# Susan Midlarsky

author • consultant • tutor | inspiring excellence

## Halloween Story, October 2023

This was written as a serialized story, just for fun, in October 2023. It’s reposted here in one part. So I’m sipping my coffee and taking in the dry but hilly landscape from my faded old camp chair. I found this spot a few miles from Lewis Peak a couple of days ago, and I […]

## Mobius Strip Puzzles and a Mathematical Proof

Mobius strips are easy to make. Just glue one end of a strip of paper to the back side of the other end. Then you have a twisted strip. Lots of knitters make Mobius cowls as well. It’s a popular and cozy style. The author of some of the books I’ve used with students, mathematician […]

## Animated Percent Symbol

This is an animation for my book. It is a visual reminder of the connection between the concept of percent and a fraction out of 100.

## Neural Connections: A Visualization

In Chapter 2 of my book (in progress, soon to be sent to the publisher), I discuss the amazing process that happens in our brains when they make neural connections while learning. Here is a brief video visualization of a group of neurons building connections between them, the process that happens whenever we learn something […]

## Fraction Jacks! Or if you’re British, Fraction Stars.

A common problem educators face is to make fractions fun and intuitive, especially if their own education was lacking in this respect. One activity I developed that helps with this, and can be done with children of a variety of ages, is Fraction Jacks. What are fraction jacks? They are not the game with the […]

## Educator Brilliance

Every now and then, when we make the space, our educators get a chance to shine. Sometimes this is when they work together in a way that is outside the routine. An example is one time I conducted an online workshop. As an introductory activity, the teachers went into breakout rooms. Their task was to […]

## Conceptual Approaches to Teaching Division

When observing a fifth grade teacher the other day, I noticed that while the students were engaged in many positive ways, they relied upon DMSB — Daughter, Mother, Sister, Brother — or some other mnemonic to remember the procedure for long division. They were also ignoring the value of the unit they were dividing. This […]

## Can you solve this?

Find the value of the shapes. Solve for each shape value. This puzzle is appropriate for grade 3 and up. Comment with your solutions or questions! Originally published on the Matholia newsletter. The solution will be coming soon!

## Bar Modelling For Two Types of Division

Many people aren’t aware that there are two different types of division. Even if you search the web, only one type mostly comes up. It’s the type we learn first: that when we share one quantity, we split it into equal parts. This is partitive division, or dividing a quantity into parts. When we divide […]

## What is more important than the right answer in primary mathematics?

“There is no right or wrong in mathematics:” a quote from a memoir by the daughter of Fischer Black, a famed US mathematician, that she remembers him saying often. What does that mean? When we learn how numbers work, we can do so in one of several ways. The way many of us have been […]