3.3.2 Measurement

Grade: 
3
Subject:
Math
Strand:
Geometry & Measurement
Standard 3.3.2

Understand perimeter as a measurable attribute of real-world and mathematical objects. Use various tools to measure distances.

Benchmark: 3.3.2.1 Distance

Use half units when measuring distances.

For example: Measure a person's height to the nearest half inch.

Benchmark: 3.3.2.2 Perimeter

Find the perimeter of a polygon by adding the lengths of the sides.

Benchmark: 3.3.2.3 Distance Around

Measure distances around objects.

For example: Measure the distance around a classroom, or measure a person's wrist size.

Overview

Big Ideas and Essential Understandings 

Standard 3.3.2 Essential Understandings

Third graders understand linear measure as an iteration of units and use rulers to measure distance to the nearest half unit. They develop a conceptual understanding of perimeter as they measure the distance around objects. Third graders find the perimeter of polygons having no more than six sides.

Benchmark Cluster 

Benchmark  Group A

3.3.2.1 Use half units when measuring distances.

3.3.2.2 Find the perimeter of a polygon by adding the lengths of the sides.

3.3.2.3 Measure distances around objects.

What students should know and be able to do [at a mastery level] related to these benchmarks:

  • measure to the nearest half unit using inches, feet, yards, centimeters and meters.
  • understand perimeter is a measure of distance.
  • find the distance to the nearest half unit around a figure using inches, feet, yards, centimeters.
  • find the perimeter of polygons (having at most six sides) by adding the lengths of the sides.
  • find the length of an unknown side of a polygon given the length of the other sides and the perimeter.

Work from previous grades that supports this new learning includes: 

  • understand that the size of the unit impacts the number of units needed to measure the length of an object.
  • understand the need for standard units and tools to measure length.
  • understand the relationship between the numbers on a ruler and length.
  • accurately measure lengths to the nearest centimeter and inch using a ruler.
  • understand the relationship between length, units and the numbers on a ruler.
  • measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers. yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
  • solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
Correlations 

NCTM Standards

Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.   

Grades 3-5 Expectations:

  • understand such attributes as length, area, weight, volume, and size of angle and select the appropriate type of unit for measuring each attribute; 
  • understand the need for measuring with standard units and become familiar with standard units in the customary and metric systems
  • carry out simple unit conversions, such as from centimeters to meters, within a system of measurement;
  • understand that measurements are approximations and how differences in units affect precision;
  • explore what happens to measurements of a two-dimensional shape such as its perimeter and area when the shape is changed in some way.

Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.  

Grades 3-5 Expectations:

  • develop strategies for estimating the perimeters, areas, and volumes of irregular shapes;
  • select and apply appropriate standard units and tools to measure length, area, volume, weight, time, temperature, and the size of angles;
  • select and use benchmarks to estimate measurements;
  • develop, understand, and use formulas to find the area of rectangles and related triangles and parallelograms;
  • develop strategies to determine the surface areas and volumes of rectangular solids.

Common Core State Standards

Geometric measurement: understand concepts of area and relate area to multiplication and to addition.

3.MD.5. Recognize area as an attribute of plane figures and understand concepts of area measurement.

3.MD.5a. A square with side length 1 unit, called "a unit square," is said to have "one square unit" of area, and can be used to measure area.

3.MD.5b. A plane figure which can be covered without gaps or overlaps by n unit squares is said to have an area of n square units.

3.MD.6. Measure areas by counting unit squares (square cm, square m, square in, square ft, and improvised units).

3.MD.7. Relate area to the operations of multiplication and addition.

3.MD.7a. Find the area of a rectangle with whole-number side lengths by tiling it, and show that the area is the same as would be found by multiplying the side lengths.

3.MD.7b. Multiply side lengths to find areas of rectangles with whole-number side lengths in the context of solving real world and mathematical problems, and represent whole-number products as rectangular areas in mathematical reasoning.

