Using Books to Provide Context for Problem Solving

I have set a goal for myself to read one children’s book each day during summer vacation but I’m not going to stop there.  I’m challenging my self to make a math connection to each book I read.  I will go to my local library each week and pick seven random books.  I don’t know if I will come up with something as great as this http://love2learn2day.blogspot.com/2011/04/sea-squares-and-snap-cubes.html, but who knows.  I hope to have a great collection of ideas to share with teachers next fall.  Stay tuned, my summer vacation starts June 9.

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Pictures for Mathematical Discussions

I’m very excited about a NEW, FREE resource.  Each month this website http://www.smartpd.co.uk/pics.aspx will post a picture to stimulate mathematical discussions.  You will see the first picture when you click on the link.  They also suggest some questions to ask your students.  Mac users can click and drag the picture to your desktop.  You can print the picture or display it with your projector.

Math Rack (Rekenrek)

Last week I attended the National Math Recovery Conference.  One of the sessions I attended was on using Math Racks (Rekenrek).  Along with giving us good information on using Math Racks, she shared information on on using Number Paths ( like a numeral roll or numeral track) vs. Number Lines.  The research she sites indicates that K/1 students will do better with a Number Path.
Here are some suggestions for using a  Number Path:

  • Work on saying the numbers forward and backward.  Cover up a range of numbers to see if students can say the sequence without seeing it.
  • Work on 1:1 correspondence by having students put a small object on each numeral
  • Give each student a path and play a game where students roll the die and race to be the first one to get to 20.  When students roll the die, can they predict which number they will land on.
  • You can also race backward, from 20 – 1

The presenter has more information and free downloads, including a Number Path at her website  http://www.mathematicallyminded.com/