Tag Archives: Math in Practice

What is Math in Practice?

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“What is Math in Practice?” We get that a lot. It might be more important to first talk about why Math in Practice.

Sometimes we look back to the “good old days” of teaching math with rose-colored glasses. But did everyone learn and love mathematics in those classrooms? What do you remember about math class when you were the student? What was a typical assignment? What did your classroom look like and sound like? As I listen to teachers across the country, I am struck by the similarity of their experiences as they recall:

  • lots of memorizing
  • long worksheets
  • silent practice
  • a teacher telling how to do it
  • one right answer
  • one way to get the answer
  • no group work
  • no manipulatives.

We know that one of the biggest changes in the teaching of math is a new definition of proficiency. Computation skills are still important, but it takes more than that. We want our students to understand why math works.

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Shifts and Challenges in Teaching Math

1Math in Practice is a comprehensive, grade-by-grade professional learning resource designed to fit with any math curriculum you are using. It identifies the big ideas of both math content and math teaching, unpacking key instructional strategies and detailing why those strategies are so powerful.

Rather than providing another sequence of lessons and units to take students from the beginning to the end of the year, Math in Practice focuses on developing deep content knowledge, understanding why certain strategies and approaches are most effective, and rethinking our beliefs about what math teaching should be. 

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Challenges Facing Elementary Math Teachers

1Math in Practice is a comprehensive, grade-by-grade professional learning resource designed to fit with any math curriculum you are using. It identifies the big ideas of both math content and math teaching, unpacking key instructional strategies and detailing why those strategies are so powerful.

Rather than providing another sequence of lessons and units to take students from the beginning to the end of the year, Math in Practice focuses on developing deep content knowledge, understanding why certain strategies and approaches are most effective, and rethinking our beliefs about what math teaching should be. 

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Adapting to Shifts in Math Instruction with Math in Practice

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You may have heard the words "what's wrong with the old way of teaching math? I learned math that way just fine!" from parents, students, family members, even colleagues. As the approach to math shifts toward students' understanding math, and away from rote memorization, many adults think back to their own experiences as students in the math classroom and often long for "the good old days. "

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A Great Summer School Fit: Math in Practice

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Summer school teachers often struggle to find just the right tools to address students’ distinct and sometimes challenging needs. They also often have limited time to prepare lessons and deliver instruction.

The authors of Math in Practice are all master teachers and math coaches, most of whom are still in classrooms every day. They designed every component of Math in Practice to be flexible and helpful, keeping the varying needs of teachers and students in mind—and making it a perfect resource to support a summer school program.

Listen to Marcy Myers and Laura Hunovice, two of the coauthors, talk about how Math in Practice gives any teacher a place to start—along with lots of coaching, lesson ideas, and downloadable resources to support instruction:

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PLC Series: Build Understanding Through Talk

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series! This month, we highlight and discuss the language of mathematics.

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You might already use the the practices of “turn and talk” during reading, but what about during other content area lessons?

In order for students to clearly express mathematical understandings, they need daily opportunities to practice using the specific academic language related to this content area. In this clip, taken from Sue O’Connell’s On Demand course, notice how students are given ample time not just to think through their response, but to share this thinking verbally with a partner.

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