3.MD.7c. Use tiling to show in a concrete case that the area of a rectangle with whole-number side lengths a and b + c is the sum of a × b and a × c. Use area models to represent the distributive property in mathematical reasoning.

3.MD.7d. Recognize area as additive. Find areas of rectilinear figures by decomposing them into non-overlapping rectangles and adding the areas of the non-overlapping parts, applying this technique to solve real world problems.

Geometric measurement: recognize perimeter as an attribute of plane figures and distinguish between linear and area measures.

3.MD.8. Solve real world and mathematical problems involving perimeters of polygons, including finding the perimeter given the side lengths, finding an unknown side length, and exhibiting rectangles with the same perimeter and different areas or with the same area and different perimeters.

Misconceptions

Student Misconceptions 

Students may think ....

  • they don't have to measure all sides of a figure before adding when finding the perimeter.
  • it is not necessary to include unit labels when measuring length or perimeter..

Resources

Instructional Notes 

Teacher Notes

  • Students may need support in further development of previously studied concepts and skills.
  • "Most researchers agree there are four components of measuring:
    • conservation (objects maintain their same size and shape when measured),
    • transitivity (two objects can be compared in terms of a measurable quality, using another object),
    • units (the type of units used to measure an object depends on the attribute being measured), and
    • unit iteration (the units must be repeated, or iterated, in order to determine the measure of an object." (Chapin, Johnson, 2006)
  • To measure an attribute of an object with understanding, students should complete three steps:

1. Decide on the attribute (length) to be measured.

2. Select an appropriate unit for measuring that attribute (length). 

3. Count the number of units needed to accurately represent the attribute (length) being measured.

  • Teaching area and perimeter together or in succession "may cause confusion because both area and perimeter require students to consider the boundaries of the shape." (Bamberger, Oberdorf, Shultz-Ferrell, 2010)
  • Third graders learn to find perimeter of a polygon by adding the lengths of all sides. For example, the goal is not to learn a formula for finding the perimeter of a rectangle but rather connecting the idea that the distance around a shape and the sum of the lengths of the sides are the same.
  • If third graders are using grid paper to find the perimeter of a shape, they need to understand they are counting line segments and not squares.
  • It is important for students to see a variety of polygons having the same perimeter but very different shapes.
  • Good questions, and good listening, will help children make sense of the mathematics, build self-confidence and encourage mathematical thinking and communication. A good question opens up a problem and supports different ways of thinking about it. The best questions are those that cannot be answered with a "yes" or a "no."

Getting Started

What do you need to find out?

What do you know now? How can you get the information? Where can you begin?

What terms do you understand/not understand?

What similar problems have you solved that would help?

While Working

How can you organize the information?

Can you make a drawing (model) to explain your thinking? What are other possibilities?

What would happen if...?

Can you describe an approach (strategy) you can use to solve this?

What do you need to do next?

Do you see any patterns or relationships that will help you solve this?

How does this relate to...?

Why did you...?

What assumptions are you making?

Reflecting about the Solution

How do you know your solution (conclusion) is reasonable? How did you arrive at your answer?

How can you convince me your answer makes sense?

What did you try that did not work? Has the question been answered?

Can the explanation be made clearer?

Responding (helps clarify and extend their thinking)

Tell me more.

Can you explain it in a different way?

Is there another possibility or strategy that would work?

Is there a more efficient strategy?

Help me understand this part ...

(Adapted from They're Counting on Us, California Mathematics Council, 1995)

Instructional Resources 

NCTM Illuminations

Instructional Resources

Anderson, N., Gavin, M., Dailey, J., Stone, W., & Vuolo, J. (2005). Navigating through measurement in grades 3-5. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Gavin, M., Belkin, L., Soinelli, A., & St. Marie, J. (2001). Navigating through geometry in grades 3-5. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Van de Walle, J., Karp, K., & Bay-Williams, J. (2010). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally. (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Van de Walle, J. & Lovin, L. (2006). Teaching student-centered mathematics grades k-3. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Van de Walle, J., & Lovin, L. (2006). Teaching student-centered mathematics grades 3-5. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

New Vocabulary 

New Vocabulary

"Vocabulary literally is the key tool for thinking."

