I am so excited to share 2 of my favorite math strategies for this month’s 2getherwearebetter!
Two to three times a week we begin our math time with problem solving journals. I project a problem on the smart board. I try to write the problems using my students’ names and they love when I find Melonheadz that look like them!
I give them quiet problem solving time. While they are working, I make the rounds encouraging and coaching as needed. The important thing is that we are working on our perseverance. We are working on not giving up if the first strategy we try doesn’t work, we are working on checking to make sure our answer is reasonable and makes sense. We are working on explaining our thinking and constructing viable arguments. We work on modeling mathematics and use appropriate tools. Sound familiar? Our problem solving routine covers 7 of the 8 mathematical practices!
During our quiet problem solving time students can use any tool available to help them. I have bins set up with different kinds of math manipulatives and tools. After quiet time we take our journals and walk around the room doing pair share. They take turns explaining how they solved the problem. If they don’t have a solution yet they talk through all of the strategies they’ve tried. It’s amazing to hear them talk about their thinking with each other. It’s also amazing to hear them coach each other through struggles and offer each other ideas!
My other favorite strategy is one of my favorite parts of our day!
If you never heard of Number Talks I highly recommend checking them out. I am in love with them. My kids are in love with them. I had two groups of visiting teachers in my room this week to observe our Number Talks and they loved them and couldn’t believe the vocabulary my kids were using and how they were discussing their thinking!
You can read about my love for Number Talks in a previous post HERE.
Here is what our board looked like after our Number Talk today.
We have been busy adding to our Number Talk Tool Box this week too.
Again, this strategy hits 7 of the 8 mathematical practices. And to hear your kids saying things like, “I decomposed the number 88 into 80 and 8….,” and asking each other questions like, “Can you explain why you subtracted 6 at the end?” is the most amazing thing ever!
You can check out the Number Talks book HERE and be sure to check out my previous post!
I’m so excited to go read about some other great math games and strategies!