## Here is another great site for math fact fluency!

It is free!  It is printable!  It is also informative!  Check it out!

Paper and Pencil Assessments…

Remember that automaticity is only one element of fact fluency! Don’t forget about flexibility and efficiency.

Happy Mathing!

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## Math Workstations: Component 2 (Differentiation)

First of all, Math Workstations are data-driven.  Second, they are differentiated. After-all, you have to do something with that data.  It is one thing to collect data, it is another to analyze, interpret and then provide learning experiences based on the data.  What do you currently do with  your data?  Put it in a binder and on the shelf? How do  you USE it?  Key word here, USE…

Data should directly inform what children are doing in math workstations.  Everybody shouldn’t be doing the same thing in a math workstation…otherwise it is just like doing whole group instruction (everybody at the same time doing the same thing) in small groups…with no attention to individual student needs.

Math workstations are about children engaging in purposeful practice in their zone of proximal development.

Math workstations are not busy work.

Math workstations are engaging but more.

Math workstations are directly connected to where the student is on his/her learning journey.

So, that means that in the Fluency Center…students are working on activities that help them achieve mastery where they are and help them to move onto the next level.  Some students might be working on make ten facts, others might be working on doubles and still others might be working on adding 7’s,8’s and 9’s.  In the Word Problem Center, some students might be working on Take From Change Unknown problems and others might be working on Part Part Whole Part Missing Problems.  In the place value center, some students might be building numbers with base ten blocks, others might be drawing out representations and others might be working on expanded form with styrofoam cups (at an abstract level).

Now, just ease your way into it!  Don’t try to differentiate everything at once or you’ll get overwhelmed and not do any of it.  Start slow, start with a plan…just start!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Problem Solving Resource Kit: Great for Guided Math Activities and Math Centers

Here is a fantastic math problem solving resource. Ashleigh is the best!  This is a problem solving kit in color that give students the opportunity to play with numbers, scenarios and writing story problems. It is FREE!!!! YEAH! We Love Free Stuff! Check it out!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Think Dot Activities: Great Math Center Activities

Think Dots is a great structure to provide for students to practice math concepts and skills.  Think Dots are designed with readiness levels, interests and learning styles in mind.  You can use these activities as on-going assessments.

Think Dot mats can be done with a variety of activities.  Each student rolls the die and then does the corresponding activity.  For example, if a student rolls a 1, then they do the activity designated in that square.  Here are a few math Think Dot ideas.

Money Think Dots Mats

Think Dots Resources

Fraction Think Dots

Algebra Think Dots

Word Problem Think Dots

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Fractions, Decimals, Percents: Math Center Activities and Guided Math Lessons

Here is a great packet of fraction activities that you can do in a guided math group and then put in math centers.  Often I will play games in guided math groups with students until I am certain that they fully understand the concepts and then I will put the games into math centers so that they can practice.  The new Common Core Math Standards focus on building a conceptual understanding of fractions in grades 3-5. Students are expected to illustrate fractions to explain their thinking, so a variety of encounters working with fractions is necessary to build background knowledge.  You also really want to work in small guided math groups because this gives students an opportunity to talk out their thinking and intensely listen to others and explain what they have said.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Checking for Understanding Throughout the Lesson: Great Guided Math Strategies

It’s really important to check for understanding along the way not just at the end of the trip.  It’s a horrible thing to fly all the way to Los Angeles from NY and find at the end of the trip that some of your kids are still at JFK (the airport). So to avoid all that here are 5 great ways to check in before your students check out.

1. Fist of five – The kids raise their fingers to show their level of understanding.  A fist means, “I’m lost.”  1 finger means – “I don’t get it.”  2 means “I barely get it.”  3 means “I kind of get it.”  4 means “ I get it pretty much,  although I still have a few questions.”  5 means “ I get this.  I understand it.  I could even teach it to someone else.”

2.  The Windshield – In this technique the windshield is a metaphor for understanding.  So, the teacher might ask:  “Who has muddy windshield?” The students who are totally lost will say they do.  Then the teacher might ask “Who has some bugs on their windshield?” The students who kind of understand will say they do.  Then, the teacher will ask, “Who has a clear windshield?” The students who are getting it will say they do.  I have seen this used really effectively with upper elementary students.

3. Signal Cards– This is where everyone has 3 cards and the teacher asks students to raise different colors to signal their levels of understanding.  The teacher might say, “If you get it raise the green card, if you kind of get it raise the yellow card, if you don’t get it yet raise the red card.”  Another version of this is just to have a traffic light on the board and to point to different colors and ask the students to raise their hands depending on how they would describe their level of understanding.

4.  Speedometer – This is where the students use their hands to indicate their level of understanding.  The students lay one arm on top of another with the elbow of one arm on the hand of the other.  The raising and lowering of the top arm represents going from 0 (not getting it) to 100 (super getting it).  The students then raise their arms to indicate their level of understanding.

5.  Four Corners – The teacher designates each part of the room as an area that represents levels of understanding.  (You can already have scaffolded activities prepared for each area).  Have the students go to the area that best describes their current level.

Resources with More Ideas:

Resource 1

Resource 2

Resource 3

Try them out and let me know how it goes!

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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## 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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