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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

September Calendar, MultiGrade K-1

GOSH, AS I LOOKED CLOSER AT THIS CALENDAR, I MISNUMBERED IT! I  hope you will overlook that and just consider the idea of using attributes as the overall theme for the month of September.

I just added a calendar for October,  that also features attribute study. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Math Night At the Grocery Store: Estimation Alley

In my upcoming
 Math Night at the Grocery Store Packet,  
I give 10 suggested activities for Estimation Alley to control the crowd, since so many people will be attending the event!!!!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Guided Math Signs

I don't use Management Boards to organize Guided Math Groups.
example of a management board
I find that they are just one more task to complete each day.
Instead I use the geography of the room to rotate.

I have students rotate to the 3 or 4 different work stations positioned throughout the classroom in a clockwise motion.  That way there are not students walking around in 4 different directions, but a smooth, quiet, and quick station to station motion. During work station time, the students hear two different auditory signals (bell, chime, clicker)  to signal:
 1) it is time to clean up and get ready to move, 
 2) mouths closed, materials in hand..let's move to the next station.

By the way, the teacher guided group where grade level math instruction is being taught is one of those work stations. The other work stations are just groups of desks, a table, or an open floor space near a bookshelf housing student materials for the work station.

I was at IKEA and I saw these picture frames

 They cost 50 cents each or 2 for $.99.
They are two sided and would be perfect for labeling the station areas as students learn the routine of going from station to station.  Later they could be used to feature examples of quality student work to show students your expectations of the quality that you are looking for on an assignment. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Math Night Materials Almost Completed

Just an update on the materials for Math Night at the Local Grocery store that I posted about in earlier posts:

1. All the individual grades activity sheets are written from K- 6th Grade.

2. They are being translated into Spanish, so the event will welcome both English and Spanish speaking families.

3.  I want teachers to know that they are teaching to the Common Core, even on a fun project like this, so I am typing out all the Common Core Correlations for each grade level.

4. I am working on writing a rubric that could be completed at an Event Follow-up Meeting by the team of teachers/administrator that ran the Math Night. It would assist them in discussing what went well and what needs to be changed before the event is repeated the following year.

5 Can YOU think of anything else that you would like to see included in a unit like this? I would appreciate any suggestions that you might share with me in the comment section of this post.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Calendar Routine: Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday

Discussing the time concept concerning "today, tomorrow, and yesterday," can be confusing for many Kindergarten students. My suggestion is to print this sheet onto some heavy paper and cut-out  the individual words and laminate them. 
This sheet is available to you by clicking HERE. This will take you to my Google Drive where you can download or print it for FREE!  Please leave me a comment if you plan to try this idea.

First, introduce the word "today" only, and use it for 2 weeks. Place the cut-out on the calendar so it indicates the current date.
As you discuss the calendar, point to the word as you ask questions similar to these:
"What is today's date?"
"Who can tell me the name of today's day of the week?"
"Is today Tuesday or Wednesday?"

During the 3rd week, take a picture of something that happens during the day and print that photo. Place the photo on the calendar on today's date.

Next, during the 4th week, before talking about today's date, discuss the photo and when that event happened.  
"Did we read the book, Frog and Toad today? 
No, we read it "Yesterday."
Then place the "yesterday" cut-out above it. 
"We read the book on Wednesday, which was yesterday. Today is Thursday. (Place the cut-out above the current date.) So today is Thursday (point) and yesterday was Wednesday."
Do this for a month. 
I know that seems like a long time, but I've seen students still confused about the different time concepts in February if you don't introduce them slowly and with a concrete picture of an event that happens during the school day.
Introduce the concept of tomorrow with a written word like Gym Class, or Field Trip,  a picture of a parent helper that comes each week on a certain day, or a students picture whose birthday is going to happen tomorrow. Again tie the abstract word "tomorrow" with an event that they will experience.  The tomorrow picture then turns into the Today event, and finally to the Yesterday event. 
"Was Mary's birthday yesterday, or is it happening today, or did it already happen Yesterday." 
If you have a Multi-grade Class, like K/1st, add the words "Last week", "Next week", or "In 2 weeks", to raise the difficulty of the task. 

Now students can make sense of these time concepts and it is not something they chant rotely as a group.

What do you think of this idea? Leave your comments below as your thoughts are important and I will respond to any questions you may have after reading this post.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Kleenex in the Triangular Prism Box

Call me crazy, but I couldn't help myself!

 What a great example of a triangular prism in everyday life!
 I bought several of these Kleenex tissue wedges to use in my kitchen.  My granddaughter noticed it and said, "What happened to the rectangle? Why is it a triangle?"  And of course that led to the discussion of different kinds of prisms which are named by their bases.

I Know.... only you Deborah would be excited by a tissue box!!
Anyone else out there excited?


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teaching Understanding in Math

Now that we are focusing on certain mathematical common core standards instead of "going through our book," how exactly do you teach for that deeper understanding.  I like using real examples to explain my thinking, so let's think about teaching about dividing fractions. 

That's a scary proposition for most teachers!

What if you began the unit with an anchor chart that does not show a procedure step-by-step but instead looks like this:
During the whole group discussion the anchor chart changes like this:

The next day, in partners, students answer this question concerning if my answer is reasonable or not.
 "Does this answer make sense?"

How do you teach understanding instead of procedure?

Please share your ideas in the comment section of this post or share a link to your blog in which you are discussing teaching understanding.

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