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Showing posts from March, 2013

"Remove One" - Probability Game

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Integer Ideas

I haven't had the opportunity to teach much about integers, or about how to add or subtract positive and negative integers, but I might get the chance this year. It isn't in our current curriculum, so it's an extra topic that we don't normally get to spend time on. However, we will be teaching integer concepts next year, as we work on Common Core implementation....and maybe, just maybe, we'll get to work on some integer concepts at the end of this year. Even though I don't get to teach this topic, I do have a large number line with positive and negative numbers posted in my room, with the hope that the kids will observe it and think about it. And, from time to time, when we talk about the idea that the Commutative Property does NOT work for subtraction, we will refer to the number line (that I have to be on tiptoe to reach!) to see that a problem like 7-2 = 5, but 2-7 = -5. So, we do have that visual to discuss from time to time. In preparation for next y

Trying to Make Triangles

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Motivation in Math

I get the NCTM newsletters through my email, and many of the article titles catch my eye.  I intend to read them "soon," but soon often slips away and I don't get back to them. The other day, the article "Motivation Matters" (by NCTM President Linda M. Gojak, in NCTM Summing Up , March 7, 2013) caught my attention, and I couldn't wait to read it. I had questions.....whose motivation - students'? teachers'? motivation to do what? So I read. For me, the highlights of the article included the importance of intrinsic motivation in math and the idea that students have a  natural desire to find solutions to problems. Gojak emphasizes the importance of providing students with enough TIME to work on tasks (I don't know about you, but I feel I never have enough time in my 44-minute periods!)  Also included in the article were important characteristics of mathematicians:         "In “ Lesson from the TIMMS VideotapeStudy ” ( Teaching Children Ma

Footloose and FACEing Math, Part 2

Students had the choice to use Footloose or FACEing Math to practice Mean, Median, Mode and Range. In order to use some classroom data for our next topic (double bar graphs), I kept track of the number of students (broken down by gender) who chose each activity. I ended up with this chart: Class Period Footloose FACEing Math Boys Girls Boys Girls Period 2 8 2 3 8 Period 3 5 1 8 7 Period 4 2 6 7 10 Period 6 6 5 8 8 Tomorrow, students will use this information to create two different double bar graphs. Looking at the data, I think it's interesting that period 2, which is generally a higher-ability class, had a pretty even amount of students choosing each activity. The boy/girl numbers were flip-flopped.....I did expect that more gir

Footloose and "FACEing Math"

I haven't written in nearly a week (again). Sometimes I feel like I don't have much to say that others would feel like reading. There are so many things to read out there that I often find myself just I'm guessing that's what others do as well:) Click to find on TpT We've been working on mean, median, mode, and range. I made a new Footloose game to review these concepts tomorrow. I feel like I'm stuck on these Footloose games and have trouble thinking of other review activities! But they work well and the kids like them. Tomorrow, we're going to mix it up a little, though.  My instructional assistant is being observed; we decided to give the students a choice of activities, so my assistant will definitely have something to help out with, and her supervisor will be able to observe her interaction with the kids for most of the period. We'll give students a choice of Footloose or "FACEing Math" (by Kristin DeWitt l ). I do lo