Discussion Archives - Mary Kienstra

Giant Pencils

Giant Proportions

By: Mary Kienstra on: January 8, 2015  in: Discussion, Engagement, Math, Uncategorized, ,

A giant stopped by my class and left several of his giant pencils.  As my students observed those pencils, we brainstormed a list of things we could figure out about the giant by knowing the size of his pencil.  They knew that they could use ratios and proportions to estimate the height of the giant, the […] Read more


photo-2B-2-1

Let Your Students Decide: Mean or Median?

By: Mary Kienstra on: September 24, 2014  in: Discussion, Engagement, Kakooma, Mean, median

Some days, what you plan to teach is not what your students learn.  Friday was one of those days, but in a good way!   Every Friday, math class begins with Kakooma Challenge.  This game has become quite a favorite.  Everyone looks forward to the challenge and hopefully beating the other classes.  (Yes, a little […] Read more


expresson-2Bpic1

Order Matters! Learning Order of Operations

By: Mary Kienstra on: September 2, 2014  in: Collaboration, Discussion, Greg Tang math, Marcy Cook math, math engagement, order of operations

Nothing rocks the world of young mathematicians like the order of operations. Just when they are feeling confident with their math facts, the rules change! Now they have to follow a certain order – and it makes no sense to them at all! I introduce the proper order using PEMDAS as a guide, but there […] Read more


IMG_03531

Go For the Gold Part 2

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 27, 2014  in: current events, Discussion, Engagement, Math, Olympics

Today was the day!  I have always loved the Olympics and immersing my math students in these Winter Olympics seemed like a great way to show them math in the world.  All three of my classes (3rd, 4th, and 5th graders) have been researching a specific event and learning about how math is used.  Today […] Read more