Elementary Math Newsletter

February 15th - February 26th

Ramblings of Jennifer & Stephanie...

Team Leaders and Spotlight Teachers, please make sure to forward this newsletter onto your team members and any SPED support teachers that you feel could benefit from this information.


First of all, we wanted to say "thank you" to all of our teachers. This is a difficult time of year with tutoring, planning, scheduling, data analysis, and lengthier grading periods. It seems like Spring Break will never get here. So, we wanted you to know that we appreciate you. Together, you are the reason why we not only have some of the highest math scores in the area but you are also the reason why our students love math! Please remember that Stephanie and I are always here as your support. Don't forget to email or call us if you need anything!


Finally, thanks to everyone that came out to our last Station Creation of the year! It is my favorite session of the year. It was great to see everyone and I know that you all left with not only your grade level stations but with some additional treats as well!

Highlighting Process Skills

In the past few newsletters we have discussed why students should be justifying and explaining their thinking and answers in the math classroom. As a reminder, the TEKS we are focusing on is:


TEKS 1G: Display, explain, and justify mathematical ideas and arguments using precise mathematical language in written or oral communication.


In this newsletter, we are going to stray from the "why" of communication, explanation, and justification in the math classroom to talk to you about the "HOW". Below you will find some easy ways to get your students communicating about math.


MATH TALK

Make sure student talk is regular part of your lessons. Partner talk-sometimes called "turn and talk" or "think-pair-share"-encourages students to voice their ideas. Giving them a minute or so to talk with a neighbor also helps students get ready to contribute to a discussion. It's especially beneficial to students who are generally hesitant to share in front of the whole class.


MATH WRITING

Communication in math class should include writing as well as talking.

Math Journals

A math journal is a book in which students record their math work and thinking. They can be used to:

  • Record the solutions to math problems, along with the strategy and thought processes used to arrive at the solution.
  • Write about learning.
- What do you already know about .... ?

- What did you learn today?

- What questions do you still have about ...?

- What strategy did you use to solve the problem?

- Why was this strategy the best?


Exit Tickets

An exit ticket is a way for students to communicate with their teacher. Exit tickets can be an index card, sticky note, or handout. Each exit ticket has a prompt or question that the student needs to respond to. It can be a formative assessment tool to gauge understanding or it can be used as a tool for students to write about mathematics.


Student math talk, writing in math journals, and exit tickets are all easy ways to get math communication flowing in your classroom. As you begin implementing these in your classroom, there are some resources attached that give you a multitude of questioning stems to ask to help get those math conversations started. Enjoy!

First Look: Friday Math Tests

Stephanie and I often get asked what our thoughts are regarding Friday tests. We can best answer this by looking at the math classroom from the eyes of a student.


As a 7-10 year old, would we look forward to coming to math class on Friday if we knew it was only a test day? The answer to this question is no. We wouldn't. Although tests and quizzes are a necessary part of the math classroom, please consider these best practices....


  • Formative and Summative assessments should be given to guide instruction or to assess student mastery of concepts.
  • No one day should be assigned as "test" day. Assessments should be given as part of the lesson cycle or at the end of a concept.
  • Unless specified on the Scope and Sequence calendar, assessments should not replace whole group math instruction.
  • Think about the amount of time allotted for an assessment and the number of questions on the assessment. For each question allot 4-5 minutes.


As you plan your math instruction each week, look at the amount and type of assessments being done in the classroom. Reflect on the assessments purpose and how the data is going to be used to be used. Finally, make sure that math whole group and small group time stays sacred. Don't give up precious math instruction time to assessments each week.

Don't Forget!

  • February 19th - Kindergarten & 1st Grade Performance Assessment Survey Results Due


Kindergarten Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YXSL3YS

1st Grade Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GJM2NN6


  • February 26th - Early Release
  • Week of February 29th - March Benchmark / Simulation

Kindergarten

TEKS: K.4, K.9A & K.9C


For the week of February 15th-19th, students are going to focus on identifying coins by name. (TEKS K.4). Take a look at the unpacked TEKS above and reminders below to help you plan the lessons for this week.


Reminders:


  • Students need to identify coins by name.
  • Kindergarten students do not need to learn the value of each coin.
  • Make sure to teach attributes of coins to aid in identification (color, size, smooth edge, ribbed edge).
  • Make sure to practice identification of National Landmark quarters as well.
  • 1st Grade students learn the value of coins and their relationships to each other.


