# MATH STUFF #16

## By Katrina Schwartz January 14, 2016

Traditional math class was all about solving problem sets as fast as possible, but increasingly math teachers are slowing down to allow kids the time and space to reason through their answers and explain their thinking to peers. For those who seek a demonstration of that path, take a look at the Teaching Channel video below. Third grade teacher Jen Saul leads a lesson meant to support students’ mathematical problem solving abilities. She works hard to normalize struggle and has students find three different ways to represent the same problem.

“They can assure themselves and don’t have to wait for the teacher to come around and say, ‘yeah, you got it.'” Saul said of the approach. She makes sure students have time to work independently before they share their strategies with one another, a time when they practice using math language and explaining their thinking. Meanwhile, Saul is rotating around the room, supporting students and pushing their thinking along. One of the most important parts, she says, is when she invites students to come to the front and share their solutions. This student-led solution time reinforces the class culture and helps students see one another as experts.

Teaching Fraction Problem Solving

Algebra is another important area of math and is often seen as the gateway subject to higher math. While students may see algebra as a time to memorize equations, strong teachers know this is an incredibly important time to make sure students’ math reasoning is solid. In the video below, math coach Audra McPhillips explains how she leads eighth graders through the process of developing a conjecture about functions. She asks them to look for patterns and has intentionally given them three examples that have something in common (the rate of change) and a point of difference (the y-intercept), meant to push student thinking a little further.

McPhillips does very little telling students how to think, instead she lets them develop a conjecture that they believe to be true beyond the examples in front of them and requires them to explain why. Note, she doesn’t expect all students to write a conjecture by the end of the lesson, but she does have them fill out exit slips to record what they learned and how far they got as a quick reflection before they head to their next class.

## ESTAR/MSTAR TESTING IS OPEN

Testing Window:

January 11, 2016–February 12, 2016

Diagnostic Window:

January 18, 2016–February 19, 2016

## 3RD 9 WEEKS - SKILLS BLOCK 5TH GRADE WEEK 1

· Simplify & Compare Activity – See eduphoria –Skills Block tab titled “simplify and compare.pdf” – Use student created fraction kits from last nine weeks during this lesson

· Repeat Fraction Tracks Game from Investigations Unit 4 Session 3.5 or Roll Around the Clock from Investigations Unit 4 Session 3.2

## Multiplication War

How do you play?

This is a 2 player game. One student shuffles the cards and hands them out face down in two piles. Both students count down (3, 2, 1, GO!) and flip over the top card from their facedown pile. The first student to accurately multiply both numbers on the cards wins the set. When all cards are gone, the student with the most sets is the winner.

Note - If you are using the Ace, Queen and King in the deck, be sure to give them a numerical value. For example the Ace could be worth 0, Jack could be worth 1, Queen could be worth 11 and the King could be worth 12. Don't forget to take the Jokers out.

## 3RD 9 WEEKS - SKILLS BLOCK 4TH GRADE WEEK 1

· Measuring to nearest ½, ¼ and 1/8 inch and analyze data through line plots – see eduphoria- skills block tab titled “measurements & line plots1.doc”

· Rounding Whole Numbers to Hundred Thousand Review – Teacher creates activities to review rounding

## 3RD 9 WEEKS - SKILLS BLOCK 3RD GRADE WEEK 1

· Multiplication Fact Fluency-each student is working on activities to support their individual goal

· Continue work on understanding story problems from all operations (+,-,x,÷ ) by reading, retelling, modeling/acting out, and choose the operation. Do a sorting activity in which students sort problems into the operation they would use and justify their thinking based on the action that is happening in the story (refer to action anchor charts for proof) and write the equation that matches. Do not solve for the answer. The thinking process is the most important part at this time.

· Begin 2 digit by 1 digit multiplication – continue the idea of decomposing the problem into known parts. 23 = 20 +3 or 23=10+10+3