Monday, September 30, 2013

Math Monday Blog Hop: Math Notebooking

Welcome to Math Monday Blog Hop!!!! In this hop all links will relate to the theme: Math Notebooking!

If you want to share this collection on your blog, just grab this link:

get the InLinkz code

Saturday, September 28, 2013

You Can Count on Monsters! (Teaching Prime/Composite)

Teaching prime and composite numbers? Don't miss You Can Count on Monsters by Richard Evan Schwartz. In a work of creative genius (seriously, how do people think like this?) he combines art and prime/composite to form a series of monsters. His webpage gives you the best glimpse of how the monsters work...suffice it to say that prime monsters are frequently eaten by composites. The concept even captivated NPR with a story: Math Isn't So Scary with Help From These Monsters.

In my 5th grade math class, the book helped to level the playing field as some students were familiar with prime/composite and others weren't. As we read the book, the newbies grasped the basic concept and the old hands were captivated by the number trees. Longer explorations allow kids to make predictions about whether the next page will reveal a prime or composite number, including thoughts about what the number tree will look like.

Additional resources include:

A poster of 1-100, factored.

A fabulous prime/composite applet. Ask students to compare the applet to the information in the book.

The author has a series of videos explaining more about the book and its concepts.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Math Monday Blog Hop: Counting, Cardinality, and Subitizing

Welcome to Math Monday Blog Hop!!!! In this hop all links will relate to the theme: Counting, Cardinality, and Subitizing!

If you want to share this collection on your blog, just grab this link:

get the InLinkz code

Monday, September 16, 2013

Math Monday Blog Hop: Math & Children's Literature

Introducing the first new Math Monday Blog Hop!!!! This week: Math & Children's Literature! All links will relate to that theme: Math & Lit! (Links without that theme will be removed...thanks for understanding!)

If you want to share this collection on your blog, just grab this link:

get the InLinkz code

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How Do I Participate in Math Monday Blog Hops?

You may have read that Math Monday Blog Hops are changing this fall. You'd like to participate, but you're not sure what it means. Here it is, in a nutshell:

You want learn about new teaching lessons, resources, and ideas. 
That's super simple! Follow links to ideas from other educators on themes that interest you. Each week will contain a new theme. If you want to come back to a theme to see what new links have been added, visit the Math Monday Blog Hop Index to find links to this year's themes.

You want to post links to your math ideas: lessons, resources, and reflections.
While this is also easy, it contains a few more steps.

Let's say you post a blog entry on your favorite math-related children's book. You want to share it with the world. You will:
  1. Go to the Math Monday Blog Hop Index. If a link on your topic is live, follow it. If a link on your topic is not live, save it until the week that topic is featured.
  2. When you arrive at the Blog Hop that best fits your post, look for the blue "Add your link" button.

  3. Click on "Add your link."
  4. You will go to a page like this:
Add the link (cut and paste) that goes DIRECTLY to the blog entry that relates to the theme. Give it a title that will capture the interest of readers. Add your email; it's required, but goes to no one but me and the Inlinkz file.

If an image is offered, select the one you wish to use. If you don't like the way it's centered, click on "Crop" and move the cropping device as desired. Push DONE and you'll soon be able to see your entry in the Blog Hop!

Note: Please do not post links to commercial products...i.e. things that you are personally selling. Freebies are great. Book reviews, too. But please save TPT/TN and other commercial products for another time. THANKS!

Entries, by theme, will stay open until June 1, 2014, for the 2013-14 school year. Come back regularly to add new posts and to learn new ideas from others!

Have any questions? Post below. And happy blog hopping!!! :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Teaching: Covering Content Vs. Being Content

Last night I had a huge, my-brain-might-explode, aspirin/Motrin-doesn't work, go-to-bed-early, headache.

I woke up this morning with a revelation.

I'm stressed.

About content. Defined this way:

The material to be covered this year in school.

I realized that content temporarily hijacked me. It felt no different than an unwelcome solicitor's phone call in the middle of reading a book to my son...or a demanding email in the middle of a conversation with my daughter.

So I stopped. And thought about something else. How to be content. Defined this way:

From Google: "in a state of peaceful happiness."

