I am often asked for advice on the best practices for providing math intervention for our struggling students. What curriculum? How long? How often? Which students? While these are great questions – and indeed we must improve the math intervention we provide our students – the best way to address math intervention is to do EVERYTHING […]

# Category: BlogPosts

My claim: people who teach math should also do #RecreationalMath as a regular part of their lifestyle. Just like English teachers read/write recreationally or music teachers play their instrument on their own time at home…math teachers should engage in doing math on their own. — duane habecker (@dhabecker) April 8, 2022 Many years ago I […]

For many educators, word problems surface longstanding fears of mathematics and memories of traumatic childhood experiences in math class. As a result, we often see posters on classroom walls attempting to distill strategies for solving word problems into a collection of key words. Perhaps you have seen the thousands of key word posters on the […]

When I meet someone new at a party and we exchange the customary small talk (“What about this weather?” or “How about those Giants?”), inevitably the question of what I do for a living comes up. Even before I share that I have been a middle school math teacher for 25 years, I can pretty […]

Counting Collections is a structured opportunity for students to count a collection of objects. In doing so, students develop strategies for organizing their collections, keeping track of their counting, and ultimately develop a concrete understanding of base ten place value system. Today I had the pleasure of observing a wonderful teacher as she led her kindergarten […]

Whenever I feel compelled to give unsolicited advice to teachers new to the profession, I give the following three suggestions: Stay curious. Always be willing to learn new things. Stay humble. Always be willing to unlearn things you thought were true, but aren’t. Begin each day with a reminder to yourself that you really, really […]

PROBLEM 1 The key strategy on this problem is to be super precise with your counting. For example, by treating 1×2 rectangles as DIFFERENT from 2×1 rectangles, you will see some pretty awesome patterns. Start by counting the 1-by’s and you will see there are 60 of them. You might also see a nice pattern. […]

This is the third of a multi-part series of posts sharing ideas for how to teach fraction concepts and operations through the use of visual representations. There is tons of evidence that students learn math better when the math is accompanied by visuals, so let’s dig into fractions… Suppose we want to add and and […]

I recently received a wonderful email from a mathematical leader at a local junior high school. She had two great questions, so I thought I’d turn my response into this short blog post. I separated her questions with my responses. Read on… 1.) How do we connect the Concrete and Representational to the Abstract in […]

What grade do U.S. preschools deserve in math instruction? Math is nearly absent in American preschools and prekindergarten classes. One study calculated that at preschools where kids spend six hours a day, math gets an average of only 58 seconds per day. Not even a full minute. I thought this was interesting, so I thought […]