Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Guided Math- Chapter 3

Math warm-up/stretches were some of my favorite activities this past year.  I actually discovered Laney's book  Math Stretches (I have the red one below; now she has them for older grades, too) before I bought Guided Math and tried several of the stretches with my class the year before last. Then last summer I went to a training that really emphasized the importance of subitizing so I did a lot of warm ups with ten frames and dot patterns to help the kids recognize sets and combinations.
Laney talks about the importance of starting the day with a brief mathematical activity.  At my school, we have our language arts block in the morning and our math time in the afternoon, but we still start our day with calendar activities.  I tried doing my calendar activities on the Smart board this year, and we absolutely loved it!  I think it kept the kids so much more engaged.  I used this time to encourage math talk instead of just going through the activities without too much thought like I had done in the past.  This year I plan on including a daily math stretch at the end of calendar time.  The kids can work on the stretch throughout the day and add their thoughts to the chart or graph.  Then we can have our math huddle in the afternoon to share our ideas.  I made some signs to go with the Hollywood/movie theme I am using in my room this year.  Click on the caption if you would like a copy.
                                                                  Math Stretch Signs

The other warm-up time I will have is before we start our math block.  We have a new schedule this year; our kids will have lunch, recess and then go straight to specials (art, music or PE.)  My teammates and I aren't real thrilled with this schedule, but it will give us a fairly long, uninterrupted time for math.  Some sort of math warm-up should help ease the transition back to academics after specials.  I bought the book Number Talks after reading about it on this blog, Oceans of First Grade Fun.  (Yolanda has some great ideas for math!)  I haven't started reading  yet, but I browsed through it, and it looks fantastic!
I agree that it is very important that children understand the links between math and their lives.  One of the math stretches is "How did my family use math last night?"  I am thinking about making this a regular assignment for my class, perhaps using something like Stixy to have them record their answers.
One other thing I am thinking about adding is a calendar or number of the day journal.  How many of you use a calendar folder or binder?  How does it work in your classroom?

1 comment:

  1. Like the How Did My Family Use Math Last Night? I'm gonna have to borrow that idea, it will make a great quick warm up question. Thanks for the shout out on your blog.
    Oceans of First Grade Fun