Archive for October 27th, 2009

Do the math

I am rereading a favorite little book I picked up in an airport last year– Encouragement Changes Everything by John C. Maxwell. Today’s selection was called “Do the Math.” Since I have just started writing a chapter on addition and subtraction stations for my new math book, this piece seemed quite timely!
Here’s a summary:
There are only four kinds of people when it comes to relationships.
1. Some people add something to life. We enjoy them.
2. Some people subtract something from life. We tolerate them.
3. Some people multiply something in life. We value them.
4. Some people divide something in life. We avoid them.
I hope that today you’ll think about the people in your life. It might be your colleagues, family, or friends. What will you add to their lives? Are you a multiplier? To do so, you must be intentional, strategic, and skilled. You must want to see others succeed and help them with your special talents and great ideas.
And while we’re doing math, what do your students need most help with when it comes to addition and subtraction? Please let me know by posting a comment here. Or if you have a math station idea your students love, post it here, too. We have lots of readers and they enjoy your ideas as well as mine! Thanks for being part of my blog.


This addition station uses little plastic ladybugs and number cubes. Kids take turns rolling the cubes and using the objects to think about the problem. A piece of black felt serves as a math mat to keep the activity quieter and to help children see their work. They record the number sentence on the paper included here. It would be great to have them draw a picture of their thinking, too. This might be used early in first grade when you are just starting to teach children to use the symbols for addition and subtraction.


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