Alphabetical Probability

Sunday, October 18th, 2015
Read how 7th graders collected and analyzed data about the frequency of letters. They chose sentences, recorded the frequency of letters, and put their data on a class chart. Then we compared the class results to the actual frequencies of letters. Engaging the students in collecting their own data gave them an authentic math experience, not rigged by me in any way.
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Eleven Things about the Number Eleven

Monday, September 21st, 2015
My grandson Jeffrey just turned 11 and I created a book to celebrate his birthday. Now I’m thinking that making books like this might be a good class project for students. Take a look.

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Word Problems: Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
A long-standing instructional practice has been to teach students how to multiply (or add, subtract, or divide) and then, after the students have learned to compute, give them word problems to solve. In this post I present a lesson with a different approach, where word problems become the lead and reason for learning to compute.

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Where’s the Math?

Monday, May 11th, 2015
Students’ ideas often amaze me, and Lydia’s is one of the most suprising examples. She used 7 x 3 = 21 to figure out that 8 x 4 = 32. She reasoned that since the factors in 7 x 3 were each 1 less than the factors in 8 x 4, she’d just increase each digit in the answer, changing 21 to 32. She was correct! Read about Lydia's discovery, what I did, and what I learned.
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An Unusual Word Problem: “Dealing in Horses”

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
After I told Steven, the man seated next to me on an airplane, that I was a math teacher, he described the Dealing in Horses problem that he was given at a corporate management training session. The problem has been one of my teaching staples ever since.

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