Math Matters in LEISD

2014-15 Vol 4 December

Cool Contests for Kids!

Classroom Instructional Focus

Yummy Math

Yummy Math was created to provide teachers with an easy way to bring real-life into their math classrooms. It is the authors' belief that when math is explored in contexts that are familiar and of interest to students, students will be more engaged to do math, reason, think critically, question and communicate. The site is updated with multiple activities per week at no charge to teachers.


Looking for fun ways to engage your students in meaningful math? Looking to help connect the themes of the season to real math standards? Then Mathwire may be a great site for you. is a website designed to provide activities and appropriate worksheets for teachers to use in their classrooms. All activities and worksheets support the constructivist approach to learning mathematics and the NCTM Standards.

Check out the Winter Activities to see if there is something that will work great in your classroom next week!

Cooperative Learning Strategy - Numbered Heads Together

This structure is useful for quickly reviewing objective material in a fun way or to work problems as a team. The students in class are numbered off.

Variation 1:

Students get into a team of 4 students numbered 1, 2, 3, 4. Students coach each other on material to be mastered. Teachers pose a question and call a number. Only the students with that number are eligible to answer and earn points for their team, building both individual accountability and positive interdependence.

Variation 2:

Students get into a team of 4 students numbered 1, 2, 3, 4. Each student in the class with the same number is given a problem to solve. All the like numbered students get together in a huddle to work out the problem and make a plan for teaching their problem. Students coach each other on material to be mastered. Then the students all return to their group of 4 with a 1,2,3 and 4 numbered student together. Each student teaches the other three group members the problem that their number group solved.

After all 4 students teach their problem to the group, the group discusses similarities and differences in the problems and solutions presented to the group.

Feature: Formative Assessment Classroom Technique (FACT) - Using a Graphic Organizer to Show Relationships

Any of several forms of graphical organizers which allow learners to perceive relationships and to make connections between concepts through diagramming key words representing those concepts. Have students construct a Thinking Map, Concept Map, or a Graphic Organizer to illustration connections among ideas presented, to show how parts of the topic are related, or to demonstrate a process. is a site that shows many types of graphic organizers and how they can be used.

Graphic organizers come in many forms. Check out some ideas here with a google image search I did.

Tips for the Math Teacher: Make writing a routine, not a special occasion.

Sometimes it may be difficult to interview each student individually. It may be more feasible to use writing activities to get and give feedback to students concerning their levels of understanding. In addition to asking them to work out and explain problems, ask students to create and write up their own application problems to share with others in a later class. Invest yourself by writing back to the students before returning the writing activities. Refer to Tips on Creating Writing Prompts and Giving Feedback.

Questions to Engage Thinking Skills

What ideas justify your steps or thinking?

What alternative strategy would prove your process?

What model could you construct to demonstrate...?

How could you use estimation to justify the solution?

Math Chat Article - Math Questions Worth Asking

Grade 3-5 Hands on Fractions

Thursday, Dec. 11th, 3:45-5:15pm

300 Lobo Ln

Little Elm, TX

This session is open to all math teachers in grades 3 through 5 and provides an opportunity to learn more about resources available for modeling and sense making in the fraction strand. All teachers will receive a copy of their grade level "Hands on Fractions" book for check out and will learn how to incorporate these materials in instruction.
Register now