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Focus on the Lesson - Shoe Graph

A Flurry of Ideas for Winter Math Activities

It’s finally autumn, and here in Chicago that means there’s a feeling of foreboding in the air about when winter’s going to hit. A small comfort in the changing weather is that it offers some opportunities for winter math activities, specifically those that are relevant to students’ personal experiences.

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room on the broom activities

Make Room for Halloween Math

Have some Halloween fun with the witch’s tale Room on the Broom. In this lively story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, a witch makes room for her animal friends to ride on her broomstick… until there’s one too many animals, and the broom snaps in two. The central question of this book – Is there room on the broom for me? – is a mathematical one.

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coaches edit

Flexible Thinking Useful for Children and Teachers at Innovations Schools

“I was taught algorithms in school,” says coach Liz Avila. “There wasn’t much thought that went into the math that I did.” The Innovations project aims to alter this “plug-and-chug” method of problem solving, through strategies such as number talks and grade-level meetings.

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holiday math activities

A Holiday with Too Many Tamales

How is it possible to have too many tamales? Well, Maria finds out in the book Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto. In this holiday storybook, what starts out as a fun experience helping mama make tamales becomes a frantic search for mama’s wedding ring. But it’s in the search that Maria and her cousins are faced with the math concept of too many.

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hand

Beyond Base-10: Three Unusual Counting Systems

Counting in sets of ten is a skill that we develop and internalize at a very young age. However, surprisingly, there are dozens of different counting systems, many still in use today. Understanding and exploring other counting systems can be helpful to children.

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Erikson Institute

Developing Math Strategies: From Calculation to Memorization