Storyline Online: Thank You Mr. Falker
Bookflix: Sam and the Lucky Money – Chinese New Year
Tumble Books: Red Dragon – Chinese New Year
Our new chapter book read aloud is full of adventure, imagination and creativity – it’s one of my favourites! The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. If your son or daughter wants to make a Scrappy Cap (it’s really a ‘sympathetic hat’, making our imaginations more sympathetic to our endeavours) then they’re welcome to bring it an to wear when we read together!
Dr Seuss Day was so much fun that we turned it into Dr Seuss WEEK! Our Daily 5 Games centre turned into a silly Seuss mess :P Students played the I Can Do That! game, following positional-language instructions like: slide underthe Trick-a-ma-stick with the boat on your head, or jump up and down with the cake between your elbows (positional language is a Geometry expectation!). We wrote all about our favourite Dr. Seuss books and characters, we even got a little silly and wrote with the story starter “If Thing 1 and Thing 2 were loose in my house I would …” – ask your son or daughter if they tried to catch them, or if they joined in on the mischievous fun ;) We listened to the story Bartholomew and the Oobleck – then we made Oobleck ourselves! Was it a solid or a liquid? Make it at home and find out: 1 part water, 2 parts cornstarch with a dash of green food colouring … have fun getting sticky!
Integrating Science and Oral Language, we’ve been watching a series called Raindrop through the TDSB Learn360 resource: “Raindrop is a drop of water. You can find it in the forest, in the river, in the sea and even in your house. Surrounded by his friends, Nimbus, a cloud, and Frosty, an ice cube, he will live many adventures defeating Flu, the evil bacteria, in his intent to destroy the environment.”
Our Pen Pals from Garden PS wrote back to use! We’ve been working on our second set of letters and will send them off soon. We focus on answering their questions, asking questions of our own.
Kindness Week was a great success! Many of you took part, sending emails, Tweets and messages of kindness to our school community – thank you! We were treated with not one, but TWO great surprises on Thursday. Not only did we get to deliver our kind cards, letters and poems to local firefighters (AND tour their truck) – we were also visited by the Kindness Week founder, Modya! He spoke to the students about why he created #BKind and what it’s all about. An awesome experience for us.
Momma Melissa and Baby Sasha are still visiting us! Don’t forget to ask your son or daughter about our weekly visits! This is a great opportunity for students to practice their Oral Language skills – being good listeners and speakers. Sitting still and showing respect for our guests by being quiet, but also engaged.
For the past few weeks in Math we’ve really been focusing on Tools and Strategies for number sense word problems. We’ve also been using a lot of Open-Ended questions, so that the students can really focus on developing their number concepts. They’re encouraged to explore word problems by using them in different ways. These are a few of our questions:
“My friend and I were on the same team in a snowball fight. I had ___ snowballs and my friend had ____. How many snowballs did our team have altogether?” *We were able to use this same question over and over for more than a week, because students were encouraged to try out different # combinations, tools and strategies.
“Kelly called 911 because there was a fire. Two trucks from different stations came to help her out. One truck had ___ firefighters and the other had ___. I wonder how many firefighters were at Kelly’s house?”
Number lines: Standard number lines are already labelled for us,
but an ‘open’ number line can be a more useful strategy for students as they add numbers together – they can use it to create friendly numbers. Friendly numbers are simply numbers that are easier to work with – usually 5s and 10s.
For really easy instructions (and visuals!!) on how to use an open number line in the primary grades, check out this site.
Base Ten Blocks:
You can get your own Base Tens from Scholar’s Choice.
Students can use Ten Frames so many different ways. They can put both #s in the same frame, like with 5+2:
Or they might need two frames to show 7+5.
Once they’ve got the frames filled in, then it’s up to them which strategy they use.
For this one, I’d use the ‘Make a Ten’ strategy and take 3 away from my 5, and move them up to the frame with 7… read on for more about strategies!
Counting On – Many students are already using this strategy on their own, without even knowing they’re doing it. Now, we’ve just labelled it! First, you determine which number is the largest in your problem and then simply ‘count on’ (or what some might call, count up because you’re adding). If we were to add the #s 3+6, we’d want to start with the “6” (it’s the largest) and then we count on from there: “7, 8, 9.” Why start all the way back at 0 if we don’t have to? Students are encouraged to start at the largest number. While this strategy works for all # combinations, we encourage students to use it only when it’s fast, like adding on 1, 2, or 3. If you’re equation is 7+9 or 6+8, while counting on would work, it would take a longer time than if you were to use a different strategy, like ‘Make A Ten’.
We read this and worked through it together; love the MathStart series! Jack the Builder, by Stuart J Murphy is a ‘Counting On’ picture book, with activities and suggestions for parents at the end.
Make A Ten – Students need to know the number combinations that make ten, the Rainbow Facts, because Ten is a friendly number to work with. It’s important that they know these ‘mental math facts’ quickly, so that they can use this strategy effectively. If we were adding 7+9 we would ‘Make a Ten’ by taking 1 away from the 7 and adding it onto the 9, because we know that 9+1=10. We’d then have changed the equation to a more simple equation, a more ‘friendly’ one with 6+10 (instead of 7+9).
Doubles – A lot of fun and comes easily to many students; practice chanting your doubles at home: 1+1=2, 2+2=3, 3+3=6 … all the way to 10+10 (and even further if youkan!) Again, these should become ‘mental math facts’ that students have memorized, no need to stop and think. Once they’re comfortable and confident with their Doubles, they can begin to use another strategy, Near Doubles.
Near Doubles – Students use both their Doubles facts and their Counting On strategy for this one. For example, if they have a number sentence with 7+9 they can quickly realize that “I know double 7s are 14, so if I just count on 2 more, that’s 16”. Or with 6+7, “I know that 6 plus 6 is 12, so I just need to add on one more and that makes 13”.
We’ve been modelling and using all these strategies and soon, students will be able to use the one that works best for them.
Check out this great blog that explain these math strategies even further.
In our Room 108 Classroom Community, we foster an engaging, respectful and caring environment. I aim to balance a consistent program with flexible responsiveness to students' individual needs.