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Teach Think Elementary

Teaching Perimeter, part 4

In elementary school, one of the biggest math concepts students will tackle is Area and Perimeter. For us teachers, it can feel like an overwhelming amount of important content. In this blog series, I'm breaking all of the area and perimeter standards down into more...

Area and Perimeter Relationships & Problem Solving, part 5

Area and Perimeter are difficult math concepts that kids usualy learn in upper elementary. As teachers, it can feel overwhelming to tackle all of that content. I’m breaking down the perimeter and area standards into manageable chunks in this blog post series. Part...

Teaching Measuring Area & Multiplication, part 2

Area and Perimeter are difficult math concepts that kids usualy learn in upper elementary. As teachers, it can feel overwhelming to tackle all of that content. I'm breaking down the perimeter and area standards into manageable chunks in this blog post series. Part...

Teaching Area Concepts, part 1

Area and Perimeter are classic math concepts that kids learn in elementary school. As teachers, all of that content can be really overwhelming to teach. In this series, I’m breaking down the area and perimeter standards into manageable chunks. This is part 1, Teaching...

Why Fact Triangles Work

When I first started teaching, way back in the year 2000, the world was a very different place. One of the first math teaching tools I found in my special ed classroom back then was a giant stack of punch out fact triangles. There were addition/ subtraction and...

Foundational reading skills are the basics of phonic, decoding, and fluency.  It’s the actual reading the words part of reading (as opposed to the comprehension part).  In primary grades, students are largely ‘learning to read,’ meaning they learn...

Common Core Math Capture Games

What is Capture?Capture is an old, very basic card game for two players.  Sometimes it's also called "war."  It's a comparing game that can be used to practice just about any value- based concept in math.  If you can compare two things and find which is...

Student Portfolios

With testing season also comes the question: When we test in the mornings, what do we do in the afternoons??  We don't want to further stress our kids out or place high demands on them.  But we also want to maintain order, and we definitely don't have time...

How to Use a Math Menu

What is a Math Menu? It’s a list of choices that students can choose from when they finish their work.   (A “menu” of math games and activities.) What goes on a Math Menu? I like to have a good balance of new games/ activities and oldies but...

Increasing Student Participation

Here are 10 ways to encourage student participation in your class: 1. Start small.  When you ask a question, have students first discuss it with their partner.  Then, have the partners pair up (groups of 4) and share.  When students get comfortable...

Measuring with a Ruler: Try Coloring!

Why kids struggle with measuring with a ruler (and how coloring inches can help): Measuring with a ruler uses the area model for fractions. 1. Measuring in inches requires a different way of thinking about fractions. The most common way for kids to think about...

Empowering Students with Assessments

Assessments can be a stressful event for students.  They can feel like punishment for not learning ‘enough’ or being ‘smart enough.’  Students can develop low self-esteem and feel unmotivated if they think that they “should’ be able to do...

For some reason, measurement and geometry always seemed to be the weakest strands for the elementary students in the schools I’ve taught in.  Maybe it’s because they aren’t traditional arithmetic, or maybe it’s because they tend to be left for the end of the school...