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Being Better at Math Strategies for Elementary Mathematics Paula L. Naugle 4 th Grade Teacher Bissonet Plaza/ JPPSS
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Lack of prior knowledge Missing foundational skills Limited experiences with “doing” math “ One right answer” approach “ Permission” to be “bad” at math Others? What Makes Math Difficult?
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Are you teaching students or learners? Let’s describe a … Student Learner
Active
Engaged
An independent thinker
Internally motivated
Focused on the learning
Passive
Bored
Told what to think
Typically unmotivated
Focused on the grade
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Strategies Constant exposure to meaningful math Allow students to verbalize their thinking Provide for meaningful use of manipulatives Help students develop “bridge” tools Create “reference” resources
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Every day, provide meaningful math investigations through manipulatives, games, puzzles, and stories. Content example: Guess My Unit PIG Closest to 100 Two of Everything Strategy 1 - Constant exposure to meaningful math
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Select a unit. Give clues about your unit until someone guesses what it is. mile centimeter pound gram inch kilometer cup decade quart milligram foot liter Guess My Unit
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The goal of the game is to be the first player to reach 100. On your turn, roll the dice as many times as you would like, mentally keeping a running total of the sum. When you decide to stop rolling, record your total for that turn and add it to the total from any previous turns. If a 1 comes up on one of the dice, your turn is over and you score 0 points for that round. If you roll a 1 on both dice, you lose your turn and ALL points. Playing PIG
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Roll a die. Decide if the number represents 10 or 1. For example, if you roll a 4, you must decide if you would like 4 or 40 points. Pass the die to the next player who also rolls once and decides how many points. After each turn, add your points. Play 7 rounds (you must play all rounds) The player who is closest to 100 (above or below) after 7 rounds wins! Closest to 100
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Every day, expect students to explain their thinking. Content example: Math journals or blogs Follow Me NIM Strategy 2 - Allow students to verbalize their thinking
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Math Journals or Blogs Everyday I have students write explanations to math problems in their math journals (Spiral notebooks – so last century). I will have my students keep their math reflections on a blog from now on. (21 st century) www.kidsblog.org or www.weebly.com Bennett’s Blog
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Follow Me (I Have … Who Has…?) Make your own set using this site – http://www.senteacher.org/Worksheet/46/Loopcards.xhtml
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Select a partner and count out 21 beans. One partner begins by selecting 1, 2, or 3 beans from the pile. The second partner then takes 1, 2, or 3 from the remaining beans. The person who takes the last bean loses! NIM
You can play NIM online against the computer or a classmate
here.
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Manipulatives should be available and integrated into every math lesson. Content example: Loose Caboose True Blue Snap cube measurement Strategy 3 - Provide for meaningful use of manipulatives
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Trina wants to win a goldfish at the carnival. In order for her to win, she needs to pick 2 blue tiles out of the “True Blue prize bag,” without looking. If the prize bag contains 3 blue tiles and 3 red tiles, what is the probability of winning the game? Predict the number of wins you will get in 40 trials. Then, conduct the trials and record the outcomes. True Blue
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Students should be taught specific strategies to improve memory and understanding. Content example: Coin Chants Finger Multiplication Strategy 4 - Help students develop “bridge” tools
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(Click on the words above and the video will open in a player and start playing.) Finger Multiplication
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Students should maintain a math journal or blog to record and store math resources. Content example: Gallon map Big Inch DMSCBS Rounding Cadence Real Life Math Chart Strategy 5 - Create “reference” resources
When teaching long division, I use the DMSCBS acronym. The sentence we use is: D oes M cDonalds S ell C heeseburgers & S hakes?
D -Decide and Divide (Decide where to place the first digit in the quotient and then divide.) M -Multiply S -Subtract C -Check and Compare B -Bring Down S -Start Over Again
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Estimate means to round a number Look at the neighbor and remember Round down 1, 2 Round down 3, 4 Round down 1, 2, 3, 4 Estimate means to round a number When I say zero, you say down. Look at the neighbor and remember Zero, down, zero, down. Round up 6, 7 Round up 8, 9 When I say estimate, you say round. Round up 6, 7, 8, 9 Estimate, round, estimate, round. Go Math! The number 5 is in the middle But rounding it is no riddle Round up the number 5 Round up the number 5 Always round up the number 5 ( Blue = Boy sing and girls repeat White = boys Red = girls Yellow = everyone ) Rounding Cadence written by Paula L. Naugle
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Some of the material contained here I adapted from Heather Sparks 2008-2009 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year & 8th grade algebra and pre-algebra teacher Taft Middle School, OKC Public Schools
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