An introduction to multiplication

Introducing Multiplication

Mastery in multiplication and division is built on a solid foundation of addition and subtraction.  Understanding the concepts of multiplication and division rely on a solid mastery of understanding the concepts of whole and total from addition and subtraction.  Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of spending a lot of time reviewing addition and subtraction in third grade before we start multiplication and division.  Because of this, it’s so important for me to connect

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Part-Part-Whole visual

Part-Part-Whole with Addition and Subtraction

Teaching part-part-whole relationships is critical while teaching addition and subtraction.  For students to build a solid understanding of addition and subtraction, they need to understand what each one represents.  While helpful when working with equations with unknowns in all areas, it’s imperative that students have a solid understanding of addition and subtraction so they’re able to apply both skills in real world scenarios.  Understanding part-part-whole is a much more effective strategy to teach for problem

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Building Number Sense

The Why & How of Number Sense

 “If you are a parent of a child in the K-12 system, there is today just one thing you should ensure your offspring has mastered in the math class by the time they graduate: number sense.”  Dr. Keith Devlin, mathematician at Stanford University   Number sense is the single best indicator of students’ success in math.  It is critical in the Common Core State Standards in math, and is the reason curriculum companies have built

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Properties of Shapes & Op Art

My first graders came to me with a lot of background knowledge on shapes and their properties.  I was impressed with the amount of information they retained from kindergarten and from other learning experiences.  Because we didn’t need to spend a ton of time on 2-D shapes it was the perfect opportunity to integrate art into our unit to help students continue to develop their understanding of shape properties and to demonstrate content mastery. Working at an

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Building Fact Fluency with 5 in a Row

5 in a Row: Building Fact Fluency

Fact fluency routines are often filled with worksheets and timed activities.  They do have their place in the classroom, but they’re not very engaging.  While I’ve definitely learned that fact fluency does not mean 1 second recall and strict timing systems, I also firmly believe that having a strong memorization of facts helps students focus their mental effort and energy on the larger math skills at hand.  It’s important to build fact fluency in students.

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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.