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The Math Learning Center Blog

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At the Math Learning Center, we believe that all students can make sense of mathematics. Some students just need more time, more opportunities, and more support than others. Our approach emphasizes problem solving, the use of faithful visual models, and a focus on developing fluency. In March 2021, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and the What Works Clearinghouse released a new version of...
Nicole Rigelman, Chief Academic Officer
The year is coming to an end. Soon your classroom will be quiet. No more pencils, no more books, no more finger counting, no more area models, no more calendar grid markers, no more pattern blocks and geoboard bands and base ten pieces littering the floor. As Sam Keen said, “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” You’ve earned all the relaxation you can get this summer; enjoy it...
Patrick Vennebush, Chief Learning Officer
At The Math Learning Center, we are committed to supporting elementary mathematics education that builds on the strengths of all students and teachers. We are always seeking to improve our curriculum and professional learning materials to reflect the most current research on equitable and effective teaching and learning. Recently, we’ve focused our efforts on revising Bridges Intervention to align...
Corey Drake, Senior Director for Professional Learning
Within the math education community, a lot of confusion surrounds the word fluency. Yet Common Core State Standards call for fluency at each grade level. Grades 2 and 3 standards specify that students know a standard “from memory,” phrasing which may further cloud our concept of fluency. In the Ignite Talk “There IS a Difference,” K-5 math educator Graham Fletcher explains the subtle yet powerful...
Cynthia Hockman-Chupp
The number rack helps build the bridge from counting to computational fluency by inviting students to think about numbers in groups of 2, 5, and 10. Its 2 rows of 5 red and 5 white movable beads allow students to see and slide beads in groups rather than 1 by 1. Just as we want students to move from sounding out words letter by letter to reading morphemes and whole words, we want students to move...
Shelly Scheafer
Now more than ever, families are looking for ways to support their students’ mathematics education. They may not know where to start—the Bridges in Mathematics approach might appear a bit different from the way they were taught math. How can Bridges educators offer families a chance to see what a Bridges classroom looks like? How can they offer ideas and options for fostering their students’ math...
Mike Wallus, Vice President for Educator Support
Most of us can recall one or more favorite teachers from school. I encountered my three favorite teachers well along in my educational path. All of them were at one time professors at the University of Oregon, which may or may not have something to do with my love for the Oregon Ducks. Dr. Robert Sylwester was a professor of education, an author, and was widely known for his study of brain...
Dan Raguse, Past MLC Executive Director
Meet Fawn Nguyen What grades do you teach and/or what is your title/role? My current role is Math TOSA (teacher on special assignment) for a K–8 school district. I support math teachers and their students. What school, district or institution do you work for? Location? Rio School District, Oxnard, CA What motivates you? My own three children and my students motivate me. They are young people whom...
Amber Cooper, Content Marketing
Meet Shelley Whittaker Elementary Educator at Frank W. Begley Public School in Windsor, Ontario What inspired you to become an educator? First and foremost, my love of kids inspired me to become an educator. Also, I credit two all-star educators in high school—Nancy Lilliman and Rick McInnis literally saved my life. And based on the impact they had on my livelihood, I realized the incredible role...
Karrisa Barrera, Content Marketing
As teachers, we strive to develop classrooms full of competent, confident mathematicians, and we know the vital role families have in supporting that work. But families, in turn, may also need support. The Math Learning Center’s Mathematical Practice Cards for Families can help. The Mathematical Practice Cards are a simple set of four two-sided cards based on the Math Practice Standards and...
Rosalyn Miller, Teacher in Residence at MLC