Monday, July 20, 2015

Making Sense of Math Linky Week 4: Math Strategies




Excited to share some strategies for Math in
the Fourth Week of our 
"Making Sense of Math" link-up!


What are some strategies I use to build my 
Students' Number Sense?

1. Model Model Model....different methods and strategies for computation!
2. Have students do "mental math" in the hall... I ask them to 
"see it in your brain" as I give them math word tasks.
3. Let the kids take over the board...They explain how they solved a task and 
answer all the questions from their classmates!
4.  Ask students to explain their work...
(I had to be really clear that they weren't wrong...
I just needed to hear how they solved the problem... 
seems like if I asked them to explain...
they'd immediately thought their answer was wrong :)
5. Help students to realize there's MORE THAN one "right" way to solve a task!

What are some strategies I model?
I LOVE using Ten Frames in the classroom as well as the Hundreds Chart
Here's a great download from 
and it's FREE!
Has some great posters for modeling different strategies to use 
while computing equations :)

Here's a neat set of posters
Love the graphics and simple terms for the different strategies 
for adding and subtracting here.

Here's a super neat set of posters for 
Multi-Digit Multiplication Strategies
I look forward to using this year in Fourth!

The biggest part of helping my kiddos develop
a better sense of using strategies was 
Letting them do the talking!
They learn a ton from each other.

We also use the eight
Mathematical Practices in my district 
You can see Mary Lirette's 
Mathematical Practice Standards poster set HERE
She linked each one of the practices to a 
community helper's job.
Really helped the kids to see understand the practice more...
So while we're talking about our strategies,
We're using MP3,4,and 5 to help us 
share with others about the different ways that problems
can be solved :)

LOVE IT!

Our Making Sense of Math series continues on

Please consider linking up with us to share you thoughts, activities, and ideas
on Making sense of Math!
I'd love to see what types of strategies you
share with your students and how you get them 
to understand the idea that there's 
More than ONE right way to get the answer to a problem :)



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Guest Blogging on The Techie Teacher


So excited to a part of the 
Guest Blogging Series over at
Hop over and check out some great
posts from some great bloggers!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Making Sense of Math Linky Week 3: Mental Math

Our series on "Making Sense of Math"
is in it's Third Week and the topic is
Mental Math

I LOVED using mental math techniques with my second graders!
I've gotten into the habit of having a
"Hall Basket" 
that sits on a desk outside my room and contains
lots of grab and go mental problems for hall travel.
I use the "down time" of waiting at the bathroom for some
hall mental math engagement!
I have flashcards as well as word problems 
on cards that I can ask students to show me the answer with their 
hands or whisper in my ear.
You can read more about how I use 
Number Talks to help build mental math 
on this POST
You might even find an #appengage app that I 
love using both on the iPads and the computer
to help work with rekenreks for mental math.

Be sure to hop over to 
Kinder Kraziness for more
Mental Math Shares and join the linky!

and be on the lookout for more in the series of...


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Making Sense of Math Linky Week Two




I'm joining the 
Making Sense of Math Linky 
with my eFriends again this week!
This week we're talking about 
Modeling Different Computing Methods!
Marilyn Burns says, 
“When children think that there is one right way to compute, 
they focus on learning and applying it, 
rather than thinking about what makes sense 
for the numbers at hand.”

Have you ever used "Math Talks" with your students?
You can check out more about this great tool 
and see some demo videos on 
This is a wonderful time where I am able to 
record the different strategies students 
are using to solve a problem.
By writing down the solutions as the students are 
sharing them, I'm able to help expose everyone to strategies 
that they may not have considered.
The Teaching Channel has some great videos on 
ways to solve problems differently. 
One of the ideas I'm excited to try this year is 
called "Choose 3 Ways!". Students choose 3 different strategies 
to solve the same math task.
You can have students work on their own or with 
small groups to share the information.
The goal is to help students
focus on different methods that make sense
to help solve different situations...
to help them realize that there is 
no one right way to solve a math task...
to help them to become flexible thinkers...
Check out this video from "The Teaching Channel"...










I couldn't find the worksheet so I created my own...
You're welcome to download it HERE...

Another way I plan to help my students 
see different ways to compute the same problem is by
joining in the 
Wondering how you tweet a math task?
Check out this GoogleSlide presentation on #gmttc
or Tweet me a question



Keep hopping by to check out all the great topics we'll be
discussing during the months of July and August!

How do you plan to help your students
model different computing methods?

Join the linky below!




Friday, July 3, 2015

Making Sense of Math Linky Week One




Growing up, I never really “got” math! 
Teachers tried to explain the content, 
but it was never in a concrete format that I truly understood.  
Most of the time I just memorized and moved on. 
Consequently, during my first years as a teacher, 
math was the subject I liked teaching the LEAST! 

