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  • Mary Olsen

    January 17, 2023 at 11:25 am

    I was playing Monopoly with my grandkids over the break and my 7th grade grand daughter had to count the pips on the dice to add them up. I look at the dice and do not even see an addition problem anymore, I just see the sum of the dice as a number. I played a lot of board games growing up and this basic addition became automatic. But not because I sat down and practiced addition over and over. It just happened as I was playing board games. As I noticed this I decided I wanted to play more board games with my grandkids that have 2 number dies in them. So that they will see the addition automatically some day. But it also helped me realize what you are saying about automaticity. I take away two main things. As teachers we need to give opportunities for students to make sense of numbers, addition, multiplication etc.. through planned activities that are designed to help students see the math and experience the numbers. Secondly they need to have multiple opportunities for these experiences. Automaticity does not come from one experience. It comes from seeing the numbers in multiple ways over multiple experiences. Its making sense of the different ways to see them. These opportunities can come as a warm-up, a math game near the end of the bell. As an planned activity once a week where students work with manipulatives, draw models, show ways to make sense of what ever math they need to work on. I think every teacher can build these into their weeks. I think if we did we would see deeper understanding of student over time. But it will take time…and we must be committed to the process.