Category Archives: Course 1 (6th Grade Math)

Changing Up Popular Warm-Up Routines

As with any task, whether it’s a warm-up or a curricular task, I try to think of ways to get more student engagement, tap a different thinking modality, and just to change things up. WODB has become a common acronym in classrooms for good reasons. (Actually, does it qualify as an acronym like NATO since […]

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Common Denominator

I already wrote about dividing fractions here and here. I use the explanation of “dividing by one” to explain why 5/6 divided by 2/3 is the same as 5/6 times 3/2. But when I was asked recently about how the “common denominator” strategy worked, my muted response was, “Because it does.” I didn’t mean to […]

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Math Worksheets

I often create worksheets for my students, even though every district-adopted math curriculum we’ve had has worksheets for students. I do this for two reasons: I teach differently — sometimes slightly, sometimes quite a bit — than what the curriculum writing team was thinking. There’s a particular structure/scaffold that reflects how I see the content […]

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Six Ways to See Visual Pattern #324

I know you weren’t asking, but I see n overlapping squares. — Hunter Patton (@professorpatton) November 12, 2019   What about you? How do you see the pattern in the tweet above growing? Please take a look before I completely ruin it for you. (So much for my rule of “never tell an answer.”)   […]

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Jelly Beans or No Jelly Beans

What’s not to love about Would You Rather; I use it with my students and always recommend it as one of the great warm-up routines. This one caught my attention last week. Each entry always includes this statement: Whichever option you choose, justify your reasoning with mathematics. This statement is important, especially the word “mathematics,” because […]

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Euclid’s Algorithm

I show my 6th graders this image, pointing out that this picture represents the two numbers 1 and 1 that I’d entered at the top. I then ask them to give me two new numbers — any two positive integers [that are 10 or less, for now] — and the computer will draw a new […]

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Solving an Equation with a Fraction

From CPM: The Sutton family took a trip to see the mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Linda and her brother, Lee, kept asking, “Are we there yet?”  At one point, their mother answered, “No, but what I can tell you is that we have driven 100 miles and we are about 2/5 of the way there.” […]

Also posted in Algebra, Math 8 | Tagged , , | 6 Responses

Ethan Hall, teacher and web entrepreneur from Israel, emailed me this morning asking me to check out his visual patterns generator on There’s a lot of cool graphing tools other than the VP generator. I’m kinda blown away. Go play! Go do math!

Also posted in Algebra, General, Geometry, Math 8, Problem Solving | Tagged , , | 5 Responses

Dividing Fractions

My 6th graders have been working with dividing fractions for the last two weeks. We explore these four ways, in this order: Number line Rectangles — I wrote about this here. Dividing by one Common denominator It’s completely intentional that we work with the number line and rectangles first. I want my kids to see the answer and that it should […]

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The Shoe Sale

(On a side note, I’m not sure what I love more, my left foot or Google Classroom.) This problem is from Peter Liljedahl’s site. The Shoe Sale You decide to take advantage of a buy 2 pair get 1 pair of equal or lesser value for free sale at the local shoe store. The problem is […]

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