All math students have spent the first weeks of school learning to be a part of a supportive math community and connecting learning goals with the behaviors needed to achieve them. They have done this while beginning to delve into some important math concepts.
Most days in a Bixby first grade math class begin with recording the number of days in school and the weather. Next, they take part in a quick activity designed to increase each child’s number sense. The majority of class involves math workshop in which a new game or activity might be introduced and then students get to choose whether to play that game or one previously introduced. At the end of class, we come back together to highlight a strategy or concept from their classroom experience that I want them to notice.
Second and Third Grade:
Second and third grade students often start class with a problem of the day. So far, the problems in some classes have been designed to give students an opportunity to apply their understanding of numbers and place value in order to identify accurate strategies for solving problems that involve multi-digit addition and subtraction. Students are working on finding ways to record their thinking as support for their solutions. Many students support their work with steps that show how they break numbers apart by place value and then add or subtract numbers with like place value and then combine the parts back together. Other students model the problem with base ten blocks, while others work out a solution using a hundreds chart. These strategies are based on individual student’s understanding of how numbers work, which results in strengthening their number sense. After students complete the problem of the day, they have math puzzles, activities, or games that allow them to practice skills or develop conceptual understanding. We often end the class with a discussion about techniques used to solve problems encountered in class.
It has been a lot of fun working with such innovative and thoughtful students. I am excited about the year ahead!