Q&A #19328

3rd grade math enrichment

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From: Claire (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Feb 07, 2008 at 09:57:30
Subject: Re: 3rd grade math enrichment

Hi, Susan --

Thanks for writing to T2T. I taught math enrichment in a K-6 school for 18
years (among other hats I wore). It sounds like you've been given a good
amount of freedom in designing your program. My strong recommendation would
be to approach the identified areas through rich problems. It doesn't do
kids, advanced or otherwise, any good to have mastered lots of procedures and
not know what they're for, or how to apply them.

Good problem can be the vehicle through which you teach the skills, but in a
context which gives meaning to the skills. They also learn so much more than
the algorithms, e.g., good math communication, connections, reasoning,
multiple strategies for solving and representation.

Of course, my favorite resource is our Math Fundamentals Problems of the
Week, which I write. ;-) It is a subscription service, but very reasonable.
You can get a free 21-day trial to see if it meets your needs. The problems
focus on the content taught in typical gr 3-5 programs. To test drive the
service, go to
Let me know if you have any questions about it.
I maintain some webpages that give teachers help in implementing PoWs:

Another tremendous resource is publications by Marilyn Burns. Her "About
Teaching Mathematics, A K-8 Resource" should be on every teacher's desk,
IMHO. It has lots of ideas for activities, as well as the rationale for her
approach, which could come in handy if you need to explain to teachers,
parents, administrators what you are doing. I also used many projects from
her "A Collection of Math Lessons," available for several different grade
bands. I recommend Gr 3-6. You can find all things Marilyn Burns at
http://www.mathsolutions.com/ including sample lessons and her newsletter.

I hope this helps. Please write back if you have more questions. I'd love to
hear more about your adventures. Sounds like a great opportunity!

 -Claire, for the T2T service

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