### How to Integrate Algebra with Elementary Students: Equality, Equations, and Discourse

How do you teach algebra in elementary school? Why would you? If you think of algebra as the class you took in high school and not a critical, intertwined component of mathematics, you might wonder why I’m talking about introducing algebra with elementary students. As with all things, the work we do in the elementary years lays the foundation for students’ algebra work later. Key components of our elementary math instruction build algebraic thinking in

### Multiplication and Division Word Problem Types

Word problems can be such a struggle. Especially in grades 3rd and up when students have to work through all of the operations and multi-step word problems. Students often struggle to identify the operation presented, or miss part of the steps needed to solve. Explicitly teaching word problem types can help our students recognize the operations in context. The Common Core State Standards lay out the different multiplication & division word problem types that students

### Working with Division

Some people, districts, textbooks (take your pick) teach multiplication and division together in one unit and at one time.  I prefer to teach division a few weeks after multiplication; after students have had some time working with multiplication, exploring equal groups, and building a deep understanding of what multiplication means. You can also read more about how I introduce multiplication. For division, however, my go to is always, always food! Lesson engagement is at an

### 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

### T-Method for Measurement Conversions

Students struggle with doing measurement conversions, especially when they have to work with adding and subtracting those measurements first.  When my students have worked through word problems that asked for the units in a specific way, they often struggle to remember to convert between units and struggle to add and subtract correctly.  When teaching elapsed time, I originally always taught it with the backwards N (which is the same as the zoom method) and with