“It basically revolutionized my ability to explain decimals, while also promoting my use of number sense.
The kids are grabbing the base ten blocks like it’s completely normal. Perfect timing for me. Thank you. “
– Ryan Nast, Middle School Teacher
You share brilliant strategies and ideas for math practice. I wish I could have met you many years ago. I would have been a better math teacher.
-Darlene Bragg-Hounsell, Principal of Thornhill Primary School, Terrace, BC
I just did the first unit – and LOVE IT! Thank you
– Amei Mai, Grade 4/5 Teacher
When I bought a subscription for the Educating Now site I could not believe the wealth of information and support. The videos are great. The lesson plans are comprehensive and it is very well organized. I’ve embarked on a new focus for the last part of my career, and I’ve never been more excited!
– Anya Carrel, Numeracy Support/Resource Teacher, Terrace, BC
I can honestly say that my whole attitude to teaching math has changed. Now if you walk into my math classes you will often see groups of students chatting enthusiastically about math, using manipulatives to show their knowledge and fighting for a chance to explain their thinking to the class. My students seem more engaged in class and appear to have a deeper, more enduring understanding of the concepts than they did before, and I am having so much more fun!
– Nora Havelaar, French Immersion Grade 6 Teacher
Using manipulatives during math instruction has helped me reach more of my learners. That moment when a student ‘gets’ a concept that they have struggled for years to understand, is priceless!
– Jeni Scott Grade 6 Teacher
I taught it the way I was taught in school. I stood up in front of the class and told students how to solve problems and then gave them worksheets so they could do exactly as I had shown them. My students had no conceptual understanding of what they were doing or why they were doing it. I truly had no connection, emotion or feeling when teaching math, and of course this rubbed off on my students. They followed my rules and procedures and we all just went through the motions completing worksheet after worksheet.
It’s hard to describe my feeling towards teaching math now. It’s excitement, curiosity, the desire to always learn more and challenge myself, and the best part is that my students all feel the same way. You can feel it during our math classes, math is no longer a boring subject where we all sit at our desks silently completing worksheets with all the rules and procedures we have been taught. Math class is dynamic and multifaceted, it’s challenging and rewarding, everything it never used to be.
Of course there have been struggles along the way. When I first started on this journey, I really had no clue what I was doing. Using manipulatives was intimidating in the beginning, they were loud, kids touched them all the time and I wasn’t really sure what to do with them. But it got easier and now I can’t picture math without them. I think that once you can overcome the feeling of not knowing all the answers you will truly see the beauty that teaching math this way has to offer.
– Lisa Pushong, Grade 4/5 Teacher
Nikki’s ideas are very practical and easy to apply, even for a beginning teacher like me!
– Daphne Savard, Grade 7/8 Teacher
Educating Now is a resource teachers will turn to again and again as it provides a way for both teachers and students to get used to talking about mathematics while developing a problem-solving mindset. I encourage my colleagues to use Educating Now as Nikki’s video clips and lesson plans are an invaluable professional development tool that supports good teaching!
– Mary Chiappetta, District Learning Coach, Victoria, BC
I don’t see kids frustrated. My math class was less exhausting … and I felt like I was delivering what I needed to them in a more effective way”
– Darlene Ross, Grade 8 Teacher
“I cant’ believe the difference I am seeing in her. She told me she is actually enjoying math for the first time. Yay! And the funniest thing was when she said ‘Mrs. Fallan has done something to my brain and it is making me good at math’
Karen Fallen – Grade 4 Teacher at Marigold School – (Sharing an email from a parent)
“I think it built a better understanding for me by explaining it to my group in different ways and helping them understand”
Olivia, Grade 8 Student
“hearing other people’s concepts and ideas helped me understand”
Garrett, Grade 8 Student
“It empowers the kids; it’s student-centered, they’re communicating their understanding at a far greater level than just me at the front of the class just choosing students”
Dom, Grade 6 Teacher
“I love to be able to get professional development right when I need it – before I teach the actual lesson. I wish there was a resource like this for all subjects! In the beginning, there was resistance to using manipulatives from some of my students, but that resistance is gone now, and I see lots of “ah-ha” moments now as I watch students work through the concepts.”
Gwyneth Mcintosh, Grade 8 Teacher, Central Middle School
“Educating Now has been an incredible help in my first year teaching math to middle school students. It has been a huge time saver and stress reliever, guiding me with best practices on how to teach math in a meaningful way. I am so thankful for the easy-to-follow video tutorials, which have given me confidence in how I approach key concepts and use manipulatives with my class. Each concept includes ready to use lesson plans and additional differentiated tasks. My students are engaged and excited about math, and are learning to solve and discuss problems in thoughtful ways.”
Sara Conkin, Grade 6 Teacher, Cedar Hill Middle School
“Using manipulatives in my grade 7 classroom has really levelled the playing field for my diverse range of learners. For students who are at a concrete level of understanding this approach gives them confidence and the chance to be the experts. For my stronger students who can easily grasp abstract math concepts, using manipulatives challenges them to correctly understand the ‘why’ behind the traditional algorithm. Thanks Nikki for inspiring more inclusion and differentiated instruction in my classroom. By using manipulatives, I feel like I’m doing a better job of reaching all the learners in my math class.”
Kim Zumach, Grade 7 Teacher
“Understanding how to teach using manipulatives (properly) facilitates students’ conceptual understanding, something most adults never had the opportunity to learn. To be able to touch, feel, see, and experience math is powerful. It fills an enormous gap missing in mathematics. Kids that you feel like you could never reach suddenly understand. They really get it. There’s no better feeling for a student, teacher, or parent.”
Hilary Braid-Skolski, Middle School Teacher
“Last year my Grade 6 class was introduced to fractions. We used fraction circles to help them with their understanding. The students were quickly able to create their own equivalent fractions and make their own patterns. It was great to see students who self-identified as having low confidence in their math skills have ‘ah-hah moments’ with the fraction circles.”
Kurt Penner, Grade 6 Teacher
“Nikki’s enthusiasm for math is contagious. Her support and encouragement for teachers learning how to teach math with meaning has been tremendous. Her knowledge of brain science, learning and mathematics is considerable and she is continually researching best practices in these areas. I learn something every time I listen to her!”
Kari Reid, Grade 6 Teacher
“I can learn the same thing in multiple different ways because my classmates and I all do things differently. Also if I don’t understand someone’s explanation I can try and understand someone else’s”
Kylie, Grade 8 Student