What really is the correct answer? A better way to think about math problems.
There has always been a comfort to mathematics in knowing that there is just one right answer. You are either right or you are wrong. I am here to make that comfort a little uncomfortable. Recently, I gave out a poll on LinkedIn and Twitter about the following question: We can probably all agree that […]
Want to deeply understand your students? Ask them to explain!
At Math ANEX, we love to deeply analyze every bit of student thinking that we can. I just wanted to give a little sneak peak at some of the things we look for when uncovering how students think. Let’s take a look at an example problem. Plenty of students solve this question by saying that […]
We Are ALL “Math People”
(Don’t you roll your eyes!) As I spend most of my days thinking about math, talking about math, and designing math activities, I was curious to find out about how people identify (or don’t identify) as mathematicians. What does it mean to be a “math person” and who qualifies? What does it mean to be […]
What Makes A Strong Mathematical Explanation?
I recently had the pleasure of working with some Algebra 2 students while teaching a public re-engagement lesson. Students had worked on the following problem and we were focused on the quality of their written explanations. We first got reacquainted with the problem by having students work through it again on their own. We talked […]
See Proof That “3 Reads” Can Skyrocket Math Education
You have probably heard of the “3 Reads” Math Language Routine. If you haven’t, check it out. There are a few different versions of this strategy out there, but one thing they all have in common is they do a great job of supporting students in actually reading, making sense of, and contextualizing a math […]
Learning Cycles: A New Approach To Improving Education
You’re looking at year-by-year state test scores in math for two similar middle schools in the same school district. They begin in similar starting positions. What happens beginning in 2017 for the school represented by the blue line? How did they make such strong improvements while the other school remained stagnant? Quick Background In order […]
What We Already Know About Students
As I approach the end of another calendar year, I find myself reflecting on the successes, challenges, and lessons that I can carry forward into the new year. One of the challenges in my work has been finding opportunities to deeply connect with the teachers that we serve. Teachers continue to be overworked and pulled […]
Making Sense of Math Is More Important Than Computation
At Math ANEX, it has been our philosophy that there is a lot more to mathematics than computation. We believe that understanding student thinking is the crucial next step in math assessment. However, it has been a long journey trying to figure out how to measure the connection between the ways students make sense of […]
Another Way We Look At Math Assessments Superficially
Remember back before everything auto-saved all the time, how many times were you working on something, finally finished up it, and shut down your computer. Immediately after, you would realize that you didn’t save it and all your work was gone. If only we could’ve remembered before we shut everything down, instead of after. Does […]
What does “2 grades below grade level” really mean?
Educators are bombarded with messages like “Your student is two grades below grade level”. Does that mean that you have two years of material to catch up on while you are supposed to keep up with the current grade level material? And if you don’t, does that mean you will soon be three grades below […]