Active Participation Strategies

Using Whiteboards and Math Templates to Assess Student Understanding

Math templates and whiteboards encourage students to write in math class. Students may be asked to write the answer, show their solution method, define and illustrate a math vocabulary term, extend a pattern, etc. The use of whiteboards and templates in sheet protectors allows students to quickly respond to questions, work out problems, etc.   Students who are actively involved throughout a math lesson are also actively constructing understanding of important math concepts and demonstrating that understanding using words, numbers and/or pictures.

Teachers who regularly use these assessment tools are able to easily assess student understanding throughout the lesson and adjust instruction, as needed, to meet identified student needs. Teachers easily identify students who would benefit from small group instruction to clarify instruction or provide guided practice so that students master target math skills.

Organizational suggestions:

  • Have students keep frequently used templates in their desks for easy retrieval.
  • File template copies in milk crate and distribute as needed or have assigned students retrieve copies for their group/table.
  • Organize binders of grade-level templates and number pages. Students may fold back the cover to use a template. This method also works well when students use templates on the rug as the binder provides a firm writing/erasing surface.

Check out these resources for some new routines to add to your repertoire of effective strategies.

Back-to-School Activities

This new collection includes back-to-school glyphs, math-literature connections, problem solving activities and morning routines. Find some new activities for those first weeks of school.

Teacher Planning Resources on

Teachers wrap up one school year only to begin planning the next. Whether you will be teaching the same grade, or moving to a new position, planning ahead is a common summer activity for many teachers. Mathwire is also on vacation during these summer months, so take the time to search out some of the many resources available on this site as you plan for the coming school year. Here are some suggested starting points:

Recent Additions to

Check the New on webpage to see what's new on the site this month.

Check the Recent Additions to webpage to see the most recent additions to the site this month.

Enter your email address below to receive notifications when new content is added to Mathwire.

NOTICE: If you have already subscribed to the Updates but have not been receiving any notices, this may be due to your school's e-mail system that does not allow these mailings to be delivered. Please feel free to resubscribe using a different e-mail account rather than your school account.

Mathwire Search Options

New to There are several ways to search the site for activities by Math Standard, Math Topic, or using an alphabetical search.

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