tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-57489094132233358362017-02-16T23:10:40.757-05:00Teach Math WellTeach Math Well presents multiple lessons and resources for energizing and empowering your math class. Though many of the lessons are focused on the fifth grade Common Core Standards, all lessons can be modified or enriched to meet the needs of any math students who are ready to learn the topics presented. If you see room for change or have ideas or questions for this blog, please contact me at maureenprattdevlin@gmail.comMaureen Devlinnoreply@blogger.comBlogger68125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-17440092081743312572017-01-04T07:31:00.001-05:002017-01-04T07:31:07.187-05:00Teaching Math in the New Year: 2017There's been considerable disruption with regard to math teaching and learning this year. At the system level there were greater mandates requiring substantial change and advocacy. This will continue as the system works to utilize new research about good teaching and new state curriculum expectations and assessments. There is a real need for greater inclusive and strategic process in this regard in order to update our efforts to teach math well. This disruption continues at the state level too as the state introduces standards revisions, Next Generation MCAS, and more. I expect there will be some disruption at the national level as the new leadership takes hold too.<br /><br />How do these changes affect a classroom teacher like me?<br /><br /><b>Progressive Standards and Approach</b><br />First, I did push the teaching forward to meet the systemwide expectations. At the same time I advocated for efforts that I believe are important to consider. For example I quickly moved the students to the expected units, but I spoke up about the fact that this quick movement left students without a strong number sense foundation behind and asked what would we do with regard to those students. It's not the students' fault that their number sense foundation is weak, but instead a product of experience and readiness for the learning. Students come to fifth grade with a wide variety of preparation for the content. Some exceed expectations and some come to the grade level unready for the grade-level standards. As educators, it's important that we move more and more towards progressive standards so we can meet students where they are and work to move them forward with as much strength, meaning, and engagement as possible.<br /><br /><b>Organizing Unit Study</b><br />I also want to work to organize the many lessons and learning experiences I have on file to support the program. I also want to advocate for a more meaningful grade-level organization of units and study. Currently our systemwide approach differs from the progression noted in State and Common Core standards documents. I feel that our approach saves some foundation study until later whereas if taught earlier it would foster greater support for later units as well as greater engagement. Also some of our units are taught after the standardized assessments which test students on that content. I believe that students should be taught all standards prior to the standardized assessments. I will work with my grade-level colleagues and administration to advocate for possible changes.<br /><br /><b>Integration of Modern Day Tools, Research, and Information </b><br />In order to make math learning and teaching more meaningful and engaging, I will look for ways to integrate more modern and meaningful tools, research, and information. I want the math learning to be engaging and meaningful for all students.<br /><br /><b>Feedback</b><br />As always I will seek ways to positively respond to students' learning efforts to inspire and lead their learning.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-78252868360848830442017-01-04T06:46:00.000-05:002017-01-04T06:46:29.504-05:00Decimals: Online Models<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5A9c-fDSZRA/WGzgf38ImwI/AAAAAAAALSk/4RkPMNgXLS8o0bB4FEEuFL2tAGII7d2FgCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2017-01-04%2Bat%2B6.40.55%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="458" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5A9c-fDSZRA/WGzgf38ImwI/AAAAAAAALSk/4RkPMNgXLS8o0bB4FEEuFL2tAGII7d2FgCLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2017-01-04%2Bat%2B6.40.55%2BAM.png" width="640" /></a></div><br />Students are studying decimal numbers and computation. As part of that study they are creating and interpreting online models.<br /><br />I find that Google Table and Draw is an excellent tool for creating online models, and that's why I'll have students use the online tools to study decimal models.<br /><br />First, I'll have students sign into their Google math classroom account. Then I'll have them open this <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OM1tGKpafQzadtkIkvA-xICHEBkZVTCCRnWOlYkl2TA/edit?usp=sharing">document</a>. After that, I'll introduce them to model after model and how we'll mark-up, color, and read those models as representations of decimal values and computation. Then students will make their own models.<br /><br />This is a good way to introduce a whole class to making and interpreting models. When we begin our fraction study in a few weeks we'll use a similar page to see the connection between decimals and fractions. That will be a good way to bridge the two units.Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-22513710126909060752016-11-27T09:17:00.000-05:002016-11-27T09:17:43.034-05:00Preparing for the Math TestTomorrow students and I will discuss how to prepare for a math test.<br /><br />As a community of learners we've reviewed all the material on the test. Some material has been reviewed with greater depth than other areas. This is true given the time available, students' skill, and interest.<br /><br />I'll start tomorrow's lesson with the news that on Thursday they'll have a math test, and then I'll ask if they have any questions or thoughts about that. After that I'll explain the system values related to the test which include the following:<br /><br /><ul><li>The test will show us who has mastered the skills, concept, and knowledge included and who needs more teaching. That will help teachers to help the students gain a strong foundation in math.</li><li>The test will be factored into their math placement for middle school. Though I have mixed feelings about math levels at middle school; it's a reality associated with test scores.</li><li>The test is a chance to sit quietly and work by yourself to show what you know. Throughout life there will be tests, and this is good practice with regard to preparing for and taking a test.</li></ul><div>After this explanation, I'll ask students if they have questions, and then I'll ask them if they have ideas about how to best study and prepare for the test so they can do well. </div><div><br /></div><div>Next, I'll tell students that I created a study sheet to help them prepare for the test. I'll invite students to complete the study sheet alone and/or with friends or teachers. Then I'll note that they should complete the study packet for homework and the next day we'll review the packet together. On Wednesday, I'll provide a study menu for more practice and then on Thursday they will take the test.</div><div><br /></div><div>In the meantime, I'll find time to review past work and efforts to gain an overview of individual and collective student learning that will be available for our team math meetings on 12/2 and 12/16. </div><div><br /></div><div>As a learning community, it's essential that we stop now and then to have these conversations as we set the course for successful learning and teaching. Onward. </div>Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-86240566285000476962016-11-16T08:24:00.001-05:002016-11-17T06:05:47.181-05:00Mathematicians: Pattern Seeking and the Powers of TenI played around with the "behavior" of the Powers of Ten this morning. I've been playing around with this a lot in the past few years as I prepare and teach fifth graders the Common Core Standards.<br /><br />Today I spent some time putting together a little video. I'll have students edit it with me.