Ruby Payne

perimeter - the distance around a figure

length - how long the side of an object or figure is

width - how wide the side of an object or figure is

meter stick - a length in measurement that is equal to 100 centimeters

tape measure - an expandable tool for measurement of fixed objects

Mathematics vocabulary words describe mathematical relationships and concepts and cannot be understood by simply practicing definitions.  Students need to have experiences communicating ideas using these words to explain, support, and justify their thinking.

Learning vocabulary in the mathematics classroom is contingent upon the following:

Integration:   Connecting new vocabulary to prior knowledge and previously learned vocabulary.  The brain seeks connections and ways to make meaning which occurs when accessing prior knowledge.

Repetition:    Using the word or concept many times during the learning process and connecting the word or concept with its meaning.  The role of the teacher is to provide experiences that will guarantee connections are made between mathematical concepts, relationships, and corresponding vocabulary words.

Meaningful    Multiple and varied opportunities to use the words in context.  These

Use:              opportunities occur when students explain their thinking, ask clarifying questions, write about mathematics, and think aloud when solving problems.  Teachers should be constantly probing student thinking in order to determine if students are connecting mathematics concepts and relationships with appropriate mathematics vocabulary.

Strategies for vocabulary development

Students do not learn vocabulary words by memorizing and practicing definitions. The following strategies keep vocabulary visible and accessible during instruction.

Mathematics Word Bank:  Each unit of study should have word banks visible during instruction.  Words and corresponding definitions are added to the word bank as the need arises.  Students refer to word banks when communicating mathematical ideas which leads to greater understanding and application of words in context.

Labeled pictures and charts:  Diagrams that are labeled provide opportunities for students to anchor their thinking as they develop conceptual understanding and increase opportunities for student learning.

Frayer Model: The Frayer Model connects words, definitions, examples and non-examples.

Example/Non-example Charts: This graphic organizer allows students to reason about mathematical relationships as they develop conceptual understanding of mathematics vocabulary words.  Teachers should use these during the instructional process to engage student in thinking about the meaning of words.

Vocabulary Strips:  Vocabulary strips give students a way to organize critical information about mathematics vocabulary words.

word

definition

illustration

Encouraging students to verbalize thinking by drawing, talking, and writing increases opportunities to use the mathematics vocabulary words in context.

Additional Resources for Vocabulary Development

Murray, M. (2004). Teaching mathematics vocabulary in context. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Sammons, L. (2011).  Building mathematical comprehension: Using literacy strategies to make meaning.  Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education.

Professional Learning Communities 

Reflection - Critical Questions regarding the teaching and learning of these benchmarks

What are the key ideas related to finding perimeter at the third grade level?  How do student misconceptions interfere with mastery of these ideas?

What experiences do students need in order to successfully understand the concept of perimeter?

What common errors do third graders make when finding perimeter?

When checking for student understanding of finding perimeter, what should teachers

  • listen for in student conversations?
  • look for in student work?
  • ask during classroom discussions?

Examine student work related to a task involving finding perimeter. What evidence do you need to say a student is proficient? Using three pieces of student work, determine what student understanding is observed through the work.

How can teachers assess student learning related to these benchmarks?

How are these benchmarks related to other benchmarks at the third grade level?

Professional Learning Community Resources

Professional Learning Community Resources

Bamberger, H., Oberdorf, C., & Schultz-Ferrell, K. (2010). Math misconceptions prek-grade 5: From misunderstanding to deep understanding. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Chapin, S., and Johnson, A. (2006). Math matters: Understanding the math you teach, grades K-8. (2nd ed.). Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Press.

