February 14, 2019

Fun Ways to Practice Multiplication Fluency

Multiplication fluency is an essential component for success in algebra.  As students begin to move forward with their mathematical learning, slow recall of multiplication facts hinders their progress.

Having to spend extra time recalling or calculating basic multiplication facts requires as much focus as learning the new algebra concepts and leads to frustration for many students.  In contrast, algebra learners with a firm grasp of their basic math facts are able to pay close attention to the newly presented algebra concepts.  This allows them to process and master the algebra faster than a learner who is spending valuable time counting on their fingers or using tally marks to determine basic multiplication facts.

February 7, 2019

My 8-Week Challenge - Part 2

This is a follow-up to an earlier post I wrote titled "My Perpetual 8-Week Challenge".  I teach at a large local community college and two of the classes I am teaching this semester are 8-Week arithmetic classes to adult learners.  In my original post, I shared the responses many of my students gave about their mathematical background.  The common theme among their responses was a feeling that they had "struggled" with math most of their life.

My goal is to assist these students in overcoming their previous struggles by helping them understand basic mathematical concepts.   I want them to gain

February 2, 2019

Hands-on Activities for Decimal Tenths and Hundredths

Decimals challenge learners to understand a new form of notation to represent specific fractions.  Both the decimal notation and the fraction concepts need to be well-developed for students to master the topic.

I like to use hands-on activities to allow students the opportunity to develop decimal concepts in their mind.  I always begin with a decimal grid model for tenths and relate it to the hands-on fraction tiles we have used previously.  We take some time to practice decimal word names, decimal notation, and the equivalent fraction notation for tenths before jumping into hundredths.

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