Primary Chalkboard: math
Showing posts with label math. Show all posts
Showing posts with label math. Show all posts

Setting a climate for problem solving!

One thing that we all know to be true is that "real world" math doesn't show up on a page with 12 problems!  Our job as teachers is to prepare students to solve ANY problem that comes their way!  As we start a new school year, setting a climate for problem solving can set the stage for a year where students are willing to dig in and use their math skills no matter WHAT the circumstances.  

To get the year started, there are a few phrases that I like to introduce to my students and then reinforce all year long--words that help set the tone for the kind of "math learning" I want to happen all year long.  See what you think!
One of the biggest things I have noticed over the years is that many students have a very real fear of being wrong.  This fear keeps them from participating, keeps them from enjoying math, and--worst of all--keeps them from learning!  In the first weeks of school, I push my students to take risks.  I give them impossible problems.  We work in pairs. We solve problems that have countless answers--and I encourage them to find answers that no one else will find.  Throughout all this, I highlight students and teams that have showcased risk taking--even if their answers aren't correct!  
I even share a few quotes about taking risks and we talk about real life experiences they have had where taking a risk paid off!  If you want a copy of these "take a risk" quotation posters, click here
Another idea that I stress with my students is that they need to always be ready to revise their own thinking!  I had a super fun lesson where we debated about whether or not certain shapes were rectangles.  Some students were SO rigid in their thinking that they were unable to take in new ideas from others and revise their own understanding about the concept.  If you want to read more about this lesson, CLICK HERE to see it!
 This, of course, directly relates to my NEXT phrase--"critique thinking".  I always want my students thinking about what they hear, evaluating if it makes sense, and then offering up their own ideas in a polite, constructive way.  This was a HUGE part of the rectangle lesson and many other similar lessons.  Students need to learn how to offer up their critiques in a productive way--and this is all a part of creating that climate for risk taking and problem solving.  
 Another phrase I teach my students early in the school year is "justify your answer".  Students know that saying "I just knew it!" won't get them very far--and that they need to learn to use math language to explain their thinking to others.  Other students should be able ask questions requesting clarification as well.  The discussions are just fascinating!  At the beginning of the year, I need to step in as a coach, but as the year unfolds, the discussions run themselves!
 Finally, my favorite.  Perseverance.  Without this, nothing else matter!  From the first day of school, I stress with my students how important it is to be willing to dig in and WORK HARD.  We talk about how to ask for help--but only after really giving it a good try.  We talk about how to "help" each other by coaching and not giving answers.  We talk about how GOOD it feels to take on a challenging problem--and to work through it.  We talk about how the PROCESS of doing math is more important than the answer (at times)...and to be willing to dig in and try will pay off in the end.  I deliberately present my students with problems that are challenging to help them learn how to navigate this uncomfortable feeling...and how to help each other with the math--and with encouragement.
If you teach intermediate grades, I have a freebie all about perseverance if you are interested!  It gives a little more information plus a challenging problem for you to present to YOUR class to see how well they can persevere.  I have a full resource related to this as well with additional problems to use to help teach perseverance if you are interested.  Just click the "Persevere" sign above.  Want to try the freebie?  Click the image below.
Thanks so much for joining me for my first post here at Primary Chalkboard!
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Intermediate Back to School Tips and eBook FREEBIE

Summer is coming to an end and it's time to start setting those alarm clocks again!  Whether you've already headed back to school or are getting ready to in the next few weeks, the members of The Primary Chalkboard have been hard at work compiling helpful Back to School tips and a FREE eBook!  Below is our Intermediate eBook and our K-2 friends have also created a Primary eBook.  Now you have several resources ready to print and use from day one.  Check them out and have a WONDERFUL school year!

Here are some tips!!

I hope you liked our tips and eBook!

- The Intermediate Chalkies

5 Favorite Apps for Math!

Hi everyone! It's Christina from Miss DeCarbo's Sugar and Spice! I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer! Can you believe it's about to be July already? How does summer always go by SO FAST?!

Today I'm going to share 5 fabulous Math Apps that I use during those first couple months of school! You can click on the picture or the title for each app to jump to the Apple Store to check them out! Here we go!
This app is the perfect partner game for the iPad at the beginning of the year! Students will take turns guessing which number the octopus is thinking about. The app activates some beginning skills for greater than and less than as the students narrow down their choices. The app also introduces students to a number line! This app is perfect for kindergarten and first grade kiddos! :)

Math Dots is a fun computation game for students. You can set the operation to addition or subtraction.  The students solve problems and work their way around a "connect the dots" type of picture. When they complete all of the problems, they get to color the picture and see it come to life! My kids LOVE this game and it was a staple computation app throughout our entire year. 

