The Math Learning Center Blog

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Humanizing Intervention: Opening Problem Solving and Ending Timed Activities

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

Memorization Versus Memory

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

Introducing Bridges Breakout: Number Rack

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

Introducing Bridges to Families in Your Community

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

Great Teachers Love Learning

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

Student Math Identities Inform Teaching Practices

The start of a new school year is the perfect time for teachers to get to know their students as mathematicians. Exploring students' math identities means paying attention to their beliefs about what it means to be “good at math” and their perceptions of their own ability to do mathematics. We want to share some of the possibilities within the Bridges curriculum that will help teachers know their...
Annelly Rodas
Nataki McClain

The Power of Perseverance: Encouraging Multiple Ways of Problem Solving at Lake Forest School District

Lake Forest School District in Illinois adopted Bridges in 2013. Teachers credit Bridges with helping them teach valuable life skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and positive student interaction. Additional significant changes include students’ increased risk taking and recognition that there is more than one answer and strategy to a problem. Bridges is designed to...

Engaging Young Learners: Providing the Tools to Success at DeSoto Parish School System

DeSoto Parish School System in Louisiana adopted Bridges in 2013. With Bridges, educators and district leaders alike have witnessed the transformation of classroom environments. Students are engaged, working together, checking one another’s work and truly understanding concepts. Bridges is engaging students in math and teaching them to become creative problem solvers. “Bridges creates that...

Confidence Is Key: Leander ISD Students Thrive with Bridges in Mathematics

The Leander Independent School District in Leander, Texas, adopted Bridges in Mathematics in 2014. With Bridges, Leander students’ confidence in math is growing as they learn multiple strategies for problem solving. Teachers have seen improvement in students’ mathematical thinking, communication, and academic confidence that carries into other subject matters. As one educator put it, “Most...

Review Finds Bridges 100% Aligned to CCSS

Learning List , a K-12 instructional materials evaluation service, recently released independent alignment reports and an editorial review of Bridges in Mathematics second edition. Each grade level K-5 was found to address 100% of the Common Core State Standards. Number Corner second edition was also reviewed. Grades K-5 were found to address on average 95% of the Common Core State Standards...