<br /><br /><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="479" scrolling="no" src="https://www.wevideo.com/embed/#785995678" style="border: none;" width="650"></iframe> <br />I'll be interested in how students react to this. Following the film, students and I will review this <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aams8_xF7FDeXNowh-Y5mBSuEzioOpa0BBPY_pt80cQ/pub">exercise</a>, then I'll have students work with friends on this <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/127xgr_u1pgzF7Q5xJF0sHYGaTw53L_N9aN9Fn-l9IQs/edit?usp=sharing">exercise</a> and then this <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iUauCRUT2YHx2QNDnqoA-f85Rx8SOy65x5OYcSN06ms/edit">one</a>. Ideally I'd like to have students creating this videos, but currently I don't have the time for a long list of reasons. Projects such as creating films that animate and/or present and teach math concepts is a great way to learn and would fit Boaler's research in part.<br /><br />In the meantime, we'll play with this video today as well as this <a href="https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/35683632/">SCRATCH animation</a> too. Also there are many more videos and activities we've used on this <a href="https://sites.google.com/a/wayland.k12.ma.us/ms-devlin-s-marvelous-math-center/powers-of-ten">Magnificent Math Powers of Ten Page</a>. Let me know if you've got something wonderful to share related to this. Thanks!<br /><br />Note: For many reasons this lesson did not go as planned the first time so I reworked the video and practice exercises. I reflected those changes above.Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-82459231719506139302016-10-29T09:49:00.003-04:002016-10-29T09:49:44.922-04:00Math Teaching PatternsAs I sit today correcting a mound of math assessments, I'm thinking about ideal math teaching/learning patterns.<br /><br />I don't think it's the best use of teachers' time to correct paper/pencil assessments for hours on their weekend especially when if these tests were on the computer, it would take a fraction of the time. It's frustrating and probably another reason why the teaching shortage has started. It's difficult to work a job that expects so much weekend work.<br /><br />Anyways as I correct these tests, I'm thinking about the math teaching/learning patterns I want to follow.<br /><br /><b>Homework</b><br />I'm going to continue to offer a number of varying homework patterns dependent on family and student. I will work with families to reach a good balance that fits their philosophy, time, and need. I know this will vary somewhat from family to family, thus a homework menu and greater personalization. I am also cognizant of recent research related to the questionable benefits of homework and will continue to think about that and work with families sensitively in that regard.<br /><br /><b>Lessons</b><br />There needs to be a good deal of explicit teaching and practice in the lessons. As I correct tests today I recognize that this worked for most students.<br /><br /><b>Creativity and A Constructivist Approach</b><br />The more students can create their own examples of math concepts by writing problems, creating models, and creatively presenting the information, the deeper they learn. I am noticing this today as I read problems students wrote, solved, and interpreted via graphing.<br /><br /><b>Assessments</b><br />Though tedious to correct, assessments do give you an inside view of student performance. If we put these assessments online, we will be able to sort and sift data in ways that give us a better view and more time to really cull important details from the data--details that will help us to teach children well.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-52195964926925113152016-10-20T07:39:00.000-04:002016-10-20T07:40:27.107-04:00Math ExchangeToday our math coach has set up an exchange between sixth grade teachers at the Middle School and fifth grade teachers from the three elementary schools. During the day we'll visit the current three different leveled math classes and then we'll have a chance to meet at the end to ask questions and exchange information and ideas.<br /><br />At first, I wasn't going to attend this day because my sons have previously attended the Middle School so I have a parent perspective of the math program. Also the Middle School sends fifth grade teachers an update every year to let us know how our former students are doing. This information helps me to gauge the program I teach as well as how I coach individual students. Generally students have made a positive transition from the fifth grade program to the sixth grade math program.<br /><br />Once the coach relayed the schedule, however, I asked to sign up because the schedule is not a visit alone, but instead an exchange which is an opportunity for all of us to talk deeply about the ways we teach students math. I know that the Middle School team is devoted to teaching mostly math all day and that they began a standards-based approach last year. I know that they are continually updating their program so I'm interested in the ways that they are employing current research to lift their program. I'll also look forward to seeing last year's students, and observing the many ways that the sixth grade teachers run their classrooms.<br /><br />I really enjoy the ability to teach a subject with greater depth which is what the shared teaching model affords. It will be a profitable day.Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-83362876040390446652016-10-19T03:30:00.002-04:002016-10-19T04:41:18.493-04:00Teaching Walls: App-Friendly?Many educators face challenges when it comes to technology since they are unable to easily access apps and programs that they learn of. This lack of ready access prevents the good teaching possible. For example if an educator has access to technology in fluid, workable ways, he/she can test apps and other programs with regularity and student input. However, if the systems for tech access are cumbersome, lengthy, and inaccessible, then educators will quickly lose interest and the needed timeliness to try out new apps and programs and employ them for best student learning.<br /><br />For teachers to do their work well they need ready, regular access to the best tools, supports, and programs. Teachers do their best work also when they have voice and choice with regard to what they use and how they use it to teach well. When others, distanced from the learning, hold the reigns of teacher tools and programs, voice and choice is diminished and children don't get the deep and dynamic programming possible.<br /><br />In light of this, systems need to think carefully about the following questions:<br /><ul><li>How are curriculum decisions made? Do teachers have voice and choice?</li><li>Are the people choosing the technology distanced from the daily classroom efforts and work?</li><li>Are teachers and administrators asking the right questions when it comes to quality teaching and learning?</li><li>Is there a good synergy between and amongst administration and educators when it comes to curriculum design and implementation?</li><li>How is the entire learning community including students and parents involved in this decision making?</li><li>Do we make decisions based on good informal and formal data analysis, discussion, and debate?</li></ul>Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-58455357152411245532016-10-19T03:13:00.001-04:002016-10-19T03:14:07.996-04:00Teach Math Well: Are We Asking the Right Questions?Emails circulated about the value of using an online unit assessment versus the paper/pencil unit assessments of the past. It's a good question, and one that should be posed and discussed. Personally, I'm a fan of using multiple formal and informal formative and summative assessments, and I support the use of online assessments as part of that overall assessment approach.<br /><br />I also believe that we have to be mindful to have a good assessment balance and not make teaching and learning all about the test--we have to make space for children to enjoy their learning. While it's important to discuss assessment types and the role of assessment when teaching math, there are also many more questions that beg our attention and discussion.<br /><br />For example, one of the greatest math question that we face in our standards-based school communities, and how do we continually uplift and teach the students who are one or more years behind the expectations. Of course, I believe that math education should be progressive where every child is moving ahead from where he/she is and that the focus should be on that movement rather than if everyone is at the same level. For example if I have students at fifth grade who are testing at a second grade level and others who are testing at a seventh grade level, they all should be working to move up. I don't want those "seventh grade level" fifth graders to think they've achieved all there is to know in math and sail along without a good challenge, and I also don't want those "second grade level" fifth graders to get discouraged and always feel behind. So the question, How do we challenge all in positive, proactive ways resulting in good math growth, engagement, and knowledge?, is a great question to ask and discuss amongst peers.