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Register for the Virtual Math Summit 2021

Look at the list of all the Virtual Math Summit speakers

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 106.  Today we are looking at Two of My Favorite Ways to Engage Students (Virtual Math Summit Preview).

Welcome to Build Math Minds the podcast, where fidelity to your students is greater than fidelity to your textbook. I’m your host, Christina Tondevold, the recovering traditionalist and Founder, where my mission is to change the way we teach elementary math to our kiddos. Are you ready to start building math minds and not just creating calculators? Let’s get started.

This is the last preview I am going to share about the Virtual Math Summit because the summit is this week!!!

Sessions go live this Thursday & Friday, July 29th & 30th.

Both of the presenters I’m sharing today are going to be a part of the Speaker Panel Q & As that are happening each day, so if you want to participate in those make sure you register for the VIP access or become a member of the Build Math Minds PD site so that you can participate in the Speaker Panel Q & As. You can see the options for the summit registration at  

Our last two previews are about things that I love: Games & Manipulatives.

Cherelle McKnight is doing a session about Game-Based Learning, which you should know, I am a big proponent of.

Cherelle is a mental math enthusiast and I was first introduced to Cherelle via Instagram (@powerasc) where she has been sharing about her adventures in tutoring.  It is really amazing to see the thinking her kiddos are building as they work with her.  I can see her passion for play and game-based learning through what she does in her tutoring sessions and in her presentation she gives us lots of things to consider when trying to implement game-based learning.

Cherelle McKnight:  In my last few years in the classroom, I stopped giving homework. It was a lot of… so parents want… a lot of parents, they want to see homework and some, they’re all for it. But some, they want to see something come home, that there’s still some people who are just really driven by the school experience they had.

Cherelle McKnight:  But I found that I had to do a lot of unteaching because this was right as Common Core was introduced. Well, not in my last few years, but as it was introduced is when I went to like, “I cannot keep sending home homework because the parents are going to do… they won’t help their baby, and they’re going to do what they were taught to do.” And it was just me having to undo too much.

Cherelle McKnight:  So instead, I started just sending home the games, “Hey, I want everybody to play this fluency game and play with a sibling. If it’s just you, then here’s a one-player game. Try to play with a parent,” but ideally, get those games where they’re playing with parents, so parents can see the math that we’re doing. They can hear their baby just talking all of this great math talk using all these vocabulary words, and they can feel assured like, “Oh my goodness. All right, well, no worksheets came home, but man, my baby’s really rocking it out.”

Cherelle McKnight:  So using those games, not only in the classroom, but if sending them home to be played with with parents and grownups and guardians, brothers and sisters, it’s just going to help strengthen… parents doing the math the way that we are introducing it, in the way we’re doing it in our classrooms.

Cherelle McKnight:  And then another big one, of course, learn from mistakes instead of focusing on them. That goes right back to the TED Talk of focus on the princess, not the pits. Pits are going to happen. Those things, I’m going to get some wrong. How can I learn from this mistake to be better the next time the dice are in my hand, the next time the spinner comes around to me.

Another favorite way of mine to engage kids in mathematical learning is by using manipulatives.  In this year’s summit, Christine King is doing a session about Using Math Manipulatives Vertically K – 5.

Christine has been a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and staff developer. In her current role as educational consultant, Christine supports schools and districts in stretching teacher pedagogy, deepening content knowledge, and thinking about how to integrate technology effectively. I love that in her Virtual Summit session she is making us stretch and strengthen our teacher pedagogy by investigating the usefulness of manipulatives across all the grades.

Christine King:  The number beads string is a collection of 100 beads grouped into sections of 10 with 2 alternating colors, generally red and white, for contrast. The number of beads string or sometimes, it’s called the beaded number line is an extension of the Rekenrek designed by Adrian Treffers out of the Freudenthal Institute in Holland.

Christine King:  The purpose of the number beads string is to help kids see quantity and work flexibly with quantity. It is a concrete number line and helps kids understand how they may represent numbers on the number line. The number beads string is very, very flexible. You can show magnitude of number. Imagine, we tell kids to imagine 1,000, but they’ve never seen 1,000, so it’s very hard to imagine because in kindergarten, they stopped counting at 100, on the 100th day of school. So it’s very hard for kids to imagine something that they have not seen before. But if you have 10 number beads strings, which all consist of 100 beads and you lay them out, kids can say, “That’s 1,000,” and they have a representation of it now.

Christine King:  You can also use a number beads string for things like rounding. I suggest you go to YouTube and Google Dr. Nicki. She has some information on utilizing what she calls the beaded number line. I call it the number beads strength, but she shows you how you could utilize it on various grade levels. A link to that is in the handouts.

Christine King:  You can also do addition. You can skip count by tens. You could do multiplication and division, and you could do fractions. You could do decimal operations and so much more.  In this example, we will be using the number beads string to subtract multiples of 10.

These are just a couple of the amazing sessions we have in store for you during the Virtual Math Summit 2021.  You can find the entire list of speakers at  All the sessions are free to watch through August 8.

Again if you want to join in on the Q & A sessions we have with the presenters, make sure you register for the VIP access or become a member of Build Math Minds those give you access to participate in the Q & A sessions. You can find all the details about registration (including the FREE registration) at


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As you start off the school year, I want you to keep in mind what is really important as we're trying to teach mathematics to our students.