This lesson write-up is for any 5th or 6th (or 7th) grade teacher who wants students to explore decimal concepts and refine decimal operations while exploring a compelling task that is engaging and accessible to all learners. Using an image from Andrew Stadel’s Estimation 180 page, students estimate, investigate, and then calculate the value of a bowl full of coins and demonstrate learning for 5.NBT.2, 5.NBT.7, and 6.NS.3. The write-up contains a lesson pathway with specific questions and instructional moves to consider, analysis of the opportunities for student learning, and other wisdoms and insights we learned from teaching this lesson as a part of a lesson inquiry.
Give it a try with your own students. And then tell me how it went. Let’s get better together.
Welcome back math geeks! Dusting off the old blog to share some of what I’ve been thinking about. I spent the summer asking math teachers the following question: At the end of the school year, how do you want your students to feel about themselves as mathematical thinkers? In other words, imagine asking your students: […]
Good to have you back math nerds! And if you’re just checking in for the first time, welcome! I had the opportunity to spend a day working with 10 elementary instructional coaches and reflecting on our work this year in the math classroom. At one point, a colleague called another colleague a “rat bastard!” Now that’s a successful PD, […]
I support an 8th grade math teacher in Inglewood, CA. Fabian is a first-year teacher with a lot of professional responsibilities on his plate (8th grade science classes, an environmental science class, advisory, and 8th grade math classes). He is also a former student of mine. I taught him AP Calculus about 10 years ago. It’s […]
Yes, Allen, I am talking about practice. On my drive back from NorCal to Venice, I listened to some Freakonomics podcasts. My head exploded. I’d like to tell you about it. They’ve been doing a series on the research about self-improvement, productivity, growth mindsets, and grit. In a sense, what does it take to expand and maximize your […]
Hello Math Fans! Welcome back. I’m currently reading Jo Boaler’s new book Mathematical Mindsets and I’m looking for bookclub buddies, so I’d love to know if you’re reading it and how it’s supporting your thinking and work. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comment section or reach me on Twitter (@mathgeek76). If you’re not reading it, […]
I am long winded. Most of my friends and colleagues know this. And their true compassion shows as they listen as patiently and intently as they can and ask me questions to help my thinking. Sometimes that question ends up as “So how does this connect to what we’re talking about?” And I usually don’t know. […]
Goodness! Time flies when you’re having fun. It’s been some busy times here at Undercover Calculus; I need to buckle down and write more. Thanks for being a patient fan! In my last post, I started talking about a clothesline math activity I facilitated with several elementary math coaches during a recent PD. And now that I […]
I had the opportunity to work with several K-5 instructional coaches last week during a one-day workshop on increasing student engagement and discourse in the math classroom. (My favorite workshop to lead!) Leadership in the district is making a focused effort to support teachers in their practice of creating classrooms where Math Practice 3 thrives and students are […]
I had the pleasure of working with 2 amazing 3rd grade teachers last week. They had the usual concerns and frustrations about teaching word problems and were eager to find a better way to get their kids enthused and engaged. So, we chose to do something different. And I’d like to tell you about it. […]