<br /><br />Another good question to discuss in math is what are the best ways for specialists, assistants, coaches, and classroom educators to work together to maximize math teaching and learning for all. We have instituted Responsive to Intervention in creative ways that help in this regard. We also differentiate during core instructional times. The way we collaborate matters when it comes to uplifting children's skills, knowledge, and concept.<br /><br />Further we can ask questions about content specific teaching and learning. For example, at a recent meeting, it was acknowledged that teaching the "behavior" of the base ten place value system is challenging. Students at fifth grade find it difficult to grasp that numbers increase by X10 as they move up each place in the place value system and decrease by 1/10 as they move down in value place by place. Fluency with that concept takes time.<br /><br />Time is an important consideration. Many on the outside would like teachers to work like soldiers and be at the same place in teaching at the same time. This, in many ways, negates the where students are at and what they need. It also disregards the need for educators to make the curriculum their own and teach it with the artistry, experience, and analysis needed. Good teaching is not a robotic function, and good teaching makes good use of time. Unlike a robotic response, good teaching analyzes deeply and maximizes the use of time to teach all well.<br /><br />Too often we spend time talking about questions that don't matter that much in education. Instead we should dig a little deeper and spend time discussing what matters--the big, deep questions that truly impact what we can do to better teach all children.<br /><br /><br />Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-89757563502876670692016-10-18T00:40:00.003-04:002016-10-18T00:42:29.236-04:00Introduction to Math WorkshopTomorrow I'll introduce students to Math Workshop.<br /><br />First, I'll restate why were learning what we're learning, and the many ways students can effectively support their own learning in school and outside of school.<br /><br />Then I'll say that Math Workshop is a time for you to practice what we're learning in ways that help you learn best.<br /><br />I'll ask students to practice the place value skills and knowledge we studied yesterday by completing the following tasks:<br /><br /><ul><li>Complete the worksheet</li><li>Check in with a teacher anytime you have questions or upon completion</li><li>If done, practice more using Khan Academy Place Value practice, and again when you have questions ask a teacher.</li></ul><div>There's no simple way to learn tomorrow's focus skills and knowledge without simply practicing. Students can aid their practice by making the following steps:</div><div><ul><li>Work alone or with a friend</li><li>Focus on the task</li><li>Use a sharpened pencil or pen that you enjoy writing with</li><li>Take your time and work with precision</li><li>Work quietly so others can concentrate too</li></ul><div>I'll set up shop at the big table so that I'm accessible and available to those that need me and for those when they complete the task. Also when students pass in their assignments I'll ask them to read a number of numbers to assess their ability to read numbers. </div></div><div><br /></div><div>The following day students will complete more practice items, then next week we'll focus on the "behavior" of the base ten place value system as we look closely at the ways number increase and decrease as you move up and down the place value system. </div>Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-33515563547615206022016-10-17T15:50:00.001-04:002016-10-17T16:13:25.451-04:00Mathematical Reasoning: Number Sense<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cc0AoXpO0GY/WAUrWIEsrSI/AAAAAAAALDg/pkcGaDOtt5EKrFr4b4oG49MnceeG_rdtwCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-16%2Bat%2B8.30.02%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="185" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cc0AoXpO0GY/WAUrWIEsrSI/AAAAAAAALDg/pkcGaDOtt5EKrFr4b4oG49MnceeG_rdtwCLcB/s320/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-16%2Bat%2B8.30.02%2BAM.png" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">How many people live in Massachusetts?</td></tr></tbody></table>We used five population statistics today as part of the place value unit students are studying.<br /><br />Early in the day, I asked students how many students they thought were in the school. They made fairly good guesses that were close to our approximately 400 students.<br /><br />Then I asked how many people live in the town where our school is located. Their guesses were about 100 or 200 more. Later when discussing this more they added rationale that increased the estimate with points such as the fact that there is more than one school, some students don't go to public schools, students have siblings who aren't in school, students have parents, and there are older citizens too. A few came close to 13,000 which is close to the exact number of people.<br /><br />After that we estimated the amount of people that live in Boston. Students knew it was bigger than our town with more people and most made guesses that doubled, tripled, and quadrupled the town's population. Only a few used more reasoning and experience to compare Boston with cities they had visited or knew about thus guessing larger numbers. As for the United States and world population similarly only a few could come close to the actual number.<br /><br />When watching the Presidential election debates, I was struck by the large amount of numbers thrown about--numbers that were difficult to imagine and compare when sharing with just language. I found myself wishing there were reliable infographics to help me understand the comparisons, proposals, and critique. I think the Presidential elections of the future will be blended presentations as the information is simply too sophisticated for words alone, thus the back and forth jabs.<br /><br />Too often too many of us can't quickly make a numerical comparison or imagine a measurement or value. Yet, it's a very important critical thinking and decision making skill.<br /><br />Working with numbers that relate to students' lives is a first step towards helping to build number sense, and then allowing students to estimate "how many" and explain their rationale for their estimations is a good way to share and develop mathematical reasoning and explanation.<br /><br />Tomorrow we'll continue working with these numbers as students learn to write and think about numbers in many ways. OnwardMaureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-36972420767802117912016-10-16T09:30:00.000-04:002016-10-16T09:30:59.359-04:00Place Value: Population<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UjUChWEakws/WAN4RxtMAyI/AAAAAAAALCc/qt9xxMwS4LgyuwL2U3yNoW4NhXrGZbesACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-16%2Bat%2B8.53.05%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="262" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UjUChWEakws/WAN4RxtMAyI/AAAAAAAALCc/qt9xxMwS4LgyuwL2U3yNoW4NhXrGZbesACLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-16%2Bat%2B8.53.05%2BAM.png" width="640" /></a></div><br />Tomorrow students will consider the population of the small town where they learn, the state's capital city, the state, the country, and the world.<br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W7gV-Dv3KOw/WANy5rndQBI/AAAAAAAALCM/00HaAl3baaQHv5hqr6uXC98FXaTZrAzngCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-16%2Bat%2B8.30.02%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="185" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W7gV-Dv3KOw/WANy5rndQBI/AAAAAAAALCM/00HaAl3baaQHv5hqr6uXC98FXaTZrAzngCLcB/s320/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-16%2Bat%2B8.30.02%2BAM.png" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Using numbers that pique students' interest help them to learn<br />math with greater depth, interest, and skill. </td></tr></tbody></table><br /><b>Town Population</b>: 13,294 (2014)<br /><b>Capital City (Boston)</b>: 667,137 (2015)<br /><b>State: Massachusetts</b>: 6,794,422 (v2015)<br /><b>Country: USA</b>: 324,718,574 (<a href="http://www.census.gov/popclock/">Census Clock</a>)<br /><b>World</b>: 7,346,044,7784 (<a href="http://www.census.gov/popclock/">Census Clock</a>)<br /><br />First, I'll hang up the maps of the US, town, Boston, and State around our white board. Next, I'll simply list the numbers on the board like this:<br /><br />324,718,574 6,794,422 13,294 667,137 7,346,044,7784<br /><br />Then I'll say what do you notice about these numbers?