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# Improving Number Sense with the Divisibility Rules

I decided to make divisibility my first lesson of the year for 7th grade next year for a couple of different reasons: it is a skill used in many different concepts throughout the year and it really helps promote overall number sense in students. The divisibility rules (hopefully) help students be less dependent on theirRead more about Improving Number Sense with the Divisibility Rules[…]

# Discovery Lesson: Factoring Trinomials

Whenever possible I like to have students discover or figure out the lesson on their own (with some guidance from me, of course), rather than simply teaching them an algorithm.  One such topic is factoring trinomials. I start my lesson on factoring trinomials with a = 1 by giving students 4 binomial multiplication problems andRead more about Discovery Lesson: Factoring Trinomials[…]

# Breaking Down 2 Step Equations

Today I’m writing about a simple idea that makes 2-step equations easy for kids – a box “trick”. Students obviously have already learned how to solve one-step equations before being introduced to two-step equations, so I introduce 2-step equations by giving students a simple one-step equation.  The only difference is that I use an indexRead more about Breaking Down 2 Step Equations[…]

# Having Fun with Distance and Midpoint

How do you take a topic that isn’t overly exciting and get the kids to have fun with it?  I have found that getting students out of their seats and working with friends usually does the trick! 🙂 If you follow my blog you know that I have been sharing activity ideas (and free downloads)Read more about Having Fun with Distance and Midpoint[…]

# 5 Ways to Use Factor Trees in Middle School Math

I think factor trees are one of the coolest “tools” for middle school students!  Students tend to like them and they have several different uses in middle school math. Here are the 5 ways I use factor trees with my students: 1.  Prime Factorization This is the most obvious use of factor trees and it’s typicallyRead more about 5 Ways to Use Factor Trees in Middle School Math[…]

# Hands-On Integer Operations (Part 3: Multiplication & Division)

Multiplying and dividing integers are, in my opinion, the hardest operations to teach to students and it took me a few years before I found a good way to have these operations make sense to students.  After I am confident that my students are comfortable adding and subtracting integers, I move on to the finalRead more about Hands-On Integer Operations (Part 3: Multiplication & Division)[…]

# Hands-On Integer Operations (Part 2: Subtracting Integers)

After I spend 2-3 days teaching integer addition (click here to read my post on adding integers) and am confident my students are comfortable with it, I move onto subtraction. I start by giving students two color counters again and put an easy question on the board for them to solve independently: -5 – (-2)Read more about Hands-On Integer Operations (Part 2: Subtracting Integers)[…]