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How to Teach the Area of Irregular Shapes

My class has been learning to find the area of shapes for a few weeks now.  But now it was time to move on to find the area of irregular shapes.  So far, my students…

Comparing Fractions Using Google Slides and Virtual Manipulatives

Now that my students were familiar with comparing and ordering fractions, the next step was to have them comparing fractions using Google Slides.  It is one thing to be able to show how to compare…

Comparing Fractions with Manipulatives and Math Talk

In  Part 1 of How to Compare Fractions, I explained how I used fraction strips to have students explore fraction sizes.  Comparing fractions and their sizes visually helped my students establish a benchmark fraction of…

Simple Ways to Compare Fractions with Manipulatives

Before I started teaching my third graders to compare fractions, I wanted to assess what they already knew about fractions.   True story.   I asked my students to write in their journal and complete this sentence:…

Distributive Property of Multiplication – How To Break It Down

Did you ever think that as a third-grade teacher or even as an elementary teacher you would be teaching the Distributive Property of Multiplication?  When I started teaching over 30 years ago, there weren’t even…

Learning Multiplication is More than Memorization!

I have a vivid memory of learning multiplication in third grade.  My teacher, Mrs. Bowman, drew three circles on the chalkboard.  Then she put five milk bottles in each one.  She said this is 3…

Why the Properties of Addition ARE Useful to Students

When my oldest son was in seventh grade, he had trouble with a problem in his 7th-grade math book.  It concerned one of the Properties of Addition.  I couldn’t believe he didn’t know the answer!…

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