<br /><br />I'll listen carefully to their responses as their observations will inform me about their number knowledge.<br /><br />After that I'll ask students to <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Se7SeevI1WiNB1o9Mqned-A99iC9Fnf6Z9gR_YbGpi8/edit?usp=sharing">order the numbers</a>. I'll mention that mathematicians typically put numbers in order to help their analysis and number work.<br /><br />I'll then tell them that these numbers represent the population, number of people, that live in the town, capital city, state, country, and world. I'll ask them to guess which number belongs to which location.<br /><br />Once we have that information we'll focus on the population of Boston.<br /><br />I'll suggest that we can write that number in many ways, and we'll practice writing the number in the many ways shown below. After that I'll say that it's difficult to remember that number and that's why people often use estimates instead. A ballpark number is easier to remember. We'll round the number to its nearest 100,000.<br /><br />We'll then round the numbers of the other locations to the nearest highest value the number represents. Finally students will have a chance to write the other numbers in many ways to practice.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ud8iJaNHqyw/WAOAzQE43jI/AAAAAAAALCw/nN_PMsZW1kMUTycUsseN_1aFrPUErh-JACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-16%2Bat%2B9.27.40%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="422" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ud8iJaNHqyw/WAOAzQE43jI/AAAAAAAALCw/nN_PMsZW1kMUTycUsseN_1aFrPUErh-JACLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-16%2Bat%2B9.27.40%2BAM.png" width="640" /></a></div>Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-9903145809191994922016-10-13T21:27:00.000-04:002016-10-13T21:28:05.998-04:00Why Math? Looking at Base Ten Place Value with a Systems LensWe started today's lesson talking about the marriage between math and medicine. That was to provide some rationale for the importance of learning the early math skills we're focused on. Students understood the relationship and were interested in the related story.<br /><br />Then we thought about the categories that belong to systems think including the parts, structure, function, purpose, and environmental affects.<br /><br />We then used a systems' lens to begin to study the Base Ten Place Value System also referred to as the Base Ten Numeral System, Base Ten System, and Base Ten Number System.<br /><br />We discussed the purpose with the question, Why would someone choose to spend their time inventing this system? Students had great ideas about this including communication, common understanding, making life better and easier, and more.<br /><br />Then we looked at a model of its structure--on paper it looks a bit like a sports field. After that we started looking at the parts beginning with the decimal point which could be known as "The Separator" if it were a super hero since it separates whole numbers from parts or decimal numbers or fractions. We talked about the 10 digits that make up all the numbers in the Base-Ten System, numbers that go to infinity "large in value" and infinity "small in value." We'll watch the famous Eames <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fKBhvDjuy0">Power of Ten </a>video to make that more understandable tomorrow.<br /><br />After that we began inserting powers numbers, words, exponents and expanded form to demonstrate the value of numbers from the ones place to 100,000's place. Tomorrow we'll complete the model by labeling up to the billion's place for the whole numbers and down to the thousandths place for decimal numbers.<br /><br />Then we'll begin looking at the patterns that exist within the system. I'll have students work with each other to discuss what they notice and then we'll share.<br /><br />It's a deep introduction to the the base ten system, one that will be followed by the study of how to write numbers in number name and expanded forms, rounding and its rules, and the "behavior" of the base ten system as we move up and down in value. We'll likely weave in the study of the metric system here too since it's directly related.<br /><br />It's a lot of fun to reveal math concepts, knowledge, and skill with and for students--they're incredibly bright and curious especially when you match math with their lives, interests, and questions.Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-22805987629327353382016-10-12T09:11:00.000-04:002016-10-12T14:32:03.146-04:00Fifth Grade: Systems ThinkThe overall focus of the fifth grade science curriculum is systems think. How might educators thread that theme throughout the math teaching/learning year too?<br /><br />First, define systems with students.<br /><br />I like to begin with more sophisticated definitions such as the one I found on <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System">Wikimedia</a>.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vbRtwEA4dfk/V_4z_xBt_1I/AAAAAAAALBg/IA2bPAqmLTM7Jq-iEA5oc0e15z6wO8vNACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-12%2Bat%2B9.00.28%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="86" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vbRtwEA4dfk/V_4z_xBt_1I/AAAAAAAALBg/IA2bPAqmLTM7Jq-iEA5oc0e15z6wO8vNACLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-12%2Bat%2B9.00.28%2BAM.png" width="640" /></a></div><br />Then I like to pull the definition apart with main words:<br /><ul><li>interacting or interdependent <b>parts </b>forming a complex/intricate <b>whole</b>.</li><li>surrounded and <b>influenced by its environment</b></li><li>described by its<b> structure</b> and <b>purpose</b></li><li>expressed in its <b>functioning</b> or <b>behavior</b></li><li>also refers to a <b>set of rules</b> that governs <b>structure </b>or <b>behavior</b></li></ul><div>After that I put together a fifth grade friendly and memorable definition, one we can return to each time we discuss a new system in math. For example, we can describe systems in this way:</div><div><br /></div><div>A <b>system is parts</b> that <b>work together </b>with with <b>structure(s)</b>, <b>purpose</b>, and <b>behavior</b> to create specific <b>function(s)</b> or <b>result(s)</b>. </div><div><br /></div><div>With that definition students can study each math unit with a "systems lens" that focuses on the following questions:</div><div><ul><li>What is the title(s) of this system?</li><li>What are the parts of this system?</li><li>What is the structure (framework) of this system? How can we model and describe this?</li><li>Why was this system created? What is its purpose?</li><li>How does this system work, act, or behave? </li><li>What is the result or function of this system? What does this system help us to do?</li></ul><div>As we study the base-ten place value system, we'll answer these questions.</div></div><div><br /></div><div>How do you help fifth grade students to learn math with a systems lens? Why is this important? How will it affect their learning and understanding? What would you add to this approach?</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div>Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-11139444638987652202016-10-12T08:53:00.001-04:002016-10-12T08:54:05.047-04:00Teaching the Base Ten Place Value System<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="background: rgb(255, 255, 255); border: 1px solid rgb(233, 233, 233); box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.0980392) 1px 1px 5px; color: black; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding: 5px; position: relative; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-A8YWbIQWO2c/V_4wZd1kUBI/AAAAAAAALBM/xshNf5goc783APmbkPQHogUHdYZnIE1qgCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-12%2Bat%2B8.45.02%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="color: #d9555f; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-decoration: none;"><img border="0" height="378" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-A8YWbIQWO2c/V_4wZd1kUBI/AAAAAAAALBM/xshNf5goc783APmbkPQHogUHdYZnIE1qgCLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-12%2Bat%2B8.45.02%2BAM.png" style="background: transparent; border: none; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.0980392) 0px 0px 0px; padding: 0px; position: relative;" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="font-size: 10.56px;">We'll complete and color code a place value chart like this. </td></tr></tbody></table><span style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;">Students will begin the place value unit tomorrow. There are so many ways that we can teach this unit.