Skip forward about “XX” years and now I LOVE teaching math!
More than that…I LOVE sharing activities and ideas that 
help students understand math better with other teachers!

Soooo….
I’m linking up with some awesome eTeacher friends 
to participate in a Summer Post series about Number Sense.

Using Marilyn Burns 
'7 ways that teachers can directly impact a developing sense of numbers'
our posts will cover the following topics 
over the next 8 weeks…
(cause we’re creative and we can always find at least 
one more idea we want to share about!).

This first week we're discussing how we 
Link math to Real-World experiences...

In Marilyn Burns terms....
'Present students with situations that relate to both 
inside and outside classroom experiences. 
Students need to recognize that numbers 
are useful for solving problems.' 
- See more at: 

One of the best ways to connect math to the real-world
was through Twitter Math Tasks for me...
I had my students Tweet tasks on Tuesdays 
to see if other classes from around the world
would be able to solve their questions.

Read more about our 
Global Connections through Twitter

I challenge you to connect your class globally..
choose your grade level to share with 
Mrs. Ladd and I in 
Math Task Twitter Challenge
You can read more about the challenge 

I hope you'll follow 
Mrs. Ladd
or
myself 
on Twitter

Hop over to Mary Lirette's Blog
to read more about 
Making Sense 
Linking Math to Real-World Experiences

Don't forget to 
check out the app giveaway
Here
for Bright World eBooks
Ocean Forests.



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

GIVEAWAY for the NEW Bright World eBooks "Ocean Forests"!




I LOVE engaging and effective apps to use with my students in the classroom!
Bright World eBooks has just released
one of the best non-fiction story/interactive apps I've come across.

The app takes the reader INTO the ocean while they are reading the story.
Students can tap on a word to find out more information or how to read the word as well as tap on the blue book to find the vocabulary words that are explained in detail. 
If you tap on one of the highlighted yellow vocabulary words a new screen appears and the definition is read to give students a more clearer picture of what the word means in this environment! 

It also has options for the students to have the story read to them as well
as allowing the students to record their voice while they read...
talk about engaging and fluency practice all rolled into one!


Click on the picture below to go to the 
website and view the quick video on how the app works
for yourself! You'll be glad you did!


This 3D environment allow the kids to read and tap on the animals or plants that are swimming on the page to get more information as they are reading.
They can also explore the Ocean Forest and learn more about each animal as it swims by...or play a game using the information they've learned in the story to check their facts.


At this time, the app is only available through iTunes.
Hop over and check it out for yourself!

I'm so excited with the potential for this engaging & effective app
I'm giving one away!
Use the Rafflecopter options below and join me in a chance to win!

I know the app says it's geared for ages 5-8, but I'm thinking even the older students I'll be working with this year are going to LOVE the interactions and informational content!

Be sure to leave a comment below to open up the other 
options to win an app for yourself!




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Global Connections with Twitter



Making global connections using Twitter was an
Engaging and Effective way of showing my 
students that the things we learn are important in "real life"
AND the classroom!

One of the favorite connections we made this year was our
Tweeting Tuesdays
We made a global connection with Mrs. Ladd's class.
Our goal was to take turns tweeting out Math Tasks every Tuesday.
Problem solving is soooo very important in Math...
 some students had the blues about working on the problems..
BUT...
add in the idea of sharing a problem with another class
or
better yet...trying to solve on of their problems ...
AND
No more boredom! Total engagement and energy!
The kids "begged" to check the Twitter feed for a
task to solve and answer.
@swampfrogkids can you show an array and multiplication problem for this repeated addition? #Clara #mathtask pic.twitter.com/cZeuvjKdIz
Mamaw even got in on the fun!



Tweets don't have to be elaborate...
Just a quick task for the kids to think about and solve
using the strategies we're working on in class.
My high kiddos took off on creating tasks for others to solve.


Beverly and I had the opportunity to meet up this summer 
and decided we wanted to share the connection with others!
We created the 
What's the Goal?
We want to connect teachers across the globe
to share relevant learning and activities going on in their rooms!

How Can I Join?
Click on the link to
Global Math Task Twitter Challenge
When you've click on the yes and submitted the form,
you'll be given access to the google sheet to sign up for 
your grade level and week(s) you'd like to 
Tweet a Task.

On the spreadsheet, you'll be able to view all the 
teachers in the different grade level bands that have signed up to participate.
Choose your grade level and the week(s) you want to be in 
charge of tweeting out math tasks using the hashtag that is 
specific to your grade level group.
You can also follow some of the classes to see what else they're 
sharing on Twitter.

Tweeting Tuesdays was "hands down" one of my favorite ways
that I globally connected my students! 
We felt like we were engaged in "real time sharing" with 
students from all over!


If you have any questions, please contact us
Beverly Ladd         or      Heidi Samuelson
(@BevLadd)                  (@swampfrogfirst)