My Xyla and Yabu App: Are the Word Problems Too Much?

Xyla and Yabu, my second app, was downloaded over 5000 times in the last two days, which is encouraging. However, I have a few mixed feelings about this app compared to my others because my other apps work more elegantly. By elegance, I don’t mean elegance in appearance. I mean elegance in the solutions we… Read More »

Better Design of Algorithms in Elementary Math

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to… Read More »

Does 5 = 5? Understanding Equality in Math

Me: “Is this true? 5 equals 5.” I write on a whiteboard on the table between me and several 2nd grade students: 5 = 5 2nd grade students, after a few seconds hesitation: “No, that’s not true.” Me: “Why not? 5 doesn’t equal 5?” 2nd grade students, in a rush: “You have to have 2… Read More »

Montessori Great Lesson Stories and “The Big Picture” in Science

“In science, they just call things different names that you have to learn. You could call something a blooky-blook, or you could call it a mooky-mook. It doesn’t matter. They’re just a bunch of names!” “Laura,” a fourth grader The Big Picture A good story captures our attention and imagination. We want to learn more… Read More »

How Working Memory Research Can Mislead Educators

Robotic vs. Human Uses of Working Memory? A simple example illustrates the importance of working memory for particular academic tasks. Try adding 3 and 9 in your head. That was probably easy for you. Now try adding 33 and 99. That was probably more difficult. Finally, try adding 333 and 999. This is quite challenging… Read More »