Chapin, S., O'Connor, C., & Canavan Anderson, N. (2009). Classroom discussions: Using math talk to help students learn (Grades K-6). Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Fosnot, C., & Dolk, M. (2002). Young mathematicians at work: Multiplication and division. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hyde, Arthur. (2006). Comprehending math adapting reading strategies to teach mathematics,

K-6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Lester, F. (2010). Teaching and learning mathematics: Transforming research for elementary school teachers. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Otto, A., Caldwell, J., Wallus Hancock, S., & Zbiek, R.(2011). Developing essential understanding of multiplication and division for teaching mathematics in grades 3 - 5. Reston, VA.: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Parrish, S. (2010). Number talks: Helping children build mental math and computation strategies grades K-5. Sausalito. CA: Math Solutions.

Sammons, L., (2011). Building mathematical comprehension: Using literacy strategies to make meaning. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education.

Schielack, J. (2009). Focus in grade 3, teaching with curriculum focal points. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

References 

Bamberger, H., Oberdorf, C., & Schultz-Ferrell, K. (2010). Math misconceptions prek-grade 5: From misunderstanding to deep understanding.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Bender, W. (2009). Differentiating math instruction: Strategies that work for k-8 classrooms! Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Bresser, R., Melanese, K., & Sphar, C. (2008).  Supporting English language learners in math class, grades k-2. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

Burns, Marilyn. (2007). About teaching mathematics:  A k-8 resource (3rd ed.). Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

Burns, M. (Ed). (1998). Leading the way: Principals and superintendents look at math instruction. Sausalito, CA:  Math Solutions.

Caldera, C. (2005). Houghton Mifflin math and English language learners. Boston, MA:  Houghton Mifflin Company.

Carpenter, T., Fennema, E., Franke, M., Levi, L., & Empson, S. (1999). Children's mathematics cognitively guided instruction. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.     

Cavanagh, M. (2006). Math to learn: A mathematics handbook. Wilmington, MA:  Great Source Education Group, Inc.

Chapin, S., & Johnson, A. (2006). Math matters: Understanding the math you teach, grades K-8. (2nd ed.). Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Press.

Chapin, S., O'Connor, C., & Canavan Anderson, N. (2009). Classroom discussions: Using math talk to help students learn (Grades K-6). Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Dacey, L., & Salemi, R. (2007). Math for all: Differentiating instruction k-2. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Donovan, S., & Bradford, J. (Eds). (2005). How students learn: Mathematics in the classroom. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Dougherty, B., Flores, A., Louis, E., & Sophian, C. (2010). Developing essential understanding of number & numeration pre-k-grade 2. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Felux, C., & Snowdy, P. (Eds.). ( 2006). The math coach field guide: Charting your course. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Fuson, K., Clements, D., & Beckmann, S. (2009). Focus in grade 2 teaching with curriculum focal points. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Hyde, Arthur. (2006). Comprehending math adapting reading strategies to teach mathematics, K-6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Kilpatrick, J., & Swafford, J. (Eds). (2001). Adding it up: Helping children learn mathematics. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Leinwand, S. (2000). Sensible mathematics: A guide for school leaders. Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.

Lester, F. (2010). Teaching and learning mathematics: Transforming research for elementary school teachers. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Murray, M. (2004). Teaching mathematics vocabulary in context. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Murray, M., & Jorgensen, J. (2007). The differentiated math classroom: A guide for teachers k-8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM.

O'Connell, S., & SanGiovanni, J. (2011). Mastering the basic math facts multiplication and division strategies, activities & interventions to move students beyond memorization. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

Parrish, S. (2010). Number talks: Helping children build mental math and computation strategies grades K-5. Sausalito. CA: Math Solutions.

Sammons, L. (2011). Building mathematical comprehension: Using literacy strategies to make meaning. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education.

Schielack, J., Charles, R., Clements, D., Duckett, P., Fennell, F., Lewandowski, S., ... & Zbiek, R. M. (2006). Curriculum focal points for prekindergarten through grade 8 mathematics: A quest for coherence. Reston, VA: NCTM.

