Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Math Monday Blog Hop

Since both classrooms and homeschools are winding down for the summer, I'm taking a little Math Monday Blog Hop break. Think about what you'd like to post on the hop as we get closer to fall and starting back to school. Meanwhile, I hope to bring you more of my favorite math books for summer reading. I'll also be updating the big book list of Math in Children's Literature throughout the summer months. Check back soon! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pattern Block Lessons K-5, Free (Meet CCSS!)

I can't believe this is free! Some of my favorite lessons from Bridges in Mathematics have been compiled as "Pattern Block Lessons." The combination of lessons are designed to help meet the Common Core State Standards in grade bands K-2 and 3-5. Download the pdfs here.

Lessons include games, activities, literature connections, and all the necessary instructions and blackline masters. All you need is pattern blocks. Perfect for classrooms and homeschools. Enjoy!

P.S. They also have tons of other items listed there! Check out the Bridges Breakouts!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Math Monday Blog Hop #58 (May 21, 2012)

If you want to share this collection on your blog, just grab this link:
get the InLinkz code

Grab a Math Box: love2learn2day button for your own blog:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bedtime Math

Have you seen Bedtime Math? A friend just alerted me to this site where a problem is posted every day for kids to do at bedtime. You'll find 3 levels: preschool, K-2nd, and 2nd-up. Homeschoolers could add a math moment to their bedtime routines. Classroom teachers might want to alert parents who could develop this "math habit" with their kids all summer...or you could use it now as a "wake-up" routine at school.  Check it out! :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Math Monday Blog Hop #57 (May 14, 2012)

If you want to share this collection on your blog, just grab this link:
get the InLinkz code

Grab a Math Box: love2learn2day button for your own blog:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Math Monday Blog Hop #56 (May 7, 2012)

If you want to share this collection on your blog, just grab this link:
get the InLinkz code

Grab a Math Box: love2learn2day button for your own blog:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Upper Level Math Instruction...Unnecessary???

I hope you take a minute to watch this video, "Why Math Instruction is Unnecessary." An excerpt from the written summary:
John is a teacher of math and a homeschooling parent who offers a radical-sounding proposal: that we cease to require math instruction in middle and high school.

If math education was done well...REALLY the lower grades, we'd have a bunch of kids who are mathematically fluent. If then, they liked math (which they might, if they were taught well!), and wanted to enter a career in which higher levels of math are required, they'd have the necessary foundation to move ahead. And, if they didn't want to enter a math-oriented career, they'd have what they needed to enter society with the skills necessary to thrive.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Calendar Pattern: Fractions & Music

Each month we do a calendar pattern from Bridges in Mathematics. After doing patterns for several years, the proficiency level is high; we've seen and worked through a lot of complex problems. So this month I proposed a new challenge: make a calendar that includes 2-3 patterns. After reading about Teaching Fractions Through Music, I suggested that the pattern include music, looking at fractions in notes and/or rests.

The student-generated calendar included the following (easy) pattern(s):
  • rest, rest, note, note
  • color: red, blue, green
In order to create the more difficult pattern of fractional note/rest values, a chart was used showing rests with values of 1/1 to 1/32 and notes with values of 1/1 to 1/32.

The pattern on the calendar used two rests going down the value chart starting at 1/1, followed by two notes going up the value chart starting at 1/32.

As we went through the month, we analyzed what had to happen from day to day in order to change the value of the rest or note. In doing so, we explored a lot about fractions. To make it easier, we looked at a visual model using tile.

The first change was easy. From Day 1 to day 2, the value went from 1/1 to 1/2; to achieve that change, you simply divide by 2. Other days were harder. From Day 13 to Day 14, for example, the value went from 1/32 to 1/16. At first I heard, "divide it by 2!" But when we looked at the visual model, we could see that 1/32 divided by 2 would not result in 1/16. But multiplying by 2 would.

As we went, a couple generalizations emerged:
  • when you divide a fraction the denominator gets bigger but the number gets smaller.
  • when you multiply a fraction the denominator gets smaller but the number gets bigger.
Big grins. We continued to check our work against the visual model. It helped everyone...including me. Fractions cause me huge math anxiety. (It takes every brave bone in me to post this!)  I was only taught fraction rules. Each time I teach fractions, I feel like I'm trying to undo what was done to me. It's thrilling to see the visual models increase kids' understanding.

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