Tag Archives: problem solving

Good-Enough-for-Now Curriculum

I did my first webinar last week as a precursor to my talk at NCTM’s Innov8 Conference next month. I thought it went okay — or horribly — just tough to be the only person with the mic and not being able to actually see the attendees. It was weird. There are a few slides from […]

Posted in Teaching | Also tagged , , , , | 14 Responses


Our black lab Mandy is 3.5 years old, weighs a ton, and her breath used to smell like death. Until we started giving her one Greenies a day. My husband orders them from Amazon, he also gets them for our neighbor’s small dog Bailey. Although both boxes weigh the same 36 ounces, Bailey gets 130 treats in the Teenie size and Mandy […]

Posted in Math 8 | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Responses

Driving Them Nuts

I’m proud of my students. I’m proud of what we do in room 15. My classroom. My home away from home for the last 11 years. These bopping teenagers, sullen one minute bubbly the next, hormonal but invincible. They don’t all love math like I do. (Not everyone loves college football, but we get along.) What is happening […]

Posted in Geometry, Problem Solving, Teaching | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Responses

A Simpler Solution

I’m guessing this was about 5 years ago. I was at an all-day workshop when a high school math teacher, sitting next to me, asked about the PoW (from mathforum.org) that I had assigned to my students. I happened to have an extra copy in my backpack and gave it to her. Dad’s Cookies [Problem #2959] Dad bakes some […]

Posted in Problem Solving | Also tagged , , , , | 8 Responses

First Two Days of School

Tomorrow is the day. I’m excited to meet my new Math 6 students — all 71 of them, two classes of 36 and 35. I should know about half of the 33 Math 8 kids because I taught half of them in 6th grade. Then I get a big break in class size with just 9 students in […]

Posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math), Geometry, Math 8 | Also tagged , , , , , | 19 Responses

I Can’t Afford Not To

When I share with teachers what my students do outside of the textbook/curriculum, I get the familiar and reasonable concern from them that there’s not enough time to cover the content as is, how is it possible to do “other stuff,” such as: Math Munch Problem Solving (weekly, in-class, group) Math Talks (including Visual Patterns) My reasons for […]

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Hotel Snap

[NCTM Illuminations has my blessings and thanks to re-write and feature this lesson on their site.] Andrew Stadel and I recently presented this task at the 2013 CMC‘s North and South Conferences. The Challenge As a team, build a hotel that yields the highest profit [score]. Rules and guidelines for building the hotel Each cube represents a […]

Posted in Algebra, Course 1 (6th Grade Math), Geometry, Problem Solving | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Responses

Deconstructing a Lesson Activity – Part 2

Previously: Deconstructing a Lesson Activity – Part 1 No matter what I write in this Part 2, I hope it’s not a wrap-up of this topic. On the contrary, I hope it opens up and extends our conversations on improving the implementation of rich tasks in our classrooms. Physical arrangements, whiteboards, groupings. The student desks are […]

Posted in Problem Solving, Teaching | Also tagged , , , | 3 Responses

Deconstructing a Lesson Activity – Part 1

[I’ve decided to break this post into two parts because I don’t want to bore and/or discourage you, and I need to take a breather. These two posts in particular are truly my labor of love because if there’s one thing that I find myself proficient at implementing in the classroom it is problem solving. […]

Posted in Problem Solving, Teaching | Also tagged , , , , | 25 Responses

Technology and Construction Papers are Cool

Big-time struggles for my 8th graders on this problem from Five Triangles mathematics. The one student who got it also struggled, but he was good about our rule of “never tell an answer.” What I gathered from seeing their boards and listening to them explain: They wanted to find the area of the parallelogram first. So […]

Posted in Geometry, Problem Solving | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment