Monday, November 21, 2011

Elapsed Time

I just spent a wonderful week in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Albuquerque.  The #1 question was, "How do I help my students with elapsed time?"  Here are some suggestions.  I look forward to your comments on other ways to teach this difficult concept in a way that makes sense to students.
First, student should understand how to use number bonds to add time or to break minutes into hours and minutes.  This is stressing the concept that the hour is a unit.
From there, they can move to model drawing.  
The biggest challenge for students is deciding how to divide up the unit. It helps the kids to label the beginning and ending times.  Reading one piece at a time and plugging it into the model really helps!

 Remember, not all the models will look the same.  Some may divide it into 15 minute chunks and some will see the whole hour.  As long as its labeled and they can explain it, I take it!
This is a two-step, part-whole problem.  Reading one piece at a time is the key to success!

This problem is a little harder.  First, you'll need to discuss the answer statement with your students.  I decided to leave a place for "will" or "will not" in mine.  You'll notice my unit bar didn't end proportional.  Oops!  That's why we do math in pencil.

How do you teach elapsed time?  I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Friday, November 11, 2011

SDE's Singapore Math Website

I'm so excited about SDE's new Singapore Math website.  This is a great way to introduce Singapore Math to others, including your parents.  There are some great videos (with more to come!) and resources.  Please take some time to explore!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Starting Number Bonds

I got a great question today in MN.  Kitty asked how to start number bonds.  Number bonds (also called fact families) can be started in pre-k.  In kindergarten, you want to focus on number bonds to 10.  Mastering those in critical to later success.

Start at the concrete level, using a variety of manipulatives and oral language.  In kinder, I like to start with the number 4, and keep going up as they master each number.  Use hula hoops to tell human number bond stories. Have students work in groups of 4, each contributing one shoe.  You can also use zoo pal plates and number bracelets to work on number bonds at the concrete level.

Here's a great you tube video showing how some teachers in North Carolina are using number bonds.