Monday, July 18, 2011

Food for Thoughts on Math

So....in my last blog I said that I was going to a one week math workshop this summer.  I did it-I loved it-and now I am totally lost in thinking about how to use what I learned next year in my classroom!  I am constantly searching for ways to improve my math instruction, and the workshop I attended has really got the wheels turning!  Here are a few of my most common recurring thoughts:

-Content should be taught to mastery
-Small Groups=Differentiation=Quality Instruction

Now, the challenge I face is changing my current way of teaching (which unfortunately often skips straight to the "abstract" part of math instruction) into a new, more student-centered way!  My school uses the Envisions Math adoption, which I love....but, how can I make this my own?

Immediately after the thoughts of changing my math schedule entered my brain, I called my first grade BFF to chat about her ideas.  I have found that when I am short on ideas, I can always count on a K-2 buddy to give me something fresh to try!  She suggested using "Math Tubs", which to my understanding is kind of like math centers. She got the idea from Ms. Meacham.  Using these, I can differentiate and work with small groups.

Here's what I'm thinking:  5 tubs for 5 groups.  There are 5 strands in the current NCSCOS-so I would have one math tub for each of the strands.  I would be using the tubs as a kind of spiral review.  I really want the tubs to be more than glorified worksheets.....and like the idea of playing games that involve the use of manipulatives.

I really would love suggestions and comments about things that have worked for you!!

How do you differentiate math in your classroom?

What kinds of activities do you use if you use tubs?

Thanks for the input!!!!

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