Tuesday, March 24, 2015

That's "eggs"actly what I was thinking!

Hello Everyone!
Thanks for stopping by for a peek today!! When I tell parents that they won't see a lot of math papers, flash cards, timed tests, etc. coming home and that we do a lot of talking in math, they are a bit surprised.  "Math Talk" is a huge part of my math mini lessons.  After we are finished with our math notebook (where self discovery spiraling number sense is abundant) I usually have a lesson with abundant math talk. This week we are working on understanding, describing, and generating relationships between numbers up to 120. So, it was time to bring out the lifesized 120 board. Yes! That shower curtain one. ( If you haven't made yours yet, I'm just here to tell you, I use it all the time!! )  Today, along with the board, I also had a cute little stuffed chick and 8 paper eggs with question marks on them, and a paper frame. We called the lesson "Eggs"act Math! The kids also brought their whiteboards.  I asked the kids to close their eyes as I placed the chick, the frame, and the eggs on the board. When all were set, the kids opened their eyes and had to figure out what numbers were covered and ultimately what number was hiding under the chick! OH! The conversations!! "What clues do we have?" "Where should we start?" "I think we can figure it all out with just one clue!" Then they got to work on their whiteboards. After recording their thoughts, there was more "talk." Kids shared what strategies they used to help them solve.  There were many different ways. I heard a lot of comparative and relational language!   Here are a couple of pics. I wish I could have recorded their voices!

After doing it once, I picked some kids to "hide" some numbers.

Doing math lessons with a lot of constructive math talk takes some important pieces all working together.  We first work hard on building a safe classroom environment where everyone's ideas are valued and respected.  We can learn so much from each other...if we are willing to be risk takers. Sometimes our thinking is not correct, and we can also help with rethinking if we feel comfortable with each other.  
We also have to encourage the talking that helps all of us find different strategies to get our answers. math is not just about getting the right answer. Of course computation is very important....but it is so much more! It is problem solving and exploring many different thinking patterns and strategies.  
I also work very hard on stepping back from explaining everything and letting the kids make sense of numbers and the relationships they have to each other.   I am there to spark, guide, and nurture.  

The best part of this lesson??  When I hear the kids say they were going to do this at home! OOOOOHHH YEAH!!  

I can't wait for tomorrow!! A bigger frame and a couple more chicks!! :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!!  Hope you can fit some math talk into your day!!