# Archive for November, 2011

## A fun math game: Great for Whole Class and Small Guided Math Groups

I saw this great math game that builds flexibility. I have adapted it a bit but it basically goes like this:
• Start Here. ..End There!” (Petreshene, 1985): give the students a pair of numbers and they have to keep making them in different ways.  For example,  “if you give the students 3 and 24 they have to come up with ways to make it work, by following a specific order. They can use any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. For example, if the designated numbers are 3 and 24, some possibilities would be:
• 3×8 = 24
3×9-3 = 24
3+10+10+1 = 24″

You can do it with smaller numbers for primary grades where they would use just addition and subtraction.  For example,

2+2+8 =12

2+3+9= 12

2+4+4+2 =12

2 + 5 + ….. and so on

Petreshene, S. S. (1985). Mind joggers! 5 to 15 minute activities that make kids think. West Nyack, NY: The Center for Applied Research in Education, Inc. cited at: http://s22318.tsbvi.edu/mathproject/ch2.asp

Try it and let me know how it goes with your students!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## More Math Powerpoint Resources: Use as whole group and guided math group lesson launches

Here are some more math powerpoints!  You can use them in a variety of ways.  One way to use them is to launch lessons.  Another way to use them is for interactive whole class games.  Some are great to put in math centers, especially the ones that have interactive elements.

Resource 1

Resource 2  (I like the set up of the symmetry one but I found it misleading).  Instead of saying the particular shape doesn’t have a line of symmetry, I would change it to say that the picture doesn’t show a line of symmetry.

Resource 3 (Powerpoint Templates to Customize for you Class, including Games like Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire)

Resource 4 (A variety of math power points.)

Resource 5 (Some good powerpoints…check out the one about zero)

Resource 6 (I like the money prompt power points)

Resource 7 (Fact practice)

Be sure to see part 1 of this series of posts.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Here are some great math power points! Use during guided math mini lessons

Power points are great tools to use as lesson launches.  They can be quick, educational and quite engaging. They are a visual tool that you can accompany with a verbal explanation.  I think we need to use them much more when teaching.  Here are a few sites with some math powerpoints.  I love the fact that many good math powerpoints are already made.  And, because they are powerpoint, you can add to them, take stuff away and change them however you want.  (Just remember to always give credit to the author of the original powerpoint).

Resource 1

Resource 2

Resource 3

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Dr. Nicki has started a Pearltree! Check it out!

A Pearltree is a type of bookmarking service.  It’s new.  It allows me to create pearls of my favorite bookmarks. For example, I have a pearl for 1st Grade NBT (the place value domain).  You can go onto pearltrees and click on that pearl and see all my suggested websites.  You can also copy my pearl into your own pearltree.  You can also search Pearltrees for everybody else in the world who is working on that topic.  It is really cool.  Check it out here.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Understanding Big Ideas: The center of guided math lessons

Here is a great chart that really illustrates this concept of Big Ideas for primary concepts.  Teaching with Big Ideas helps to teach students math instead of just bouncing from lessons and doing activities.  We can tend to get so bogged down in the day to day and just teach from lesson to lesson.  Oftentimes we lose sight of the Big Idea.  In guided math groups you should be thinking about what gaps are there in understanding of the big ideas in math and then what are the interventions that will successfully help to fill those gaps. The actual math that we want students to learn comes from the Big Idea.

Be sure to see the other post about Big Ideas.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Great Math Common Core Tool: Use to Plan Small Guided Math Lessons

While looking for Math Common Core materials, I discovered this cool tool that helps you to search the new Math Common Core standards by topic.  You select the concept or the grade and then all the standards related to that topic pop up.  It shows how the topics are developed over time across the grade levels.  It also helps you to differentiate instruction for small guided math groups by being able to see what came before and what comes next.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Happy Thanksgiving!

This year there is so much to be thankful for.  I am thankful for my blog and my math friends who read it. I wish you all many blessings and a wonderful Turkey day!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Essential Questions for Math

Essential questions help us to frame our units of study.  They probe the “So What?”  They make us think deeper about what and why we are teaching and learning something.  They should be up and visible in a classroom so that anything we do “sticks to the essential questions.”  Heidi Hayes Jacobs says that they are the “velcro of the unit.”  I find that people struggle coming up with great questions for math.

I recently found this list of 150 questions.  These are just some ideas to get you started.  Some are great and others need more work.  Remember that an essential question is expansive.  It makes you think and wonder and approach the answer in many ways.  You can’t google the answer.  It encourages broad thinking not narrow thinking.  Essential questions keep on pushing the thinking throughout the unit and beyond.

Let’s consider the following two essential questions:

Why is addition important?  How do I use it in my everyday life?

These are great questions because you can explore them with whole numbers, fractions and decimals. Students can investigate the question with family, friends and in the neighborhood stores. They are real questions whose answers can be found in our everyday lives.  They make sense and help us to make sense of math.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Tiered Math Library Resource

Differentiation is the Key!

Here is a great website with a library of tiered math lessons!

http://www.doe.in.gov/exceptional/gt/tiered_curriculum/welcome.html

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Making Math Real

Here is a great math blog to check out.  It has tons of posts about math in the real world, solid resources and some good videos!  Check it out! Peter and Trish make lots of interesting interdisciplinary connections across many different grade levels.  Here are the names of a few of their posts:

Math and International Travel

Teaching Mathematics from a Museum

Math and the Cemetery

Where is Zero on the Earth?

Teaching Slope in the Mountains of Switzerland

There is a little something for everybody.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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