Saturday, August 31, 2013

Meaningful Math

I think we all know how important it is that students practice important mathematical concepts each day in order to increase their number sense and maintain understanding of skills they have learned.  In the past I have always included some daily math activities in my morning meeting.  We have had a number of the day where we wrote number sentences together each day and discussed how to decompose the number.  I've included other skills as well like calendar, time, money, skip counting, etc.  It has been a nice review each day and I think the students have benefitted from it in the past.  

Over the summer I decided that it wasn't really enough to just work on these skills together as a class.  I had a lot of students last year that struggled with math and although I thought this whole group time was beneficial for them, in hindsight I don't think it was.  In fact, these were the students that seemed to tune out at these times when our discussions went over their head.  As a teacher it's so hard to level the playing field when you have those high students who want to be pushed and then the struggling students who need lots of review and repetition.  

Therefore, I thought it would be important for ALL of my students to be actively engaged during this meeting time by working on these skills prior to joining us on the rug.  This way my students will *hopefully* stay tuned IN during our discussion and fix any mistakes or join in on the parts that they do understand.  

So here's how I have prepared for this Daily Math time each day:
First I got some 15¢ folders with 3 hole fasteners at WalMart.  Then I labeled them using name badges, which were the perfect size.  I will let students choose what color folder they want and then write their name on the label.

The next step was to print off the resource/reference pages on colored paper and place them in page protectors inside each folder.  The reference pages include: Days of the Week and Months of the Year, Money, 100 Chart and 200 Chart, and number words to 100.  (There are some other reference pages included in the pack as well).
Finally, I made their first monthly packet to go in the folder that we will work on everyday.  Each day, as part of their morning work, students will be responsible for completing a Number of the Day page and a Calendar Journal page.  At the beginning of each month is a blank calendar for students to fill in.  We will also graph the weather and temperature each day, and keep track of the number of days in school.  The reference pages will stay in the folders all year long so students can refer to them when completing these activities.  I'm hoping even my struggling students will benefit from doing it this way.
Each month I will use different number of the day pages in order to hit a variety of skills and to keep this interesting.  As we get further in the year our number of the day will get bigger and there are tons of different pages to choose from in order to accommodate this.  

I can't wait to use these with the students this year!  If you are interested in checking this out too, click on the picture below.  


Yesterday I posted some pictures of my classroom and there was some interest in a few things I've created.  So I hurried up to post these items in case anyone wants to grab them before school starts (or even after =)  Head on over to TpT store to check them out.  




Happy weekend friends!  It's my last weekend of summer, so naturally I am still in my pajamas at noon.   Gotta soak it up while I can!  

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