Elementary Math Newsletter

August 24, 2015 - September 4, 2015

Ramblings of Jennifer & Stephanie...

Welcome back! This year we are introducing four new resources for you.


1) This is our first edition of the Elementary Math Newsletter. These newsletters will be published every two weeks. Each newsletter will provide upcoming TEKS information, unpacking forms, math reminders, activities, question types, process TEKS information and anything else we can think of! Be sure to read through the top of each newsletter for general information and then scroll down to read information pertaining to your grade level.


2) Stephanie has been hard at work creating an Elementary Math Symbaloo. This Symbaloo will provide a quick link to professional development, TEKS information, and website and app resources that teachers can use in the classroom.


3) All teachers received a copy of the Elementary Math Program Guide at either New Teacher training this year or at the District Staff Development Day. We hope this guide helps teachers by providing all the math program expectations in one place.


4) Anecdotal Record books were also passed out during the District Staff Development training. We hope the Anecdotal Record book helps keep track of student data so the data can be used to guide your small group instruction throughout the year.

Highlighting Process Skills

Over the next two weeks, let's make an effort to focus on Process Skill 1A which says:


Apply mathematics to problems arising in everyday life, society, and workplace.


This one sentence means that students should experience problem based math that relates to them rather than numbers with no context. Problems can come from the everyday life of a student, from the life of the school, from the society where they live, or they can be work based.


One common experience that all students have is going to the supermarket. Kids, since birth, have been going grocery shopping with their parents. Why not use this experience to relate the math content the students are learning to their everyday lives?


I bet you have heard this: "When am I ever going to use this in the real world?" Yep...me too. That's the reason for this TEKS. We want students to understand that math is all around them and that they use math every day. Relating math to their lives and not teaching concepts in isolation, will also encourage students to be excited about the math.


As you plan lessons this week, really ponder this process skill. How can you make sure that you are intentionally relating the math your teaching to your students?

Habit 3 - Tools (Lesson Planning)

During the District Day, you learned about our H4 or 4 Habits of Effective Math Teachers. Habit 3 talked specifically about the "tools" teachers have to help them to be successful math teachers. This newsletter is going to focus on Lesson Planning!


Here are a couple helpful hints about math lesson planning that we want to share:


Plan as a team!

Using the Team Lesson Planning form, we encourage teams to plan together. The team planning time is meant to take 30-45 minutes and is structured around two key ideas.


1) Teams unpack the upcoming TEKS by discussing the meaning of the TEKS, specific vocabulary words, teaching strategies, and identifying misconceptions the students might have. This is the MOST important part of the planning process. It ensures that all teachers have a common understanding of the TEKS and the depth of understanding that students need to be successful.


2) After teams discuss the meaning of the TEKS in detail, teachers then discuss activity or lesson ideas that meet the depth and rigor of the TEKS.


Write your own Monday-Friday Lesson Plans!

Lesson planning for your classroom is a very individual process that will vary according to your teaching style, teaching experience, class structure and student levels. Use the team lesson planning form to help you decide which activities and lessons best meets the needs of your students ensuring student success in your classroom.


Reminder: Students need time to explore math and to build math understanding over several days. When planning math lessons, make sure to not "jump" around and teach multiple math skills each week. Students need consistency and time with one math concept before learning new concepts.

The Skinny on Spiral Reviews

The district spiral reviews were created as:
  • A method to continuously and systematically review previously taught math content.
  • An opportunity for teachers to model the thinking and strategies needed for students to be successful problem solvers.
  • A way to apply previously learned math skills to solve question types that are written at the depth and rigor of STAAR.


Based on the above, spiral reviews are not to be sent home as homework. The district also does NOT support the use of spiral review quizzes or tests in the classroom.

Don't Forget!

Small Group Instruction & Workstations

Now is the time to use your Small Group Math time to teach mini-lessons that set up the expectations and routines for student behavior in small group time and workstations for the classroom. Some mini-lesson ideas can be found on the 20 Days to Math Workstations document on Forethought! Remember that Small Group Instruction is expected by the 6th week of school for most grade levels.

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Upcoming Training Dates


  • September 3rd - New Teacher Math Technology Training


Make sure to sign up in Eduphoria and request all subs at least 10 days before any district trainings!

Kindergarten

TEKS: K.6A, K.6D, K.6F


The first week of school in Kindergarten is an exciting, frustrating, and tiring time for both teachers and students. Some students have never attended school before and learning school routines is hard on everyone. Because of this, the first week of school has no math TEKS that are assigned to be taught. HOWEVER...teachers should be setting up their calendar routine and can start mini-lessons using the 20 Days to Math Workstation document. This document will help you think about all the routines you will need in place to be able to implement small group math instruction in the classroom


For the 2nd week of school, our Kindergartner's are going to be learning all about 2D shapes. Take a look at the unpacking documents using the links above and the reminders below!


Reminders:


  • If you are going to have students practice sorting shapes as part of an identification or recognition activity, make sure the students are sorting by name of shape or attribute. Remember that color is not a mathematical attribute.
  • Make sure that you show students a variety of pictures for each 2D shape. Students need to be able to identify the shape regardless of size, pictorial model, or real world item. Another wards, don't always show them regular shapes. Show them irregular shapes as well.
  • Identify (verb) K.6A means students need to recognize the shape by name.
  • Attributes of 2D shapes include side, corner, vertices, and equal sides.
  • Students need to be able to create shapes by name and attributes. Examples: Create a square. Create a shape with 3 sides.

