grade 4

AdditionDo The MathGeneral InterestInterviews One-on-OneListening to LearnMath and LiteratureNumber and OperationsNumerical ReasoningPlace Value

A Children’s Book, Differentiating Math Instruction, and More

I love incorporating children’s books into math lessons. Since most of my teaching focuses on math, it’s a treat for me to read a book aloud to a class. After the students have a chance to enjoy the story and respond to the illustrations, then I use the book as a springboard for a math lesson.
Marilyn Burns
August 31, 2021
General InterestMental MathNumber and OperationsNumerical Reasoning

What Are Good Math Questions to Ask Students?

Good Questions for Math Teaching is a Math Solutions book that has long been one of my favorites. It’s a resource that I dip into when I feel the need for something fresh. And it speaks directly to our current shelter-in-place coronavirus crisis as many of us look for ways to mathematically engage students online, children at home, or both. Here are samples to get you started. I’ll continue to post more ideas on Twitter (@mburnsmath).
Marilyn Burns
March 17, 2020
Angle MeasurementBooks by MarilynGeneral InterestGeometryMultiplicationNumerical Reasoning

Teaching about Angles―A Hands-On Approach

What am I doing on the floor? Teaching angles to fourth graders. Read about how instruction using Pattern Blocks and hinged mirrors, along with supporting number talks, can help students learn to understand and measure angles. Here I present a (sort of) photo essay to describe what actually occurred over the first three days of instruction. Ideas for continuing the instruction follow.
Marilyn Burns
April 29, 2019
DecimalsGeneral InterestMultiplicationNumber and OperationsNumerical ReasoningReal-World ProblemsVideosWord Problems

When You Multiply by 10, Just Add a Zero? Horrors!?!

Have you ever asked students to solve 12.6 x 10, and they respond that the answer is 12.60? I have, many times. Students who do this apply a pattern that works when they multiply whole numbers by 10—they tack on a zero to the end of the number they’re multiplying. But then they apply the same pattern when working with decimals. What can we do?
Marilyn Burns
October 1, 2018
DivisionGeneral InterestNumber and OperationsNumerical ReasoningReal-World ProblemsSilent MathWord Problems

One Lesson, Two Pedagogical Mistakes

I believe strongly that mistakes are learning opportunities. At least that’s what I regularly tell students. But it sometimes feels different when the mistakes are mine . . . and especially when they are pedagogical mistakes that I make while teaching. That happened to me recently when teaching a lesson to fourth graders.

Marilyn Burns
January 1, 2018
GamesGeneral InterestMultiplicationNumber and Operations

Multiplication Bingo

Will Multiplication Bingo guarantee that students learn the multiplication facts? No. But it will help familiarize them with factors and multiples, engage them in a game that involves both luck and strategy, encourage them to make conjectures, and have them use data to guide decisions. Plus, the game provides a way to send home information to families about how their children are being asked to think and reason in math class.
Marilyn Burns
November 28, 2016
GamesMultiplicationNumber and OperationsNumerical Reasoning

The Game of Pathways

I like the multiplication game of Pathways. It engages students’ interest, helps develop their familiarity with the times table, and encourages them to think strategically. It's been a part of my teaching for a long time. Recently I came up with a way to introduce the game that made it easier for students to learn to play. It was a huge success. Read about what I did and how the students reacted.
Marilyn Burns
March 10, 2016
DataGeneral InterestNumber and OperationsReal-World ProblemsStatistics and Probability

Alphabetical Probability

Read how 7th graders collected and analyzed data about the frequency of letters. They chose sentences, recorded the frequency of letters, and put their data on a class chart. Then we compared the class results to the actual frequencies of letters. Engaging the students in collecting their own data gave them an authentic math experience, not rigged by me in any way.
Marilyn Burns
October 18, 2015
General InterestNumber and OperationsNumerical ReasoningSubtraction

Why I Like Using Open Number Lines (Though I Don’t Like the Name)

This post is about subtraction, which is typically difficult for students to learn and for teachers to teach. Think about 503 – 398, for example. To estimate the answer, I can change the problem to 500 – 400 (rounding 503 to 500 and 398 to 400). That gives me an estimate of 100, which I know is close. But how can I know if the actual answer to 503 – 398 is greater or less than 100? I raised this question with third graders.
Marilyn Burns
February 25, 2015