Math Update

21 September 2013

This year my district adopted the Common Core Math Curriculum (hurray!).  After much summer training I decided I wanted to change and improve my math instruction to be more task-oriented and applicable in my little first graders' lives.  I try to launch some kind of problem or task with just enough scaffolding and support to enable them to succeed in finding a solution.  I love seeing the variety of strategies they are discovering and becoming efficient with at this early stage in the year.

For one of our math tasks/lessons this week we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  We read up until the caterpillar had consumed all of the fruit.  I then launched the question, "How many fruits did the caterpillar eat?"  

We organized our thinking by making this chart.  That equation at the bottom wasn't added until the end of the lesson as we debriefed the strategies we'd used.
"How many in all?" is something of a big question considering the number of groups the students need to include, but I was pleasantly surprised with their strategies in solving this problem.

I have to say how much I am loving teaching math this way!  Launching a real-life math task to students, allowing them the time and tools for quality inquiry, and debriefing about the experience with them afterwards is making all the difference!

On a side note, I'm in the midst of planning for next week and I'm going to try my hand at a little thematic teaching.  Next week we are going to be having an apple theme.  I'm hoping it goes well!  Any advice on teaching with a theme?

By the way, I have a few freebies and some fun October things coming up soon so check back! Happy teaching!

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