Wednesday, July 23, 2008

About Math for K and 1st...

From one of our Primary Math coaches, Michelle Ellis, comes with this advice about Math:
As you begin to plan for your classroom this year, your Math Workshop set up will be very important. You will need to have a place where you have your math mini-lesson. Debby and I have found it helpful to have a different meeting area for Math than the ELA meeting area. We use opposite sides of the room. In the math meeting area we have all of our math manipulatives, calendar math, number line, and math vocabulary wall. We usually bring the students to the floor for our mini- lesson unless we are using the document camera. We have our 10 minute lesson, then send students to either their tables or floor if they are playing a game for the work time. For the closing we either keep the students where they are if they need their work to share or bring them back to the floor for the discussion.

This coming year the math standards and learning schedules have changed. You will notice starting with week one you will be required to have a "Math Choice Time". This does not mean it is your choice whether to teach the games, but it is just another name for "math centers". Every week you should have Choice Time at least twice a week. That means you will need to set up an efficient way to keep these games. Many of the games you will revisit often through the year. Some of the games will change and become harder as the year progresses. It will make your life easier if you have a permanent area set up, the students will need to be able to easily and quickly get out the games each week. You should not have to pass out each game, each time you play. You will need to plan for a place to keep extra game sheets so the students can get their own when needed. When you teach the students how to play a new game, you will also teach them where the game will be stored, where to get the game sheet if needed, and how to clean up the game at the end of the work time.

Since this game time is called "Choice Time", you will need to think through the way you will tell each student what game they will play each time. Think about the students you would like to have a math conference with, you may choose their first game for them, then they can pick their next one. The students who you are not meeting with that day for a formal conference may just pick their game from the beginning.

I have started a discussion on the "ning" for new ideas on how to store math manipulatives, so if you are wanting new ideas or have some to share, please check it out. As always, if you have any questions concerning the new standards or learning schedules, my door is always open! :)Michelle


Teach to Learn said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the information. Toni

debrennersmith said...

I bought boxes from Box it and Bag it Math for math centers that might work here. I comprised what made sense to my space saving mind to my all the same size boxes brain. What I mean is I would put one piece of laminated game board paper and one die in a box that could hold more if that is ALL that was needed for the game. On the LID and the bottom of the box, I LABELED what was IN THE BOX and the GAME NAME. Oh my, it was a ton of work because I did the whole thing in the summer. HOWEVER, the name teacher I worked with made the games as she went all year. I was so glad I did it in the summer. She was a new hire so she did not have a choice. Is this making any sense?????