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The Math Learning Center Blog

Cynthia Hockman-Chupp, Special Advisor

As each new school year begins, teachers consider how to help students build confidence with the tools and manipulatives they will use throughout the year. In Work Places, for example, we allow students to explore materials like Unifix cubes, pattern blocks, and dominoes before they use them in actual gameplay. In this relaxed setting, students generate interest and excitement in classroom resources while they investigate materials and establish norms for their use and care.

Rick Ludeman, Chief Executive Officer
To minimize the sharing of physical items in the classroom, and to facilitate hands-on learning opportunities at home, we have created two options for providing students in Bridges schools and districts with their own materials kit: 
    • Student Kits: Each boxed kit provides the key manipulatives and other components needed by one student. 
    • Completer Kits: Additional quantities of selected items that, when combined with existing Bridges classroom kits, provide enough materials to create 30 individual student kits.

Patrick Vennebush, Chief Learning Officer and Nicole Rigelman, Chief Academic Officer

With the end of the school year approaching, districts are making plans for a highly uncertain future. To assist schools and districts with their planning, The Math Learning Center is preparing a collection of resources that can be used whether schools re-open or if remote learning continues.

Rick Ludeman, CEO

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.

– Dr. Martin Luther King

A large dog and a small dog. When the small dog sits on the table, the two dogs are the same height. When the large dog sits on the table, it is 100 inches "taller" than the small dog. What do you wonder?
Patrick Vennebush, Chief Learning Officer

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Due to the impacts of COVID-19, NCTM decided to cancel its Centennial Annual Meeting and Exposition, which was to be held April 1–4 in Chicago. Instead, NCTM is celebrating the centennial year and supporting the math community by presenting virtual learning activities. Dubbed 100 Days of Professional Learning, these 100 free webinars are being held on select days from April through October.

I was honored when Mike Shaughnessy, a past president of NCTM and a former employee of MLC, asked if I’d present my session in Chicago. When that couldn’t happen, I was happy to have the opportunity to deliver “100 Problems Involving the Number 100” as one of the virtual webinars.

Image of the Number Pieces App with 2 × 11
Tod Johnston & Kellie Petrick

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 to enrich learning. Participants became familiar with the apps by exploring a series of hands-on activities. Notably, participants learned how to produce share codes, eight-character codes that can be used to share a particular problem or activity within an app. Share codes were used with the Number Piece app to show how students might share ideas with their teacher.

Weren’t able to attend the webinar? Check out the recording.

Patrick Vennebush, Chief Learning Officer

UPDATE (4/1/20): We have created Math at Home resources by grade level (PK-5) to help educators, students, and families with this sudden shift to home learning.

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In recent days, we’ve had a number of conversations with Bridges educators who are preparing for the possibility of school closures due to the COVID-19 virus. These closures would obviously present a major disruption for educators, parents, and students. While remote learning is not ideal for elementary students, it may be necessary in some areas. To support educators in these trying circumstances, we put together some ideas and recommendations.

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