Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Place Value Workstation

 I'll only make a workstation if it can be used more than one way or more at more than one level.  I wanted was working on some workstations for counting and place value for grades K-2 and something I saw on Pinterest sparked this idea.  Kindergarten students made their initials with unifix cubes and counted them, focusing on making tens.

The first and second graders built them with base 10 blocks.  It got interesting as we worked on making trades between 10s and 1s.

To get even higher values, we built names instead of initials.  Need more ideas?  Build spelling words or sight words!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Primary Workstations

I just returned from North Carolina, where we explored number sense through workstations.  There were kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers.
If I'm going to make a workstation, I want to make sure there are options built in (for me and the children) and differentiation in included in the workstation.

                                                       Shape Puzzles

 I used the school die cut machine to cut out shapes and assigned a each.  The kinder and first grade teachers worked with numbers within 10.  
 The second grade standard was working on adding by 10s to 120.  Some teachers went higher!

Changing the task to "Make a picture with a value of 100" really changed it.  It was way more difficult to reach the sum AND be creative.
If I were doing this with children, I would have used more (and better) colors.  We grabbed what was close by.  I think it shows the idea well.  The children also would label the picture, using the names of the shapes and their values.  FUN!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Why Teach Math?

I just spent two days with Dr. Yeap Ban Har.  I've been in his sessions before but never a two-day intensive workshop.  Here are some of the ideas he shared that really hit home with me.

  • The math we teach isn't as important as the thinking skills we teach.  We need to be comfortable and familiar with information and data--how to take it apart and make sense of it.  
  • Some people are good and this is easy.  Some people will struggle and may need more help.  But we will work and will all be successful.
  • Visualization is a key skill.  It's the minds' ability to see things that are not obvious. 
  • Math is an excellent vehicle for the development and improvement of a person's intellectual competencies.  
  • It's the conversations (questioning) and natural language we have during math lessons that will make the math come alive and make sense for the child.
  • If you have to repeat (reteach) material each year, you won't have time to teach that year's material.
  • Howard Gardener listed many intelligences.  The ability to memorize and the ability to follow procedures aren't among them,  They just take an inordinate amount of practice.  
  • The goal of a math lesson is the leave knowing more than you started with,
Thanks Ban Har.  I'm tired but it's a happy tired.