Math websites for older students seem to abound, but sometimes it’s hard to find those “just right” sites for younger children.  I’ve always been impressed with NCTM’s “Illuminations” site and, when facilitating an Electronic Workshop yesterday after school for K-2 teachers, we found one website that our teachers of these younger students just loved!

Students can make “Ten Frames,” which is a great activity to develop number sense, while discovering all the addends that “make ten.”  Recognizing number pairs that, when added together make ten, is an integral concept in our base-ten number system.  Working with these virtual manipulatives gives students the opportunity to construct numbers and to further develop fact fluency.

Visit “Making Ten” at:


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Dear Parents, Students, and Teachers,

We’re always looking for more interactive, fun, and efficient ways to build FACT FLUENCY in our students–whether it’s addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.  Please try out this website that I’ve recently discovered (recommended by a colleague—thank you Mrs. Amber Bishop!), which is incredible.  Not only does it give students a motivating way to learn math facts and develop fluency, it tracks their learning, offering them what’s most developmentally appropriate to work on next!

Please give it a try and let me know what you think!

Click on:

Have fun!

Mrs. Rose


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It was GREAT seeing so many students and families at Island Avenue School’s Pumpkin Fair on Saturday, October 11.  It was an incredibly beautiful, crisp, sunny, fall day and fun was had by all!

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Please visit the page link at the top banner of this blog called “WONDERFUL WEBSITES.”  Here, you’ll find some great Math websites for practice and enrichment, as well as these new websites I’ve just added:

ALGEBRA BOOT CAMP, which provides free downloadable resources, questions, and solutions on various algebra topics.  Click on:

MATH PLAYGROUND, a site for elementary and middle school students to practice math skills, play logic games, solve word problems, and watch math videos.  Click on:



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I recently had the pleasure of presenting at a Connecticut State Department of Education conference with a colleague regarding Instructional Coaching in Mathematics.  Both Jason Engelhardt (right), a 7th grade Math teacher at Polson Middle School in Madison,  and I have been involved in a three-year Math/Science Grant, which is a collaborative effort between LEARN, schools in the New London area, and Connecticut College.    We’ve taken college Math and Science content courses in the evening at Conn College; participated in Instructional Coaching Institutes over the past two summers; journaled our activities; studied Best Practices; networked with colleagues from area districts at evening meetings in content and coaching strategies; and coached colleagues in our home district of Madison.

We’re excited about how instructional coaching in the content areas can help to improve student learning and shared some of our experiences at the MSP Coaching Conference in Rocky Hill on September 24.

Here’s a photo of a display we put together, which shows our students constructing knowledge using Math manipulatives; our colleagues engaged in content and coaching workshops; and highlights of our participating districts, including New London, Groton, Stonington, Old Lyme, Guilford, and Madison, among others.

Madison’s Assistant Superintendent, Anita Rutlin, also attended this conference, including our presentation, and then took part in a panel presentation later in the day dealing with how districts can help to support instructional coaching initiatives.

(Jason Engelhardt, Anita Rutlin, and me)

 I’m proud to be part of a district like Madison that supports Instructional Coaching initiatives and Best Practices!

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It was wonderful visiting with so many families at Open House at both Island Avenue and Ryerson Schools on Wednesday night!

Parents~ if we didn’t get a chance to chat and you’d like to reach me, please e-mail me at: [email protected] or reach me by phone at 203-245-6475, Voicemail # 7158.

If you’re interested in more information about Fact Fluency Strategies that were discussed at Open House night, please click on the page link (in the banner heading at the top of the page) called FACT FLUENCY STRATEGIES.

Ruth Rose, Math Specialist

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Exciting  new research shows that girls’ interest in Math and Science is boosted significantly by parents and teachers who help to instill self-confidence in their female learners.  A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsis-Milwaukee (UWM) found that this self-confidence is more important for young girls learning Math and Science than initial interest, according to Science Daily.

“The relationship between confidence and interest is close,” says UWM Distinguished Professor Nadya Fouad.  “If they feel they can do it, it feeds their interest.”

Important supports to nurture our young girls’ interest and success in Math and Science include:

  • Parent support and expectations
  • Engaging teachers and positive experiences with them

To read the complete article, click here.

To “our” girls—-YOU GO, GIRLS!  WE’RE SO PROUD OF YOU!!!



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I’m so happy to welcome back old friends and new friends to a new school beginning!  It was great seeing so many smiling faces as students and their families visited at both Island Avenue School and Ryerson School last week, then again as we started our first official day with students on August 28th!

Please know that I would LOVE to hear how you practiced Math over the summer!  Remember the MATH SUMMER FUN PACKET that I told you about and that is uploaded to our school and district websites?

Click here to see what I’m talking about:


You can still complete the sheet of “How I Practiced Math Over the Summer” ~ it’s not too late!  Please return it to me at school by September 30 for a little something special.  I’m SO PROUD of all who practiced Math with your family over the summer, whether it was by playing a game while traveling; checking out some of my favorite Math websites; or playing the card games of “More” or “Pig” with a friend!


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december-2007-272.JPGIn a long-awaited report from the National Mathematics Advisory Panel Report (NMAP), released by the U.S. Government in Spring 2008, we find some important–but not too suprising– news.

“Children badly need both automatic recall of math facts and understanding of big concepts, in effect de-clawing both sides in the decades-long math wars,” according to this report.

In other words, there is a place for fluency of math facts (automatic recall) as well as the ability to construct concepts and understand philosophy.  Brain research shows that ability in mathematics should be looked at as less of a talent and more of a result of hard work.  Polls show that the U.S. is one of the few countries where residents believe that children are either born with math talent or not.  This research supports the belief that confidence in math, and thus prowess and talent, can be developed through exposure, practice, and effort.

The contents of this national report were welcomed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).  It is very important to communicate with our students, parents, teachers, and administrations that effort counts and that students who believe that working hard will make them smarter in math actually do achieve better.

Students . . . so let’s practice those Math Facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  There are lots of fun ways to accomplish this besides traditional flash cards.  Try games with manipulatives like dice, dominoes, playing cards, etc.  Read on for more ideas and great websites that offer exciting ways to master Math Facts!

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Parents—Help your children develop strong number sense by practicing subitizing skills with everyday materials like dice and dominoes.   Subitizing is the ability to “see” numbers at a glance, without one-to-one counting.  Research shows that students who have strong subitizing skills can more easily manipulate and partition numbers, which aids in computation and calculation of numbers.  Most youngsters can “see” a group of three objects or less quickly.  They will break larger number patterns into smaller groups to find the value.  Playing dominoes and dice games where children see a quantity quickly at a glance further develops subitizing skills, which is the underpinning of developing fluency in basic Math facts.

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