Tag Archives: number sense

Reversing the Question

Don Steward posted this on Sunday. Like Don, I really like this task and also think it has a certain Malcolm Swan je ne sais quoi about it. I showed only the top part to my 6th graders, and I gave them 2 minutes to write down what they notice. In addition to noticing the given information, the students also mentioned: […]

Posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math), Math 8 | Also tagged , , , , , | 16 Responses

Multiplication: Finding the Greatest Product

From a set of 1 through 9 playing cards, I draw five cards and get cards showing 8, 4, 2, 7, and 5. I ask my 6th graders to make a 3-digit number and a 2-digit number that would yield the greatest product. I add, “But do not complete the multiplication — meaning do not figure out the […]

Posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math) | Also tagged , , , , , | 22 Responses

Two Pizzas and Five People

I’m thinking a lot about how my 6th graders responded to a pre-lesson task in “Interpreting Multiplication and Division” — a lesson from Mathematics Assessment Project (MAP) . MAP lessons begin with a set structure: Before the lesson, students work individually on a task designed to reveal their current levels of understanding. You review their scripts and […]

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The Number Sense by Stanislas Dehaene

I heavily skimmed the middle parts of this book when I bought it in May 2012. [Thanks to Christopher Danielson for recommending it.] I’m re-reading some parts now, and the sub-section Teaching Number Sense [pages 124 – 128] resonates with me, not just in elementary school mathematics, but in K-12 mathematics. If my hypothesis is correct, innumeracy is with […]

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Smallest and Largest

Most of my 6th graders struggled with smallest_and_largest today. Only 4 of 36 students scored 8 out of 8 on it. I offered no help on this except my reading the instructions to them and reiterating that for each operation, the two numbers must be different. I retyped this task from the Noyce Foundation. If you teach 6th […]

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Visualizing Volume is Tricky!

This was one of those lessons that I think I gained a lot more than my 6th graders did. It was meant as a one-period activity, but I kept going off on different tangents and brought the students along for the ride. Over a month ago Andrew (@mr_stadel) tweeted me a picture that he took of a William Sonoma display of their […]

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Why Wait for Calculus?

(I just had my very best lesson yesterday, on a Friday, thank you. I feel almost brilliant right now. And I only feel like this once every 47 years, so please stay and read this post!) My own kids tell me they will stock up their dorm rooms and apartments with junk food and soda when they move out […]

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I am a doughnut.

I cannot eat a doughnut without thinking of Eddie Izzard. Language caution in this video clip. Ich bin ein Berliner aside, I needed a calorie-laden lesson for my 6th graders to welcome them back into the classroom after two wonderful weeks of spring break. (We are also two short weeks from state testing and should be reviewing for the test. […]

Posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math), Geometry | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Always Sometimes Never

I did Always-Sometimes-Never (ASN) questions with my 6th graders.  The kids were randomly paired up to work on placing 18 mathematical statements into appropriate columns: always true, sometimes true, and never true. The students were really involved in the discussion and coming up with examples.  They had to translate some of the statements into equations or inequalities and defend their […]

Posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math) | Also tagged , , | 12 Responses