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  • Katrien Vance

    July 5, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    I have just begun (in the past couple of years) stopping in the middle of problems to talk to students about how they are adding numbers (this is in middle school). At first, students think I am crazy. Many think there is only one way to add. After a few brave students talk about strategies like this–decomposing numbers and using the associative and commutative properties (though not with that language), others are amazed. It frees them up to try it, and soon we can have rich discussions about how students are adding. If students have not been “brought up” thinking like this, it takes repeated practice and opportunity to share for them to be comfortable with it and even try it without being prompted.