Loving Math: A Play-Based Approach to Upper Elementary Math, Part One

In this 14-week course, students will engage in compelling games, problems, puzzles, and discussions in a course designed to enrich the first semester of math for upper elementary students.
Jennifer Clark, MEd, NBPT
89 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 5 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.

55 minutes

per class

Once per week

over 14 weeks


year olds


learners per class

per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

For specific math topics and Common Core objectives addressed in each component of each session, please see the class experience section.  I have listed each part of my lesson plans, the topics covered, and the Common Core Objectives there.  To summarize, this class addresses addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, (representation, comparison, equivalence), decimals, probability, logic, estimation, multi-step problems, place value, algebra, estimation, comparison of whole numbers, decimal numbers, and fractions, factoring, prime and composite numbers, decoding word problems, mental math, classification, and communication about ideas.

 The goals of the course are to improve student conceptual understanding of math, while excercising skills and fluency and to give everyone an opportunity to have fun and enjoy math.

Students will play, both with games and ideas.

Students will explore math with manipulatives in hands-on experiences.

Students will experience math as a meaninful, compelling activity, with multiple ways to approach solving a problem, representing a situation, and developing a strategy.

Students will have time to think deeply about math.

I taught full-time for sixteen years, and math is one of my favorite subjects! I excel in teaching thinking, problem solving, and pattern finding, not just teaching isolated methods that may not mean much to students.  I believe in providing for play, discussion, and materials you can hold and move in math.  I have a Masters of Special Education of Academically and Intellectually Gifted Students, and taught in a magnet school for gifted students for eight years.  This means I am an expert at challenging students, delving deep into topics, and helping those for whom math isn't their greatest strength.  
Students may have homework.  That may consist of a pre- or post assessment, a fun game to play, design to create, problem to try or create, etc.  homework should not take more than 20-30 minutes, although some of the games we play may be so enjoyable that they will want to keep playing!  Homework will not be burdensome, may be optional, and will never be "drill."
Students should have the following materials to work with in class:
pattern blocks, such as those from Learning Resources
Cuisenaire rods, such as those from Hand2Mind
colored pencils
paper and pencil
a folder to keep work in 
Handouts will be posted on classroom page when needed for class
Students will be assessed largely informally.  Students will be given a pre-assessment the first class, and be asked to complete a post assessment in class 12.  These will help me gauge students' needs and growth, and will give me time to re-address areas that may be of need in the last two classes.
55 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.


Jennifer Clark, MEd, NBPT
Lives in the United States
Experienced Elementary Educator with a passion for math, reading, writing and science
89 total reviews
61 completed classes

About Me

I taught full time for sixteen years in elementary school.  I got a Masters of Special Education of Academically and Intellectually Gifted students, and have a passion and understanding for assessing and meeting children’s needs in multiple ways. ... 
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