That's what I want. For my students. For me. And for learning.

Learning isn't always peaceful. It's not always happy. But in order to truly be content, I think you have to be steered by something other than content.

Used the right way, content is good. It gives you a road map. But if you miss seeing the trees along the road, miss the kids giggling in the back seat, miss the smiles of the nearby driver, the map misses it's mark.

What do you think? Have you been so busy checking boxes, checking standards, that you are checking out on what's really important? Are you content about content? :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Announcing: the NEW Math Monday Blog Hop!!

Math Monday Blog Hops return this fall with a new--hopefully, improved--version! Here's how it works...

Each Monday will contain a new theme. The Fall 2013 schedule is:

Sept. 16: Math & Children's Literature
Sept. 23: Counting, Cardinality, and Subitizing
Sept. 30: Math Notebooking
Oct. 7: Fall or Halloween Math
Oct. 14: Geometry
Oct. 21: Fractions
Oct. 28: Math Talk
Nov. 4: Thanksgiving Math
Nov. 11: Measurement
Nov. 18: Holiday (December holidays) or Winter Math
Nov. 25: Addition & Subtraction
Dec. 2: Real Life Math
Dec. 9: Multiplication & Division
Dec. 16: Time & Money (which we have little of in December!)
Dec. 23: take a rest! No Math Monday this week!
Dec. 30: New Math Ideas (things I want to try with my students) for the New Year...think Pinterest!

You will be able to post on each topic for longer than a week; I'm currently planning to keep each theme open for the school year. That means that as you write new blog content, you'll be able to come back and post a link to the appropriate spot. And as you teach new lessons, you'll be able to find new content that relates to what you are currently teaching. The master index will be available from the  Math Monday Blog Hop Tab.

Featured Blogs & Websites
Whenever possible, I'd like to feature blogs & websites that relate to the weekly topic. If you know a fabulous blogger or website that you'd like to recommend for any of the fall topics, please post in the comments below.

Questions for Math Monday Participants: readers and bloggers
Question 1: How much does it mean to you to have thumbnails (pictures) with each link? To do that, I'll need to upgrade from a free InLinkz account to a paid one. I'll use my one freebie on Sept. 16 to see what you think. If you love the look, I'll consider making the investment. ;) (Also, if you use a thumbnail/link service that you love, let me know. I only have experience with InLinkz.)

Question 2: Have themes/topics that you'd like to see covered? Please post them in the comments and I'll add them to my list.

Excited to see you next Monday for the first Blog Hop of the school year. Start thinking about your favorite children's literature books and how they relate to MATH! ;)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Staying Alive...with Real Life Math Stories

I like to "collect" math stories. From real life. Over the years I've amassed some good ones (including the one about the clerk who needed a calculator to compute 20-12!) but this last week one struck me...or perhaps "stuck" me.

I've started allergy shots again...something I've done repeatedly over my lifetime. I've never experienced anything more than a little localized reaction and since I've been on shots since May, I didn't really expect much at a recent injection.

But you need some numbers:
With each new bottle of serum, I start with a tiny amount, .1ml, and then move up to .2, then .3...each time going up by .1 until I reach .5 and then begin a new bottle with a stronger concentration. Last week, I received my second injection from the newest bottle, or .2ml. Tiny amount, right? Much less than those biggies at .4 or .5. Insignificant, really.

Hardly. Within 45 minutes of my shot I was in full allergy attack: sneezing, coughing, itchy throat, runny nose, and the scariest...wheezing, with air passages closing. To make a scary story short, I followed protocol and recovered.

But here's the math part...

I saw the allergy nurse this week and reflected on how odd the experience was. It was such a tiny amount: only .2ml. Ah, she said...that's what she used to think, too. Until someone pointed out that something significant happens during the .2ml shot. Can you figure it out? Again, I always get injections in this order:


What's significant about the  .2 injection? Mathematical minds want to know... Leave your comments below.

P.S. This is a reminder to collect "real life" stories like this to share with kids. Make it real! (But perhaps not THIS real!) :)

P.P.S. School starts up for me this week. Big Math Monday Blog Hop announcement on Monday!

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