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Monday, August 1, 2011

5TH Grade Students at 2nd Grade Math Level…Now What Should I Do?

First, a special thanks to all the teachers that contributed their ideas. I've added a few of my own.

1) Understanding math vocabulary is essential.
a)    Accelerate these students with vocabulary preparation a week or two in advance of the new Math concepts (pre-load)
2)    Create a math word wall or add math word to your regular word wall. Pictures help clarify meaning, and don’t forget to make connections for 2nd language learners.
3) Make connection from where they already know to what they need to learn or preload information before teaching it with the class.
4)  Make activities engaging and visual. Use manipulatives when possible. Games make practicing skills fun. Use whiteboards in small groups to have each student react to your questions and help them stay focused on the lesson. Try to involve as many manipulatives with our math core as you can. When the students can touch, see, and manipulate what they what we are working on they understand so much more. They can each "see" how it all fits together.

(photos by Ashlee Tucker)

5) Use volunteers, teaching assistants, peers and educational internet sites, to give those students support when the teacher is not available. Teach students that you are not the only source of information. Have volunteers work with them to practice math facts.
6)  Motivate students to learn given a scenario where they had to learn skills in order to complete the task. An example is our end of the year project revolved around creating their own ice cream shop. Students designed their stores, researched the costs to build, decorate, and stock the store.
7) Look at the possibility of teaching math using Guided Math Small Groups.  There is more opportunity to differentiate and more time to practice skills.
8) Using "Math Stations" by Debbie Diller as a guide, create math stations that offer independent activities at different skill levels.
9) Believe in their ability to learn, and vocalize their accomplishments when they happen.  Take a look at Marzano's work with:Effort and recognition speak to the attitudes and beliefs of students, and teachers must show the connection between effort and achievement. Research shows that although not all students realize the importance of effort, they can learn to change their beliefs to emphasize effort.
According to research, recognition is most effective if it is contingent on the achievement of a certain standard. 

* Have students keep a log of their weekly efforts and achievements, reflect on it periodically, and even mathematically analyze the data.  * Find ways to personalize recognition. Give awards for individual accomplishments. * "Pause, Prompt, Praise." If a student is struggling, pause to discuss the problem, then prompt with specific suggestions to help her improve. If the student's performance improves as a result, offer praise.
10) Don't go and get a 2nd Grade Math book for a 5th grade student.  How deflating to their self-image. Support them as they continue to work with their other classmates, and preload background information. Just because one testing source tells you they are operating at a 2nd Grade level they will have highs and lows as you look at their knowledge of different mathematical strands.

 Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition

1 comment :

  1. I've just found your blog - what a beautiful design! I have had a split grade class for 8 out of 10 of my years. I will have a 5/6 split this year. I can't wait to read more of your helpful ideas.
    Runde's Room


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