My Favorite Thing About Math

Sunday, May 29, 2016 / 5 comments
So my "math boss" is leaving. He is moving from California all the way to Idaho!  I won't tell you what a mess I've been the last two weeks since I found out, but I did want to share with you, all of the awesome things my kids had to say about their "favorite thing about math."
I took all of their writing and put it together to make a class book as a thank you to Ryan.

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First Grade Fraction Talks... What?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 / 21 comments

Since the idea of fraction talks first came through my twitter feed, I was intrigued.  My first thought, was, "Oh, that's so cool for the big kids." My next thought was, "Hmm...  Some of the best learning my first graders have done has happened when I've stolen ideas from upper grades.  I wonder what ideas I can steal here that would benefit my student's mathematical understanding?" My colleague, Allegra once said that teachers are like swimmers, and there are three groups of swimmers.  The first group dives in and explores and pilots new ideas.  The second group watches the first group to make sure they do well and make it to the other side. The third group won't stick a toe in. They say, "No way! Not gonna do it!"  I am totally a swimmer from the first group, so I dove in... and here is what happened.

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First Grade Math Fight... Fractions, Proportional Reasoning, and Algebra, Oh my!

Monday, April 18, 2016 / 20 comments
Okay, so I knew this "Math Fight" was coming. (Thank you, John Stevens)  The standard I was going after was 1.G.3

Although, this is the performance standard (a very simple standard at first glance) that students need to be able to do, my mathematical goal was different. Further down (like about 3 pages later) in the CA math framework, I find this beauty of a mathematical goal: (Mathematical goal meaning - What is it about math you want students to understand?)

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Good vs. Evil: Pedagogy in the Classroom

Sunday, March 27, 2016 / 14 comments
My school district has been piloting math materials for the past two years. Now that the second year is coming to a close, tensions are rising between teachers.  Differences in pedagogy are bubbling to the surface. Amongst other things, it is very apparent that inquiry-based instruction is on one side and direct instruction is on the other.  It's a battle of good versus evil, the Dark Side versus The Rebel Alliance, or is it?

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Discovering Relationships Through Context and Inquiry

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 / 10 comments
This year, the idea that there is a relationship between addition and subtraction was discovered in a Number Talk, a Number String to be more precise.

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Number Talks Wanderings and Dispositions

Sunday, February 14, 2016 / 17 comments
I have come to a place in Number Talks where I feel like some of my students are wandering in circles. We do Number Talks almost every day.  We have spent a great deal of time with dots, double ten frames, triple ten frames, equations, and lately number strings.  Through Number Talks my kids have discovered the identity property, commutative property, associative property and have worked on all of the following mental math strategies:

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