# Archive for January, 2011

## Mad Math Minutes: Whole Group and Guided Math Practice

We used to give mad math minutes all the time.  Back in the Day:) Some people still do it. Others don’t.  Here’s what I think.    We should do mad math minutes.  It builds fluency, IF we do it in a way that builds fluency.  Fluency doesn’t just happen.  We plan for it. So, I would give mad math minutes in a scaffolded way.  I would do it by problem sets, working on particular MATH dolch words.  For example, +0 and +1 facts or complements of 5 and then 10, or doubles, doubles +1, doubles +2 or lucky 8 and lucky 9 facts.  I would give no more than 10 -20  problems at a time.  I would give a minute.  AND AFTER, I WOULD HAVE THE STUDENTS GRADE THE TEST.  THEY WOULD CIRCLE WHAT THEY GOT WRONG. TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY KNOW ALREADY AND WHAT THEY ARE STILL LEARNING. COME UP WITH AN ACTION PLAN FOR STUDYING FOR THE NEXT TEST.  THEY WOULD ONLY  COMPETE AGAINST THEMSELVES.  I would start everyone (even our 4th and 5th graders) out with addition, then subtraction, then multiplication and then division, of course mixing them up as they pass each category. I would start giving mad math minutes around the middle of kinder only on +0, +1 and complements of 5 (New Common Math Core says kinder should know up to 5). Let me know what you think.

Here are some mad math minutes:

Printables:

http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/math-drills-minute.html

http://www.softersoftware.com/math/

Internet Ones:

http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/Mathmagician/cathymath.html (personal favorite)

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Mathematical Proficiency and Writing in Math Class: Scaffolding Whole Class and Guided Math Group Activities Part V

This is Part V of a series on framing writing in math class in terms of the 5 elements of mathematical proficiency.  Be sure to see the other posts.

Mathematical Disposition:

In these types of prompts you want students to do some self monitoring.  You want them to think about what they know, what they don’t know and what they kind of know.  They are self-assessing in a deep, critical and thoughtful way.

• This is the tricky part…
• Draw a picture of a mathematician.  Write about where they are and what they are doing.
• Write your Math Autobiography http://www.masters.ab.ca/bdyck/math/biography/
• This is how I feel about math…
• Do you like math? Why or why not?
• Today I learned…
• I’m still a bit fuzzy about….
• Today we did…. This is the math we were practicing…

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Mathematical Proficiency and Writing in Math Class: Scaffolding Whole Class and Guided Math Group Activities Part IV

This is part four of a series of posts on writing in math class using mathematical proficiency as a framework.  Please be sure to see the other 3 posts.

In these types of prompts, students are really trying to communicate their mathematical thinking.  They are trying to communicate their understanding, defend their ideas, and map out their ways of knowing.

• The thing you have to remember with this kind of problem is……..
• Tips I would give a friend to solve this problem are…….

Teacher would fill in the prompts below according to the topic of study:

• Prove ________.
• Convince me that ____________.
• Explain why ____________ is not true.
• Explain why _____________is true.
• Teacher gives an example and then asks: Why can’t I do that?
• Teacher gives an example and then asks: Why doesn’t that work?
• Teacher gives an example and then asks: Is that true or false?
• Teacher gives an example and then asks: Why is that true?
• Teacher gives an example and then asks: Why is that false?
• Teacher gives an example and then asks:____says ______ and _______ says _____. Who is correct? Why?

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Math Proficiency and Writing in Math Class: Scaffolding Whole Class and Guided Math Group Activities Part III

This is Part 3 of a series of posts about framing writing in math class in terms of the 5 elements of mathematical proficiency.  In this post we will look at question types for Procedural Fluency and Strategic Competence.  Be sure to see Part I.

Procedural Fluency

In these types of prompts, students simply are explaining the procedure, the how to, the way…

• How do we  _____?
• What are the steps for solving this problem?
• Why can’t I _______?
• Tell me how to ___________?
• When you _________, watch out for ________.

Strategic Competence:

In these types of prompts students are discussing the use of efficient strategies.

• How did you solve this problem?  What strategy did you use and why?
• In what way can we?
• Explain two ways to solve this problem.
• Explain a fast way to solve this problem.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Math Proficiency and Writing in Math Class: Scaffolding Whole Class and Guided Math Groups Activities Part II

There are a few key articles floating around the web about math journal writing.  They give lots of great prompts.  But, I have been thinking lately about how much more helpful they would be if the prompts were categorized in terms of the mathematical proficiency.  In this way, teachers can focus on what they are aiming for when they have students to write in math class.

I am starting with Conceptual Understanding and in the next few posts I will discuss the other areas.  Below I have listed some key articles.  I suggest when you look at prompts that you think about which element of mathematical proficiency you are working on and try to work on different ones throughout the year.

Conceptual Understanding:

In these types of prompts students are trying to explain their understanding of concepts.  These types of prompts want students to explain big ideas and the concepts.  In doing these types of prompts, students should  also use graphic organizers like the Frayer Model sometimes.

