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Math is Figure-Out-Able with Pam Harris

Pam Harris

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Math teacher educator Pam Harris and her cohost Kim Montague answer the question: If not algorithms, then what? Join them for ~15-30 minutes every Tuesday as they cast their vision for mathematics education and give actionable items to help teachers teach math that is Figure-Out-Able. See www.MathisFigureOutAble.com for more great resources!
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on June 12, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conve…
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What does it look like when students confidently and efficiently reason through fraction multiplication problems? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss more sophisticated and efficient strategies for solving fraction multiplication problems. Talking Points: How to model the commutative property in fraction multiplication. How to reasoning through "sl…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on June 5, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conver…
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Can students reason through fraction multiplication beyond unit fractions? In this episode Pam and Kim finish out last week's Problem String and build on those relationships to reason through more complex fraction multiplication problems. Talking Points: Can building Additive and Multiplicative reasoning with whole numbers help with fraction multip…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on May 29, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conver…
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This week we're kicking off our series on fraction multiplication! In this episode Pam and Kim describe a classroom's experience discovering unit fraction multiplication. Talking Points: We sometimes have to hear something multiple times for it to "click" What is 1/4 of 1/5? Suggestions for modeling fractions and why Layers of Reunitizing How memor…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on May 22, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conver…
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When should students use calculators? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss how to help students determine when and for what reasons to turn to technology. Talking Points Help students learn judicious use of technology Great game: Beat the Calculator Do you know enough to put that in your calculator? What about competition? What about speed? An easy …
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on May 15, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conver…
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Is your classroom a place where students' thinking is valued? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss building a healthy classroom culture. Talking Points: Know your content, but also know your kids Me versus us statements Walking the line of planning for the community and being part of the community A great place to start is recognizing 'hidden' stude…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on May 8, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the convers…
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What kind of instructional routines should you use in your classroom? In this episode Pam and Kim describe why instructional routines are useful and what makes some of their favorites shine. Talking Points: Unlocking creativity and reasoning with routine Content flexibility within routines The downside to one and done routines How to decide which r…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on May 1, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the convers…
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All students can learn more math when it is taught as figure-out-able! In this episode Pam and Kim wade into trigonometry and make sense of it as they go. Talking Points: Making sense of Pi and angle measure of a circle Defining radians Understanding the unit circle A Problem String using a unit circle The importance of modeling I Have, You Need wi…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on April 24, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conv…
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Got questions about the Math Is Figureoutable movement? In this lightning round episode, Pam and Kim answer questions and address misconceptions they've heard people have. Talking Points: Is it only about Problem Strings? Does math-ing have be done in all in your head? Is "one and done" desirable? Are we doing "Pam Harris Math"? Are algorithms bad?…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on April 17, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conv…
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We're so excited to celebrate our 200th episode with you! In this episode Pam and Kim change up their intro and discuss how the things they've learned continue to shape how they spread the Math is FigureOutAble movement today. Talking Points: 200 Episodes!!! Is the math mathing? Pam, a former mimicker Perspectives versus distortions Kim, a reasoner…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on April 10, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conv…
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Real math is never fun and cute, or is it? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss a cartoon they've fallen in love with that builds number sense intuitively and entertainingly. Talking Points: What is Numberblocks? What makes it stand our? Different representations of numbers Squares Doubling Math symbols Odd and even Who is Numberblocks for? Check ou…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on April 3, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conve…
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What can schools use to create a shared vision for math instruction? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss the New York Department of Education's Look Fors for School-Wide Mathematics Teaching and Learning. Talking Points Who is this Look For for? Specifics for equity around scheduling teachers with an eye on content knowledge and pedagogy Making spa…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on March 27, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conv…
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What conversations can teachers and coaches have about improving instruction in the classroom? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss the Look Fors for Teachers provided by the New York Department of Education. Talking Points: Coaching requires more than observation or modeling a lesson Avoid analysis paralysis Coaching through conversation How to inf…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on March 20, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conv…