</span><br style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;" /><br style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;" /><span style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;">I'll begin with connecting this unit to the last unit, the coordinate system, with a focus on the word, system, which is the main concept of all fifth grade math.</span><br style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;" /><br style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;" /><span style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;">I'll pass out a base ten model framework, and have students write the title, "Bast-Ten System." Then I'll ask remind students that "systems" is the main theme in fifth grade math and that we just studied the coordinate system.</span><br style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;" /><br style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;" /><span style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;">I'll ask students to tell me what a system is? Then I'll ask, "What do you know about the base-ten system also known as the base-ten number system, base-ten numeral system, or base-ten place value system. We'll list what students say.</span><br style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;" /><br style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;" /><span style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;">After that I'll focus on the following points:</span><br style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;" /><br /><ul style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0.5em 0px; padding: 0px 2.5em;"><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px;">The base-ten system might be considered one of the world's greatest inventions. I'll ask students why that might be true.</li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px;">Only 10 digits can be combined to make numbers that go to infinity in with greater and greater values and to infinity with smaller and smaller numbers. That's amazing!</li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 0.25em; padding: 0px;">Why is it called a "place value system?" This is true because the value of a number changes depending on its place.</li></ul><div style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;">Then we'll begin looking at the "parts" of this system by completing and color coding the chart. Once we complete creating the chart and looking at the "parts" of this system, we'll then look at the "behavior" of the system and how we use the system when using numbers to make sense of, order, organize, analyze, and make predictions about the world around us. </div><div style="background-color: white; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="background: rgb(255, 255, 255); border: 1px solid rgb(233, 233, 233); box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.0980392) 1px 1px 5px; color: black; font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, FreeSerif, serif; font-size: 13.2px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding: 5px; position: relative; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-stiSoQwLBfM/V_4wxk6qZ0I/AAAAAAAALBQ/ie5PU7AHhDwImm6nK-d2JHyQc_zL9amYwCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-12%2Bat%2B8.26.05%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="color: #d9555f; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-decoration: none;"><img border="0" height="540" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-stiSoQwLBfM/V_4wxk6qZ0I/AAAAAAAALBQ/ie5PU7AHhDwImm6nK-d2JHyQc_zL9amYwCLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-12%2Bat%2B8.26.05%2BAM.png" style="background: transparent; border: none; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.0980392) 0px 0px 0px; padding: 0px; position: relative;" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="font-size: 10.56px;"><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: start;">We'll use the CCSS standards above to guide the first half or the unit.</span></td></tr></tbody></table>Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-26762492332474734502016-10-05T07:35:00.000-04:002016-10-05T07:35:47.508-04:00Khan Academy Fan<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6qlVmoBEwSU/V_TkPIXmxmI/AAAAAAAAK_E/HIaglO8ma34Mo3LiWf0_sCQp6wMJQPZJwCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-05%2Bat%2B6.40.31%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="250" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6qlVmoBEwSU/V_TkPIXmxmI/AAAAAAAAK_E/HIaglO8ma34Mo3LiWf0_sCQp6wMJQPZJwCLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-10-05%2Bat%2B6.40.31%2BAM.png" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I continue to be a Khan Academy fan. His well supported learning/teaching platform provides students with helpful videos and practice exercises. Students may practice a skill again and again, and teachers and parents can use the platform to help support children.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">As you can see from the chart above, my students have just started using Khan Academy to practice fifth grade math standards. Most students have completed less than 10% of the practice exercises so far this year. One chid has almost finished fifth grade so he'll likely move ahead to sixth grade.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">In addition, Khan provides students with coding exercises and learning. Yesterday I introduced several students to those exercises. They were very excited. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">We're fortunate to have free access to the incredible learning tools that Khan Academy provides. The key is to coach and teach students how to use these tools as one way to support their learning. Tools like Khan Academy support the fact that "the sky's the limit" when it comes to what's possible in teaching and learning today. </div><br />Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-34997370948517898932016-10-04T06:42:00.002-04:002016-10-05T07:29:07.052-04:00Coordinate System Study<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-44pv4AUAp9Y/V_OHcSrC71I/AAAAAAAAK-o/6NcWuETChac1GNDn7iRedQp0bkYjZ070ACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-30%2Bat%2B5.39.43%2BPM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="490" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-44pv4AUAp9Y/V_OHcSrC71I/AAAAAAAAK-o/6NcWuETChac1GNDn7iRedQp0bkYjZ070ACLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-30%2Bat%2B5.39.43%2BPM.png" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Students will use this template as they continue to study the coordinate system today.</td></tr></tbody></table>I started the year with coordinate plane standards for many reasons. First the standards are typically easily learned by all. In opposition to much of the number work we do, work that students meet with a range of interest and skill, coordinate grids is a new learning point that they are generally excited about. Therefore to it makes a good standard to start the year with since it helps me to build an invested learning community of students and teachers. Further, coordinate plane standards provide some nice opportunity for "floor to ceiling" exploration and learning this provides students with a tool they can use all year as they learn multiple concepts in math.<br /><br />Last week we reviewed all the <a href="https://sites.google.com/a/wayland.k12.ma.us/ms-devlin-s-marvelous-math-center/coordinate-grids">standards</a> in this area as students learned about the reasons for the coordinate system, made coordinate grid pictures, wrote and plotted math stories, and created algebraic equations to demonstrate the relationship graphed on the coordinate plane.<br /><br />There are many ways that I could choose to approach today's lesson, and I've decided to do the following. We'll review the coordinate system language as we review a Ping Pong story that we'll graph together. We'll also work together to graph the relationship when X = Y times 3. I'll use the story related to the fact that one pound of apples cost three dollars. While I don't like to teach from the front of the room too often, I think the students need this kind of review before tomorrow's coordinate system assessment. Then later in the year, I'll ask students to do what I had originally planned for today which is to write their own math story, chart the numbers, graph the points, and describe the algebraic relationship using variables and/or words.