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Showing posts with label math activities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label math activities. Show all posts

### Ten Things for Students to Do While You're Teaching Math Groups

With the variety of skills students come to you with Mathematically, it's important to meet the needs of ALL students. Teaching Math in small groups is a great way to come closer to meeting their individual needs. The big question:

# What do the other students do while you're teaching math to small groups?

### Here are some of the things that students can do when the teacher is busy with other students.

#### 1.Independent Practice

Do you have a math series with workbook pages or practice sheets? This is where they fit in... but only if the children can perform these tasks on their own. Some of your more challenged students may need to be practicing skills that are more appropriate for them. They all love this, and it's a great way to build that number sense. (and easy to differentiate!)

#### 2. Working with a partner

Children are social beings and absolutely LOVE when they get to work together! For those children who are a little insecure in their skills, having a partner might help them build a little confidence. Plus, working with a partner leads to those rich conversations that help internalize learning.

#### 3. Playing math games

Children love games, and will play them over and over again! That means they'll be practicing the skills over and over! Try some of these popular Math games:
or try this collection

#### 4. Writing math stories

Some children LOVE to write! Here's a chance to let them do what they love while practicing math. Once they've written the math stories, they can share them with classmates for solving!

#### 5. Facts practice

If students spend 5 minutes a day practicing math facts, they will develop math fact fluency in no time at all. Here are a few posts that tell more about building math fact fluency.

#### 6. Explore math manipulatives

They do love those manipulatives, don't they? In order to learn with manipulatives, they need to KNOW the manipulatives. My favorites are pattern blocks and Cuisenaire Rods. Read about these here:

I'm a HUGE fan of Boom Learning Digital Task Cards, and so are the kiddos! Here are a few favorites:
Another option would be a digital math program. I've had much luck with Happy Numbers. It's a research-based individualized program that is easy to use and adapts to the mathematical needs of the students. Plus, teachers can see a record of how each child is doing! It's easy for the teachers and fun for the students.

#### 8. Practice with a teacher assistant or a parent volunteer

Some students need the assistance of an adult. I often refer to these adults as a "guest teacher." Sometimes, These adults have specific directions for their time with the child, and I'll let the child choose.

#### 9. Math puzzles and brain teasers

I'm sure you have plenty on hand, and the children love these! Here are some examples:
• Tangrams
• Sudoku
• Magic Squares
• Dominoes

#### 10. STEM activities

Who doesn't love a good STEM activity? This is a good time for children to work on a STEM problem that's already been introduced and needs more time, or one with easy directions, since the teacher is unavailable during this time.
Looking for some ideas on organizing these math activities?

## In fact it can be overwhelming for students!

Why? Well, to start with, there are 100 multiplication facts, and 100 division facts!
That's a whole lot of facts to learn! Take a look at this:

There they are, all 100 multiplication facts.

And the 100 division facts.

It just doesn't work to just hand these lists to the kiddos and tell them to learn them all!

Here are some ideas to help ease this heavy load!

Before the children start to work on memorizing facts, it's essential they understand what multiplication and division are! I like to spend plenty of time with manipulatives, as well as making and drawing arrays. I make sure they understand that 6 x 5 means 6 sets of 5. They use manipulatives to show six groups of 5 (as in the picture: 6 rows of cups, with 5 cups in each row), and draw an array with 6 sets of 5. When they have done a whole lot of this, and have a deep understanding of what it all means, then they can move on to fact fluency.

As you can see from the list of all the facts, it's just too much to assign them all at once! It's best to break them down into smaller groups, and best to create those groups by patterns. I recommend starting with the "x1 facts," which would be anything with 1 as a factor, and the related division fact.

Research on learning has taught us that this is how the brain learn best.

Each family has a total of 4 facts that can be created with the same combination of manipulatives. (Doubles only have 2 per family.)
This can be seen in the visual below:

The upper left shows 5 sets of 6. (5 x 6 = 30) The upper right shows 6 sets of 5 (6 x 5 = 30) The lower left shows 30 sorted into 5 equal sets (30 ÷ 5 = 6) and the lower right shows 30 items sorted into 6 equal sets (30 ÷ 6 = 5).

Studying the fact families really makes the whole thing easier! If they learn one combination, they've got 4 facts!

Just for fun, here's how the doubles work.

No matter how you turn the sets, it's still 5 sets of 5, so there's really only 2 possible combinations!

Research tells us that repeating the complete information orally helps the memory. They don't necessarily like to do this, but they'll admit it really helps them remember the facts!

If you've ever had to learn a new skill, I'm sure you've seen the value of practicing a little bit every day. Five minutes a day for 5 days will have more value than 30 minutes of practice once a week! Less time, more value! I work my fact practice into my math rotations in a variety ways: games, practice alone, practice with a partner, or practice with an adult.

