Make it Another Way

Rather than using the term, show your work, we have adopted a terrific alternative which is to ask students to share their thinking.  For some, sharing mathematical thinking comes easily, but for many, it does not.  Throughout the year of standards, we continually build math understanding.  It is important to have students fluidly access this information repeatedly all school year long.  This post will be all about how we Make It Another Way mathematically.


The act of showing a numerical representation or value in another way is presented to students with the support of math manipulatives.  Students model and/or write ways to represent numbers. Students can easily move from concrete, to pictorial, to abstract and display their knowledge in different modalities–beginning with a simple card showing a value and a space for sharing.  In the example below, students take the fox picture card and make it another way.  Most will count the total and show it through another manipulative.  Some will create an addition sentence because of the way the foxes are separated on the card.  These Kindergarten level examples show different ways students share mathematical understanding.

Make it Another Way make it another way







When students are comfortable with number values in many forms and representations, they can confidently apply skills in new learning.  Here we see how students use different math tools and thinking to expand representing a value across math strands of learning.  These examples have grown in mathematical depth of understanding from the beginning examples.

Make it another way


Students will naturally cross the boundaries of thinking if we allow them to make these higher-level connections.  To inspire this important line of thinking, we have included a range of math topics and standards for Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.  Through the use of this Make It Another Way resource, 46 math standards are reinforced grades K-2.

  • number cards 1-125 and up to 1200 by fives
  • picture cards 1-20
  • number bonds
  • addition to 24
  • subtraction within 12
  • base ten
  • word form
  • expanded form
  • adding 10
  • adding 100
  • telling time to the hour, half hour, and quarter hour
  • coins/money
  • fractions

make it another way

The important take away to make it another way, is to praise and encourage math thinking and expression.  Students will naturally be curious to push their boundaries of understanding when given the tools and means.  How can we provide this opportunity for our learners?  All of the Make It Another Way math mats and cards are available for you for grades K-2.

make it another way


Another resource that nurtures this skill is our Building Number Sense Math Mats.  To find out more about how to use these mats to foster mathematical thinking across math strands, read it HERE.

building number sense


As students move through the math continuum from concrete, to pictorial, to abstract, we support them with exciting activities to encourage easy retrieval of information in a fun way.  In short, math fact fluency and skip counting are done in a new way.  This Math Maps resource is an ongoing math fluency and skip counting builder!  Read about it HERE.

math maps

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