In the photo- Three boys in my class complete Math Bingo together, which is like "Getting to Know You" Bingo, where students must get twelve classmates to respond to different problems on their papers and initial them.
Despite how often we encounter math in our daily lives, the concepts
we have to cover can be extremely difficult for our students to grasp. Even in
my own classroom, encouraging students to explain how they solved a specific
problem can be a tedious challenge, particularly with advanced students who are
used to solving problems with very little thought.
Recently the Title I schools in our district have made a
transition to hands-on math instruction by adopting a portion of Scott Foresman
Investigations. I have always considered myself a hands-on teacher, so at first I thought I
would delve into the methods with very little difficulty. Considering I rarely
grasped math concepts traditionally when I was in school and had to learn using
kinesthetic methods, I thought it would come naturally. However, the planning
has been an immense challenge.
Our school has decided to try a journaling project called âGlue
it and Do itâ where students receive a problem on a strip of paper daily. They
must glue the strip of paper in their journals (specifically designated for the
project) and solve it using words, numbers, and pictures. Additionally, they
must restate the information from the question at the start of their journal
entry. Since most of the questions my students are answering now revolve around
multiplication, they are encouraged to sketch clusters and arrays to explain
how they came to their solution.
I have been inspired by reading several articles written by the
sensational Marilyn Burns, which can be viewed here. Explained Burns in a 1995 article- âTheir writing (in math) is a window into
what they understand, how they approach ideas, what misconceptions they harbor,
and how they feel about what theyâre discovering.â
Classes can also try Daily
Data. Basically, a question can be posed to your students every week, such
In which season were you born?
Do you prefer dogs or cats more, or do you like
Out of these choices, which is your favorite
An area is designated in my classroom to display the data
question for the week. Students can then complete activities over the course of
the week relating to the question that has been asked.
Monday- Ask the question, and record the data. I
printed pictures of my students on a piece of cardstock with a magnetic
backing, so they can move themselves around on the whiteboard to respond.
Tuesday- In their journals, have the students put
the data in some sort of graph- bar graph, circle/pie graph, t-chart,
pictograph, or any other type of graph they find appropriate.
Wednesday- Have students write down
observations, inferences, and variables for the data.
Thursday- Have students write down a word
problem that goes along with the question.
Friday- Students will conclude the week by
displaying the data in a different way from the way they displayed it on
As I feel more comfortable utilizing the workshop approach
in math, I will post pictures of our journal entries, graphs, and partner
explorations. For now, please visit my Delicious website to view my math links-
http://delicious.com/Ms.Jasztal/Math. Additionally, I have math resources uploaded to my website that you can use- http://www.teachingvision.org/resources/math.html.