Challenging math puzzles have Cottage Lane Elementary School students debating and jumping out of their seats with excitement. These eagerly anticipated push-in lessons–known as Tangy Tuesdays–strengthen computational fluency and number sense.
“Students love these puzzles,” reports Technology Teacher Kim Guzas, who leads the lessons along with K-5 Instructional Math Coach Shannon Sorrentino and Math Resource Teacher Helen Scala. “They are fun tools to prime students’ thinking for an upcoming unit. The puzzles are differentiated so we engage the different levels of learners within each class.”
Scala adds, “Students get excited when they know we are coming to their class with math activities. It’s great to see the enthusiasm for the math games we’re using.”
This morning, Guzas worked with students in Anne O’Brien’s fifth-grade class on puzzles which introduce fractions in number, picture and word form. Scala helped Lawanda Lane’s fifth-graders collaboratively navigate order of operations challenges and Zooms with many fully-remote students. “I introduce the puzzles to them so that they experience these games even if they aren’t attending school in person,” she says.
Guzas attended a professional development workshop with educator and Tangy Tuesday creator Greg Tang last year and participated in free Zoom workshops he offered during the summer. Thanks to a SOCES PTA teacher grant and District support, Tangy Tuesdays were introduced school-wide this year.