Blog Archives

10 Things Jordyn’s Math Teacher Needs to Know About CCSS

Two months ago, Jordyn Marie was born.  Nothing can match the joy of having a child, unless it is the birth of a grandchild.  If you ask me, she is pretty darn perfect, and as a devoted Nee’Nee’ (my name

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M4: Midwest Mathematics Meeting of the Minds

I recently attended the M4 Conference in Kansas City, where math leaders from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa met to discuss the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.  I was privileged to hear from Matt Larson the keynote speaker from Lincoln,

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Common Core Math Curriculum: How Do We Know It’s Aligned?

As more and more teachers become familiar with the common core math standards, the question that is beginning to crop up is,  “What curriculum (ie. textbook) is going to be aligned to the common core?”.  My standard response has been

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Sense Making

One of the reasons I am so passionate about basic math understanding is a beautiful 24 year old girl named Cameron.  She was a wonderful student, but in her final years of high school she struggled with math.  In a

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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

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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

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When Five Plus Five Equals Eight

For the last several months, I have been privileged to work with hundreds of teachers as they unpack the Common Core State Standards. In each session, which have been held in grade level groups, we have worked through the meanings

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Persistent Problem Solving

A question I have been asked frequently is, “What should the common core look like in practice?”  In my opinion there is no one right answer to that question.  However, the common core’s eight standards for mathematical practice suggests that

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All For One and One For All

Seven entities with vested interest in the area of mathematics and common core state standards have agreed to lend their collective expertise to the formation of a new coalition called MC3.  The organizations include the National Council of Teachers of

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Good Advice From the Top

I just read a blog post by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics President, J. Michael Shaughness, about the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. In his post, CCSSM and Curriculum and Assessment: NOT Business as Usual, Shaughness shares

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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.