Under the Dome
by mwiernicki
5M ago
A partner game for developing student flexibility with number combinations to five and ten (or even 20) that has connections to the first Thanksgiving. If you teach Kindergarten, this post (and game) is for you! Ok, 1st Grade teachers can use this too, in the beginning of the year, or with more ten frames. I can’t believe I haven’t written a post about this. I learned about Hubbub about 17 years ago, when I was just starting as a math coach in my district. I heard in mentioned in a video that some Kindergarten students were watching to learn about the first Thanksgiving. Apparently, children ..read more
Under the Dome
by mwiernicki
7M ago
In my previous post, I shared my personal experience with playing with mathematics as a child. That reflection prompted some digging about when we as humans begin to think mathematically, and I found something fascinating: Experimental research shows that infants as young as 6 months have the ability to: recognize the approximate difference between two numbers keep precise track of small numbers, and do simple subtraction and addition problems. And when babies are mathematizing like this, they activate the same parts of the brain that are associated with mathematical thinking and reaso ..read more
Under the Dome
by mwiernicki
8M ago
This is the first in a series of posts about learning to think like a mathematician. This is my first memory of playing with numbers, questioning my own thinking, and making sense of new ideas. As my brother Peter said, when I shot the video clip below, “and this is how it all began!” When I was around 5 years, my older sister showed me an adding machine that was in my grandmother’s closet. It was large (to a fiver year old) and very heavy. It was completely mechanical and had 81 numbered hexagonal keys – 9 rows of 9 keys (see image, above). Each column of keys was numbered with the digits 1 ..read more
Under the Dome
by mwiernicki
9M ago
Back after a long time away! I’ve been very lax in posting for a while! In the past 5-6 years, I completed my specialist degree in K-8 Mathematics from UGA, began working as the Elementary Mathematics Program Specialist at the GaDOE, and had two kids graduate from high school.  This post, which has been sitting in my drafts for 3.5 years, is the beginning of the next phase. I have just recently retired from the GaDOE and am now working independently to deepen everyone’s (students, parents, teachers, schools, and districts) understanding of what it means to teach and learn mathematics. So ..read more
Under the Dome
by mwiernicki
9M ago
This is a lesson from several years ago, that I borrowed from a post from Fawn Nguyen.  Her blog post describing how she used it is excellent! In this lesson, students are given 5 digits and their goal is to find the greatest product without actually doing the computation. The fifth grade students I used this with loved it. We took two days – one day to introduce the problem and a second day to try it again with different numbers, and find patterns. This is a fantastic problem because of the connections to so much more than place value!   Day 1 I started out with the s ..read more
Under the Dome
by mwiernicki
3y ago
Under the Dome
by mwiernicki
3y ago
Let me just start with this.  If you live in Georgia, say within a 2 hour drive to the UGA Griffin campus, seriously consider joining the Masters’ or EdS program.  I’m in my first semester.  It’s amazing!  ‘Nuff said. Maybe it’s just me… I thought I understood everything I needed to know about fraction equivalence… until this week.  If you get to the end and think, “Oh, I already knew that!” I apologize.  This is post is really for me to reflect a bit.  If it helps anyone else make sense of fractions…well that’s just gravy! It all started with an assignment f ..read more
Under the Dome
by mwiernicki
3y ago
My lessons never stay the same.  They’re always evolving.  Recently, I’ve taken a look at some 3-Act Tasks I created and I noticed: Some of the tasks are lacking an act. Others have resources that no students ask for (at least students that I’ve worked with). The quality is low (shaky camera, point of changes, etc.) So, I finally had a minute (read 2 days) and revisited each.  Below, you’ll see the tasks I’ve chosen to revisit.  An explanation of the original, what I changed, and why I changed it follows.  If you’d like to skip this and get to the revisited task ..read more
Under the Dome
by mwiernicki
3y ago
When I was growing up in (rural-ish) central New York, we had one TV.  We received 5 local stations through the antenna on the roof (abc, nbc, occasionally cbs if the wind was blowing just right, then Fox came along, and a pbs station).  This was a time when TV programming on the major networks actually ended at about 1:00 a.m. with a video of the American flag waving in the wind and the national anthem playing.  When that was over, there was nothing on TV but static.  This is something my kids can’t imagine. Not that they watch regular TV that often anyway (YouTube, Vimeo ..read more
Under the Dome
by mwiernicki
3y ago
For the second year in a row, I had the privilege and honor to give an ignite talk at the Georgia Math Conference (Last year’s talk can be found here.)  What makes ignite talk sessions great is that you get a taste of what several speakers are passionate about and you get to walk away with at least one ember of at least one of those talks beginning to burn in you! Special thanks to Graham Fletcher for putting this all together (in pre and post production!).  Graham is top notch, “for sure” (Must be a little of my inner Canadian there). The featured speakers this year in the order of ..read more

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