November 6, 2012

Beginning Data Management - Part 1

This Halloween data management activity is perfect for elementary classrooms! Click through to check it out! #Halloween #datamanagement

Hi Everyone,
Sorry I haven't been on here in awhile. I've been hard at work on another big project, and now that that is done I'll try to post more often.

As you may know, I'm a "numeracy facilitator" for my school board this year, working between 2 schools at the moment in Grades 1 to 6.  Right now everyone is transitioning to our data management strand, and I thought I would share a couple of great ideas that happened last week in our Grade 5 classes.  On October 31st, students were asked to sort their Halloween treats, and record their findings in some way, as they would be using the results the next day at school.  

They were given pre-determined categories:  Candy, Pop, Chips, Chocolate Bars, and Other.  They also then had to sort the chocolate bars into brand names.  The teachers did not tell the students how to record their results, and the next morning students brought in tally charts, bar graphs, lists, etc.  Students then worked in groups of 4 to add their numbers together to find out how many chips the group got altogether, how much pop, etc.  The last step was to show this information in a graph.  Here's one group's bar graph:

(I wish I knew how to rotate this!)  The great thing about this was the first day of data management, and the kids weren't given any instruction at all!  They did such a great job showing us how much they already knew about graphing, that the teachers and I realized that most of the "review" we had originally planned on doing to refresh their minds was completely unnecessary.  

We did discover that that while most students knew they needed titles and subtitles, they really didn't know how to create these important features in a meaningful manner.  Tomorrow I'll share how we addressed this quickly, in a manner in which the kids told us what was needed; we didn't need to tell them!

While I know Halloween is passed, you could do the same activity by having students gather loose change at home and bring their results (not the coins themselves) to school.  You will likely be amazed at how much your kids already know about how to show information in graph form!

Tomorrow - Part 2!
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October 15, 2012

Monday, Monday...

Check out this place value game for math! Perfect for grade two, grade three, and grade four!

Our school board has a "numeracy framework" from Grades 1 to 8, which sets out the order in which the various math units and strands are taught, and also indicates which lessons from our core resource (Nelson Math) can be used, as well as additional resources such as the Ontario Guides to Instruction in Mathematics, Super Source lessons, etc.  At the moment all grades are working on the first Number Sense strand, which focuses on counting, the "how muchness" of a number, and representing numbers in a variety of ways.

Grade 3/4

Today I worked in a Grade 3/4 classroom, introducing the game Roll & Risk.  This game reviews regrouping 2 digit numbers using dice and Base 10 blocks in an engaging manner.  After creating a two-digit target number by rolling a die twice (first roll for the tens digit; second roll for the ones), pairs of students work towards rolling the die and adding the appropriate number of Base 10 blocks, getting as close to their target number as possible without going over.  Each roll can be taken as either a tens or ones.  For example, with a target number of 43, and a first roll of 5, students will have to decide if they should take 5 tens or 5 ones.  They soon realize that taking 5 tens will immediately push them over their target number of 43, so take it as 5 ones, and continue rolling, regrouping ones as tens when necessary.  As they get closer and closer to their target number, they must decide when they should stop rolling.  After a couple of rounds of the game students realize that once their within 6 numbers of their target number, it is getting risky to roll again.                                                                                                                                                

The classroom was humming as the students discussed game strategies with their partners, and when I walked around with guiding questions, I could see that they were understanding not only the regrouping that was being reviewed from a previous year, but also the probability concepts necessary to success for this game.  When students got off track (one pair had a target number of 99 which I naturally questioned), it took only a quiet question or two to get them back on track (ie. "What is the largest possible number you can roll on one die?").

I can't take credit for the creation of the game; it was developed as part of the Ontario Ministry of Education's "Edugains" site, and full lesson plans can be found at this link:  Roll and Risk  On the right you will see "Counting & Representation; if you scroll down under that title you will find "Base Ten - Game 1" and Base Ten - Game 2".  Game 1 is for 2 digit numbers and Game 2 is for 3 digit numbers.  The full game summary as well as the recording sheet can be found by clicking on "Printable Documents" over Counting & Representation.

I've also created a Smart Notebook resource to introduce both versions of the game.  Students love coming up and rolling the interactive dice, and the cloned Base 10 blocks make it easy for students to understand the regrouping that is part of the game.  Check it out here:  Roll & Risk Smart Notebook Place Value Game

 Tomorrow I'll be doing a similar game, only with subtraction, with a Grade 6 class.  Have a great day!

October 14, 2012

Welcome to Coach's Corner!

Hi!  My name is Margie, and I'm excited to be entering the blogging world.  I am a teacher in southwestern Ontario in Canada, and usually can be found teaching in the Grade 3 to 5 range.  This year, however, I am fortunate to be working within my school board as a "Numeracy Facilitator" in Grades 1-6 classes.  I will be supporting and working alongside classroom teachers as they implement engaging and thoughtful three-part math lessons.  At the moment I'm working between two schools, each of which has amazing teachers who have welcomed me into their classrooms.  During the coming months I hope to share some of the strategies and successes in these classes, and discuss any and all ideas about education with you.

A bit about myself:  I live in rural Ontario with my husband, 15 year old son and 13 year old daughter, as well as a small dog, Mia.  I enjoy the peace and quiet here in the country, and spend much of my time either reading or creating things for my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Most of my extended family lives within a half-hour of our home, which is something I missed when I lived near Toronto before I returned home, got married and found a job here.