Children develop their own tricks to help remember basic facts, and when they talk, they share those tricks! That makes everyone smarter!

Here's a trick I learned from my students! They've got plenty of ideas like this, that are worthy of conversation!

Most of the children will have a good deal of success with the above 6 strategies, but if they don't, don't let them fall through the cracks. I suggest doing some sort of assessment once a week, and keeping a record of how they do. Even when they don't show mastery, they should be showing growth each week. If they don't, something needs to be done.

Here are some suggestions:
1. Limit the amount of fact families. One or two fact families is enough for some children.
2. Work one on one with that student: 5 minutes a day.
3. Assign an adult to work one on one with that student.
4. Send home a set of facts to be practiced with a parent.

Here's a freebie set of practice and assessments for the x1 Fact Families:

It contains practice cards (with the answers to be printed on the back) 2 assessments, and access to Boom Learning Digital Task cards, which the children absolutely LOVE! And it's free!

If you're interested in just the Boom Learning format,that's a freebie, too!

If your students have success with this freebie, here's a link to the whole bundle: Fact Fluency System for Multiplication and Division: The Bundle

Here's a link to a similar bundle for addition and subtraction facts: Fact Fluency System for Addition and Subtraction: The Bundle

Plus, a chance to try out this system with this freebie: Fact Fluency System for Addition and Subtraction: Freebie

## I love a craft that ties into something educational.

I also love a craft that allows room for individual creativity.

This time of year, we have to pull all the stops out to get them enthusiastic about learning, so we did this art project.

The kiddos made snow people with snowballs for each of the letters in their names. They made a math equation to represent their names, then decorated the snow people.

Sorry, I had to cover the last names. Middle names were optional, but several wanted to include them.

Look closely at this one: the third snow person is sad because the wind blew away his hat! Don't you love their imaginations?

## One thing I really like about these: I can hang them in the hallway now, and I can keep them up until January!

### Bullwinkle

I love when I get something from a workshop that I can bring back to my classroom the next day!

Today we had a Staff Development Day about Math. It had some good stuff about subitizing, Rekenreks (we used to call them abacuses) and different activities we can do with the kiddos  to help build that all important Number Sense.

One fun activity was called "Bullwinkle".  (Do others remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon?)  Well, it's called that because you need to put your hands on your head so you look sort of like a moose.  (One could say you look like a reindeer this time of year!)

The teacher tells the kids to hold up a number of fingers.
There are several variations:  making the number alone, making the number differently from a partner, making the number by working with your partner, making the number with your partner without actually talking.

I'll bet you can think of even more variations, maybe even for practicing multiplication!

I really wanted to take a picture of a whole room of teachers (and administrators) playing Bullwinkle, but my hands were
busy making the number 15.

## I've been wracking my brain for years, trying to think of a way to get those basic facts to stick!

There is way too much math that depends on knowing the basic facts, so we want the little ones to go beyond the "counting on fingers" or "counting on in your head" stage!
We've been using this sequence for learning facts at my school, and I must say, the kids are getting it! We all know it's not a good idea to introduce all the facts at once. There are 200 facts to be learned, and learning them in some systematic way is necessary. My knowledge of brain based learning tells me we need to help the children make connections, use visuals like color and pictures, practice frequently, add a social component, and make it fun. This will all help those facts stick!

I've taken 8 basic patterns and made 8 color coded sets of cards to be practiced based on these concepts:  plus one families, plus 10 families, plus 9 families, sums of 10, doubles, doubles plus 1, plus 2 families, and the remaining facts.  The "families" include 2 addition and 2 subtraction facts for each fact.  (For example, 1+8=9, 8+1=9, 9-1=8, and 9-8=1 are all connected.) These connections help children remember! I've even included a game that's connected to the cute little pictures on each card.

Practicing the facts is only half the challenge.  The other challenge is showing mastery.

I've included assessments with each set. There are 2 basic assessments with each family. The 2 assessments are both similar. I just thought you'd like a second option so they aren't taking the exact same assessment each time. Each assessment has 5 columns of 10 facts. I give the children one minute to complete as many facts as they can. (The timing helps distinguish between the kids who know the facts, and the kids who still need to figure them out.) I have found that kids that get 20 - 25 facts in a minute are definitely ready to move on to the next level. (This, of course, is up to you.) Some kids really need a one on one assessment with the cards, as their writing skills just can't keep up with their thinking skills.

Want to check it out? See the image below for the freebie version of the first set along with the assessments. Addition and Subtraction Fact Fluency Freebie!