## Personalizing Word Problems

Many researchers have looked deeply at the impact of personalization of word problems on student achievement. Bailey notes that students “don’t care how many apples Bob gave to Suzy. They’re much more interested in things like music, video games, movies, trading cards, money, and friends” (Bailey, 2002, p. 61). Giordano (1990) maintains that, “student fascination with problems can be enhanced when names, locations, and events are changed to personal referents” (p. 25). Researchers agree that student motivation and interest increases engagement with the work (Fairbairn, 1993, Hart, 1996). It is important that these problems be rooted in students’ real lives (Ensign, 1997).

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

See Article (copy and paste url)

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## The power of yet!

Let us teach our students the power of yet! This is excellent for k-3! Catchy tune, incredible attitude building!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Perseverance

I want to spend the next few posts talking about how we develop perseverance in our students. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. Teach them to stick with it. Teach them to never give up. Cultivate grit. Foster a growth mindset. Plaster it all over your classroom. Show inspirational videos like this! This video is amazing and inspiring and something all our students need to know!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Subtraction Strategies

Great ideas for teaching subtraction strategies in 2nd and 3rd grade. **The actual structure is good for all grades.** Notice how she frames the problems on the board, this is a great way to jumpstart mathematical conversations about strategies.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Math Toolkits Part 2: Primary Toolkits

Primary Math Toolkits should be built over the year adding tools as they are introduced. In the beginning of the year, start with the tools that were introduced in the prior grade. Here are some suggestions for toolkits:

1 container (Ziploc bag, box, big toolbox for a table of students)

1 double dice

2 different colored regular spotted dice

2-4 numeral dice

20 unifix cubes and/or bears

10 clear/colored bingo chips

1 rekenrek

1 ruler

1 small set of dominos

12 1- inch tiles (especially 2^{nd} grade)

**Templates:**

*see http://gigglenookmathstore.com/ for dice

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Math Toolkits: Part 1

Math toolkits are very important because they provide the tools for students to scaffold their thinking. There are two parts of a math toolkit. Part I is the part with all the physical tools and Part II is the part with all the blackline masters and writing templates. What goes in the toolkit depends on the grade level. At the beginning of the year, the toolkits should have tools that students are familiar with from prior grades and as the year progresses, you add new tools.

There are many ways to house the toolkits. Some teachers use big baggies, others use boxes, others use actual toolboxes. You have to pick what works for you. Some teachers just have a bunch of them in a specific place in the classroom, other teachers have them at the student tables (there should be enough for each student), while other teachers give each individual student a toolkit. Do what works for you. But at any given moment, every student should have access to the tools they need to scaffold their thinking.

Remember that your classroom environment is part of your toolkit. You should have big things- life-sized (ten frames, number lines, fraction strips etc) for students to see and use as they think outloud during public discussions. You should also have a variety of virtual tools that you are using during your whole group instruction and guided math groups.

During the next few days, I will post more specifically about grade level toolkits.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Decimals Hundredths Grid

Here are some great decimal grid activities by the Virgina Department of Education (see pages 44 – 52). I love decimal grids! Use them to teach adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals! Grids are great scaffolds for thinking.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Writing Multiplication Problems

Here is a great site to get started. Remember that in the CCSS students are suppose to solve and pose word problems! This is in most standards, whether or not your using the CCSS content.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## How can I charts…

I saw this “How can I chart” on Pinterest. I like the structure. I think it would be great to make a series of math anchor charts about “How can I…” such as “How can I add two digit numbers?” “How can I multiply a fraction by a whole number?” “How can I add single digit numbers quickly?”

Then, the chart lists several different ways to do it…going through the cycle of engagement: concrete ways, pictorial ways and abstract ways.

Then, you should definitely take pictures of these charts and have the students put the copies in their thinking notebooks or store the charts somewhere where they are accessible…or put them in a photo album that is labeled so students can use it as a reference when needed….or have the students copy the charts into their thinking notebooks…

The big point here is that charts should be a tool that is used throughout the year, not just for a moment!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Must Have Workstations: The Vocabulary Math Workstation

Math is a language! If we want our students to speak it, we have to teach them the words. So, have a vocabulary math workstation. In the vocabulary math workstation you are trying to get students to own the vocabulary through games and activities and math journal activities. Remember in the CCSSM students are evaluated on whether they are using everyday words or math words. So, instead of number and answer…they should be saying factor, divisor, addend and quotient, sum, difference, product. Be sure you speak math to your students, require them to speak math with you and each other and give them ample opportunities to practice the words.

Granite Math Vocabulary words are great because you can cut them up and play matching games with the words, the examples and the definitions.

Math Spelling City – There are several activities to do with the CCSS math aligned word lists!

Puzzlemaker.com – Make crossword puzzles and word finds. Crossword puzzles are great and academically rigorous because you are giving students the definition and asking them to tell you the word. Also, give them word finds, not just to find the word but to find, define, use it in a sentence, and give an example.

Set up tic tac toe games where the students have to choose a word and illustrate and define it. (ckingeducation.com -test saavy)

Have students do interactive math journal activities with the words.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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