Articles - Page 11 of 11 - Mary Kienstra

Student Creators: Let Math be a “Movie Star”

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 8, 2014  in: authentic audience, Engagement, Math, math videos, movie-star

In the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, creating is the highest order thinking skill. It’s interesting if you think about it.  Kids love to create.  Yet often in school there are limited opportunities for kids to do any real creating.  This year I have iPads in my classroom.  (That changes everything – and that’s a topic for […] Read more

Make Math an Olympic Event: Go for the Gold!

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 3, 2014  in: Olympics. engagement

This year we have an outstanding opportunity to bring a real life event to our math classrooms.  The Winter Olympics in Sochi are just the thing to help our students realize that math is everywhere.  Let’s make math an Olympic event. The Sochi Winter Olympics are coming up this week.  What a perfect way for […] Read more


By: Mary Kienstra on: January 27, 2014  in: Engagement, Line up, Math, numeracy, vocabulary

Do the students in your class have class numbers or birthdays or any way that they can describe themselves with a number?  Use those numbers to get your students to engage in more numeracy thinking every day!  Use these ideas when it is time to call on groups of students or to line up in […] Read more

If it’s Friday, it must be Kakooma Challenge Day

By: Mary Kienstra on: January 17, 2014  in: engagement. computation, Greg Tang, Kakooma, Math, Mean, SmartBoard

        Friday has always been a good day at school, but this year Friday has become Kakooma Challenge Day in my classroom.  Maybe you’ve heard of the Kakooma game from  If you haven’t, take a look.  Kakooma Challenge gets my whole class talking about math.  They are so motivated in this […] Read more

Lanyard Math

By: Mary Kienstra on: January 11, 2014  in: Collaboration, differentiation, Engagement, lanyard, Math

        My latest idea for improving math engagement is what I call, “Lanyard Math”.  Funny thing about this is that it is just the same problems from the student book – presented in a new format that makes them very engaging.         Lanyard math is actually an idea that […] Read more

Grade Less, Measure More

By: Mary Kienstra on: January 6, 2014  in: Engagement, grades, Math, measure

Grade Less, Measure More.This is going to be my mantra for the remainder of this school year and beyond.  I can measure student learning every day using many different kinds of tools:  my own observations, written work, student discussions, exit slips, or whatever is going on in class.  These are not necessarily graded measurements, but […] Read more

Happy New Year

By: Mary Kienstra on: January 3, 2014  in: Engagement, homework, Math

It’s time to get ready for the second “beginning” of the school year.  This beginning is without the fanfare of the August/September beginning, but is at least as important.  When our students come back to school in January, they already know the routines and expectations.  They should be ready to learn.  But… is it time […] Read more

By: Mary Kienstra on: <a href="">December 30, 2013</a>  in: Engagement, fun, Math

Welcome!Are you looking for ideas to make your math class more engaging?  more interesting?  more fun?  You know the more engaging your math class becomes, the more your students will learn.Subscribe or check back here often to see new ways to make your math class fun!  Read more