Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Math in the Summer!

The last two weeks I spent not at the beach, but inside a classroom learning about how to teach math. Two weeks seems like a long time to learn about math, but in reality, it doesn’t seem like it was long enough to learn how to really dive deep into the ins and outs of the “new math.” Of course, the awesome incentives kept us encouraged throughout the program as well. 

I wanted to show ya’ll some of the things that I learned that I want to incorporate into my room. Yes, I know that I’m not teaching math this year. The thing is, I’m going to be helping integrate math into reading and social studies. Isn’t that what teaching is really about now? Integrating the uses? Showing how they apply? ;) I think so!
Our training was divided up into several sections:
  •   Problem Solving 
  •   iPad Use
  •  Geometry
  •    Number Sense
  •   Pedagogy

Every Monday, I’ll showcase some things that I have learned in each section. So, today I want to show off some things from Problem Solving. The professor for this session was AMAZING! He really kept us pumped up! 

The main thing that I took away from this session (other than some really cool dice, number lines, etc…) was that for a student to show true math comprehension, they have to be able to use strategies to find the answer but really be able to explain their thinking and to take in other people’s ideas.

One good activity to start off the process was to give each team of kids a puzzle without the picture. Have them put together their puzzles. Afterwards, have a class discussion describing each team’s tactic for putting the puzzles back together! This would show that we all have different ideas on how to get to the end result.

Once you get the puzzle activity completed, and children understand that we all have different ideas, then you can move onto the math tasks. The NCTM suggests that we do math tasks at least weekly. This math tasks are designed to get your brain thinking, that’s for sure! Teach the task procedures of choosing a strategy, solving, showing work, and thinking through how to explain the answer. Kind of like a mental check sheet for the kids. One process that we went through was this:
  • We completed a math task by our self, going through the process. 
  • Then we compared work with a partner. 
  • Then with a group we used chart paper to figure out four different ways to answer the problems. 
  • Finally we did a gallery walk to see about the other ways groups had found.
We also talked about math anxiety and how we, as teachers, can help kids kick the anxiety.

So, let me ask you! What is one thing that you want to change when teaching problem solving in your classroom? How can you integrate this process in your room? 

Coming soon to my store is this monthly packet called Math in Writing. It is designed to have students work through math problems, but have a writing extension based on their problem. You can get your sample here!

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