Seeley, C. (2009). Faster isn't smarter: Messages about math teaching and learning in the 21st century. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Small, M. (2009). Good questions: Great ways to differentiate mathematics instruction.  New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Uittenbogaard, W., & Fosnot, C. (2008). Mini-lessons for early multiplication and division, Grades 3-4. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Van de Walle, J., Karp, K., Bay-Williams, J. (2010). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally. (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Van de Walle, J. A., & Lovin, L. H. (2006). Teaching student-centered mathematics grades K-3. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

West, L., & Staub, F. (2003). Content focused coaching: Transforming mathematics lessons. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Wickett, M., Ohanian, S., &  Burns, M. (2002). Teaching arithmetic: Lessons for introducing  division, Grades 3-4. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Willoughby, S. S. (1997). Functions from kindergarten through sixth grade. Teaching Children Mathematics, Feb., 314-18.

Yeatts, K., Battista, M., Mayberry, S., Thompson, D., & Zawojewski, J. (2004). Navigating through problem solving and reasoning in grade 3. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Zemelman, S., Daniels, H., & Hyde, A. (2005). Best practices: Today's standards for teaching and learning in America's schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.    

Assessment

  • The perimeter of a rectangle is 16 inches. Its length is 5 inches. What is its width?

A. 3 inches

B.6 inches

C. 11 inches

D. 21 inches

Solution: A. 3 inches

Benchmark: 3.3.2.2, 3.3.2.3

MCA III Item Sampler

  • If a triangle and a square have the same perimeter, and the sides of the triangle measure 4", 7", and 9", what is the length of each side of the square? Justify your answer.

Solution: 5". The perimeter of the triangle is 20, and because a square is equilateral, each side will measure 20 divided by 4 or 5 inches.

Benchmark: 3.3.2.2, 3.3.2.3

Adapted from Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (1999, item L13)

  • A trapezoid has sides that measure 9" and 5" and two that measure 13". What is the perimeter of the trapezoid?

A. 27"

B. 30"

C. 40"

D. 14"

Solution: C. 40"

Benchmark: 3.3.2.2, 3.3.2.3

Differentiation

Struggling Learners 
  • Before measuring to the nearest half unit, struggling learners need to demonstrate an understanding of measuring to the nearest unit using a ruler.
  • Students need to understand perimeter as a measure of the distance around an object or polygon.
  • May need reminders to use unit labels when recording measurements.
  • Allow students time to practice measuring perimeter using different objects in the classroom.

Concrete - Representational - Abstract Instructional Approach

(Adapted from The Access Center: Improving Access for All K-8 Students)

The Concrete-Representational-Abstract Instructional Approach (CRA) is a research-based instructional strategy that has proven effective in enhancing the mathematics performance of students who struggle with mathematics.

The CRA approach is based on three stages during the learning process:

Concrete         -           Representational       -           Abstract

The Concrete Stage is the doing stage. The concrete stage is the most critical in terms of developing conceptual understanding of mathematical skills and concepts.  At this stage, teachers use manipulatives to model mathematical concepts. The physical act of touching and moving manipulatives enables students to experience the mathematical concept at a concrete level.  Research shows that students who use concrete materials develop more precise and comprehensive mental representations, understand and apply mathematical concepts, and are more motivated and on-task.   Manipulatives must be selected based upon connections to the mathematical concept and the students' developmental level.

The Representational Stage is the drawing stage.  Mathematical concepts are represented using pictures or drawings of the manipulatives previously used at the Concrete Stage. Students move to this level after they have successfully used concrete materials to demonstrate conceptual understanding and solve problems.  They are moving from a concrete level of understanding toward an abstract level of understanding when drawing or using pictures to represent their thinking.  Students continue exploring the mathematical concept at this level while teachers are asking questions to elicit student thinking and understanding.

