Finding percents can be difficult for students - they are conceptually rigorous and typically found in a word problem. The solution? Strong instruction and plenty of practice. Here are a few tips and activities for calculating and finding percents. Make Percents Visual Percents are perfect for visual representation! There is no better way to do this than using a tape diagram. In ...

## Mastering Order of Operations

Order of Operations is a student and teacher favorite! Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally might be the most common mnemonic device to ever exist, so let’s chat a little bit about how to make order of operations engaging for your students. What is/are the Order of Operations? Order of Operations is the rule provided to standardize how to solve any problem involving multiple ...

## Self-Checking Activities in Math

One of the best classroom procedures that you can teach your students is the routine for self-checking work. Self-checking activities and self-checking routines were a game changer for me! Does this sound familiar? You just sit down with your small group when you see a raised hand. You vacate your small group table to check on this student when they point to their first ...

## The Benefits of Math Projects

In my classroom, students would respond with an emphatic, “YES!” when I announced the start of any type of math project. Despite that unanimous affirmation from students, I found projects were a challenge to plan and implement. Fortunately, Maneuvering the Middle has been hard at work to do this heavy lifting, so teachers and students can enjoy projects! We are so excited to ...

## The Flipped Classroom

A flipped classroom might be the perfect solution for the teacher who has spent the last year making instructional videos. Those videos represent so much time and energy - surely they don't have to go to waste when everyone is back in the classroom. We interviewed the flipped classroom expert to learn more. Check out the player to hear the interview, or you can read the transcript ...

## Linear Equations Activity Ideas

Linear equations require lots of practice as the skill progresses to include more steps and increases in complexity. Any of these activities can be used from the basics of simplifying expressions to solving equations with variables on both sides. Model by Using Algebra Tiles Are you surprised I am starting with Algebra tiles? They are foundational for concrete understanding! ...

## The Distributive Property

The distributive property is an important building block for algebraic concepts such as multiplying polynomials, recognizing equivalent expressions, and factoring polynomials. Since it starts as early as 6th grade, let’s talk about how to make this as concrete as possible for students. If you haven’t already, go back and read last week’s post on simplifying expressions by combining like ...

## Tips for Teaching Simplifying Expressions

Simplifying expressions is foundational in Algebra! Clear understanding of this concept will help students solve equations in middle school and high school math. Come back next week when we will expound on this concept with the distributive property. Let’s dig into simplifying expressions by combining like terms. Vertical Alignment As always, I like to take a look at the ...

## Structuring a 60 Minute Class Period

How long are your class periods? Let's discuss ways to structure a 60 minute class period. These of course are guidelines; sometimes albeit often, in a middle school classroom, things do not go according to plan, but it is always a good idea to have a structured routine for both yourself and your students. **Be sure to check out our posts on structuring a 45 minute lesson and ...

## Teaching Scientific Notation and Exponents

Let’s chat about scientific notation and exponents! I have found that the simplest skills in math are often the most miscalculated and confusing for students. Exponents and scientific notation can fall into this trap. Vertical Alignment Exponent Tips It is important with both exponents and scientific notation that students understand that they show a different way to ...