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Topic: Math

The Secret to Solving Word Problems. Hint: It’s Not about Math

November 12, 2017

Solving word problems is far more about effective reading skills and far less about math. You might be asking, then, why do so many strong readers fear solving word problems? Because, math word problems have a perception problem. Why Students Fear Solving Word Problems Solving word problems doesn’t feel like it “follows a rule” the way it does when you solve an equation. That can feel overwhelming to students who lack confidence in math. They just don’t know how to get started. The good news for your readers is that there are rules they can follow (keep reading). Better still, the thinking they need to do is quite similar to the close reading that is required of them in English class. The key is to help them see it that way…. Read More

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Mindprint Exclusive: Math Word Problem Tip Sheet

July 20, 2016

Getting started on a word problem can feel overwhelming. For some students, it’s too many words, too many numbers all at once. Use this list to help your student identify the key words that will provide important clues about which operations they will need to use. It also includes ways to identify “hidden numbers.”  

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Parents with Agendas: Back Away from the Lemonade Stand

July 24, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff And so we have come to this, a headline: “Let’s stop trying to turn lemonade stands into MBA programs.” In the post in Fortune that followed that headline last July, Dan Mitchell says, essentially, “enough already.” Mitchell’s argument is more nuanced than the headline but his point is blunt: let the games of childhood serve their own purposes. The only thing to squeeze into an afternoon pitching refreshments to the neighbors is a bag of lemons, not lessons in profit margins. Mitchell refers to Michal Lemberger in Slate, who in her post, “Down with Lemonade Stands” debunks the idea that lemonade sales teach entrepreneurship because customers don’t actually compare prices and the quality of the lemonade…. Read More

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Time to Plan for Summer Math

May 9, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff A few months ago, I decided that instead of buying workbooks for my kids to look at over the summer, I’d start collecting the homework they brought home and use it as a basis for a personalized binder.  I’d add new material, too, of course, and try to find things that appealed to their interests as well as their grade level and the one they’d be approaching. But you know, it was only last month that I took down the Halloween lights that had been iced into a bush in our front yard for most of the winter. I may, perhaps, have been too ambitious in my dream for the ideal summer “let’s not forget everything… Read More

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You’ve Seen This Photo, Here’s Who Made It

January 26, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff  A teacher. But like many things that go viral on the Internet, that important fact has gotten less attention. It didn’t take too much detective work to trace the photo back to its source, however, and last week I was able to speak on the phone with the photo’s creator, Alycia Zimmerman, a 3rd grade gifted and talented teacher at P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep in Manhattan. “Students tend to struggle with fractions,” Alycia said, when I asked her about the photo. “And some were playing with Legos during free-choice time on Fridays, and I’m watching them play and I’m thinking this would be really great to demonstrate fractions. So if this is a whole then….” The rest,… Read More

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