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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?

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, […]

Math & The Characters: Theo’s Mother

As I developed the story for Newton’s Nemesis, I wanted the underlying narrative to reinforce growth mindset, or more specifically, mathematical mindset.  Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education at Stanford University, authored a wonderful book entitled Mathematical Mindset that encourages a culture shift in classrooms that rewards children for exploring mathematics. If children are […]