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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
It’s spring! The sun is shining, plants are growing, and frogs and bugs abound. At The Math Learning Center, we’ve created some fun activities with springtime themes to help get your math blooming! Like February’s popular Share the Math Love celebration, each of the following activities includes the Share Your Work feature. You can send students a link or code to access the activity, and students...
Kim Markworth, Director of Content Development
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
Don’t let “at home” in the name fool you. The Math Learning Center’s Math at Home website has evolved into a robust collection of tasks and games that can be used on the playground, in the supermarket, or just about anywhere else—including the classroom. Though originally designed for use by families forced inside by the pandemic, teachers can use the familiar routines to launch a lesson, provide...
Patrick Vennebush, Chief Learning Officer
Kim Markworth, Director of Content Development
Physical manipulatives are locked away in classrooms, so teachers, students, and families are turning to The Math Learning Center apps to support understanding of visual mathematics in a remote learning environment. Usage of these free virtual manipulatives and models has tripled over the last six weeks. On Friday, May 1, more than 500 educators attended an MLC webinar on how the apps can be used...
Manistee Area Public Schools’ board approved a purchase of Bridges in Mathematics after lead teachers visited Montague Area Public Schools as well as Godfrey-Lee Schools in Wyoming to see Bridges in implementation. “Through those visits, those lead teachers really felt like we needed to move forward in this direction and they shared that with their colleagues,” said MAPS curriculum director Amber...
Students in the State College Area School District (SCASD) are exploring math in a fun, new way since adopting Bridges in Mathematics for the 2018–19 school year. But it’s not just fun and games—learning is happening too. On average, student test scores are up by 10% compared with any year since 2011. “We’re really pumped up,” Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Vern Bock says. “What...
Collin Nelson
SEG Measurement, an independent third-party research firm, recently conducted a study of the effectiveness of Bridges in Mathematics using data from the 2015–16 and 2016–17 school years. Approximately 1,000 students from over 40 classrooms participated in the study. Students who used Bridges were statistically matched with students using another elementary mathematics curriculum in a different...
Collin Nelson
The 3Rs—Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic—have been foundational in education for thousands of years. My recent book, The Fourth R, adds to that list Reasoning/computational thinking. It concerns using human brains and computer brains, individually and working together, to solve problems and accomplish thoughts. Like each of the traditional 3Rs, computational thinking is both a discipline of study...
David Moursund