Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Getting the School Year Rolling!

Hey friends!

We are almost a month into the school year and finally making some progress to feeling like "normal school." We are done with our anchor charts, our rules, establishing our routines & procedures. Now, we can get to the good stuff!

I mentioned previously that I attended a Math Workshop this summer led by Math Solutions. They talked a lot about "Math Talks" and I decided that math talks and math through literacy would be my goal for this year. So far, both are going well!
My school purchased Math Reads for each grade level. I haven't had time to explore all of the books, but I have had a chance to use one of them! Last week, we used the book A Squash and A Squeeze. It is a silly book about a bunch of animals that an old lady puts in her house and then shoos out. The Math Reads pamphlet gives many ideas for class lessons. I chose to use 3 of them.
On Tuesday afternoon, we read the book during our reading block so that they were familiar with the story. I did a quick recap of the book on Wednesday during our math lesson. Then we slowly went through the story (summarizing) and using cubes to model how many animals were going into the house. After each new animal entered, the students wrote a number sentence to match what had just happened (practicing +1). We then wrote number sentences to match what happened when each animal left the house (practicing -1). It was a little tricky for a few students, but most of them caught on to the concept.

On Thursday morning, I did a quick review of the story again and created a chart on the smartboard. The students reminded me what animals came into the house. We then charted how many legs each of them had. Their problem for the day was to figure out how many legs were in the house, when all of the animals were inside. They were given paper & pencils and told that they could solve it however made the most sense to them. Some students used pictures, some used tallies, some went straight to number sentences. Here are a few samples:
Most of these went with pictures. Two of them were using cubes to model so they traced their cubes. I showed these as examples so that the students could see different ways to get to an answer. The bottom right paper was pretty impressive-he was doing a lot of mental math. He was able to tell me exactly what he did, but had trouble showing each step on the paper. As he was explaining it, I wrote on the side what he was saying so that he could see it, and so that they other kids could hear and see it too.

On Friday, we again reviewed the story and then I gave them 2 subtraction problems to work on. I am really liking using the books and finding ways to use math with them! The kids are really engaged too! If you want to pick up the recording sheets that my kids used...you can download them for free {here}.

This week we are using the book Mouse Count for 2 days of lessons (addition & subtraction) and then we are using Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons for a day (subtraction).

Mouse Count:
Day 1:
Each student had a 10 frame,10 mice images, and a recording sheet. As I paraphrased the book, they modeled what was happening on their ten frame and then wrote an equation to match on their recording sheet.

Day 2:
I created 2 different file folder games for the students to play is groups of 2-3. I made 5 copies of each of the two different games. One of the games had jar images inside the file folder with a number on the jar. The students had to use images of mice and put that many mice in the jar. The second game had jars inside with addition equations on them (adding up to 10). The students had to clip clothespins with the correct answer onto the picture of the jar.
I have also jumped right into Math Journals this year. So far we have done things like:
1. Show ways to make 5.
2. Show ways to make 10.
3. Are both sides of the equations equal? 3+4+2=4+2+3
I have really liked using some of the journal prompts from Reagan Tunstall.
Here are a few samples:
On the top left example, the student used cubes. He had a group of 4, a group of 3, and a group of 2. He showed me how he could move them from one side to the other and the groups stayed the same so he knew that the answer on each side of the equal sign would be the same.

We have started our math journals whole group so that they get the routine down. Eventually, journals will become a station during math workshop!
Now, to the Math Talks!
I have started slowly with these. Today we were looking at a number chart on the smartboard that had numbers missing. We would draw an index card from a bag, figure out where that number fit on the chart, and then find multiple ways to represent that number. Here is an example below...these are all ways that the kids came up with to represent the number 21.
We have also done a few math talks using dot cards! I have been using these cards (that are free!) to get started. I show the card for about 3 seconds. The students have to figure out how many dots are on the card...hopefully without counting them one by one. We have been using the cards to practice subitizing! After they think they have an answer, they hold their thumb up by their chest. This gives everyone a chance to think, and allows me to see who is still needing some think time. It also prevents distractions since kids are not raising their hands when they have an answer. I then ask for answers, even if they are wrong. I then have kids "prove it." I chart what they saw and we record it as a number sentence to check our answers. Here is an example of a chart below (& one example above as well):
I prep my chart in advance, but have it covered up so that they can't see it until I am ready to move on to that step.

During math workshop, I also have some time to meet with groups of students that need more one on one or small group attention. I have a few students that are struggling with number recognition when counting. This is our meeting area!
I received the Kore stools from a donor's choose project!! The kids are loving them. The wall pops are from amazon. They are dry-erase...& adorable!

Do you have any books that you think are great for teaching math through literacy??
Or any great math talk topics??

Please share in the comments! :)

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