<br /><br />There are many ways to teach each lesson, and it's up to the teacher to lead the path, a path that will result in best learning and engagement. Onward.Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-10711502596038240182016-09-29T07:23:00.002-04:002016-09-29T07:23:48.207-04:00Ingredients to Successful Math EducationYear after year I'm reminded of some of the ingredients to successful math teaching and learning. Ingredients that include the following:<br /><br /><ul><li>Well organized and planned learning experiences</li><li>Putting children's interests and needs first</li><li>Assessment, reflection, and needed revision</li><li>Response and record keeping</li><li>Meaningful facts, figures, and scenarios</li><li>Teamwork and collaboration</li><li>Openness to new ideas</li><li>Learning and research</li><li>Multi-modal approach</li><li>Sufficient repetition</li><li>Time-on-task with students</li></ul><div>It's the day by day efforts that employ the strategies above that lead to apt teaching and learning. </div>Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-61684940078739801412016-09-19T05:21:00.001-04:002016-09-19T05:22:00.230-04:00Teach Well: Organization Focus<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h6_ys6mbYf0/V9-t-S5d7FI/AAAAAAAAK5k/Z05wSq4sBucZwAsXPIzYfardZP4frQO4QCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-19%2Bat%2B5.14.58%2BAM%2B2.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h6_ys6mbYf0/V9-t-S5d7FI/AAAAAAAAK5k/Z05wSq4sBucZwAsXPIzYfardZP4frQO4QCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-19%2Bat%2B5.14.58%2BAM%2B2.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Students' evaluation of organization on an early year survey.</td></tr></tbody></table>We started the school year with a couple of big and exciting projects including The Name Project Videos and The Global Cardboard Challenge. I like to begin that way because it pulls students into the learning in a way that's vigorous, creative, and inviting.<br /><br />Now on day 12, it's time to backtrack a bit and re-look at organization. On of the areas on early year students' attitude and behavior surveys that showed the most scatter was organization. So this week, in addition to a standardized test in math, students will have a chance to focus on organization including organization of accordion binders, desks, backpacks, and home-school routines. We'll start today with desk organization time and some discussion about organization. This is yet another area of school life that deserves attention.Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-58465391697412406492016-09-18T07:50:00.003-04:002016-09-18T08:04:39.836-04:00The Math Year 2016 StartsThe math year began with a focus on STEAM and The Global Cardboard Challenge. The start also included a number of standardized tests and assessments. The STEAM activities, in part, foster teamwork, while the tests provide good data as to how to sensitively teach the curriculum standards, concepts, and skills.<br /><br />Next week I'll combine the standards related to coordinate grids and place value with preparation for our upcoming nature field study. After that we'll explore place value more using facts and figures to prepare for our trip to the McAuliffe Science Center where we'll learn about space.<br /><br />Following that work, students will focus in on numbers 0-10, math facts, number lines, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and order of operations. In the midst of this we'll study how to use Khan Academy effectively to learn, and continue efforts with Symphony Math and That Quiz.<br /><br /><br />Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-11199274284845865952016-09-16T17:23:00.001-04:002016-09-16T17:29:45.002-04:00Growing the Global Cardboard Challenge Project<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zup6dPDI1SQ/V9xioAkVqQI/AAAAAAAAK48/ikC8gM78gAIKQEYUnP1Jnuvf8yoMizRLgCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-16%2Bat%2B5.20.35%2BPM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zup6dPDI1SQ/V9xioAkVqQI/AAAAAAAAK48/ikC8gM78gAIKQEYUnP1Jnuvf8yoMizRLgCLcB/s320/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-16%2Bat%2B5.20.35%2BPM.png" width="237" /></a></div>Our team continues to develop the Global Cardboard Challenge Project. We added more time to teamwork teaching and activities before the project began this year. We collected a lot more supplies upfront and we chose to do the project outside. I also taught scissor safety and ordered special safety box cutters for the project.<br /><br /><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qKUcVC08JDA/V9xia57ZWOI/AAAAAAAAK40/KOy6c6_DjC0k57BzsyP9ozL6BLycyXYdwCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-16%2Bat%2B5.19.36%2BPM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qKUcVC08JDA/V9xia57ZWOI/AAAAAAAAK40/KOy6c6_DjC0k57BzsyP9ozL6BLycyXYdwCLcB/s320/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-16%2Bat%2B5.19.36%2BPM.png" width="238" /></a>It was definitely good to teach teamwork ahead of the project. It was also great to teach scissor safety, collect lots of supplies, and work on the project outside. The box cutters were okay, but I didn't order enough and they weren't quite as strong and flexible as we needed. I ordered more paint and brushes, but not enough. Fortunately the kindergarten teacher next door gave us some. Next year I want to give a painting lesson prior to the project too. It was clear that it had been some time since many students had painted, and many forgot about good painting protocols in order to not waste paint or ruin brushes. Many students heeded the message to wear old clothes, but some didn't so next year we have to be more explicit about that too.<br /><br /><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-y92z8M8yeJM/V9xiiODSvMI/AAAAAAAAK44/8VAxvZm04zIAgsBIpnV9T_YSw5cgoGvCgCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-16%2Bat%2B5.20.51%2BPM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-y92z8M8yeJM/V9xiiODSvMI/AAAAAAAAK44/8VAxvZm04zIAgsBIpnV9T_YSw5cgoGvCgCLcB/s320/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-16%2Bat%2B5.20.51%2BPM.png" width="238" /></a><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-saYORxS2Nx4/V9xiS5QZaaI/AAAAAAAAK4w/HdwEMYGxtSM_Ha8vDy8bcs0-J0rZ6KHSACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-16%2Bat%2B5.20.22%2BPM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-saYORxS2Nx4/V9xiS5QZaaI/AAAAAAAAK4w/HdwEMYGxtSM_Ha8vDy8bcs0-J0rZ6KHSACLcB/s200/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-16%2Bat%2B5.20.22%2BPM.png" width="145" /></a>All in all it was a great day of building and making. The high points were the words and expressions of enthusiasm that filled the day. It was great to see students invested in the activity throughout the day. Next week students will continue to work on their projects at home and during recess and free time. Then on Friday we'll invite the whole school to play the games during their lunch recesses.<br /><br />While a bit more teamwork practice with smaller projects may have made some teams stronger, I really like starting the fifth grade year with this project as the project teaches the students a lot about each other and how to work together. Further the project truly solidifies the students, TeamFive, as a community of learners and creators. In my opinion, the project is a keeper.<br /><br />Note:<br />We had some great supplies for the project this year including the following:<br /><ul><li>Lots of boxes</li><li>Paint and paintbrushes</li><li>Duct Tape</li><li>Box Cutters (not enough or the best kind)</li><li>Plastic Sheets</li><li>Fabric</li><li>Sring</li><li>Little balls (could have used more)</li><li>Marbles</li><li>Markers</li><li>Scissors</li><li>Recycled plastic bottles</li><li>Plastic cups</li><li>Odds and ends of recycled materials</li><li>Colored paper</li></ul><div>I want to collect more materials from families the first weeks of school next year as we prepare for the project. </div>Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-77300487179796239002016-09-14T17:16:00.001-04:002016-09-14T17:17:28.240-04:00Global Cardboard Challenge: Blueprints and STEAM "Shopping"<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TVvRkK_QM_M/V9m-BM-F1oI/AAAAAAAAK3o/hewsL3jl92I0AtI4NlwptOHtHLukB01mwCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-14%2Bat%2B5.15.27%2BPM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TVvRkK_QM_M/V9m-BM-F1oI/AAAAAAAAK3o/hewsL3jl92I0AtI4NlwptOHtHLukB01mwCLcB/s320/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-14%2Bat%2B5.15.27%2BPM.png" width="252" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">A picture from last year's cardboard build day.