# Archive for March, 2013

## Here is a link to Spring Math ideas!

Greg Tang’s tips on having fun with poems in math class!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## What is the best textbook for teaching the New CCSSM: Bonus Discussion

Ok, so now that we have talked about ten questions to consider…there is one more thing…

NO PROGRAM IS COMPLETELY ALIGNED TO THE CCSSM.

Some are more closely aligned than others.

Some are terribly unaligned.

All have a sticker claiming to be aligned…

KNOW THE CORE….ALWAYS CHECK WHATEVER LESSONS AGAINST IT…

BE AS FAITHFUL TO THE PROGRAM AS THE PROGRAM IS FAITHFUL TO THE CORE

NO TIME FOR BIRDWALKS…TOO MUCH SPECIFIC CONTENT AT EACH GRADE TO BE WORKING ON STUFF THAT ISN’T ALIGNED OR GRADE LEVEL APPROPRIATE

KNOW THE CORE…PLAN TO THE CORE…LET THE TEXT (WHATEVER YOU USE) BE A GUIDE… A HELPER…AN INFORMATIVE SOURCE !

HAPPY MATHING,

DR. NICKI

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## What textbooks are good for teaching the new Math Common Core? Part 5

This is the conclusion of a series of posts on the Top Ten Things to Think About when buying a new curriculum for teaching the CCSSM.

**Number 10:** How does the program feel? Does it feel like a good fit for your context? Does it feel like the same old/same old or something new? **Do you look at it and say, “WOW, This is Amazing!”** What does your teaching intuition tell you?”

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## What textbooks are good for teaching the New Math Common Core? Part 4

In this series of 5 posts we are discussing the Top Ten Things to Think about when considering a new curriculum textbook for teaching the new CCSSM.

**Number 8:** WHAT IS THE FRAMEWORK THE PROGRAM USES FOR WORD PROBLEMS? DOES IT MATCH THE CORE’S ADAPTION OF CGI? Does it match the levels designated in the CCSSM Progressions on page 9? How are students encouraged to answer word problems? Are they open and rich? Are there opportunities to contextualize (to go from words to numbers) and decontextualize (typical word problems-numbers to words)? Are they micro-wave problems that can be answered in 2 minutes or are they rich problems that require that students know the content and use the practices to answer the questions?

**Number 9:** What does assessment look like? Is it balanced? ** Do the assessments assess both the content and the practices?** Do they assess all the components of fluency? Are the tests a mix between multiple choice, short answer and extended response? Do they emphasize the use of precise mathematical language and double-checking? Do they look like any of the exemplars on Illustrative Mathematics ( a site by the people who wrote the CCSSM).

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## What textbooks are good for teaching the new CCSSM? Part 3

In this series of 5 posts, we are exploring the Top Ten Things to think about when trying to find a curriculum to teach the new CCSSM.

**Number 6: **What emphasis is placed on **using models and tools**? Practice 4 is using Models. Practice 5 is using tools. Does the program teach various models? Does the program emphasize tool use appropriate to the grade? How much? When? Are these elements addressed in an even way throughout the book? Do students walk away from the program thoroughly understanding how to model their mathematical thinking? ** DOES THE PROGRAM TEACH THE CCSSM DESIGNATED MODELS** for the grade- meaning the ones mentioned in the Progressions?

**Number 7: **Is the program set-up to teach whole class only? Does it address small group instruction and workstations? Is it a one-size fits all or true differentiated lessons? How are the lessons scaffolded? Is the homework differentiated?

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## What textbooks are good for teaching the new CCSSM? Part 2

In this series of posts I am discussing the Top Ten Things to think about when buying a new programs to teach the CCSSM.

Number 4: How are the teaching and using of the** 8 mathematical practices** woven throughout the program? Does each unit of study cultivate the mathematical practices – meaning the “habits of mind and ways of being” of the students. In what ways is this explicitly addressed in each unit?

Number 5: In the new CCSSM, students are expected to ** read, write, listen and speak **about math? Does each chapter provide specific opportunities for students to read and think about each other’s work? What about writing across the domains-are there specific structures set up for this? How is it scaffolded throughout the program? In every chapter are there multiple opportunities for students to explain and justify their mathematical thinking with numbers, words and pictures? Do the lessons give talking points to the students? How is discussion cultivated in the lessons?

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## What textbooks are good for teaching the CCSSM?: Part I

People ask me all the time – What text books are good for teaching the New Math Common Core? Well, I think this is a really serious question that deserves time and consideration. In a 5 part series of upcoming posts, I will set out to answer that question.

Here are the first 3 Top Ten Things to think about when deciding on a new textbooks series for teaching the New Math Common Core.

1. In what ways does the textbook program address fluency? Fluency is the 3rd shift! It is super important. It is complex involving 3 major components – speed and accuracy, flexibility and efficiency. Does the program address all 3 of these aspects? In what ways? Is it ongoing or a one shot deal?

2. More specifically, what does the strategy practice look like? The core stresses the use of place value in teaching and learning arithmetic. Is the program aligned with this? Does it teach the strategies for the basic operations and then multiple strategies for operations with multi-digit numbers? How does it build this type of strategic thinking overtime?

3. What does the homework look like? How does it support strategic thinking? How does it support the parents/caregivers supporting their students? (Meaning is it all stuff that parents can’t do…if so, does it provide parent friendly letters explaining what is happening in the book).

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Guided Math Videos: Part 3

Here is an excellent clip of a guided math lesson. Notice how the teacher scaffolds her way into the concept with the students. These students do a great deal of work in a small period of time. It is hands-on, interactive and engaging.

Also, notice how the teacher does individual coaching throughout the guided math lesson. This is an essential component of a guided math lesson. It allows for the individual scaffolding within the lesson.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Guided Math Videos: Part 2

Here is a very interesting guided math video. Look at the student desks and the guided math group table! Wow! These are really great! I haven’t seen these before.

Also, notice the variety of ways this teacher uses technology. You don’t have to use the programs he names, there are plenty of free programs. The idea of using technology for math workshop in all of these different ways is fascinating and shows how engaged and targeted digital workstation practice can be.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Guided Math Video: Part I (Primary)

There are different ways to get your students to their centers.

In this video the teacher actually tells all the students what they will be doing in the groups. This is one model. Another model is to have it posted and to teach the kids the routine for going to centers. Everyone just has to pick a method that works for them.

Also notice the difference a graphic organizer makes. When the students use the ten frame, they are much better able to keep count.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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