For the week of February 22nd-26th, students will be learning about ways to earn income and what simple sills are required for jobs (TEKS K.9A & K.9C). Take a look at the unpacked TEKS above and reminders below to help you plan the lessons for this week.


Reminders:


  • Jobs describe work that is completed for the purpose of receiving income.

1st Grade

TEKS: 1.3B, 1.3C, 1.3D, 1.3E, 1.3F, 1.5D, 1.5E, 1.5F & 1.5G


For the next two weeks, students are going to apply their knowledge of addition and subtraction facts to represent, solve and generate addition and subtraction word problems with sums and differences within 20. The TEKS focus for the next two weeks is TEKS 1.3B, 1.3F & 1.5D. However, students will be applying knowledge of the other TEKS listed above as they solve addition and subtraction word problems. Take a look at the unpacked TEKS above and the reminders below to help you plan lessons for the next two weeks.


Reminders:


  • Fact Strategies to include: Addition (Making 10, Counting On, Commutative Property, Doubles, Doubles + 1, and Doubles + 2) Subtraction (Ten facts, Double facts, Count Up, Related Facts (fact families)
  • TEKS 1.3E expects students to justify and explain how they solved addition and subtraction problems. This is also a process TEKS.
  • TEKS 1.5D asks students to represent (show) the context of the word problem using objects, pictures, and number sentences.
  • Make sure to include word problems that include the unknown as any one of the terms.
  • For TEKS 1.3F, students must be provided with a mathematical number sentence (equation) in order to generate and then solve a problem situation.
  • Teach and Model QDPAC "Thinking processes" and "Graphic Organizer" while solving word problems at any time. QDPAC graphic organizer should be modeled when you are solving word problems.
  • Make sure you are NOT teaching students to identify key words. Students should be focusing on what action is happening in the story. Make sure to take a look at the Action Posters on Forethought under TEKS 1.1B.
  • 1st grade students are not expected to do QDPAC independently. Students help teachers solve problems using QDPAC as the teacher models.

2nd Grade

TEKS: 2.4B (addition), 2.9D, 2.9E & 2.9F


For the week of February 15th-19th, 2nd Grade students will continue learning to measure metric length and will learn to solve problem situations involving length. The focus will be on TEKS 2.9D & 2.9E this week. Take a look at the unpacked TEKS above, the CPA calendar, and reminders below to help plan your lessons for this week.


Reminders:


  • 2nd Grade is the only grade level which teaches how to measure using a ruler, yard stick, measuring tape, and/or meter stick.
  • TEKS 2.9C will be taught along with the ruler. Students need to understand that as they measure the length of an object, they are finding the distance between two points on a number line.
  • To help with 2.9C understanding, don't always start measurements at zero on the ruler forcing students to find the distance between the two points.
  • Students will find a length to the nearest whole unit.
  • When describing length, students need both a measurement and a unit. (Example: 6 inches)
  • For TEKS 2.9E, students are asked to estimate lengths. Always have students estimate before they measure. This is the first time students have been introduced to estimation.
  • Measurement problems involve adding or subtracting length, therefore model QDPAC and expect all students to use the QDPAC strategy on all problems.
  • Do NOT teach key words. Students should be focusing on which actions are happening in the story. Take a look at the Action Posters on Forethought under 2.1B.
  • As students complete independent word problem practice for the rest of the year, expect students to use the QDPAC "thinking process" and show the "graphic organizer" on each word problem. Make it an expectation!


For the week of February 22nd-26th, students will experience how to find the area of a rectangle and will be introduced to 3-digit addition (TEKS 2.9F & 2.4B) Take a look at the unpacked TEKS above, the CPA calendar, and reminders below to help plan your lessons for this week.


Reminders:


  • Students will find the area of rectangles and squares using ONLY concrete models.
  • The concrete models should be square units, and the measurements should be described using square units such as "24 square units."
Addition Strategies

3rd Grade

TEKS: 3.6C, 3.6D, 3.6E & 3.7B


For the week of February 15-19th, students will be learning how to find the perimeter of 2D shapes. The TEKS focus for this week is TEKS 3.7B. Take a look at the unpacked TEKS above, the CPA calendar, and reminders below to help plan your lessons for this week.


