The problem 11 + 9 was written on the board at the front of the room. Eleven first graders and nine second graders sat on the carpet, their facial expressions intent as they thought about solutions. I had asked them to try to think of strategies they could use that did not involve counting on their fingers. They did not use paper and pencil because this was what we call “Mental Math” time at our school.
Amy R. Kari and Catherine B. Anderson colleagues for eleven years, exploring effective strategies for improving the mathematical thinking of underachieving, at-risk students. Their teacher research has been supported by Judith Kysh, assistant professor of mathematics and education at San Francisco State University, and funded by the University of California, the Spencer Foundation, and the Exxon-Mobil Foundation.