Bridges Blog

April Showers Bring Math Flowers

A colleague recently confided that dealing with bulletin boards was one of her least favorite parts of teaching. As I stared at my own vast blank blue wall, I could relate. I’ve often considered teaching my creative outlet, but I’m finding that with the increased rigor of Common Core and other teaching demands, I sometimes exhaust my creative energies figuring out how to fit everything into the available class time.


Life-Sized Work Places

Life-Sized Work PlacesAmanda Goedge, math curricular leader from Chippewa Valley Schools in Michigan, shares this fabulous tip:


Good Communication with ELL Families

Math opens the door to partnership with families of ELL students. One of my students recently said, “My daddy is real smart in math. He showed me how he does this problem. I showed him how I did it and he liked my way.” We have interpreters and we have translated materials, but even better, we have visual ways of doing the work. A picture is worth more than a thousand words for sure!


Tips for Work Places

Work Places are a favorite time in my classroom. The room bursts with positive energy as students are practicing, learning, and mastering their math skills. I’ve found this an excellent time to “dipstick” for clarity and understanding. Establishing Work Place routines takes time and practice, though. Throughout my 14 years as a Bridges teacher, I continue to find ways to help my students reap success and to help this time go smoothly.


The Power of Facilitating

The Power of FacilitatingSometimes at this time of year I get caught up in the get-ready-for-the-state-test frenzy rather than remembering how crucial it is for students to voice their thoughts with each other and the larger group.


How Not to Hide Out in Plain Sight

How Not to Hide Out in Plain SightHere’s what I learned when a colleague video-recorded my class recently: we teachers miss a lot! In the video I could see myself responding in great detail to one group’s work, helping them see what they’d accomplished and leading them on to the next steps. As I walked away, the camera stayed focused on the students. Seconds went by.


April is Math Awareness Month!

And this year the theme is “The Future of Predictability.” Students usually love the challenge of predicting a pattern, but the concept of predictability can extend into further explorations too. Try asking students to make predictions about future technologies or how mathematicians will help change our world.


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