</td></tr></tbody></table>Tomorrow students will continue the ideation stage for the Global Cardboard Challenge. To do this they'll fill in The Design Process Chart and draw a large detailed picture of the arcade game they plan to build. I'll model the drawing to start the class.<br /><br />As part of this drawing they'll list the kinds of supplies they need too. I'll have them put an * next to supplies from home, and an ! next to supplies from the classroom.<br /><br />Before they do this, however, I'll give them a short introduction to the available STEAM supplies. In the past many months I've collected LOTS of cardboard and a variety of other items too.<br /><br />While they plan and draw, I'll invite each team up to choose cardboard pieces and fill a cardboard box with the supplies they plan to use. I'll ask them to write their names on the cardboard so people know it belongs to them. At the end of class, I'll ask them to gather their supplies and bring the supplies back to their homerooms<br /><br />On Friday those supplies will give them a good start for their cardboard creations.<br /><br /><br />Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-6026877889791829382016-09-14T06:58:00.002-04:002016-09-14T07:22:19.216-04:00STEAM Teams: Introducing the Design Process<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gVR1cd2eoaQ/V9ktHqQ1owI/AAAAAAAAK24/i4kPTq-baLMyUc2y-g5GLhiYHBhr7mzlACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-14%2Bat%2B6.28.19%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="484" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gVR1cd2eoaQ/V9ktHqQ1owI/AAAAAAAAK24/i4kPTq-baLMyUc2y-g5GLhiYHBhr7mzlACLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-14%2Bat%2B6.28.19%2BAM.png" width="640" /></a></div><br />Last year's reflections about the Global Cardboard Challenge pointed to the fact that we had to utilize a more explicit team building and design thinking introduction and process before jumping into the Global Cardboard Challenge. We felt that laying a good teamwork and design process foundation would lead to greater satisfaction and successful inclusion with regard to the overall project.<br /><br />With this in mind, students got together yesterday with their <a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1UYLE1C0E-nKL7IYXAS63l4TcQr7qHGqUoq_JttiQ6kg/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000&slide=id.p">Global Cardboard Challenge</a> STEAM teams--teams created with teacher and student choice and voice. We sang the <a href="http://teachmathematicswell.blogspot.com/2016/09/teach-math-well-teamwork.html">Lego movie song</a> and discussed whether "Everything is awesome and cool when you're working with a team." Students were quick to mention that teamwork can be difficult, and that's when we watched Kid President's latest video about how to disagree:<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ghk-nDJB3Tk/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ghk-nDJB3Tk?feature=player_embedded" width="320"></iframe></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-N1cR9kZ-NA0/V9kykgcGDjI/AAAAAAAAK3I/sn8Yalc_BeoEVIoHC2TGwH3cytdKwoipQCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-14%2Bat%2B7.19.39%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-N1cR9kZ-NA0/V9kykgcGDjI/AAAAAAAAK3I/sn8Yalc_BeoEVIoHC2TGwH3cytdKwoipQCLcB/s200/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-14%2Bat%2B7.19.39%2BAM.png" width="148" /></a></div>Today the class will focus on The Design Process. We'll discuss the fact that we'll employ The Design process as we work on the Global Cardboard Challenge. We'll talk about the word "process" and what it means. Then I'll note that many designers, inventors, scientists, artists, engineers, and others define the design process in somewhat different ways. I'll ask students to watch the video below and <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wGlhH3CrzYJ3X0Hugk35V_QxZ_R8UJ3kblxGzHbl03k/edit">list the steps</a> they hear as they watch:<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Vcma79mVAYw/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Vcma79mVAYw?feature=player_embedded" width="320"></iframe></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Next, I'll tell students that we're adopting IDEO's design process illustrated below. And then we'll use that process to map out a Global Cardboard Challenge project together. Tomorrow groups will begin the project in earnest designing their individual team projects as we prepare for Friday's Team Build Day.</div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tRi6jyJ5QGU/V9kso6I6KtI/AAAAAAAAK2w/k94VzeeFUPA87N65zyokWVMWlq0fuNR3QCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-14%2Bat%2B6.54.29%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="305" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tRi6jyJ5QGU/V9kso6I6KtI/AAAAAAAAK2w/k94VzeeFUPA87N65zyokWVMWlq0fuNR3QCLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-14%2Bat%2B6.54.29%2BAM.png" width="640" /></a></div>Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-64832346849673556322016-09-13T06:11:00.000-04:002016-09-13T07:29:40.850-04:00The Math Year: September ThoughtsYesterday when I met with our new math coach, we talked about the math year, priorities, and programs. I found it difficult to put into words how I teach math and why I teach math in the many ways I employ throughout the year. I read, research, and write a lot about math, but when faced with explaining who I am as a math teacher and what I do to someone who doesn't know me well as a teacher, it was tough.<br /><br />Another factor that made it difficult to explain the decisions I make about math teaching and learning is that many of my decisions reflect new research and practice rather than practice of the past. For example, I'm beginning the year with a big focus on teamwork, a start well supported by Boaler's research as well as a lot of reading I've done about teamwork and collaboration. I know this kind of start will create a strong learning community. Further, we'll spend several weeks learning the essential tools, language, and basic elements of the fifth grade curriculum in ways that welcome all learners. This too is integral since it gives the whole community a common ground with which to learn and work together.<br /><br />Once this team and their knowledge foundation is set we'll move into the curriculum program with strength. Last year I used a similar approach and all in all students did very well.<br /><br />As the coach and I spoke, however, I did find one area that I felt would be a good target area and that was the area of the struggling learner--the children who come to math class one or more years "behind" the grade-level standards expectations. Often students who fall into this category have a lot of complexity when it comes to learning. The complexity can include any or all of the following factors: less facility with the English language, less academic support at home, health concerns, less experience with math learning, or untraditional/atypical learning strengths and preferences.<br /><br />I think it will be great for the team to look closely at these students and discuss how we might teach these students better. As we speak, I think we can focus on the following attributes of teaching and learning well:<br /><ul><li>Adequate support </li><li>Opportunity for practice</li><li>Consistency of instructor, program</li><li>IEP service delivery if that matches the child. </li><li>ELL service delivery</li><li>Culturally proficient teaching</li><li>Meaningful and engaging content</li><li>Scaffolded, differentiated learning approaches</li><li>"Floor-to-Ceiling" project based learning</li><li>Coordination of the many educators involved and service delivery patterns</li></ul><div>Boaler's research in her book, <i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Mathematical-Mindsets-Unleashing-Potential-Innovative/dp/0470894520">Mathematical Mindsets</a></i>, sheds a lot of light on how to teach all students math well. Also the fact that our broad teaching team which includes special educators, a coach, ESL educators, classroom teachers, and paraeducators have substantial experience which gives us a good starting point when it comes to teaching these students well. </div><div><br /></div><div>Last year our team made good progress with students who struggle with math, and with a focused start in this area, I'm sure we'll make good progress again and maybe even better progress this year. </div><br /><br /><br />Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-12369484426399694852016-09-13T05:08:00.002-04:002016-09-13T05:09:57.433-04:00Teach Math Well: Teamwork<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><iframe width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/t6lHm-stXdM/0.jpg" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/t6lHm-stXdM?