Marilyn Burns Math Blog

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Marilyn's current thinking about math education and her ongoing classroom experiences and learning. Marilyn formed Math Solutions Professional Development, an organization dedicated to the improvement of math instruction in Grades K-8.

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

6M ago

The photo below shows the board at the end of the fraction lesson I taught. Well, not exactly at the end of the lesson, but just before I gave the students an assignment so that I could get feedback about their thinking as a result of the lesson. More about that later. As with many lessons, there was much to think about.
Before the LessonA few days before, the students completed an assignment that served as a pre-assessment for the lesson. I asked them to draw and label representations of two fractions―4/5 and 5/4. Here are a few samples of their work.
This student used a rectangular repres ..read more

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

6M ago

The post Adding 6 + 7 appeared first on MARILYN BURNS MATH ..read more

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

6M ago

The post Billy & the Pencils appeared first on MARILYN BURNS MATH ..read more

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

6M ago

The post Welcome to Math Class appeared first on MARILYN BURNS MATH ..read more

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

6M ago

The post Connecting Reading and Math appeared first on MARILYN BURNS MATH ..read more

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

6M ago

I’m thrilled that number talks have been embraced by so many teachers. I love using number talks for many reasons. Here are just some of them:
Number talks are an engaging and useful way to begin math class.
They give the students opportunities to explain their thinking and they give me a chance to focus on how the students are reasoning.
Number talks can serve a variety of purposes, including introducing something new for students to think about, focusing on an idea that we recently explored to reinforce, revisiting math ideas they’ve experienced earlier, and more.
Recording students’ ideas ..read more

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

6M ago

Here’s a problem from the Listening to Learn (LTL) Interview 4, adding and subtracting within 100. It’s a missing number problem and, when we interview, we show students this card.
As with all of LTL interview questions, we ask students to solve the problem without paper and pencil, by reasoning in their head. How would you figure out the answer?
Two Different Ways of ReasoningHere are video clips of how two students solved it, each getting the correct answer of 15, but each figuring out the answer in a different way. Take a look.
What I Noticed from Listening to Meeyah and Rocco
Both ar ..read more

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

6M ago

The first time I looked at the video clip of Adrian explaining why 5/6 is greater than 1/4, my reaction was “WHOA!” I was completely baffled by how Adrian reasoned. Here’s what I did to understand Adrian’s thinking and then to prepare for using the video with a class of 4th graders.
Listen to AdrianA great deal is packed into this 38-second video clip of Adrian figuring out his thinking as he talked.
https://marilynburnsmath.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Adrian-Comparing-Fractions.mp4
What I Noticed from Listening to AdrianNote: This is one of the questions from Listening to Learn, Inte ..read more

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

6M ago

This blog describes a lesson I recently taught that has my head spinning (in a good way). I realize that the blog is longer than most I’ve posted, but I wanted to include all the juicy details that help describe what actually happened during the lesson.
Allison teaches second grade in Mill Valley, CA. She’s participating in the district’s project to use Listening to Learn interviews to help inform math instruction. From interviewing her entire class, Allison learned that almost half of the students did not demonstrate applying the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction. (Read m ..read more

Marilyn Burns Math Blog

6M ago

In this blog, I present a lesson called What Was Nathan Thinking? The lesson is built on a video clip of Nathan explaining to Rusty Bresser how he knows that 6 x 5 = 30. It’s a short video clip, less than 15 seconds, but offers a great deal for students to think about. Take a look.
I’ve organized the blog into three parts:
PART 1 presents a lesson plan for using the video. PART 2 describes what happened when two different teachers tried the lesson, one with fourth graders and one with fifth graders. PART 3 expands on the mathematical potential of the lesson and offers suggestions f ..read more