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So happy to be here this week sharing some insights about the book Guided Math by Laney Sammons. I am taking the time to reach into using this in the upper elementary and middle school setting so please take time to read and feel free to leave a comment or two.
As I was reading through the second chapter I really got into each of the Foundational Principals. Each of them struck a chord with me for different students that I have taught over the years. The two that really had me shaking my head were, “Learning at its best is a social process.” and “Learning mathematics is a constructive process.“
When I was in school I remember a lot of the learning was “sit and get” and then process on your own. I know I was (and still am) a social creature and learned best by talking to others and processing my thinking. Our standards (TEKS in Texas) even state that students are supposed to
(D) communicate mathematical ideas, reasoning, and their implications using multiple representations, including symbols, diagrams, graphs, and language as appropriate;
(E) create and use representations to organize, record, and communicate mathematical ideas;
(F) analyze mathematical relationships to connect and communicate mathematical ideas; and
(G) display, explain, and justify mathematical ideas and arguments using precise mathematical language in written or oral communication.
I don’t know about you but that’s a lot of SOCIALIZATION that we need students to have to be effective mathematicians.
The second principle of mathematics being a constructive process is supported by the experiences I have used in my classroom (and seen in many others) where students continue to build up on what they have learned and develop future skills. That foundation is so important as it constructs their understanding for future mathematics and I’ve discussed that a bit before in this blog series.
Establishing a open-environment in my classroom took time and a lot of trial and error. There are days where it won’t be perfect but with procedures in place that are clearly communicated (there’s that word again) and modeled to students all should go well.
While instructing students and feeding on their “aha moments” by allowing them to share their insight is bringing their dialogue into the conversation about what is being learned while also developing that of others.
Knowing that students often develop other ways to solve a problem rather than the standard way, allow them to show that off. Let them be the teacher and demonstrate that to a group who might be struggling and need a different way (or just a different instructor).
Support students by allowing them to make mistakes and explore through the errors to deepen their understanding of the concepts. This was a big process for my classroom even in 7th and 8th grade math. Regular Post It, Prove Its and Exit Tickets allowed me to do this several times a week. I could allow students to think with their table mates, demonstrate their understanding on their own and then review that evening to see quickly who needed more help or who was ready to move on.
And because I love Exit Tickets so much, I want to make sure everyone has a chance to grab my Editable Exit Tickets! They are perfect for ANY classroom and offer a variety of styles ready for you to use for only $1.50!
Don’t have your copy of our book yet? Grab it today by clicking on the picture above or jumping over here!
While working on the final Sixth Grade Interactive Notebook Unit on Equation and Inequalities I started thinking about the algebraic reasoning skills that I would, in an ideal world, LOVE for my students to know coming to me. Modeling equality is the first thing that came to me as in my experience students have a difficulty showing that two sides of an equal sign must balance when you start throwing in variables.
Modeling equations starts as early as first and second grade when students are learning fact families and showing that despite numbers being in different places in the equation they are still equal.
To help students understand the Addition or Subtraction Property of Equality, work in a small group of students (or even as an entire class under the document camera) and display one of the cards.
Using a scale level students should model each side of the equation with similar objects. This can also be done on white boards or with an actual balance and unifix cubes.
One way that many students will show that sides are equal is building a group of ten on each side (if possible) and then counting the extra objects to determine that each have the same.
Another method that students might take is to add the same amount to each side to make them equal. You can see that with this one the blocks were added to make the pictures similar.
Subtracting on a balance is a little bit different. Students should model the subtrahend on both sides of the balance.
Then by subtracting the minuend from each side students can easily see the amount left they can see that both sides of the equation are equal.
These cards (and 22 others) are in the Modeling Equality FREEBIE in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. Click on the picture below and grab it today to use in your classroom.
Hello there! I’m Danielle from Live Love Math and I am so excited to share my review of 4mulaFun’s super cool twist on using task cards in the classroom. About a month ago, I was on spring break and like many teachers, was thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the year. I remember being on Facebook when Jennifer posted this awesome product and just thought to myself, “I HAVE to have that!”
After giving instructions again and reminding students to FIRST deal out all the cards evenly, they were ready to go! I would recommend giving an even number of task cards to each group that is easily divisible. I used a set that had 24 cards so I could group them in 3, 4, or even 6 people and no one would complain that someone started out with less than another student.
I did have a few instances throughout the day where I saw a sheet like this. The student “just happened to” land on “left” or “right” each time, so I instituted a new rule that the die had to actually “flip” in the air before it landed on the desk or the floor. That took care of any intentional non-answering! Wouldn’t you know, the next roll, this student had to answer a question. Her group mates were overjoyed!
Thanks to Danielle for sharing how she used Left, Right, Answer in her classroom. Feel free to check out her blog or her Teachers Pay Teachers store to learn more about her and her middle school math classroom.
I am in the giving mood and would love to give away a copy to one lucky follower who leave a comment on this blog post. Leave a comment on this blog post by Saturday, April 19th at MIDNIGHT about how you would use this in your classroom and I will pick a LUCKY winner on Sunday and send Left, Right, Answer your way!
Sent out an email to ALL who left a comment! ENJOY!
It’s the first Wednesday of February which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!!
If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!
If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs – feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!
As a teacher we are always on the lookout when we are shopping for different ways to use ordinary items in our classroom. Last week I had to step into the Dollar Tree to grab some things for a workshop and I decided to go ahead and go through the store and see some things that I could find that would be fun and different to use in math lessons.