The Abstract Stage is the symbolic stage.  Teachers model mathematical concepts using numbers and mathematical symbols.  Operation symbols are used to represent addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Some students may not make a clean transfer to this level. They will work with some symbols and some pictures as they build abstract understanding.  Moving to the abstract level too quickly causes many student errors.   Practice at the abstract level will not lead to increased understanding unless students have a foundation based upon concrete and pictorial representations. 

Additional Resources

Bender, W. (2009). Differentiating math instruction: Strategies that work for k-8 classrooms! Thousand Oaks, CA.: Corwin Press.

Dacey, L., & Lynch, J. (2007). Math for all: Differentiating instruction grades 3-5. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Murray, M. & Jorgensen, J. (2007). The differentiated math classroom A guide for teachers k-8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Small, M. (2009). Good questions: Great ways to differentiate mathematics instruction. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Van de Walle, J., Karp, K., Bay-Williams, J. (2010). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally. (7th ed.) Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Van de Walle, J. & Lovin, L. (2006). Teaching student-centered mathematics grades k-3. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Van de Walle, J. & Lovin, L. 2006). Teaching student-centered mathematics grades 3-5. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

English Language Learners 
  • Word banks need to be part of the student learning environment in every mathematics unit of study. Refer to these throughout instruction.
  • Word Use vocabulary graphic organizers such as the Frayer model (see below) to emphasize vocabulary words count, first, second, third, etc.

  • Sentence Frames

Math sentence frames provide support that English Language Learners need in order to fully participate in math discussions.  Sentence frames provide appropriate sentence structure models, increase the likelihood of responses using content vocabulary, help students to conceptualize words and build confidence in English Language Learners.

Sample sentence frames related to these benchmarks:

Perimeter means ___________________________________________.

To find the perimeter of a polygon you have to ____________________.

  • When assessing the math skills of an ELL student it is important to determine if the student has difficulty with the math concept or with the language used to describe the concept and conceptual understanding.  

Additional ELL Resources

Bresser, R., Melanese, K., & Sphar, C. (2008). Supporting English language learners in math class, grades k-2. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

Extending the Learning 

Identify different polygons having the same perimeter.

Investigate how the perimeter of a square changes when the dimensions are doubled or tripled or quadrupled.

Additional Resources

Bender, W. (2009). Differentiating math instruction: Strategies that work for k-8 classrooms! Thousand Oaks, CA.: Corwin Press.

Dacey, L., & Lynch, J. (2007). Math for all: Differentiating instruction grades 3-5. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Murray, M. & Jorgensen, J. (2007). The differentiated math classroom: A guide for teachers k-8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Small, M. (2009). Good questions: Great ways to differentiate mathematics instruction. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Parents/Admin

Classroom Observation 

Administrative/Peer Classroom Observation

 

Students are...

Teachers are...

measuring distances to the nearest half unit.

providing a context for measuring distances to the nearest half unit.

developing conceptual understanding of perimeter by finding the distance around objects.

demonstrating how to find perimeter of shapes using measurement and counting units

finding the perimeter of polygons by adding the lengths of the sides.

helping students articulate the idea that perimeter is found by measuring the length of the sides and adding them up.

finding the length of an unknown side of a polygon when the lengths of the other sides and the perimeter are given.

helping students recognize the concept of perimeter in finding the length of an unknown side.

What should I look for in the mathematics classroom?

(Adapted from SciMathMN,1997)

What are students doing?

  • Working in groups to make conjectures and solve problems.
  • Solving real-world problems, not just practicing a collection of isolated skills.
  • Representing mathematical ideas using concrete materials, pictures and symbols. Students know how and when to use tools such as blocks, scales, calculators, and computers.
  • Communicating mathematical ideas to one another through examples, demonstrations, models, drawing, and logical arguments.
  • Recognizing and connecting mathematical ideas.
  • Justifying their thinking and explaining different ways to solve a problem.

What are teachers doing?

