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The Math Learning Center Blog

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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
We’ve all been through it before. We spend months teaching our students mathematical content and over time, we start to see them making progress. And then all of a sudden winter break sneaks up, seemingly out of nowhere. And when our students return two weeks later, we find it’s stressful to review concepts that we thought were secure, especially knowing that there’s new content to cover. This is...
Our curriculum specialists recently attended a workshop with Jo Boaler, Cathy Williams, and their youcubed team. We left energized by three key messages and affirmed by recognizing how The Math Learning Center addresses them. Math is visual The Math Learning Center grew out of a project funded by the National Science Foundation to improve the teaching of mathematics. Our founders developed a...
Pia Hansen
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
We’ve all had those conversations in which someone laments that math isn’t taught the same way it was “in the good ole days.” Our understanding of best practices in mathematics has changed, and change can be difficult for everyone. And it can be especially difficult to a parent who just worked a long day and is now trying to help their student with homework, using strategies they never learned in...
Looking for resources to educate parents? Bridges leaders Barb Blanke, Kimberly Kelly, and Jessica Djuric have compiled a wealth of slides, articles, books, and handouts that could be used for family gatherings, student-led conferences, back-to-school sessions and more. Visit their site, Effective Parent Education. For additional ideas, see Lori Bluemel and Pia Hansen’s posts about Family Math...
Cynthia Hockman-Chupp
Children need lots of practice, with various activities in different settings, to develop a strong sense of number. My kindergartners love an activity I call Estimation Bag. I place a small plastic container inside a canvas bag, and a student adds a single type of object: paperclips, pennies, barrettes, etc. We start with 10 or fewer and increase the quantity to between 10 and 20 after a month or...
Marion Leonard
Bridges students learn more than one way to solve multi-digit multiplication expressions. This enables them to select the strategy that is most efficient for any given problem. In addition to the standard algorithm that many of us were taught, fifth graders also investigate: Area model & four partial products Doubling & halving Ratio table Using quarters Over strategy While my students use the new...
Dr. Raj Shah explains why math is now taught differently than it was in the past and helps address misconceptions about "new math". Dr. Shah is the owner and founder of Math Plus Academy an academic enrichment program with two locations in Columbus, Ohio. Math Plus Academy offers class in math, robotics, programming and chess for kids from KG to 9th grade. Math Plus Academy is on a mission to show...
Jami Smith
The array model, used throughout Bridges, is the subject of “Arrays, Multiplication and Division” by Jennie Pennant from nrich.maths.org. The piece outlines how the array model supports development of a sense of multiplicative relationships and describes how to move students from building multiplication facts and tables to exploring division as the inverse operation of multiplication. The author...
Jami Smith