Skip to main content


Elementary School: Using Tools in Support of Mathematical Thinking

Clip 5/12: Day 3: Differentiating tools from each other


Presenting and Selecting Tools: Mia introduces the ten-sticks after the unifix cubes, because she wants her students to understand decomposing numbers and be able to break them apart in different ways before introducing groups of ten. In doing so, she reinforces three norms about tools: that they are to share ideas, that ideas take time, and that it’s important to ask before taking apart other people’s ideas, as they may be mathematically important to a peer’s work.


What tools do you introduce, when, and how?

Materials & Artifacts