# Archive for August, 2012

## A Must Read Article About Fractions: Use it to inform Guided Math Lessons and Math Centers

This is a great article about teaching fractions! A must read for addition, subtraction and division of fractions!  Yahoo!  Definitely use pattern blocks.  Do these types of lessons in guided math groups so that students can talk through the math they are doing.  Also, have them explore fractions with pattern blocks in math centers.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Teaching Division with a Great Picture Book: A whole class or guided math activity

Here is a great book to teach division – Divide and Ride!  I really like this book.

First, I get the students to act it out.

Second, we get into groups of 4.  I read the story and the students have 4 roles:

1) illustrator draws pictures

2) equation maker- writes the equation

3) manipulatives manager – acts it out with the counters (I use the people counters from Lakeshore-they look just like the students in the book)

4) checker – first retells the situation and then checks everyone’s work

The students sit in groups of four and we read it as a class and they take on their various roles.  They love it and they get to see the situation represented in various ways.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## More Ideas for Teaching Division

Division is hard for many students.  They need to do lots of concrete and visual activities instead of just jumping to abstract activities.  Be sure to have anchor charts that support their learning.  See the following examples:

Great anchor chart  showing 3 ways to represent division

Another great anchor chart

Another Great Anchor Chart

Another Great Anchor Chart

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Multiplication Array Wall

This is the best idea ever!  I love it.  An Array Wall!  The students can do this in groups or they could do it by classes.  You could display it in your classroom or in the hall!  There are so many possibilities!  They could do the arrays in centers.  You could hold guided math groups at the array wall and talk about the arrays!  Just so much to do!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## More Math Workshop Resources!

Here is a good livebinder with some great links!

Here is another one!

*Be sure to see the Pinterest Math Workshop Board!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## What’s your CCSS comfort zone?

For grades k-5 these are ccss math domains:

k – counting and cardinality

k-5 – operations and algebraic thinking, geometry, measurement and data, place value

3-5 – fractions

Pick one!  Which one is most comfortable for you?  Which one is least comfortable for you?  Why?  What are you going to do about it?  Here are some ideas:

1. Look at You tube videos on the topic

2. Pinterest it! Do a search for the topic and see what comes up

3.  Search it on my blog…I have tons of stuff

4.  Write me and ask for more information and resources

5.  Look up examples on Illustrative Mathematics, North Carolina CCSS & Arizona CCSS

6.  Be sure to look at the Georgia Units of study

7.  Whatever you do, do something now!  I dare you to get smarter! Be the lead on your grade level team:)

Happy Mathing,

Dr Nicki

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## Formative Assessment: Using Them in Guided Math Groups and Math Centers

Here is a great list of formative assessments (be sure to click on the link that explains them).  Which ones do you use?  Which ones might you try?  These are great to use in guided math groups as well as in math centers.  IF you don’t know where your students are, then it is hard to plan for where they are going next and exactly how they are going to get there.  Three of my favorites are the 1 minute essay, the misconception check and hand signals.  A great way to use this list is to look at it and think about the various ways that you can incorporate meaningful formative assessments throughout a unit of study!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## WHAT’S YOUR MATHEMATICAL DISPOSITION? YES, YOU THE TEACHER

Ok, so school has either started or is about to begin?  Answer me a question, will you?  Do you like math?  How much?  The truth is always reflected in your classroom set-up!  What’s the ratio of literacy to math posters in your classroom?  How big is your math center?  Is it used?  It is inviting?  Is it student accessible?  These are things that make me go “Hmmmmm?”  Think about it!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Math Think Alouds: Do in guided Math Groups and Whole Group Lessons

Be sure to start your year off with Math Think Alouds!  Actually, you should be doing them throughout the year.  However, be sure to Kick Them Off immediately. During math think alouds, the teacher actually THINKS ALOUD!

You go through the whole process of “planning, organizing, analyzing and carrying out the solution. The teacher articulates questions, makes mistakes, traces and corrects mistakes, deals with incorrect approach, backtracks, evaluates her progress, and struggles to arrive at the correct solution (Bernardo, 1997).”  By engaging in a math Think Alouds the teacher “demonstrates the complexity of the process” and emphasizes the idea that there are many approaches that can be taken.

This is different than just showing students how to solve a problem.  This is upfronting the thinking process and making it visible for students!  You should definitely do these in both small guided math groups and whole group mini-lessons.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Math Workshop: Getting Started

Math Workshop is a great structure for teaching math!  Get started with some of these great ideas:

http://www.mrscowan.com/mathworkshop.htm

http://atomicmath.org/Get%20Connected%20Math%20Workshop%202011.pdf

http://www.schultzcenter.org/pdf/mathmodel.pdf

http://investigations.terc.edu/curriculum_clrm/MW/UsingMW.pdf

*Remember to check out the pinterest board!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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