Thursday, June 12, 2014

Math Stretches and Warm-Ups: Thoughts on Guided Math Chapter 3

I love doing math stretches, warm-ups, number talks and number sense routines with my first graders!  Hearing them talk like mathematicians (and I tell them that's what they are all the time!) and listening to how their ability to explain and justify their thinking grows as the year progresses fills me with pride.
We really have 2 math warm-up times in my classroom.  We start the day with our calendar which is filled with opportunities for math talk, but our math block is in the afternoon so I start our time with another chance to warm-up or stretch our math thinking. This past year I kind of had "Math Warm-Up ADHD!"  I kept finding new ideas to try but never really found a routine or rhythm that worked for us.  For awhile we had a daily stretch from Laney's Math Stretches book.  We completed a Daily Math sheet after lunch while students took a restroom break.  Then I started adding journal prompts. I used dot cards, ten frames and hundreds chart activities. By the end of the year I had added Think Math.  For awhile it seemed liked our warm-up activities were taking over the math block and aside from the Daily Math sheet, the kids really didn't know what to expect each day. (Not a good plan!)  Even our calendar time was getting bogged down with too many types of activities.
So now my goal is to choose the experiences I want my class to have each week and devise a schedule.  So far I know that I want to include:

  1. Think Math- I love how this activity helps the kids really think about math problems! (Read how I got started here.)
  2. Data Collection and Analysis
  3. Number Talks using dot cards or ten frames to help develop number sense and fact fluency. Here are some cards I created for the beginning of the year to remind me of the different activities we could do:
    Warm-Up Cards
  4. 100 Chart activities.  I won't start these right away but I do eventually want this to be a weekly activity.
  5. Math Stretches from Laney like "What's Next?", "How Did My Family Use Math Last Night?" and "___ Makes Me Think of..."
    Math Stretch Cards
  6. Number of the Day
  7. Journals: Last spring I revamped my math workshop and added journal activities as a rotation along with math workstations instead of using them as a warm-up.  I love how it worked out!
Now I just need to sit down and come up with a plan.  I'm headed to a Guided Math workshop today so maybe I'll get some ideas there on how to fit all of this in!

Here's a link to Laney's Math Stretches book. She also has them for other grade levels.

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