Mindset

Welcome

Welcome to A Pocketful of Pi! This site is one math teacher’s effort to change the way the world views math. If you are looking to understand the math your child is learning in elementary school, searching for ways to bring joy to your budding mathematician, or looking for some research-based information about mathematics instruction and changing your mindset, you have come…

Read More

Mindset, Number Sense, Resources

Nix the Tricks!

Have you ever had trouble remembering how to “carry the one” or had difficulty understanding what it means to “borrow?” Do you pause when deciding which way to “move” a decimal or how many zeros to “add” to the end of a number? Most people I talk to believe math is a {really, really large} set of rules and steps and…

Read More

Games & Puzzles, Mindset, Number Sense

Number Puzzles

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about making math relevant for students. Making math relevant really just means showing a student the practical purpose for math in a way that feels useful. The thinking is that kids will be more likely to take an interest in learning a particular math concept or skill if they have a…

Read More

Games & Puzzles

Fun Game! Math Dice, Jr.

Maybe you have already seen my post on the versatility of number cubes…aka dice…in the post titled “Dice Magic.” In it, I describe how to use dice to practice all sorts of math skills as your child grows in mathematical thinking. This post goes into detail about a great, commercially available game called Math Dice, Jr. In this fun and simple…

Read More

Games & Puzzles, Mindset, Resources

Dice Magic

Dice (or number cubes) are one of my favorite things to use in math class. They are super versatile and can be used to teach and practice a ton of concepts. They also come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, which expands the possibilities, and playing games is a great way to teach children that math is fun! For…

Read More

Mindset, Resources

The Many Wonders of Building Blocks

Do you remember playing with blocks as a child? Wooden blocks, alphabet blocks, interlocking bricks, over-sized cardboard bricks. Building blocks come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. The simplicity of the idea is fascinating, and yet there are so many things you can do with blocks if you just let yourself dive into the world of imagination. Where you see…

Read More

Mindset

Talking in Math Class

Most of us probably remember math class in elementary school (and beyond) as quiet work time. Traditional instruction included the teacher giving a few examples of how to complete a calculation, followed by students sitting in silence and working problem after problem on a worksheet. This might be one reason many of us say we don’t like math. Humans are naturally…

Read More

Mindset

The Power of Growth Mindset

This idea of growth mindset is prevalent in education right now. Actually, I hear about it in other contexts, as well, including in the small business and network marketing realm. It is at the forefront of personal growth discussions, too. You may have seen or read about mindset in a magazine article or even heard your child’s teacher mention it on…

Read More

Mindset

How Experience Shapes Our Views

We all have that one memory, or a series of memories, that shapes the way we feel about school. Some of us loved everything about our grade school experience. We loved being with our friends every day. We loved having access to books and crayons and monkey bars. We loved our teachers. We loved learning new things every day. The only…

Read More