• _______ is like…
• We use ________for
• If we didn’t have _______then we would not be able to ____
• Write everything you know about ____________
• Write some examples of ______________
• Make up a 5 question test about ___________( make 3 easy problems and 2 hard problems)
• Write a story/word problem whose answer is _________
• Why???
• The most important thing about _______ is _____
• What does _______ mean?
• Explain _______…
• What does ________mean in your own words? (use the current vocabulary)

Great Resources:

59 Math Writing Prompts:

http://futureofmath.misterteacher.com/Writing%20Prompts.pdf

101 Math Writing Prompts: http://myteacherpages.com/webpages/jgriffin/journal.cfm

Writing from literature and math activities:

http://catholicmomsjourney.blogspot.com/2007/07/math-journal-ideas.html

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## Writing in Math Class: Scaffolding Whole class and Guided Math Activities Part I

Writing in math class is essential to building mathematical proficiency. It is a record of students’ mathematical thinking and experiences.  You want to encourage your students to use words, pictures, numbers, symbols, diagrams, and models to explain their thinking. Encourage them to think about the answer in their head and outloud, before they start writing.  Make sure that writing is a part of every day.  There are many ways to do this.

1.      Do an interactive write aloud with your students.  As the teacher you are facilitating the discussion and the students are writing a shared entry on a class journal about the math concepts that they covered that day.  The emphasis should be on the math that day.  Starters say things like,

a.     “The most important thing about ….is…”

b.    “The tricky part about …is”

c.     “When working with ….always remember to…”

d.    “We’re still a bit fuzzy about….”

e.     “We got this….but we don’t got this part yet….”

2.    Have the students begin to write their own journal entries a few times a week.  I always advise teachers to do a class math journal at least once a week.  I never have the students copy the class math journal into their own notebooks.

3.    Make sure that the students have their own space to write.  This could be a separate journal or a designated part in the overall math activity journal (like a part sectioned in the back).

4.    Informal prompts: This can be done through entrance and exit slips. At the beginning or end of a lesson, have the students check in about what they are learning.  I would frame the questions around the 5 Mathematical Proficiency Concepts. Choose 1 way.

5.    Formal prompts: This can be done on a Friday or a specific extended writing prompt day.  I would also frame the questions around the 5 Mathematical Proficiency Concepts.  Choose 1 way.

6.    Use the think-pair-share strategy to get students writing … http://mathwire.com/writing/writing1.html

7.     Click these links to sample rubrics http://www.exemplars.com/resources/rubrics/

Resources

Great Blog Post with tons of links about writing in math: http://letsplaymath.net/2008/10/06/writing-to-learn-math-ii/

http://letsplaymath.net/2007/08/21/writing-to-learn-math/

http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3583

http://www.suite101.com/content/mathematics-teaching-using-journals-a147597

http://www2.ups.edu/community/tofu/lev2/journaling/writemath.htm

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Playing Jeopardy To Increase Math Vocabulary as a Whole Class and in a Guided Math Group

THIS IS SO COOL!

PLAY MATH JEOPARDY WITH YOUR STUDENTS! GO HERE! (They open up as powerpoints. So, show them just like a regular powerpoint.)

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4A

Game 4B

Game 5a

Game 5B

Game 5C

Game 6B

AND THIS SITE HAS A BLANK TEMPLATE TO MAKE YOUR OWN JEOPARDY GAME WITH YOUR VOCABULARY! YOU HAVE TO OPEN ALL THESE FILES TO DO IT.

Blank Jeopardy Template

Directions to Make Game

*This is the reference for this site…Hardin SD

I would use these posters to get some ideas for the jeopardy words.  I would also cut these up and have the students play concentration and go fish.

http://www.mrsrenz.net/pdf/mathvocab1.pdf

http://www.mrsrenz.net/pdf/mathvocab2.pdf

http://www.mrsrenz.net/pdf/mathvocab3.pdf

http://www.mrsrenz.net/pdf/mathvocab4.pdf

http://www.mrsrenz.net/pdf/mathvocab5.pdf

http://www.mrsrenz.net/misc/vocabbox.pdf

More math posters

(there are a few mistakes you’ll have to correct on these posters)

http://www.mrsrenz.net/pdf/mathdefinitions.pdf

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## 21st Century Math Vocabulary Fun

Here are two really fun ways to play with math vocabulary. I would brainstorm as a class the words and phrases relevant to the unit.  I would also have cooperative groups make their own.  I would then have the students explain the relevance of the words they chose.

Let me know of others!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Math Posters:Using them in Whole Group and Guided Math Lessons

Hey everyone,

I am so excited about these posters!  They are great finds to post and discuss.  I would use them as strategy posters.  I would also use them as springboards into discussions in both whole class and guided math groups! They are so colorful and wonderful.  Happy postering!

http://www.mathlearningcenter.org/files/media/Bridges_Blog/Sub_Strat_Posters.pdf

http://www.abcteach.com/directory/basics/math/math_posters/

http://thinkzone.wlonk.com/MathGems/MathGems.htm#pdf

http://thinkzone.wlonk.com/Posters/Posters.htm

http://www.mathlearningcenter.org/resources/blog/201012/fact-strategies-button-chart

Have students keep track of the facts they know:

To be continued….

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Digital Dictionaries: Teaching math vocabulary in small guided math groups

Digital Dictionaries are great.  Have a discussion about the vocabulary of your current unit of study by showing these on the interactive board or by having students work with them at the the computer.   Then, have the students brainstorm how they are going to write the definitions in their own words as well as make illustrations for their personal glossaries.

Digital dictionaries (Be sure to click on the words to see the illustrations)!

http://www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com/dictionary.html

http://www.hbschool.com/glossary/math2/indexk.html

http://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/index.html

http://www.crctlessons.com/math-vocabulary.html

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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