Monday, June 12, 2017

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Double Digit Multiplication

I was on Pinterest one day and came across a picture where a teacher had written a message across the student tables.  The teacher mentioned that you could use dry erase markers on the table to leave messages for your students or have them do their work right on the tables.  When I got to school the next day, I very carefully took my dry erase marker and made a tiny mark.  Then I took the eraser to it and sure enough, gone!  So I tried it out with my students and of course they loved it.  I told them they could only do it IF an adult had told them it was ok and that they were not to go around and start writing on everything.  
So with this new "hook" I was ready to get back into our double digit multiplication.  They were using open arrays to figure out the multiplication problem.  You draw your array and then break your number apart by place value and multiply each part.  It really helps students see and understand what needs to be multiplied.  Breaking it all apart will help them develop a deeper understanding of how the algorithm works when they are taught that strategy.
I just wanted them to practice some and I didn't need to keep it.  I could walk around and take pictures and talk about misconceptions as they were working.  It was then easy for them to erase.  It also seemed easier for them to walk me through their thinking.
They had their choice of using little white boards or the actual table itself.  We did a little gallery walk after everyone was finished.  The thinking was so great!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Delivering the Mail

Earlier this year I was really working on recognition of numbers 1-20 with my Kindergarten group.  The teen numbers are really hard.  After a lot of work with building the teen numbers (a ten and some more) we worked on recognizing and recalling the different numbers.  
We played a game from the Kentucky Numeracy Project (one of my favorites).  This game is called Mailbox Numbers

I set up the, "mailboxes" around the room and the students had to pick up the, "mail" and figure out what box to bring it too.  The envelopes had different representations of a number.  There were tally marks, the written numeral, ten frames, domino, and dice patterns.  They had to count to figure out what number to deliver the mail to. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

There are No "Problems" in Math

I just came across this quote in an email that came from NCTM.  It made me stop and instantly think about what was written.

There are no problems in math.  There are only questions, inquiries, challenges, discoveries, etc. 
I hope I am quoting this correctly but it came from an email from NCTM talking about the upcoming conference.  In it was a link to Ed Burger's blog.  It is from that blog that I am quoting this excerpt...

Acknowledging the Only “Real World Problem” We Face in Mathematics

By Edward B. Burger 
November 15, 2016
For years I have argued that there are no “problems” in mathematics—there are "questions," "challenges," "conundrums," and even "riddles." Given that most people either live with "mathphobia" or belong to the “I hate math” club, it makes little sense that we would use such a negatively charged word to describe those joyful activities that promote the learning of mathematics. I regularly challenge educators to remove the word "problem" from their mathematical lexicon. There certainly are problems in our world, but, blissfully, there are no problems in mathematics.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Number Talks

Math interventions are up and running and I started them off this year with Number Talks.  Fourth grade focus for this round of intervention is multiplication.  I am trying to move them past skip counting into more efficient strategies.  I put up the first problem and asked for strategies on how they got the answer.  Between 5 students there were 4 strategies!  Then I put up the second problem.  I expected they would just tell me they used the first problem.  They did, however they used it in different ways.  They really seemed to enjoy talking out their strategy and listening to others and finding similarities in the way each person solves the problems.  We talked about being efficient, flexible, and accurate.  We talked about how we could make sure we are accurate by being flexible in our thinking and listening to others' strategies and maybe using that to check our own accuracy.

The next day I put up the third problem.  I wrote down all answers given.  During the explanations, they quickly realized their mistake.  We also talked about how we could use equations we know to help with ones we don't know.  We discussed how this could be more efficient than skip counting every time.  Number Talks are off to a great start!  I can't wait to see the progression of their multiplication skills.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Getting Started...

I ended last school year with this message.  School has started up again and I am remembering this message from a student.  Not because I want kudos for what I do but because it reminds me that I am here to help my students be successful.  

At the beginning of the year I don't have groups started.  I am busy assessing and analyzing that data in order to form groups where students can be successful.  I like this time because I get to work with each student in the school during a 1 on 1 interview type math assessment.  This somewhat short encounter actually really helps me see into their mathematical thinking.  I can then look at the assessment and really see where their gaps and strengths are.  

This year I am trying something new.  I am going to go into classes during math time before the groups start so I can see all of the students in the classroom, hear the language, and get a sense on how they are processing the concepts introduced and practiced.  I have done something like this similar in the past but am really looking forward to working with all of the students.  It amazes me how students learn so differently. 

It gets a little busy going to each class across five grades but the information I gain from the observations is so beneficial.  So, off I go...

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Second Grade Bowling Math Facts

So what happens when you have an evacuation drill and you get back to school at almost the time to go home so you figure your group will not be coming to you today????
Well...your group shows up and you make sure their teacher knew they were coming.  Then you get excited that they did not want to miss the math group even though it was almost time to go home!  Then you think quick because what you had originally planned isn't going to work because it was meant for the whole 30-40 minutes you usually have.
So you break out your wooden bowling set that was left to you by a previous teacher.  We had not used this yet.  There were 15 pins.  What better way to do some equations.  Of course the student in the top picture got a strike every time so his equation was always 15-15=0 haha.  So he made predictions on what the others would bowl and what those equations would be.
For the rest of the students I asked them how many they knocked down.  Then I asked them what their equation would be.  We talked about what they might need to do to get a strike.  We also took two people's total starting pins which was 30 and then subtracted how many were knocked down by each person.  They had to keep track of the 30 and then how many were knocked down by themselves and another student and then come up with an equation for that.  All this happened in about 15 minutes.  That was all the time I had with them today but just enough to get some math thinking going before they went home.