I stumbled upon Open Middle in 2015 while looking for resources to be used as a warm up that would be easily differentiated for my fifth graders. While we had discussed growth mindset, had been using visual representations, and had engaged in some productive struggle, many weren’t prepared for the level of flexible thinking Open Middle problems required. I was hooked!
Rather than a sole emphasis on rote memorization in high stakes timed environments, consciously spending time on these derived strategies helps students develop the very strategies and algebraic relations that are necessary when operating with multidigit numbers.
This interaction reminded me of a talk Christopher Danielson gave at MCTM Duluth this past spring, using photos to encourage math discussion and Malke Rosenfeld’s Instagram Page, Math Off the Page. I was inspired to find the mathematical beauty as I explored Trinidad and Tobago the next several days.
Narrowing down to just 5 favorite Which One Doesn’t Belong images was difficult. Not only are there a wealth of resources on the site, following @WODBMath and #wodb on Twitter, and this Google folder expands your options to even more treasures.
Learning Basic Single-Digit Combinations (Facts): Developing Important Ideas in Mathematics; Part I – The Case
This is the first in a series of articles that proposes a different instructional approach and purpose for becoming fluent in recalling basic single-digit combinations in all four operations.