1st Grade

TEKS: 1.2A, 1.2B, 1.2C, 1.3A, 1.5A, 1.5B


For the next two weeks, your students will be learning place value of whole numbers up to 99. Students last year learned to read, write, and represent (show) numbers 0-20. You are a students first experience with place value. Although it is a tough concept, students must learn this concept before they can add, subtract, count sets, compare numbers, count money, or tell time. Place Value is the foundational understanding of mathematics. That is why EVERY grade level which teaches place value starts with this concept. Take a look at the unpacking documents using the links above and the reminders below!


Reminders:


TEKS 1.2A, 1.5A, & 1.5B do not require "formal" math lessons. These TEKS should be embedded into Calendar time and practiced daily!


For the first two weeks of place value, focus on TEKS 1.2B, 1.2C, and 1.3A only. Start with 1.2C. Have students show a set of objects for numbers they know (up to 20). This is a review from Kinder. Eventually, show students how to represent a set of more than 20. What do they notice? Use 10 frames and base-ten blocks to concretely help students see the value of the digits. Introduce the tens and ones place and the place value chart. What does a digit in the tens place mean? Eventually you can start having students compose and decompose larger numbers (1.2B) in multiple ways and then start introducing 1.3A as you question students about different numbers and how they are composed.



  • These TEKS should not be taught in isolation. Example: Create the number 53 in any way. Stephanie created 53 by using 5 tens and 3 ones. What is the value of 5 tens? 50 What is the value of 3 ones? 3. So 50 + 3 = 53. Did someone else create the number 53 in a different way? Jennifer used 4 tens and 13 ones. Is this a correct way to represent 53? Yes. 4 tens has a value of 40 and 13 ones has a value of 13. 40 + 13 = 53.

2nd Grade

TEKS: 2.2A, 2.2B, 2.7A, 2.7B, 2.2C


For the next two weeks, your students will be learning place value of whole numbers. Students learned place value to 120 last year. Along with the place value chart, students learned to compose and decompose numbers, reading numbers in standard form and expanded form, and comparing and ordering numbers. Students worked the entire year with specifically the ones and tens place. Take a look at the unpacked TEKS links above and make sure to read the reminders below!


Reminders:


  • 2nd Grade students will be focusing on place value for the first 3 1/2 weeks of school. For the first two weeks, focus on only composing and decomposing numbers, reading numbers, and writing numbers using standard, word, and expanded form.
  • Make sure to specifically teach students the place value chart to the thousands place. Students need to be able to draw a simplified place value chart on their own as a strategy for any questions regarding place value.
  • 2.2A asks students to flexibly compose and decompose numbers using concrete and pictorial models. Students are NOT expected to do this abstractly.
  • TEKS 2.2C and 2.7B do NOT require a formal math lesson. As students are composing numbers and practicing reading/writing numbers, simple questioning can assess these TEKS. Example: Students you just created the number 573 with your base ten blocks. Can someone give me an example of a number that is larger or greater than 573? What number would be ten less than 573? What number would be 100 more than 573? How do you know? Embed these TEKS as you are teaching 2.2A and 2.2B.

3rd Grade

TEKS: 3.2A, 3.2B, 3.2D


For the next two weeks, your students will be learning place value of whole numbers. Students learned place value to 1,200 last year. Students learned the place value chart, reading numbers, writing numbers, and compared and ordered numbers. Take a look at the unpacked TEKS links above and make sure to read the reminders below!


Reminders:


  • In 2nd Grade, students composed and decomposed numbers using objects and pictures. This year students will build on the concept and compose/decompose numbers abstractly.
  • Make sure to teach Expanded forms. Example: 573 is 500 + 70 + 3 and (5x100) + (7x10) + (3x1)
  • For TEKS 3.2B, students do NOT need to learn multiplication & division by 10 for this TEKS. Students just need to understand that as a digit moves places how its value changes. Use manipulatives to help students understand the concept. You are the foundational understanding of what happens to digits as they move left or right on the place value chart.
  • 3.2D When comparing numbers, do NOT create fancy tricks or stories. Students need to compare and order numbers using a place value chart. When specifically ordering numbers, have students line up the numbers in a place value chart so they can easily compare the value of the digits. Encourage students to rewrite the number instead of just labeling 1, 2, 3, 4 at the end of each number.

4th Grade

TEKS: 4.2A, 4.2B, 4.2C


For the next two weeks, your students will be learning place value of whole numbers. Students learned place value to 100,000 last year including understanding the Base 10 system and composing / decomposing numbers. Make sure to look at the unpacking forms for these TEKS.


Reminders:

4.2A - Students do NOT need to learn multiplication & division by 10 for this TEKS. Students just need to understand that as a digit moves places how its value changes. Use manipulatives to help students understand the concept. As students learn to multiply by 10 and 100 later in the year, help students make the connection back to this TEKS.


4.2B - When comparing numbers, do NOT create fancy tricks or stories. Also, when ordering numbers, have students line up the numbers in a place value chart so they can easily compare the value of the digits. Encourage students to rewrite the number instead of just labeling 1, 2, 3, 4 at the end of each number.

Place Value Blog!

Make sure to read down to the comments! Teachers share some activities they love to do while teaching place value!