Saturday, September 6, 2014

Getting into the Swing of Things

Hi, all.  Now, that back to school time is winding down, and we're starting to establish classroom routines, I feel like we're finally getting into the swing of things in my classroom.  We just finished our third week and starting to settle into the routines.  We're still limping along without our math books, although I do have the teacher's manual and online access to our new series, so that helps greatly.  Thank God for TpT.  I look at the objectives I need to teach, teach it on the first day, then search through my files or TpT for a supporting activity the second day.  I'm also creating a series of interactive notebook activities to go with each objective, but, as always, time to create is a problem.
Our first chapter is all about making sure children understand the concepts of addition.  So I developed these story mats to use with the kiddos while we practice manipulating objects to tell our stories.  You can use the included pictures, but I used two sided counters.  As we told our addition stories, I wrote the corresponding addition sentences on the board just to expose the children to the math vocabulary we would be using. 

One thing that really surprised me is that when we talked about what addition means, the children promptly answered, "We're putting them together."  Great!  We have the concept of addition means put together!  But when I asked, "What are we putting together when we add?", they answered, "The numbers."  Whoa!  Not quite, right?  So we started using these boards to tell our addition stories, and I asked them, "Are you putting numbers together on your boards?"  "No."  "Well, what are you putting together?"  "Things."  "And what do we call it when we put a bunch of things together?"  After several, shall we say, incomplete, answers, (all which led along the path to the answer I was looking for) one little girl finally said, "A set."  Bingo!  From there we talked about how when we add we are putting sets together, and the numerals are symbols of how many objects are in the set.  So we are not actually adding numbers, we are adding groups of things together.

It was sort of an a-ha moment for many of them, and for me as well.  In the past, it was not something that I stressed or even thought about whether or not they understood.  I mean, if they could answer 2+2=4, then obviously they understood the concept, right?  Obviously not.

From the blank boards, we moved into boards divided into part/part/whole boards and started writing the addition sentences on white boards to go along with those addition stories we make up.  The final step is to put each sum into our interactive math notebook, and use our part/part/whole boards and two-sided counters to discover and write the addition sentences to ten.  I think it will make a great resource for the children throughout the year.

If you would like to see my VERY incomplete resource that I have thus far, you can click on the picture above and download it for free.  If you look at the table of contents, you can see what I plan to include, but it is not all in there yet.  Hopefully, this weekend I will be able to add the missing pieces and get it posted.  If you do look at it, please let me know what you think and what I could add or change to make it more useful for you.

Today, I am joining up with Laura Graham, from Where the Magic Happens, for a Super Saturday Sale.  Today, all my featured items are on sale for 50% off.  What a deal!  I have items ranging from beginning of the year to Halloween in my featured items space, so take a look and see if there's anything you might like.
Click on either picture above to visit my TpT store!

Click the picture above to visit Laura's blog and see what other treasures you can find!
Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much! I love the flowers to write the number sentences for each numeral! :) I hope I don't miss your updates! (Oh, and thank you for the black/white pages. I print at school, and we have no colour printer)


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