This is a great kindergarten app to help students learn how to write their numbers by tracing the numbers on the screen.  Even if first grade, I often have kiddos that struggle with number writing at the beginning of the year. I especially use it for those kids who have reversal issues and need another resource to add to their toolkit of interventions! 

Number Pieces provides virtual base 10 blocks for students or teachers to manipulate and teach with! I first use this as a whole class app with the students. After my kids gain confidence in their ability to use, show, and count base 10 blocks, I let the students play in partners. One partner drags base 10 blocks onto the screen and the second partner counts them up and writes the answer on the tablet. Then, they erase the board and switch. They love getting to "play teacher!"

There is a Splash Math app for many grade levels! This is a FANTASTIC app that contains oodles and oodles of practice for the Common Core standards in all areas of math! My kids think they are playing a game, but they are actually reviewing valuable skills and refreshing their abilities through spiral review. In my eyes, this is a must-have for any math teacher who has iPads in the classroom! :)

I hope you enjoyed these little Math App Reviews!
Do you have other apps that you love?! Share them with me below by leaving us a comment! 

I am such a sucker for Valentine's Day stuff. The colors. The candy. The memories of trying to figure out what the choice of Garbage Pail Kids card meant from the boy I was crushing on... In my classroom, I definitely DOWNPLAY the love stuff with the holiday. I try to make it more of a friendship holiday - with pink, red, and hearts of course!

Just in case you are still looking for a quick Valentine's Day math activity, I made a short FREEBIE that includes 8 task cards for one step and two step word problems. It is perfectly aligned to the 2nd grade standards but could easily be used with some 1st graders and as a review for 3rd grade. You can pick it up for FREE by clicking here.


5 Ways to Dig Deeper with Number Lines

Hi, friends! I'm Blair from One Lesson at a Time, and I'm so excited for my first post over here at the Primary Chalkboard! I am a number line fanatic. They are such an amazing tool to use with so many different math skills. By helping students flexibly use a variety of number line strategies, we can really help them develop deep and meaningful number sense.

Today I am rounding up 5 of my favorite applications for number lines. I'll link you to a few other posts that I've written and some resources that I've created that will help you dig deeper into number line strategies in your classroom.

And away we go!

Rounding can be a super frustrating skill to teach. There are a lot of "tricks" for teaching rounding - and once I ditched them, my quality of life improved significantly. By introducing rounding on a number line, students are immediately set up for success with the underlying conceptual understandings that help us get why we round up or down. 

I don't want to oversell this, but this post on my blog has more information about the lesson that changed my life. Dramatic? Yes. Accurate? You betcha.

Open number lines are probably my current favorite thing, surpassing even my fondness for cheese. Ok, well, I really, really love cheese, so that may be a bit of an overstatement. But I really do love them. 

I was actually inspired to really get into open number lines after seeing this piece of mathematical artwork by one of the 3rd graders at my school:

I MEAN. Is that not a thing of beauty?!?! In this blog post, I do my best to demystify open number lines and show tons of different ways that they can be used as a problem solving strategy.

"Zooming in on a number line" is a quick and easy activity I like to do with my students at least a few times a month. This really helps students with a few fundamental understandings. It's a great way to illustrate which numbers "live" between the intervals when the intervals are greater than 1. You can click over to this post on my blog for more information and pictures.

The Common Core standards for 3rd grade (specifically 3.NF.2) are very explicit about the need for students to be able to understand and represent fractions on number line diagrams. I love using interactive notebooks to teach math, and find them to be particularly helpful with this standard. We first use a flap book to break down the vocabulary....

Then, I give them some guided, hands-on practice in partitioning number lines into fractional parts.  I find that one of the trickiest things about fractional number lines can be that students are often tempted to count the lines rather than the intervals. Allowing them to physically fold the number lines is super helpful in clearing up this common misunderstanding. 

Once they've gotten the hang of it, they are ready for a few more practice activities.

The activities pictured above are all part of my interactive notebook pack for 3.NF.2, which is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Elapsed time is another one of those skills that many teachers prepare to teach by tripling their daily coffee consumption. It can be tricky stuff, no doubt. And CCSS 3.MD.1 ups the ante by explicitly stating that students need to be able to represent elapsed time on a number line diagram. This really wasn't something that I had ever done prior to the Common Core, so I initially felt some trepidation about it. But, HOLY GUACAMOLE. Using number line diagrams for elapsed time was a game changer for my kiddos. It REALLY helps them "get it". So I am now a full-on believer. I use these elapsed time lines to tackle this standard with my students - they are available in my TpT store.

Thanks so much for stopping by Primary Chalkboard today! I'm so excited to be an official "Chalkie", and I can't wait to come back soon and share more teaching ideas with you. 

Happy Teaching!