I’m always looking for new things to use for visual representations and these hearts are just perfect. I can see working on equations with two variables and substituting a different color heart in to stand for each variable so students have o determine what red or pink stands for in each equation. Great to build the relationship of how a variable, no matter the letter, can be a different value in EVERY EQUATION.
These boxes of stickers contain 8 stickers and would be great if students are doing a gallery walk to look at problems that other students have solved. You could have them take a sheet around with them and when they see a word problem that has been solved above and beyond they simply would add a sticker. They could also do it for a problem that they have also worked out on their white board while walking around and if they agree with the answer they add a sticker.
When I saw the Glittered Table Scatter I immediately thought of using it to keep track of score on some games. If you are playing a game a game and get a point then you get a heart. Students could then redeem their hearts for certain rewards. You could also use them as a counter manipulative for an activity like Zero Pairs.
When can you not use stamps? I can see as a teacher as my students are working on an activity in class that I would walk around and give them immediate feedback with the stamps and mark problems that I can immediately see that are correct. I’m telling you my 7th and 8th graders LOVE stickers and stamps!
These Mardi Gras coins would work great as markers or a 3 person game as there are three colors- purple, green and gold. They could also be used as a token economy for a certain period as well as points being received during a game.
I immediately thought of some of my teachers friends who work with younger students when I saw these eggs. What kid wouldn’t want to play with glittery eggs to use as a manipulative when working with place value, counters for an activity and so on. I know that for the few years I taught second grade I tried to bring in the different seasons through manipulatives because it just made it fun. Imagine modeling some CGI problems around Easter that students could then see and touch the actual eggs rather than just drawing the pictures.
We all know I am a fan of FUN tape for using in Interactive Notebooks. I saw both of these while at Dollar Tree and I resisted picking them up because I was out of town. Now that I am home you better bet that I will be making a trip to pick some up!
I hope you started to think of some other uses for everyday things that we see in the stores. I know that we as teachers are constantly spending money on our classrooms but I’m a firm believer that if we are excited about what we are teaching then we will engage our students. I know that having fun supplies excites me!
**I am in no way affiliated with Dollar Tree. I have not been compensated in anyway for this blog post. I spent my own time and money to purchase items that were used in workshops and my opinions and ideas that are expressed are that of my own.**
First of all, preparing any activities is always better when you have a latte in hand!
After speaking with a group of teachers recently about the benefits of task cards in the classroom, I realized that not all teachers use them the same way. I started using them where each student received a task card and we simply passed them around the table or the room. This was great but this didn’t get my students up and moving and really engaged in what they were learning.
Another way that I used task cards was to randomly tape them up around the classroom. Students would get their own recording sheet and then from there they would have to go to the problems and solve. Students could talk with each other as they were at the task card and discuss the word problem at hand. This let them discuss what they were learning and truly “speak math”.
To top if off, I would sit in the middle of the classroom with some desks around me so that I could facilitate the learning as well as be the Help Desk. Students could come and ask questions as needed if they get stuck but they could also come and check their work. With this I could easily keep students on task and motivated to keep going with instant feedback. Honestly, this was my FAVORITE way of using task cards and my students enjoyed it and truly showed their interaction with the subject.
One of my most recent set of task cards has become my favorite as well. In Whole Latte Problem Solving, each question has a question that covers various skills across the sixth and seventh grade standards all while incorporating problem solving skills. To top it off each problem has an “extra” question for students to answer as well. This in turn has students answering 24 questions over the course of 12 task cards.
I want to give away 3 copies of A Whole Latte Problem Solving to my readers! Leave me a comment on this blog post answering either of the following questions before Wednesday, February 5th. I will pick 3 people on Wednesday and email you “A Whole Latte Problem Solving” to use in your classroom!
1. Do you have another way that you use task cards in your classroom? Describe it to me so I can learn as well.
2. What topics are you looking into for task cards? I might just see some upcoming Lucky Learners task cards and more!
Just like many of you, it’s getting close to the end of the first semester of the 2012-2013 school year and my students can sure show it!
This week I wanted to review some of goals my Resource Math classes had mastered and give them some nice review work stations so I grabbed the “Decimal Mitten Match Up” and “Winter Word Problems” that are both part of this amazing Winter Math Centers pack from Jennifer Findley.
First, the students took time to sort each of the mittens into stacks of like kinds as seen in the photo above.
Next, they went through and matched like items. This required them to talk a lot and they worked through misconceptions and I love being able to hear them talk about decimals and explain things to one another.
I had another student who needed to work by himself and he was able to do so since I had also prepared the Black and White version that comes with the set also! How awesome is that!
Now, I extended it a bit and my students had to go through with just the standard form of the decimals, choose two and then create a word problem using those two decimals. Great way to extend the lesson and grab a performance assessment out of it as well.
While two different sets of students were working on Decimal Match Up, I had another set of students working on the Winter Word Problems. Now, normally these problems would be below my students level but I wanted them to work the problems out and truly break down the problems. After they worked them out (yes, I laminated the work mats and they use dry erase marker), they were able to self-check and then wipe the boards clean. NO MORE COPIES NEEDED!
I extended this with my 7th and 8th Grade Resource students because then they had to each choose a problem, come up with two different ways to solve the problem and present them to their findings to their group. The group had to check the problems to make sure they were accurate before moving on to the next person.
These two activities easily filled an entire class period with all that we added to them.
If you would like to check out Jennifer Findley‘s materials (she’s awesome-sauce in my book) please feel free to jump over to her blog, her Facebook Fan page or even to her TpT store! Let her know I sent you!