across this strategy was in the CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) book…

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Classifying 2D Figures and Creating a Hierarchy of Shapes

If you’re anything like I was when I first started teaching 5th grade math, then you probably aren’t too excited about those dreaded geometry standards. You know which ones I’m talking about… The standards that require students to classify two dimensional figures based on their properties and create a hierarchy of shapes. Let’s break down this standard so we understand the why behind this concept. I’ve got two activities for you to make these standards less painful, more meaningful, and a whole lot more fun for you and your students!

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Review Games Your Students Will Love

If you haven’t read about why I have a love-hate relationship with math review games, then you may want to read through that post real quick! I am very selective about math review games. I’ve got several math review games (although they really could be played in other content areas as well) that your students will LOVE!

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Why I Have a Love-Hate Relationship With Review Games in Math

I love competition… to the point that my husband is usually embarrassed when we have game nights with friends because I am so overly competitive. Of course, I love review games because the competition provides instant engagement and motivation (without sacrificing the purpose of the review game—learning). Unfortunately, not all review games are equal.

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EngageBrittany Hege
Multiplying Fractions with Pattern Blocks

If your students are working on multiplying whole numbers and fractions, fractions and fractions, fractions and mixed numbers, OR mixed numbers and mixed numbers (so basically this applies to any and all of the fraction multiplication standards!), then I think you will love this activity!

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Brittany Hege
3 Ways to Inspire a Love of Fractions

I don’t have to tell you about all the negative emotions surrounding fractions… Many students hate fractions. Some even FEAR fractions. And honestly? I know several teachers that dread any unit having to do with fractions too. Most of us weren’t taught fractions in a way that made sense or had any type of meaning. Some of our students were introduced to fractions in this same type of way as well. So how can we get students to love learning fractions?

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The Power of Numberless Word Problems

How many times have you watched a student read (…skim) a word problem and then immediately start computing the answer before you have even had a chance to give directions? No matter how much we talked about the importance of taking time to understand the problem, I always have those students who just pull out the numbers, choose a random operation, and solve. So why does a word problem without numbers fix all my problems? Here’s why.

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Must-Have Math Manipulatives for Upper Elementary Classrooms

It’s no secret that students learn best when they have the ability to play with math. Manipulatives give students the opportunity to explore how numbers works and develop deep conceptual understanding of important math concepts. Let’s dive into my list of must-have math manipulatives for upper elementary classrooms by focusing on the major work for third, fourth, and fifth grade math.

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