Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

A place dedicated to learning for ALL students!

The Wonderful World of Mathematics Part 3

on August 5, 2012

Well day 1 of CAMT was pretty packed.  But the good thing was I had a better idea of how I wanted to pick my sessions.  Kim Sutton and Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks had more choices.  But being new, I wanted to get a little bit of everything.  Also, the entire 3 days I was there, my whole thought process was finding new ideas for my math small groups.  Also, I was curious to see if I could do math workshop.  I looked for sessions that helped me with that.

So day 2 I started with a session that focused on math workshop.  Perfect!  Guess what was praised and told to be a great resource?  The book Guided Math that has been featured in one of Teaching Blog Addict’s summer book studies!  (Go here to check out the book study!)  I was curious about that book but didn’t want to jump on that bandwagon until I had a chance to find out more about it.  After this, sold!  Click the picture to purchase!

Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction

Okay so that session was really nice and I enjoyed it.  One thing she showed us that was new to me and I loved it.  As part of the accountability system for students while they are in math stations and the teacher is working with small groups is a score board.  After everything is cleaned up and you’re doing a quick wrap-up, talk about how the time went.  Using a board of some sort with moveable items with goals for the students to follow (i.e. no interrupting the teacher, working quietly, clean up, etc.), you tell the students how they did.  If they met that goal, it’s a point for them.  If they didn’t, then it’s a point for you.  My district math coach was worried about the competitive issue for those groups that are not as competitive and changed the board to say needs improvement and goal met.  The students obviously want to get as many of the goals as possible.  If they get within a certain range (4 out of 5 for example) she suggested giving them a piece of something they are working towards (filling their bucket, marble jar, whatever you do).  I love the idea and will be using it for math AND reading stations.

My next session was on mathematical fluency.  Funny thing…It was presented by a colleague of my aunt’s who is a middle school math teacher!  This presenter taught my cousin!  Small world.  Honestly though, the session was not what I thought it would be.  But she did suggest that if you are going to have student use flash cards, make sure they have the WHOLE fact to practice instead of them trying to find the answers.  Think of it like practicing sight words.  They need the whole word to practice it.  Well students need the whole fact sentence to practice it.  Interesting.  I will remember this.

After this, I spent the last 3 hours of the day at Math-a-Rama.  It’s 6 mini-sessions all concentrated on one area.  There was one done each day and I went to one of them.  I didn’t realize that each day was different or I would have been more choosy in which one I went to.  Rookie mistake.  But it wasn’t that bad.  The one I went to was centered on operations, relationships, and algebraic thinking.  There was a lot of multiplication and division work which my first grade babies will not really do.  Not even my G/T kids, unless one of them is a super genius!  But one of them was about using count-around strips to examine relationships with 5’s and 10’s and other skip counting patterns.  I can do that!  You use connecting cubes to create number lines skip counting.  They then hold up the different strips and see how they are the same and how they are different.   Good small group discussion.  Hmmm…possibilities.  On a weird note though, the ballroom it was held in was the coldest room at the convention center!  We all froze!

Okay that was the end of day 2.  I promise there is only one more day!  So how many of you do math workshop in your school?  What does your school provide for you to make it successful?  My next post will explain why I will NOT be able to follow that model fully…unless some great suggestions come in!

Happy teaching y’all!

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