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Math Block Structure

A Look at my Math Block

I first started teaching self-contained third grade three years ago.  After spending close to 10 years in and out of classrooms, working with intervention students, and seeing some amazing teaching and learning, I knew I wanted to do math centers in my room and I knew how my math block ‘should’ look.  I wanted time to meet with small groups of students, and I wanted students to have time working independently.  And I hated it

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Introducing division with skittles

Working with Division

Some people, districts, textbooks (take your pick) teach multiplication and division together in one unit and at one time.  I teach division after multiplication; after students have had some time working with multiplication, exploring equal groups, and building a deep understanding.  I typically have introduced multiplication in October so I’ve used cheap spider rings as manipulatives to help students navigate equal groups.  To see more about that introduction, click here to head to that post. This

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Building Place Value and Number Sense Skills

When I was an interventionist looking at our schoolwide data, I noticed something in our students’ math data.  The students in third grade that scored lowest in math overall on our benchmark testing (NWEA’s MAP test), also were the lowest scoring in the place value and number sense sub-domain.  Over time and several years teaching in different settings with different grade levels, I’ve come to learn how very important number sense is, and I’ve picked

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Distributive Property Image

Introducing the Distributive Property

The first time I taught the distributive property to my third graders I had no idea what I was doing.  There was one (and I think only one) lesson in our textbook and it had students relate the distributive property to basketball where students figured out how many points were scored based on the number of two-pointers and three-pointers.  In theory, it’s a great idea, and I’m sure I could have livened up that lesson

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Measuring Angles

Head on over to the Ellison blog to see how my students measured angles in our math textbook with a different sort of math tool!  Just click the image below to head over.

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Hi! I'm Tessa!

Tessa Maguire image