Blog Archives

Is Faster Really Better?

“It’s not complicated, faster is better!”  If you believe the AT&T commercials faster is always better and for years we have taught math using that same theory!  We taught procedures and gave daily timed math facts tests to ensure students

Posted in blogpost Tagged with: , ,

Calculators or No Calculators: That is the Question

I was recently contacted by an instructional coach from a school district where I work regularly.  She and her teachers were working on math units aligned to common core.  They were trying to determine whether students should be allowed to

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,

I Couldn’t Have Said it Better

Are You Prepared for the Common Core Standards?  This is the question posed in the latest edition of Education Week Teacher. I encourage you to read how five classroom teachers  from around the nation answered that question.  Their responses include

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

Deep Not Wide

For years, teachers have bemoaned the fact that they were forced to teach a mile wide and an inch deep.  The new Common Core State Standards for Mathematics are designed to reduce the number of concepts that will be taught

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

New…and Improved? Assessments

When it comes to discussions of the common core, the conversation quickly turns to the question uppermost in teachers’ minds,  “What will the new state assessment look like?”   The truth of the matter is, we aren’t sure yet. Initially, the

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

A Whole New Look

or teachers who are proficient at navigating their current state standards, the Common Core Standards may have a completely different look.  In the area of mathematics, the content of the document is divided into domains, clusters, and standards. Domains are

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

Tidbits from NCSM

Last week I attended a meeting of the Kansas State Mathematics Leaders.  A good portion of our day was spent discussing the common core state standards and what is known about the future mathematics assessment.  Several of the members had

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

What’s Behind the Common Core Math Standards

The release of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a milestone in the standards movement that began more than 20 years ago when the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) published Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School. NCTM,

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

Where Do We Begin?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Lao-tzu Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC) With every new task we undertake, there is the question of where to begin. Sometimes the first step is obvious and

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

Focus on Fractions

The Common Core Standards for Mathematics, have focused on fractions, and for good reason.  In its comprehensive report on the state of math education in America, the National Math Panel said understanding fractions is “the most important foundational skill NOT

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

Karen Tharnu – St. Joseph, MO

I love the Math Snack podcast. What a wonderful way to initiate all teachers into the different strategies of how...
2014-02-24T17:15:39+00:00
I love the Math Snack podcast. What a wonderful way to initiate all teachers into the different strategies of how to do a problem other than the traditional algorithm. All of the podcast lay out the conceptual understanding and how that has to come first before the process. Thank You!!! I have forwarded on the site to all participants and at both of my schools we will be using them during professional development time to further our learning on this topic.

Jennifer Hanson – Liberal, KS

Today’s in-service with Reneé Smith of Essdack was informative. In her presentation, she gave us many strategies (games, activities) to...
2014-02-24T17:18:13+00:00
Today’s in-service with Reneé Smith of Essdack was informative. In her presentation, she gave us many strategies (games, activities) to teach math in the primary grades while weaving common core information and sharing tips for identifying students who might not grasp number concepts. I am anxious to use these ideas with my students. Thanks for providing this professional learning opportunity.

Vonda Franklin – Fourth Grade Teacher – Spalding Elementary

Hello.  I loved your presentation at NCTM conference in Albuquerque.  I have downloaded some of your games from your site....
2014-02-24T17:22:48+00:00
Hello.  I loved your presentation at NCTM conference in Albuquerque.  I have downloaded some of your games from your site. Thank you.

Margie Eck – Junior High Math Teacher – Barber County North

Dear Renee, I just wanted to thank you for the excellent CGI workshop.  I told my principal this morning that...
2014-02-24T17:24:30+00:00
Dear Renee, I just wanted to thank you for the excellent CGI workshop.  I told my principal this morning that your workshop was the best one I have attended in the past 5 years.  You were prepared, organized, and most importantly I could tell that you have really done your research in order to present the material to fellow teachers. I was very encouraged to learn that I am doing a few things right in my classroom! I realize that I need to include hands on learning even if it is as simple as providing each student their own number lines. I am looking forward to our November workshop. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us.

Kara Warren – Graber Elementary

First off, thank you for teaching me this! My kids love it and are really making the connections to the...
2014-02-24T17:25:50+00:00
First off, thank you for teaching me this! My kids love it and are really making the connections to the algebra! I have seen the light bulb come on for so many of them!

Lyles Lashley – St Joseph Catholic School – Ellinwood

In my 15 plus years of teaching, I have always dreaded workshops.  Grab 'Em with Games is by far the...
2014-02-24T17:27:56+00:00
In my 15 plus years of teaching, I have always dreaded workshops.  Grab 'Em with Games is by far the best workshop I have ever been to.  Not only did the games improve my students math skills, but some of them became thinkers again.  Instead of asking questions right after I gave out an assignments, my students begin to rediscover the world of learning and they didn't want everything handed to them anymore.  The improvements in mental math after we started playing the games were amazing.  Also the motivation for my students to stay on task and get done with their assignment so they could play the games was a pleasant surprise.

Vernetta Hammersmith – usd481

Hi! I have used the games over and over. I love them!!! Most of the kids like them – others...
2014-02-24T17:30:13+00:00
Hi! I have used the games over and over. I love them!!! Most of the kids like them – others – well it is still math!!!!   This year I got out “Metric Madness” for my 6th graders – they LOVED it!! Grades in the past – not so much!! This group also liked the game “Step Right UP” – they were really getting good at it!!! Another favorite is “Horse Race” and the variations that went with it.   We have also used the dominos to practice fractions. Almost forgot – “Claim the Factors” I’m not looking in my “box” of games – these are just the ones on the top of my head. I really have used these games a lot!! And the kids really like the time away from the math book!!

Penny Schuckman – usd 261

Last year you came to Haysville and did your Grab’em With Games workshop.  It was such a hit that many...
2014-02-24T17:32:54+00:00
Last year you came to Haysville and did your Grab’em With Games workshop.  It was such a hit that many have requested your Day 2!

Julie Bruington – Tri-County Interlocal 607

Everyone I’ve talked to has told how absolutely wonderful these sessions were.  I thank you for all your hard work. ...
2014-02-24T17:34:25+00:00
Everyone I’ve talked to has told how absolutely wonderful these sessions were.  I thank you for all your hard work.  I will certainly keep you in mind for future trainings.