Equal is not an operation

Consider the problem "3 + 5 = ____ + 2". Any elementary teacher will tell you instantly the most common WRONG answer is 8. The teacher will then lament that students just aren't reading the entire problem. I'm not convinced this is the case. I believe students think that the equal sign is an [...]

By |2021-10-16T18:05:44-04:00February 21st, 2021|General|2 Comments

Diving into Division Part 1

Over the past few days I have had several discussions with 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teachers about the operation division. Division is often viewed as the most difficult of the 4 operations for students to master, and I am constantly looking for ways to help teachers better communicate how to divide. In my [...]

By |2022-02-08T11:38:46-05:00December 4th, 2018|General|0 Comments

The Best Job in the World

I have to say. I think I have the best job in the world! Last week I was working with a first grade teacher on measurement. The standard says to have students measure in non-standard units, such as paperclips, counters, or other objects. So we decided to measure the classroom in "Twitchells". Here [...]

By |2018-05-22T20:44:29-04:00May 22nd, 2018|General|0 Comments

Talking about Numbers

Mathematical Discourse In Principles to Actions (2014), NCTM proposes 8 principles for teachers to implement in their teaching of mathematics. The fourth principle is "Facilitate Meaningful Mathematical Discourse", while principle number five is "Post Purposeful Questions." One of the best ways I have discovered this year to implement these practices it to introduce "Number Talks" [...]

By |2018-02-11T00:09:30-05:00February 11th, 2018|General|0 Comments

Multiplication – Multiple Methods

To the surprise of many people, there are multiple methods for multiplication. Every so often, a "new" fad in doing arithmetic makes the rounds on social media. One that is currently going around is termed the "Multiplication - the Japanese Way".  Here's one video that shows the process: Professor Puzzler (www.theproblemsite.com) has [...]

By |2017-11-30T13:57:36-05:00November 22nd, 2017|General|0 Comments

Problem Solving – the Good and the Bad

Problems with Problem Solving One of the most important skills students can have, and yet one of the most difficult to teach, is the skill of problem solving. In the Standards of Mathematical Practice, it says that students should be able to "Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them." The skill [...]

By |2017-09-11T20:16:37-04:00September 11th, 2017|General|0 Comments

Problems with Problem Solving

One of the most challenging parts of teaching problem solving is encouraging students to not give up. One of the standards for mathematical practice in the Common Core references this: CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. I was given a link to another blog with one possible strategy to address this. [...]

By |2017-08-06T14:44:38-04:00August 6th, 2017|General|2 Comments

Welcome to Maine Math Teacher!

Welcome to Maine Math Teacher! Hi! My name is Brian Twitchell, and you have found your way on to my website, Maine Math Teacher. I created this website in the summer of 2017, partly to satisfy requirements for a graduate program I am enrolled in for Math Leadership, and partly to create a resource [...]

By |2017-07-22T23:34:34-04:00July 22nd, 2017|General|0 Comments
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