Math ideas and resources | Tales from Outside the Classroom

Addition & Subtraction Word Problem Types

Word problems are often a teacher’s biggest struggle in math. Have you said things like “The kids don’t understand them.” and “They grab the numbers out and do a random operation.” We try so many different methods to try and help, and they fall short. Because often, our focus isn’t on teaching students the operations explicitly. And teaching them explicitly is what we need to do! The Common Core State Standards lay out the different

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Why your Kids Struggle with Word Problems and what to do sintead

Why Your Students Struggle with Word Problems

If you’ve been a teacher for any longer than a year, you know many of your kids struggle with word problems. And by many, it could be most of your kids. Or, it could be just a few but it happens every single year. You might have tried a variety of problem solving strategies with students. You might have found one you really like and think will be “it” but then still have a crew

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Mondrian art image and "Mondrian Inspired Area and Perimeter Art Project" text

Mondrian Area & Perimeter Art Project

A few years back I came across this fun Piet Mondrian abstract art project that reviewed area and perimeter. Working at an arts integration school, it’s a perfect area and perimeter art project. We could explore a new artist and art style while also using the project to showcase our math learning. Bonus- I was able to use the activity as a formative check on area and perimeter. I could also use the project to

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Math Test Prep text on image with math manipulatives, protractors, fraction tiles, base ten blocks, and dice

Math Test Prep

The spring, especially in March, teachers in testing grades start really stressing the upcoming state testing. This year being everything it is, that state testing feels like a bigger beast in normal. The reality is, the work you do day in and day out each and every day prepares your kids for the test. You don’t need to do a ton of cramming or review just before the test. With that said, students need to

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40 Free Tens Frames Google Slides activities with roll and add

Roll & Build Digital Tens Frames Practice

This last year has brought significant changes to education. The classroom has been reimagined. I don’t know what things will look like when all is said and done, but in the meantime, what we use to reach students is vastly different than ever before. I’ve spent a lot of time creating digital resources, and trying to fill the gaps between what’s available and what teachers need for students. This free digital tens frames template and

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Hi! I'm Tessa!

Tessa Maguire image

I’ve spent the last 15 years teaching in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, and working beside elementary classrooms as an instructional coach and resource support. I’m passionate about math, literacy, and finding ways to make teachers’ days easier. I share from my experiences both in and out of the elementary classroom.

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