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div><br />Today we'll give a lot of attention to TEAM. Students will sing the song above, view the image below, and create a class list of apt attributes for teamwork.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UR6YvKjkEjg/V9fB7BEjESI/AAAAAAAAK2c/q-ZAJUghc70g3h0EQODDZ_cjrS4ZT2wKgCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-13%2Bat%2B5.07.27%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="368" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UR6YvKjkEjg/V9fB7BEjESI/AAAAAAAAK2c/q-ZAJUghc70g3h0EQODDZ_cjrS4ZT2wKgCLcB/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-13%2Bat%2B5.07.27%2BAM.png" width="640" /></a></div><br />After that the new teams will have a chance to try out a version of the note <a href="http://teacherweb.com/CA/CanyonMiddleSchool/MsOettel/STEM-Activities.pdf">card tower building activity</a>.<br /><br />If there's time at the end of the class, we may watch a few more entertaining, short videos about teamwork.Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5748909413223335836.post-83691806725334222492016-09-11T11:06:00.000-04:002016-09-11T11:08:22.978-04:00What Do You Do When a Child Arrives at a Grade Level "Behind" the Others with Regard to the Standards?<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HQzZWp1BVB0/V9Vy5LE22jI/AAAAAAAAK0Y/w7TldZAkJOc0XoGGKVlSg4rRlH5X5HQwQCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-11%2Bat%2B10.42.34%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HQzZWp1BVB0/V9Vy5LE22jI/AAAAAAAAK0Y/w7TldZAkJOc0XoGGKVlSg4rRlH5X5HQwQCLcB/s320/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-11%2Bat%2B10.42.34%2BAM.png" width="277" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">A great resource for math teaching and learning.</td></tr></tbody></table>After reviewing a host of student data, I'm left with the question, What is the best way to teach students who are one or more years "behind" with regard to the math curriculum? I used quotation marks for the word, behind, as it suggests a negative label. We all learn in different ways and time frames, so I want to be careful with that term, yet I also know that when students come in far from the grade-level knowledge expectations, the learning community often thinks of those children as "behind" the others.<br /><br />To answer my own question, I will create <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Mathematical-Mindsets-Unleashing-Potential-Innovative/dp/0470894520">Boaler's "floor to ceiling" learning experiences</a> that have what I've always called the 1-2-3 approach where 1 is review, 2 is grade level, and 3 is enrichment. I always open all levels to all students. Willingham in his book, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Why-Dont-Students-Like-School/dp/047059196X" style="font-style: italic;">Why Don't Students Like School</a>, affirms the opportunity that exists when students review material that they "know" since there's always more depth to be gained by that review. I know that to be true because I've taught similar standards for years and each time I teach the standards anew I make more connections and learn more.<br /><br />So with this 1-2-3 or "floor-to-ceiling" approach what's important and how does it work?<br /><br />It works like this. Students enter the experience at level 1 with a review. For some the review will be quick and pointed, and for others the review stage will represent new learning. Level two is the grade-level norm or standard, and the place that we hope most students will master with the support of educators, classmates, and family members. The third level is enrichment and it's open to all. I find that when I open the enrichment level to all, it's amazing to see who reaches since it's never just those students you'd expect to reach. Often a child who struggles in one area of math may reach in another. That's why I'm not a fan of permanent grouping especially in the early years. I like the flexible grouping we use during RTI related to specific skills, knowledge, and concept goals.<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JXHMIbAJgMw/V9Vts16crdI/AAAAAAAAK0A/vnJr5SskvtM1PCZ7LILZFmRItXMbn2KNACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-11%2Bat%2B10.43.46%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JXHMIbAJgMw/V9Vts16crdI/AAAAAAAAK0A/vnJr5SskvtM1PCZ7LILZFmRItXMbn2KNACLcB/s320/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-11%2Bat%2B10.43.46%2BAM.png" width="220" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="font-size: 12.8px; text-align: center;">Another great book when it comes<br />to matching learning with how the<br />brain works.</td></tr></tbody></table>With the "floor-to-ceiling" or 1-2-3 approach, what's important are the following notes (and probably more):<br /><ul><li>Introduce everyone to the big idea in an intriguing way. </li><li>Scaffold the experience so there are levels 1-2-3 and all levels are open to all.</li><li>Leave the experience "loose-tight" with plenty of room for student choice and voice.</li><li>Make time and space for discussion, share, and response.</li><li>Use teamwork when possible and be strategic about how you create groups. Use a variety of group types so that students are working with like-partners, unlike-partners, mixed-ability groups, like-ability groups, interest-based groups, and more. As you employ various types of grouping, observe which groups inspire, engage, motivate, and forward student learning. </li><li>Use strengths/interest-based content and approaches as much as possibly and introduce many ways to learn and let students try out all the various ways to learn too. </li></ul><div>We can't predict how a child one or more years away from the curriculum grade-level standards will learn and grow. Sometimes when a learning experience is truly engaging, a child will leap ahead and demonstrate significant growth. Sometimes students will do this even if the experience isn't engaging as they reach a point of cognitive shift that helps them to merge and consolidate ideas with greater ease and strength. </div><div><br /></div><div>There are also times when a student remains stuck with a concept, knowledge, or skill. Give it the good try in multiple ways, and then take a break and return to that learning point later. </div><div><br /></div><div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--N_LbruVfMk/V9VwmwhDiXI/AAAAAAAAK0M/EtTg6u23jwcppnLde8Az-JgJvwJ-d-AIACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-11%2Bat%2B10.55.58%2BAM.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--N_LbruVfMk/V9VwmwhDiXI/AAAAAAAAK0M/EtTg6u23jwcppnLde8Az-JgJvwJ-d-AIACLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-09-11%2Bat%2B10.55.58%2BAM.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="font-size: 12.8px; text-align: center;">Learning is not linear.</td></tr></tbody></table>When teaching students who are behind when it comes to standards, think broadly and not narrowly. Make engagement the number one goal. Challenge yourself to work with that child in ways that helps him/her LOVE learning math. Next talk with the child and find out how he/she likes to learn. Work as the child's "servant" in learning. Tell them you are there to help them learn and you need their help in that regard. Assess regularly with the child and reflect too. Ask with the child, "What's working? and What's not working?" Work together to make optimal change. Teach the child how to be their own best advocate and learning manager. Explicitly let all children know that we're all on our own learning paths and those paths wiggle and waver as we learn more. </div><div><br /></div><div>How do you teach students who are behind when it comes to standards learning? Please share as I want to broaden my understanding of this as much as possible as I now we can grow our expertise in this area.</div>Maureen Devlinhttps://plus.google.com/108527328690027689885noreply@blogger.com0