You are likely aware of the renewed focus on numeracy.  During this past school year, all of our staff meetings and professional development focussed on numeracy - rich tasks, open-ended questions, parallel questions, attitudes to math (Growth Mindset), and so on.

Our math blocks increased from 1 period to 2 so I played around with a guided math format for a part of the year.  Naturally a few of my students asked, "Why are we doing so much math?" and "Why do we have to learn this?" And by ask, I mean whined! :(  I definitely needed to change our attitudes towards math!

At the beginning of each unit I would try to explain its application to our daily lives.  This helped a bit.  Check out this article, Teaching Kids Why Math Matters.

This discussion led to the creation of posters to help connect math to everyday activities and occupations.

There are every day scenarios that involve math...

Then there are occupations that require a knowledge of a particular math topic...

And then some math motivation...

I'm super excited to use these posters in the upcoming year to help make math "real".

This poster pack is available {here}.

How do you get your students excited about math?
Side note: Gotta love Educlips clip art!
I recently wrapped up a unit on 2D shapes and thought I'd share some of the fun activities we did as a class.

If you work in Ontario you know that the ministry is pushing problem solving and rich tasks in math.  I pulled together some ideas from different sources for 2 weeks of hands-on activities. 

Making shapes with Popsicle sticks 
My students had to use Popsicle sticks to complete task cards.  We also tried to make some of the shapes with more sides.  The more the sides increased, the trickier it was to create.  Idea from A, Bee, C, Preschool.  


 Shape (and Colour) Bingo
To keep the peace, I had to assign the caller, but they had fun with this little game.  I've had it for years and probably only cost me a few dollars.

Shape Puzzles
The first was plain and simple, but always engaging.  A little bit trickier...they had to look at the complete picture and recognize the composite parts.

Shape Pictures
We used Pattern blocks and foam shapes to create the pictures.  I loved watching them trying to solve the pictures that didn't show the outlines of the shapes.  Lots of trial and error in their spatial reasoning. 

Play Doh and Mats
Using mats from Sparklebox, they had tons if fun forming shapes.  It was the first time we used play dough in my class so they really looked forward to "Math Centre Time"!  

Another new favourite!  I made a pentagon as an example and you'd think I performed a magic trick!  They were so amazed and impressed!

Pattern Blocks
I used an activity from Kindergarten Works.  After covering the triangle, I asked them to show me another way.  They were excited to come up with more new arrangements/shapes.  

Team Teaching Session
We combined our classes and did the problem from Kindergarten Works.  We had them work in pairs and set out pattern blocks, tangrams, and attribute blocks for them to use.  We charted some of their responses.  They did really well and some realized that a triangle would always be needed.  Then we gave a similar problem and put them in groups of four.  This time they had to show their work and draw their shapes. 

The following day, I gave them a similar problem to complete independently but changed the number of sides.  Depending on their ability, I required 7, 10, 12, 14 or 16 sides.  I asked them to show me at least 3 ways.  

My students really looked forward to math centres during these weeks!  Definitely a keeper!
Powered by Blogger.