It was interesting watching my students take their Post Unit test. The test was over three units – Division, geometry, and number lines. It was interesting to watch the students as they selected different problem solving strategies. The manipulatives we had used were on the back table. Students could go pick up a set and take it back to their desk. Other students used their dry erase pens to draw on their desk. When we have rotations today – I’m going to ask them about their thinking. I figured out that on average my students score on improved 28 points from their pretest to their post test.
Response to Chapter 1 of Math Work Stations
Math workstations are different from math centers. Stations are more focused on the needs of the students, and are designed to make it easy for the teacher to differentiate for different groups. Students should be engaged in higher level thinking at stations. On challenge I have in a self contained classroom is storing and setting up both literature and math work stations. Another challenge I have is that sometimes if feels like our administration does lip service to the ideas of work stations, but really wants busy work centers. I’ve been told that giving the kids choices leads to off task behavior. In my observation it is 3 or 4 students that are off task. 1 because he thinks he should be able to play in centers. 2 because they lacked confidence to try new things. That attitude has been improving, because making mistakes is not failure in my classroom but a sign you are learning something new. Then there are 2 students that are so far above the others in some ways it is hard to challenge them.
My students are engage by puzzles, they enjoy problem solving it presented as a puzzle. They are becoming more comfortable with the idea that there are many different ways to the correct answer. They are also engaged by contests and technology. They love number battle on the Ipad. They are more comfortable making mistakes on the Promethean Board, so they are more engaged in those activities.
I need to teach more problem solving strategies going beyond what Envision does. My students are held back by the low level of the problem solving lessons that Envision gives them. They need more strategies for higher level problems. They also need to be writing their own problems to challenge classmates with.
My locations work well.
Computers at computers
Ipads in the library area this gives me space to post QR codes.
Promethean at the promethean board. Only problem with this is that kids need to talk and my 1 mile voice kids can be disruptive to the teacher table.
Number sense on the floor at the back of the carpet.
Problem Solving at the Yellow table desks.
Review at the back table/writing center. Since this is going to include several make a movie/Ibook activities for the students to publish having the writing supplies handy will work out.
This is actually a literature station, but students use the Ipads in math stations also.
Today I want to get several things done
Frustrated parents sneak ‘old math’ to kids
And as for the concepts-before-procedure argument, she quipped: “Would you want to go to a doctor who’s learned about the concepts but never done the surgery? Would you want your doctor to say, ‘I had the right idea when I removed your appendix, though I took out the wrong one?’ “
Thus, when a parent is asked to multiply 88 by 5, we’ll do it with pen and paper, multiplying 8 by 5 and carrying over the 4, etc. But a child today might reason that 5 is half of 10, and 88 times 10 is 880, so 88 times 5 is half of that, 440 — poof, no pen, no paper.
What struck me as funny about this article is that my mother had the same argument with my teachers but in reverse. She objected to the having to do math in a step by step predetermined formula that did not take into account basic number sense. My mother knew there were many different ways to solve math problems and as long as they were sound and gave me the correct answer she saw no reason not to use them.
My teachers on the other hand were very wedded to the idea that there was one way to solve a division problem. My mother was very adept at mental math. I can remember her adding the cost of an entire basket full of groceries faster than the clerks could punch in the numbers at the register.
I’m glad that our master math teacher presents concepts in multiple manners to the students and allows them to use whenever mathematically sound math method works best for them. This includes the old fashion algorithms parents are used to seeing.