Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers
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13 Rules That Expire

This 8-page article from Teaching Children Mathematics discusses how overgeneralizing commonly accepted practices, using imprecise vocabulary, and relying on tips and tricks that do not promote conceptual mathematical understanding can lead to misunderstanding later in students’ math careers. The authors provide a table of some "expired" mathematical language and suggest more appropriate alternatives.
Contributed by: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics - Publisher, Karen S. Karp - Author, Sarah B. Bush - Author, Barbara J. Dougherty - Author
This resource is included in the following PD Collection(s):
CCSS Practice Standard 6Common Core’s Mathematical Practice 6, Attend to Precision, calls for students to be clear in their reasoning, calculation, and communication through the precise use of words, symbols, units of measure, mathematical expressions, and processes. Students recognize various levels of precision and apply them appropriately; they calculate accurately and efficiently. These resources are intended to help teachers and math specialists understand the intent and scope of MP 6 and plan for successful attainment in the classroom. A companion Classroom collection, Implementing CCSS Practice Standard 6, includes resources to help teachers foster this practice with their students.
Math TopicAlgebraic Thinking, Basic Operations, Number Sense, Decimals, Fractions, Number Concepts, Mathematical Practices, Mathematical Processes
Grade LevelK, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6+
Resource TypeInstructional Strategy, Reference Materials, Article

  • Additional Information
    • AudienceEducator
    • LanguageEnglish (USA)
    • Education TopicMisconceptions, Teaching strategies
    • Interdisciplinary Connection
    • Professional DevelopmentYes
    • ContributorNational Council of Teachers of Mathematics - Publisher, Karen S. Karp - Author, Sarah B. Bush - Author, Barbara J. Dougherty - Author
    • Publication Date2014-08
    • RightsCopyright (c) 2014 The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
    • AccessAvailable by subscription, Free access
  • Standards
    • Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

      Select a standards document:

  • User Comments
    • 5
      Focusing on Concepts rather than Rules
      By bethb on 09/03/2014 - 16:13
    • This article reinforces the idea of focusing on concepts rather than rules. When teachers focus too much on rules children get frustrated because they don't know why they are doing what they are doing and therefore don't "get it" when "rules change".
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