Multiplication: Lost in Translation?
A recent task I developed used visual models of multiplication involving a unit fraction. Can you match visual models with the expressions ⅓ x 12, ⅓ of 12 or 12 x ⅓? Who would have guessed that creating this task would send me on a hunt through time and continents for the first definitions of multiplication, multiplier, and multiplicand?
Superpowers for Math Lessons: Writing
With mounting pressures of high stakes testing and pacing guides, often teachers find it difficult to add math writing tasks to daily lessons without leaving something valuable out. According to a study published this year, teachers don’t have to choose. Writing is a superpower when teaching fractions!
Keep, Change, Flip: Are Algorithms our Frenemies?
In our zest to have children learn math deeply and creatively, professional math educators sometimes give the impression that algorithms are the enemy. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.
Why is Fraction Arithmetic So Hard AND Important!
I recently stumbled upon the work of Robert Siegler, a professor of cognitive psychology at Carnegie Mellon University who is working with several colleagues to determine why fraction arithmetic is so difficult. Of course, all the researchers he’s worked with should also be acknowledged (see below), but this is one of those times you read […]
A Fraction-Algebra Sandwich
Peck and Matassa (2016) recently published a research paper that reinforced why fraction division and multiplication is such an important topic for children to master. We often hear that understanding fractions is a gateway to learning algebra, and these authors offered some pretty compelling reasons why that’s the case. Before we get to the study, […]