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Math teacher educator Pam Harris and her cohost Kim Montague answer the question: If not algorithms, then what?Join them for ~15 minutes every Tuesday as they cast their vision for mathematics education and give actionable items to help teachers teach math that is Figure-Out-Able. See www.MathisFigureOutAble.com for more great resources!
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A huge part of any teacher's life is classroom management, setting expectations, and compliance. In this episode Pam and Kim consider when compliance might or might not be helpful in a math classroom. Talking Points: Sucked down the Math Is Figureoutable vortex Would you rather have compliant students? Or have students who question? There are times…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on February 14, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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Thinking and reasoning is always more powerful than rotely memorizing steps. In this episode Pam and Kim demonstrate how to help students reason about Order of Operations. Talking Points: Nat Banting's "Oops, I Meant" Representing a context using the grouping symbols to communicate Demonstrate how mathematicians communicate with symbols earl Using …
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on February 7, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Order of operations seems more rote memorizable than figure-out-able, or is it? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss the pitfalls of teaching order of operations as an acronym to memorize, and offer a better alternative. Talking Points: It's about communication rather than a thing to memorize. The notation is social knowledge. The order is logical m…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 31, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Finding a fraction of something can be a tricky concept. In this episode Pam and Kim run through two strings that help reason about using fractions as operators. Talking Points: How are unit fractions related like halves, fourth and eighths? Scaling and Over Strategy with unit fractions Fractions as operators Why is scaling a unit fractions critica…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 24, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Does it really matter what we call the whole? In this episode Pam and Kim take a closer look at fraction problems where the unit matters. Talking Points: Kim and the beach How can there be 2 possible answers to the question "What is 1/2?" Focusing on the unit Naming the unit What happens when the unit changes? Help students focus on the unit, chang…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 17, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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How many people do you know that shy away from fractions? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss why teaching students to use step by step procedures to solve fraction problems actually leaves them not able to think about fractions at all. Talking Points: We love hearing your stories! What kind of reasoning do fractions engage? What happens when stude…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 10, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Minus-minus, plus-plus, or is integer subtraction actually figureoutable? In this episode Pam and Kim use a Problem String to build real understanding of integer subtraction. Talking Points: The importance of having multiple contexts Seeing the negative symbol as "opposite of" Using distance Understanding takes time, but is so worth it! See Episode…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 3, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the con…
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Tracking students and sorting them into 'higher'/'lower' tracks is a topic that we have really, really firm feelings about. In this episode Pam and Kim discuss the unintended consequences of tracking students and offer some ideas to consider. Talking Points Who does tracking benefit, who does it hurt? Distaste for the vocabulary used to describe tr…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on December 27, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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Happy holidays! Pam and Kim invite you to revisit Ep 87, it's super important! How do you navigate teaching math that is figure-out-able if your standards include the teaching of algorithms? Talking Points: All year long invest your time wisely helping kids learn to reason, increasing their sophistication of relationships and solving more difficult…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on December 20, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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Can integer subtraction feel intuitive without rote memory? In this episode Pam and Kim delve into a Problem String and explore integer subtraction relationships. Talking Points: Integer chips? Students reason about subtracting integers Distance versus removal Problem String subtracting integers in context When context is less helpful Don't go to r…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on December 13, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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Mimicking rules for integer operations does not help students become doers of Real Math, and frankly doesn't often stick in their long term memory. In this episode Pam and Kim walk through a Problem String that helps students develop an intuitive understanding of integer addition! Talking Points: Exploring the beach as a context Equations and numbe…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on December 6, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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How can we help students reason about integers? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss fun and natural ways to explore and understand both positive and negative integers. Talking Points: The Pen/Pencil argument continues 5th graders can reason about integers Games do develp understanding of integers Clothes line math with integers Exploring four usefu…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on November 29, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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How do you label fractions on an open number line? How do you label a fraction of a candy bar? How many cuts do you make to cut a candy bar into fourths? Pam and Kim invite you to revisit episode 138, this time with an ear towards fractions. Do your students ever get confused about counting obects vs counting distance? In this episode 138 Pam and K…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on November 22, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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What does it mean when we say 'fake math' or 'less sophisticated'? Pam and Kim discuss how learning Real Math is empowering and opens a whole new world of understanding. Talking Points: Are squared numbers an important thing to own? The Matrix It takes experience to understand perspectives Martians Doing 'fake math' or using a 'less sophisticated' …
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on November 15, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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We can be our own kids' best teachers, even when it comes to gnarly division problems. In this episode Pam and Kim relay their experiences exploring decimal division with their own kids. Talking Points: A tool for holding your thinking - a ratio table It's not about how much you can hold in your head Help them start with what they know Problem Stri…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on November 8, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Recorded live from NCTM! Pam and Kim discuss some of their experiences and takeaways from the 2023 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference. Talking Points: Travel stories As kids grow, teachers grow as well Know your content know your kids to choose Problem Strings for your students Tools that focus on answer getting stifle students …
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Place value is so much more than labeling digits. In this episode Pam and Kim dive into place value and common teaching practices that are necessary, but not enough. Talking Points: A fascination with the macabre Typical place value labeling and additional things you can think about to develop place value Precise questioning yields deeper place val…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on October 25, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Division is figure-out-able! In this episode Pam and Kim discuss the most sophisticated strategy for division and precursors that students can begin developing in the fourth grade! Talking Points: An Equivalent Ratios Problem String Precursor relationships Scaling up or Scaling down What makes Equivalent Ratios the most sophisticated strategy for d…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on October 18, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Our students can learn to approach math problems like mathematicians! In this episode Pam and Kim look at one of the most sophisticated multiplication strategies that many mathematicians use. Talking Points: Creating an equivalent problem by Doubling and Halving. What makes a problem reasonable to solve without a calculator? Double/Halve; Triple/Fi…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on October 11, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Some subtraction strategies can only get you so far, but with a little more sophistication complex problems become really nice to think and reason about! In this episode Pam and Kim build and discuss the Constant Difference strategy for subtraction and use it to solve a really gnarly problem. Talking Points: Equivalence strategies are more sophisti…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on October 4, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the con…
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What makes a strategy sophisticated? In this episode Pam and Kim build the most sophisticated strategy and talk about how and why to develop it with students. Talking Points: What are the most sophisticated strategies? Strategies that require more simultaneity require more time to develop Simultaneous versus sequential Representing Give and Take We…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on September 27, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the …
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Kids learn best with support from their parents, and helping with math has never been easier! In this episode, Pam and Kim are excited to share some tips about how to encourage your children as they grow in mathematical thinking and reasoning. Talking Points: Wait a little longer Resist the urge to tell the right answer Ask questions to cement the …
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on September 20, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the …
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This one's for all you, parents! How can you support your children in becoming mathematicians? In this episode Pam and Kim go over their favorite ways to explore math at home in fun game-like activities. Talking Points: Speak about math positively Wondering Doubling and Halving Using 10s to find 9s and using 10s to find 5s I Have, You Need Get the …
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on September 13, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the …
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Can you reason about what it means for a point to be within a given quadrant? Can your students? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss weather and geography to develop understanding of the quadrants in the cartesian coordinate system. Talking Points: Understanding points relative to their quadrants and the y = x line Kim's connection to Alaska What m…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on September 6, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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Let's do some guessing! In this episode Pam and Kim develop some functional reasoning by analyzing the relationships between their guesses and reality. Talking Points: Pam's guesses using her pop culture knowledge How would you know if you are a good guesser? Graphing guesses and actual age as an ordered pair Using the data to discuss the meaning o…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on August 30, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the con…
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