I had forgotten this video, and then rediscovered it yesterday and loved it just as much as ever. Perhaps you’ll enjoy it, too — especially if you think of yourself as “not a math person.”
Annie Fetter is talking to classroom teachers, but her message is just as important for homeschoolers. Math is all about making sense. Let’s help our kids see it that way.
You can download the notes for Fetter’s updated session on sense-making and find several links to wonderful, thought-provoking posts on her blog:
How Can We Encourage Sense-Making?
Here are some ideas from Fetter’s updated notes, which expand on her comments in the video above:
- Get rid of the question. Literally.
- Ask students “What could the question be?”
- Get rid of the question and the numbers.
- Give the answer.
- Or give several answers.
- Ask about ideas, not answers.
- Ask “Why?” or “How did you know?” or “How did you decide that?” or “Tell me more about that.”
- Use active reading strategies.
A Few Resources to Practice Sense-Making
- Play math games!
- Talking Math with Your Kids
- Numberless Word Problems
- Numberless Word Problems for Older Kids
- Which One Doesn’t Belong?
- Visual Patterns
- Estimation 180
- Would You Rather? Math
- 3-Act Math
- Clothesline Math
- Fraction Talks
- Math Talks
- Graphing Stories
“I implore you, stop ‘cracking the math code.’ Make sense-making the focus of every single thing you do in your math classroom.”
Sense Making: It isn’t Just for Literacy Anymore