  • Making student thinking the cornerstone of the learning process. This involves helping students organize, record, represent, and communicate their thinking.
  • Challenging students to think deeply about problems and encouraging a variety of approaches to a solution.
  • Connecting new mathematical concepts to previously learned ideas.
  • Providing a safe classroom environment where ideas are freely shared, discussed and analyzed.
  • Selecting appropriate activities and materials to support the learning of every student.
  • Working with other teachers to make connections between disciplines to show how math is related to other subjects.
  • Using assessments to uncover student thinking in order to guide instruction and assess understanding.

For Mathematics Coaches

Chapin, S. and Johnson, A. (2006).  Math matters: Understanding the math you teach: Grades k-8, 2nd edition.  Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Donovan, S., & Bradford, J. (Eds). (2005). How students learn: Mathematics in the classroom. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Felux, C., & Snowdy, P. (Eds.). ( 2006). The math coach field guide: Charting your course. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Sammons, L., (2011).  Building mathematical comprehension: Using literacy strategies to make meaning.  Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education.

West, L., & Staub, F. (2003). Content focused coaching: Transforming mathematics lessons. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

For Administrators

Burns, M. (Ed). (1998).  Leading the way: Principals and superintendents look at math instruction. Sausalito, CA:  Math Solutions.

Kilpatrick, J., & Swafford, J. (Eds). (2001). Adding it up: Helping children learn mathematics. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Leinwand, S. (2000). Sensible mathematics: A guide for school leaders. Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.

Lester, F. (2010). Teaching and learning mathematics: Transforming research for school administrators. Reston, VA:  National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Seeley, C. (2009). Faster isn't smarter: Messages about math teaching and learning in the 21st century. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.

Parents 

Parent Resources

Mathematics handbooks to be used as home references:

Cavanagh, M. (2004). Math to Know: A mathematics handbook. Wilmington, MA:  Great Source Education Group, Inc.

Cavanagh, M. (2006). Math to learn: A mathematics handbook. Wilmington, MA:  Great Source Education Group, Inc.

Helping your child learn mathematics

Provides activities for children in preschool through grade 5

What should I look for in the mathematics program in my child's school? A Guide for Parents developed by SciMathMN

Help Your Children Make Sense of Math

Ask the right questions

In helping children learn, one goal is to assist children in becoming critical and independent thinkers. You can help by asking questions that guide, without telling them what to do.

Good questions, and good listening, will help children make sense of the mathematics, build self-confidence and encourage mathematical thinking and communication. A good question opens up a problem and supports different ways of thinking about it. The best questions are those that cannot be answered with a "yes" or a "no."

Getting Started

What do you need to find out?

What do you know now? How can you get the information? Where can you begin?

What terms do you understand/not understand?

What similar problems have you solved that would help?

While Working

How can you organize the information?

Can you make a drawing (model) to explain your thinking? What are other possibilities?

What would happen if . . . ?

Can you describe an approach (strategy) you can use to solve this?

What do you need to do next?

Do you see any patterns or relationships that will help you solve this?

How does this relate to ...?

Can you make a prediction?

Why did you...?

What assumptions are you making?

Reflecting about the Solution

How do you know your solution (conclusion) is reasonable? How did you arrive at your answer?

How can you convince me your answer makes sense?

What did you try that did not work?

Has the question been answered?

Can the explanation be made clearer?

Responding (helps clarify and extend their thinking)

Tell me more.

Can you explain it in a different way?

Is there another possibility or strategy that would work?

Is there a more efficient strategy?

Help me understand this part...

Adapted from They're counting on us, California Mathematics Council, 1995

Comments

Love the Wesite!!! Full of opportunities!!!!

Hi, Gloria Johnson here. Thanks for the wonderful design of this website. Teaching 3rd grade math, I want to be sure to guarantee my students to learn and understand from the third grade curriculum. Being ADHD myself, I find this site brilliant and easy to use. I especially like the differentiation options suggested!
Thank You!
Gloria Johnson 3rd
HPPA