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What goals do you have for your classroom? How do you measure your success? How to plan to achieve those goals? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss New York City's Look Fors for Students and how they can help us focus on the changes we want to see in our classrooms. Talking Points: Kim and Pam have different styles and personalities as the approach…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on March 13, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conv…
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When should you start developing which relationships? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss the important addition relationships for first grade and how to develop them throughout the year. Talking Points: When do I teach what? Download The Most Important Numeracy Strategies Free Ebook! We want students to understand relationships so that strategies …
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on March 6, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conve…
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Can we really be efficient in solving multiplication problems without algorithms? What about the really cranky ones? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss the quarter strategy- a clean, efficient, figureoutable way of solving traditionally difficult multiplication problems. Talking Points: Baby strategies! What?! A problem string for the Quarter Stra…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on February 28, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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What message do we want to send to students about compliance? In this episode Pam and Kim talk about the importance of respecting student dignity and separating math from punishment. Talking Points: Senario of compliance Reasons we seek compliance from students Math is not a punishment or taking it away, a reward Pam and Kim reflect on some of thei…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on February 21, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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A huge part of any teacher's life is classroom management, setting expectations, and compliance. In this episode Pam and Kim consider when compliance might or might not be helpful in a math classroom. Talking Points: Sucked down the Math Is Figureoutable vortex Would you rather have compliant students? Or have students who question? There are times…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on February 14, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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Thinking and reasoning is always more powerful than rotely memorizing steps. In this episode Pam and Kim demonstrate how to help students reason about Order of Operations. Talking Points: Nat Banting's "Oops, I Meant" Representing a context using the grouping symbols to communicate Demonstrate how mathematicians communicate with symbols earl Using …
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on February 7, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Order of operations seems more rote memorizable than figure-out-able, or is it? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss the pitfalls of teaching order of operations as an acronym to memorize, and offer a better alternative. Talking Points: It's about communication rather than a thing to memorize. The notation is social knowledge. The order is logical m…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 31, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Finding a fraction of something can be a tricky concept. In this episode Pam and Kim run through two strings that help reason about using fractions as operators. Talking Points: How are unit fractions related like halves, fourth and eighths? Scaling and Over Strategy with unit fractions Fractions as operators Why is scaling a unit fractions critica…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 24, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Does it really matter what we call the whole? In this episode Pam and Kim take a closer look at fraction problems where the unit matters. Talking Points: Kim and the beach How can there be 2 possible answers to the question "What is 1/2?" Focusing on the unit Naming the unit What happens when the unit changes? Help students focus on the unit, chang…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 17, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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How many people do you know that shy away from fractions? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss why teaching students to use step by step procedures to solve fraction problems actually leaves them not able to think about fractions at all. Talking Points: We love hearing your stories! What kind of reasoning do fractions engage? What happens when stude…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 10, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the co…
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Minus-minus, plus-plus, or is integer subtraction actually figureoutable? In this episode Pam and Kim use a Problem String to build real understanding of integer subtraction. Talking Points: The importance of having multiple contexts Seeing the negative symbol as "opposite of" Using distance Understanding takes time, but is so worth it! See Episode…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 3, 2024. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the con…
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Tracking students and sorting them into 'higher'/'lower' tracks is a topic that we have really, really firm feelings about. In this episode Pam and Kim discuss the unintended consequences of tracking students and offer some ideas to consider. Talking Points Who does tracking benefit, who does it hurt? Distaste for the vocabulary used to describe tr…
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on December 27, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies. Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the c…
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Happy holidays! Pam and Kim invite you to revisit Ep 87, it's super important! How do you navigate teaching math that is figure-out-able if your standards include the teaching of algorithms? Talking Points: All year long invest your time wisely helping kids learn to reason, increasing their sophistication of relationships and solving more difficult…
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