August 2006: Back to School Issue

Featured Topic:   Active Participation Strategies

Active Participation: Math is not a spectator sport, it's been said.   Teachers who regularly incorporate active participation strategies are better able to assess student proficiency, identify and correct misunderstandings and target instruction to individual student's needs.

  • See Instructional Strategies for strategies that require active student participation in learning.
  • See Number Line-Up for directions for the activity pictured at right and for additional place value activities and resources.

Math Templates:The use of whiteboards and templates in sheet protectors allow students to quickly respond to questions, work out problems, etc.   Teachers who use these assessment tools are able to easily assess student understanding throughout the lesson.   Check out these resources for some new routines to add to your repertoire of effective strategies.

Morning Math Routines

Daily Math Routines: these routines help students see how math is used in everyday life.   Students build strong number sense while developing proficiency with counting and calendar routines.

Math Games

Games to Practice Basic Facts: there are many math games designed to provide student practice of basic facts in lieu of math worksheets.   The best games encourage students to master the facts so that they can win points more quickly or identify the best possible move to accumulate the most points.

Game Day: Consider adding a "game day" each week to encourage independent pair or small group game practice of basic facts.   Students can easily cycle through 3-4 center games in an hour math period.   Using this Game Day center approach provides small group instructional time for the teacher to meet with students for reteaching or enrichment.   Students simply cycle to the teacher for 1-2 center activities, as needed. Game Resources:   The game resources pages contain many original games with directions, game boards and recording sheets in PDF format teachers can download to use with students.   Place the recording sheets in sheet protectors and store in the math game center for the most efficient use.

Who Has? Games:   These card deck games are designed to be used with the whole class to provide quick practice of math basic facts.   After the initial introduction, students can complete the activity in 2-5 minutes.   Timing the Who Has? activity and recording the daily times encourages the class to master the facts to improve their performance.

Recent Additions to

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Featured Technology Links: Virtual Manipulatives

Consider using these sites during instruction if you have an interactive whiteboard or a large display monitor.   These sites specifically target using technology to strengthen student understanding of important mathematical concepts.

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Visit this page for links to activities organized by math topics.

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Mathwire Archives:

See Mathwire Archives for past issues of What's New on and for past month's featured articles.

About is designed to provide activities and appropriate worksheets for teachers to use in their classrooms.   All activities and worksheets support the constructivist approach to learning mathematics and the NCTM Standards.

Activities:   The activities on this site were developed by Terry Kawas and the teachers in districts where she has worked as a math consultant and coach or with students she has taught in college math-methods courses.   The activities are classroom-tested by teachers and appropriate modifications have been made to reflect this field-testing.   These activities are posted online in an effort to share quality activities and routines within the mathematics community.

Terms of Use:   Teachers are welcome to download any of the activities for free use in their classrooms.   No activities may be copied for use on other websites or included in commercial products without permission in writing from Terry Kawas, webmaster.   Contact Terry Kawas