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Thinking Mathematically in the Fulton City School District

Kindergarten through grade 2 teachers in the Fulton City School District participated in a professional development workshop where they explored teaching strategies to support the new Common Core Learning Standards for mathematics.

Volney Elementary School teachers visualize the number five using two different colored chips. This technique can help young students understand and visualize the concept of five without learning symbols or mathematic formulas. Students see different combinations of chips that when added together make the number five.
Volney Elementary School teachers visualize the number five using two different colored chips. This technique can help young students understand and visualize the concept of five without learning symbols or mathematic formulas. Students see different combinations of chips that when added together make the number five.

Staff Development Consultant and Math Coach Torri Richards spoke to teachers about facilitating with young students the development of essential math concepts through number sense.

Number sense is a language-driven approach to teaching mathematics and involves working with quantities, instead of symbols. Students learn math vocabulary, visualize math concepts and then apply the concepts to the world around them.

Richards shared several language-based exercises that teachers can utilize in their classrooms to get students thinking and talking about mathematics. For example, Richards encourages teachers to utilize ‘math talk’ illustrations and ask the students to think about what they see, make comparisons, talk about things such as more or less.

In addition, she shared other language-based tools such as Cuisenaire rods and number bracelets that help students visualize math.

For more information about the Common Core Learning Standards and the shifts in mathematics and also English Language Arts, visit EngageNY.org