Thursday, January 19, 2012

Math Centers- Week One

Well I finished up one week of my new math centers and I thought I would report how everything went. 

I put my students in groups so that I had at least one high, middle, and lower student in each group.  This is so when I pull them at my center the other groups are not as large.  It seemed to go well so far.  Here is an example of what activities I am doing.  I also send home weekly math activities so I may have the center activities be older math homework so it will be less prep.  Even if I don't double dip the prep is very minor compared to me making 5 different centers every other week.  Once again, I am only taking 10-15 minutes three times a week with these centers. 

Math Center Lesson Plan for
Week of Jan. 16-20

Pattern Blocks- guided discovery using pattern blocks. 
Teach Me
Problem solving –join change unknown problem type or fact strategies.
Time Myself
Timing counting by 1’s, 5’s, 10’s forward and backwards using stopwatches.  They time themselves three times.
Center #1
Race to 200 game.  They have a 100’s chart that starts at 101-200.  Roll one die and cross off squares until one person gets to 200.
Center #2
Number Order- cut and organize mixed up numbers from 99-120.
Mrs. P
*math fact strategies- +0, -0, +1, -1 review. 

Notes:  All groups will go 10-15 minutes.  All activities are in numbered bins and ready to go so the set-up and cleaning up is very quick. 

Here are the "Teach Me" problems that they will solve and teach each other:
Teaching Station:
Solve the following problems two different ways:
Jon had 4 fish in a tank.  His mom told him to buy some more.  He now has 9 fish in the tank.  How many fish did he buy? 
1.      Show a picture
2.     Show a number sentence
3.      Explain your thinking
4.      Ask for any questions

Jen saw 14 ducks in the pond.  Some of the ducks left the pond.  Now there are 6 ducks in the pond.  How many ducks left the pond? 
1.  Show a picture
2.  Show a number sentence
3.  Explain your thinking
4.  Ask for any questions

Bill and Jill had a birthday party.  Bill invited 7 boys and Jill invited 6 girls.  How many kids were at the party?
1.  Show a picture
2.  Show a number sentence
3.  Explain your thinking
4.  Ask for any questions
Tell your partner how you solve these problems:







Here are the timing myself activities- I borrowed the stopwatches from our PE teacher-
Timing Myself- Time yourself three times and record to see if you are faster!

1.  Time yourself counting by ones as fast as you can in 30 seconds. 
- I got to number ___________           ____________        ___________

2.  Time yourself counting by 5’s as fast as you can in 20 seconds.
- I got to number ___________           ____________        ___________

3.  Time yourself counting by 10’s as fast as you can in 20 seconds.
- I got to number ___________           ____________        ___________

4.  Time yourself counting by 10’s backwards from 100-0 as fast as you can. 
My time was ___________   ____________        ___________

5.  Time yourself counting backwards by ones from 100-0 as fast as you can.
My time was ___________   ____________        ___________

6.  Time yourself counting backwards by 5’s from 100-0 as fast as you can.
My time was ___________   ____________        ___________         

If you would like the race to 200 game or the number order sheet please email me and I will get you a copy if these links do not work. 
Both the 99-120 number order and the race to 200 template was created by katie King.
Number order

Race to 200

Please feel free to give me feedback if this blog is still helpful to you.  Thanks!!  If you do like the centers I will have no problem posting my lesson plans and activities for you to use and enjoy. 


Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing break!  I wish I did, but I always seem to be much busier on breaks then when I am at school! 

One of my goals over break was to try to fit in more math centers per week than just the 30 min once a week.  I just felt that I worked so hard to get the five centers ready and to use them only once a week was stressing me out.  To hopefully solve this problem I broke down my schedule and was able to manage three 20min sessions a week.  I am keeping my Thursday- no prep day and with my grade level changing how we do Words Their Way, my schedule is a bit more flexible.  I also like the 20 minutes because they can almost stay at the same center each time and I will not have to prep as much.  I am going to have 6 centers.  This way they will do three a week at most and I will only have to prep 10 centers a month at most since #4 is guided discovery .  Less if we only get to centers twice a week.  Here is the breakdown:

1.  First center ( Number 1) is going to be with me where I work on problem solving  and fact strategies with them.  My students are just not where I would like them to be at this point of the school year.  I will be working on strategies and organization with all the students, not just my low students.  This way I can enrich the activities for my more advanced students.

2.  Number 2- Teaching station- This station will be where they will be at the front board and will teach a partner how to solve number sentences using efficient strategies.  They will teach one and then the partner will teach them.  I can even extend this to problem solving as well so I like the flexibility.
We have been working on a strategy per week with math facts since I have been back from maternity leave.  So far we have +1, -1, +0, -0, doubles, and are still trying to work on +10 and -10.  We still will work on +2, -2, and doubles plus one in the near future.  I usually do not work on +2 or -2 whole group until almost everyone knows how to count by 2's. 

3.  Number 3- Timing Myself- This station will have stopwatches and the students will time themselves reading numbers, counting, skip counting, filling in the missing number (use marker to fill in the numbers and then have a partner check their work while they check their partner's work), or circle the greater number.  They could even time themselves solving math facts.  I know these are AIMS material, but I don't feel I am teaching to the test since these skills are obviously important so they should be taught, right?

4.  Number 4-  Guided Discovery- using pattern blocks, cubes, tiles to experiment with.

5.  Number 5- Math games

6.  Number 6- Math games again.

I will keep you updated on how things are working- fingers crossed!

I would like to discuss a bit more about math fact instruction and what I am trying this year now.  Last year I tried mostly addition and did not get into subtraction very well.  This year I am grouping both addition and subtraction strategies together.  If we are working on +1 then I am also working on -1.  It is working very well and I am seeing more success.  I am also challenging my students more to skip count backwards as well as forwards.  I have seen amazing results with activities such as target numbers in Unit 9.  Very few are using the 100's chart to fill in the boxes. 

I always start with +1 becasue so far they have all known how to count to at least 20 at the beginning of the school year.  We work on the discussion and then practice all whole group.  From there we work on the speed where they will volunteer to solve 5 problems as fast as they can.  Even the struggling students can do it pretty well once they see it 10 times before them.  I also let everyone volunteer that wants to even if it is every student in the class.  I also practice these strategies in the hallways waiting for PE, Music, or Art and during transition times. 

Well that is all for now.  I will try to post more this weekend with more activities for you to use.