Level

Assessment: Shelf Work in Kindergarten

Melissa Williams


In these initial phases, we are teaching kids how to reflect. To look over their week and explain certain images where they learned, wondered, or were confused about. Many have never been asked to “reflect”, especially in math. As we begin this year, we are trying to introduce this and make it a habit. The hope is that the mathematical language becomes stronger and the thinking becomes deeper and meaningful to understanding concepts better. 

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Lesson Study & Visualization

Lesson Study on Visualization with Mathodology

Follow our Journey. Lesson Study with a Focus on Visualization.

Jugyou kenkyuu, a Japanese phrase gives us the term “Lesson Study”. Introduced in the U. S. in the late 1990s, interest in Japanese lesson study remains strong in the education world throughout the United States. Our Lesson Study this year will focus on visualization and metacognition.

Lesson Study & Mathematics

Lesson study works well across education and in particular, in improving mathematics education. We will wrap up professional summer reading on visualization in September with a look into the routines we create in classrooms that promote visualization. During “Introduction to Lesson Study” in October, we will explore what lesson study is, how it works, how to use it, and best practices with a focus on creating metacognition in students.

Pre-Lesson Study Questions

We engaged our focus group from St. Edward School in Vero Beach by asking the following questions:

What attracted you to this Lesson Study?

Overall the participants felt this lesson study would improve their ability to use visualization strategies in their own classrooms. They felt the experience would allow them to “dig deeper” into learning the best way to improve their teaching skills to build visualization.

What do you hope to learn from this Lesson Study

Participants generally responded similarly, wanting a deeper understanding of the science behind visualization, learning how to integrate visualization into their daily teaching, and using visualization to help students see concepts in a different way.

What is visualization to you?

It is creating a picture in your mind, being able to ‘see’ what you are hearing or reading to help you better understand the lesson, and it brings life to situations, assisting a student in understanding the concepts being taught.

What do you feel you already know about visualization? (before reading)

The response to this question was consistent with all participants. All felt that visualization was a way of seeing something in your mind to better or fully understand it and using it in math as well would bring life to situations and assist students in better understanding the concepts being taught.

Ideas on how to get kids to visualize math?

  • Using various concrete and pictorial models
  • Incorporating color in our board witing to connect ideas
  • Relating ideas especially in the operations
  • Have children create a short movie in their minds with each math concept so they can ‘see’ the process and verbalize it before computing

What questions do you have before we start the lesson study?

  • Can all students visualize?
  • How are other teachers using visualization?
  • Does the brain have any physical limitations with visualizing?
  • How do we teach visualization to students so they use it seamlessly when seeing a math problem?
  • What forces the brain to want/have to visualize?

We will be holding a private Lesson Study at St. Edward’s School, Vero Beach, FL in September.

Follow us through this Lesson Study.

We’ll be at Oak Hill High School in Nashville, TN, October 2, 2019 – October 4, 2019. Seats still open!

Click here to register for this event and for details on this Lesson Study.

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Do students need to draw the bars when solving word problems?

Dear Sarah,

I am currently in the unit of Parts to Whole, teaching bar modeling.  Looking ahead, it seems to me that bar modeling is a big part of not only this unit but upcoming units as well.

My wondering and question: I have students who are looking at the problems and can figure them out by stacking numbers then using the renaming strategy which was what they learned in lessons before bar modeling.  Should I be encouraging all of my students to draw the bar model before stacking the numbers to solve the problem? How critical is it for them to bar model? Please know that I am not saying that I don’t want to teach it at all, but I don’t know how much I should be “pushing” those that either don’t understand it or those that feel like they can work the problems using other strategies.

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Why do Students Struggle When Learning Math Facts?

Learning Math Facts

Math facts are simply the basics: addition, subtraction; multiplication; division. They are basic number combinations and calculations we do every day.  So why is it that learning math facts  creates such huge problems for teachers and students in our classrooms?

Subtraction mistake when learning math facts

Common subtraction mistake when children are learning math facts.

Is it that some of us are just naturally better at math than others?  Perhaps.  The good news is you as a teacher can help anyone improve their math skills.  You might be wondering how.  Well, rote memorization alone won’t get us there.

Continue reading

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Renaming in the addition algorithm

Many teachers ask how to help students record the renaming process in the addition algorithm.  What language should I use?

I learned to “make trades” or “borrow” when adding and subtracting that require renaming.  Is this still correct?

Renaming in the addition algorithm

How can we help students understand conventional methods?

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Powers of 10 (part2)

Powers of 10 (part 2)

My students are really struggling with multiplying and dividing with powers of 10 (especially division).
Do you guys have any suggestions for reinforcement activities/anchor tasks?

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Addition Within 10

Addition Within 10

A journal entry from a grade 1 student. This student can draw it, write an equation, and give a number bond for the given task.

How might you further assess this student?

Give two questions you can ask this student to extend the thinking that is recorded here?

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Math Facts

Hi Sarah,
Your name came up during today’s fourth grade math planning meeting, as all three of the teachers attended the Mathodology conference,  this past summer.  We were discussing math apps to practice the multiplication table, and they said you recommended Reflex, which I’m not familiar with.  Would you be able to help answer questions for an individual use?

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Decompose Numbers Using Number Bonds

Number Bonds

Can you picture spending several classroom periods on the number 5?  Specifically, breaking it down into parts, and putting it back together again?  Sounds like a lot of time, right?  But, spending this amount of classroom time to decompose numbers using number bonds,  allows students to gain a deeper, more flexible understanding of numbers.  You might be wondering what those periods would actually look like, how you’d keep your students engaged and learning for that amount of time.  In this blog, we will explore exactly that.

What are Number Bonds  

Simply put, number bonds are the different ways we can break apart numbers. Number bonds are all about the relationship between numbers and quantities. The relationships of parts to a whole. Building the foundation for all mathematical operations. Building mental images of number relationships. While it sounds like a simple concept, it can be difficult for students to learn.  So, it is important to dedicate time for them to learn the concept.

How to decompose numbers using number bonds

Use of color and representation helps to connect ideas.

Why Number Bonds

Continue reading

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Math War

Math War

Who has the largest number? Students use cards to compare different representations of a number.

Number cards from mathodology coming soon!

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Game for Make 10

Fish for Ten_website

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Grade 2 begining Journal Entry

Journal Entry:  Given a number write four things you know about that number.

 

How can we use this to help assess where a student is before we even begin a formal lesson?

Student 1:

Student 2:

Student 3:

 

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Sarah Schaefer

 Sarah Schaefer - Student Work

Counting Activities should include matching objects to pictures and different representation of a number.
Games like “Go Fish”, “Concentration”, and “War”, where student have to make a match are great ways to practice the early stages or recognizing numbers and counting.

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Sarah Schaefer

 Sarah Schaefer - Student Work

Early counting activities should involve dot cards in all different formations to practice seeing and counting numbers.

Check out this link for templates of different cards. Lots of templates. Start small and focus on dots cards initially 🙂

http://wps.ablongman.com/ab_vandewalle_math_6/0,12312,3547876-,00.html

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