Reminders:


  • Students will need to find the perimeter of a 2D shape.
  • Students will need to be able to measure side lengths of 2D shapes to determine perimeter.
  • Students may be given the perimeter and be asked to find the missing side length.
  • Side lengths will be whole numbers.
  • Make sure students are solving word problems that involve finding the perimeter of 2D shapes.
  • PISD students demonstrated 77% mastery on TEKS 3.7B on STAAR last year.


For the week of February 22nd-26th, students will be learning how to find the area of rectangles, find the area of composite shapes, decompose 2D shapes into equal areas, and solve perimeter and area word problems. The TEKS focus this week is TEKS 3.6C, 3.6E, 3.6D & 3.7B. Take a look at the unpacked TEKS above, the CPA calendar, and reminders below to help plan your lessons for this week.


Reminders:


  • Students will find the area of rectangles only.
  • Have students use square inch tiles, square centimeters, square feet, or square meters as concrete manipulatives to represent the number of rows and the number of unit squares in each row.
  • The goal is to get students to figure out that area is linked to multiplication arrays.
  • Students may be expected to use multiplication to determine the area of a rectangle instead of counting squares.
  • Students are NOT required to know the formula for area.
  • For TEKS 3.6D, composite figures should be comprised of rectangles, including squares.
  • For TEKS 3.6E, students are expected to separate two congruent rectangles in equal parts in two different ways.
  • PISD students demonstrated 75% mastery on TEKS 3.6C and 58% mastery on TEKS 3.6D on STAAR last year.

4th Grade

TEKS: 4.2G, 4.3A, 4.3B, 4.3D, 4.5D & 4.8C


CHANGE HAS BEEN MADE TO TEACHING SEQUENCE OF FRACTIONS. COMPARING FRACTIONS ARE NOW TAUGHT BEFORE EQUIVALENT FRACTIONS.


For the week of February 15th-19th, students will continue to solve measurement word problems (TEKS 4.5D & 4.8C). Take a look at the unpacked TEKS above, the CPA calendar, and reminders below to help plan your lessons for this week.


Reminders:


  • TEKS 4.5D includes solving measurement problems relating to area and perimeter.
  • TEKS 4.8C includes solving problems involving liquid capacity, mass, length, time, and money.
  • TEKS 4.8C does NOT include solving problems involving weight.
  • Include elapsed time and calendar problems.
  • If money problems require students to multiply or divide money, the money values will be limited to whole numbers only.
  • Make sure students represent problems each time they solve either using strip diagrams or equations.
  • The QDPAC "thinking process" and "graphic organizer" should be modeled on every computational word problem.
  • Do NOT teach key words. Students should be focusing on which actions are happening in the story. Take a look at the Action Posters on Forethought under 4.1B.
  • As students complete independent word problem practice for the rest of the year, expect students to use the QDPAC "thinking process" and show the "graphic organizer" on each word problem. Make it an expectation!
  • PISD students demonstrated 64% mastery on TEKS 4.5D and 48% mastery on TEKS 4.8C last year on the STAAR assessment.


For the week of February 22nd-26th students will focus on fractions. Students will relate fractions and decimals, represent fractions, decompose fractions, and compare fractions. The TEKS focus this week will be TEKS 4.2G, 4.3A, 4.3B & 4.3D. Take a look at the unpacked TEKS above, the CPA calendar, and reminders below to help plan your lessons for this week.


Reminders:


  • Students will need to be able to represent a fraction with either concrete or pictorial models. The fractions represented can be greater than 1.
  • Students will need to be able to decompose a fraction in more than one way. For instance 7/8 could be decomposed as 4/8 + 3/8 or 2/8 + 5/8. Students in 3rd grade decomposed fractions using unit fractions only.
  • TEKS 4.3B (decomposing fractions) requires students to represent the decomposition of fractions by using concrete models, pictorial models and number sentences.
  • TEKS 4.3D requires students to compare two fractions using symbols.
  • Do NOT use cross multiplication to compare fractions. Ask your spotlight math teacher why!
  • Methods to compare fractions include: Common denominators, common numerators, benchmark fractions of 1/2 and 1, or finding a common denominator.
  • PISD students demonstrated 90% mastery on TEKS 4.2G, 74% mastery on TEKS 4.3A and 89% mastery on TEKS 4.3D on STAAR last year.