Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BOOM! Number Talking


Hey Kinder Friends,
We are moving right along and having a little fun with Number Talks during our math block. I wrote in the beginning of the year that boom we came back to school with a mandated block schedule. Boom, boom, boom just like that.
For a while I struggled with exactly where in that block I would put my Number Talks. I finally decided to add it to the last 15 minutes of my block schedule so that I could always end our math block with some discussion and discussing what we noticed and how we all arrived at our thoughts. It works for me because I do not want to miss this time so I am on the lookout and ready when this time approaches each day. And I love that I need just a few simple things to get ready for this each day.
Chart Paper
Or A White Board
Markers or Dry Erase
Math Tools
In the area that I Number Talk, I have these materials on hand.
So, where are we with Number Talks and what are we doing exactly.
 Let me back up a minute.
We have had Number Talks going since school started but it was a bumpy ride in the beginning. We had a big, large, gigantic class until a few weeks ago. So, in the beginning we were getting used to the routine of Number Talks. In the very beginning we started each session with a book but now it depends on what we are doing during Number Talks. Sometimes I have a book that fits and sometimes I just don't but one thing is for sure...I am always on the lookout for books that could help build our math discussion.
But the focus is on the mathematical discussion and building a math community.
So that we can learn new ways of thinking and looking at things, new strategies for approaching mathematical ideas and problems, building mathematical fluency and understanding that numbers are flexible. I did spend a lot of time in the beginning just getting to know the children and I spent a lot of time just listening to their thinking. I also invested time in discussing our math community and setting up the expectations for the talk.
 We sit and we listen to each other respectfully and share our thoughts with each other.
Yes, it was just that simple in the beginning. I knew my large class would eventually break down and I didn't want to wait for that to happen before introducing this part of our day. I always begin with telling the kids a story of how I loved to count everything as a kid. We then discuss useful ways we count in the classroom and the children guide it from there.
I haven't formally introduced our Number Talks hand signals yet. Like I said, I had a large group until recently so I waited. No big deal. I think we are ready for it now. I am already dreaming of the day when our signals are in place.
Our Number Talks do not always coincide with our current math topic...and that is ok. But sometimes it does and that is ok too. As I was in the library I found a new book...
Boom! Boom! Boom!
At first glance, I was going to use this book for Science and talk about sound but as I was taking a look at it, all I could think about was the math topic of...one more. We were deep in discussion about one and two more last week when our math vocabulary words were more and less. During our math block we are comparing numbers and still discussing more or less. So the book does a nice job to help facilitate a discussion about 1 and one more, 2 and one more and so on.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
 You will need to read this book before using it in Number Talks because there is a great opportunity here right inside the book. Reading this book before being with the kids helped me to generate a few guiding questions. Because this book has so much to offer to a discussion, I might jot a few ideas down and place on a sticky note inside a few pages of the book before reading with the kids.
Did you notice one more?
How many end up in the bed before it breaks?
How do you see it?
How do you know?
How did you figure that out?
What could you do to be sure you knew exactly how many ended up in the bed?
What math tools could help you out?
How did the math tool help?
Some of our favorite math tools are number lines, ten frames and we are moving on to rekenreks.
So, where do we go from here?
As we move forward with Number Talks we will be learning our hand signals and we will begin recording our talks on chart paper during our sessions. We will also incorporate more math tools and continue building upon those foundational discussions. If you haven't started Number Talks this year you are not too late. It's never too late! You can join in the fun.   
 Even when I am out of the classroom Number Talking can still take place and this is one of my favorite ways to keep it going if I have to be gone. What I love about it is that there are several rounds of these images and the guided questions are on the slides. Anyone can advance the slides and ask the questions. The kids love it when you go a bit faster than before!
By request printable student number lines are now included and programmable hand signals as well. If you have not downloaded these updates please download again and grab them! For more information click on the images above.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trick or Treat Freebie!

Hey Kinder Friends,
I am so excited to be gearing up for a little fun with my friends at Freebielicious to send you a little trick or treat fun or maybe a "tip" and treat that is. So let's get to the tip. This one is a super simple one but one that can add a little "peace" to your day. I call this the little "I Can"-can.
 Simply because this can eliminates those hands in the air and little mouths shouting "I Can".
The idea is simple but it can really help with classroom management. I am sure you have seen a cup or can used with sticks with names inside. You pull out a name when you are calling on someone to answer a question or do a task. But a can in can is different because you can put the stick in one of two cans and the kids will never know the difference.  
The nice part is that you decide if the name goes back in the middle can or in the outer can. Either way and for whatever the reason, the kids think their name goes back in the can and are engaged and ready when or if they get called upon. What I like about it is that it eliminates me from calling out names on the fly and skipping over the reluctant talkers and it eliminates me from constantly calling on the kids that always have an answer and forgetting everyone else.
So now you need to get your goodie bag ready to fill it up with some treats. Who doesn't love that part? This time of year the kids are so excited to talk about Halloween because dressing up and Trick or Treating is so much fun but in school it can be hard to plan for. I have a freebie for you that might help if you are searching for something that you can still talk about the holiday but put a healthy spin on it.
This is super simple and can be used with just about any book you are reading that talks about Halloween. Pair this with a shared writing of healthy vs. non healthy and you are sure to have a little fun and still cover some objectives. Just click on the picture to get your copy!
Now you are on your way to some Hoppin' Halloween fun! Just click on over to Fun in First and see what Jodi has for you  and keep up the Trick or Treating!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

10 Orange Pumpkins!

Hey Kinder Friends,
You know I love counting books so I was excited to spy this book at school next door. Always fun taking a peek at your neighbor and sneaking a book or two when they are busy. This is one of those books that I have to say I love because it was discovered at just the perfect time. Who can resist a seasonal counting book anyway?
I recently had made some number lines for my class as math tools. We had only used a large class number line at this point and I wanted the kids to be able to have and use their own when needed. After I cut them apart, I had them on my desk right next to the 10 Orange Pumpkins book. I decided to use the number lines with the book during Number Talks.
Adding the clothespins to the number line kept the kids focused and busy as we learned to move up and down the number line. We counted one by one up and down the number line while focusing on each number. Eventually we began a game of "show me" with the numbers in a random order.
The "show me" session gave me a chance to take note of who was struggling with finding the numbers, who was not using any strategy to find the numbers, who was actively applying some strategy and who needed more experiences with using a number line before these tools were put into their math notebooks for independent use. This also gave me an idea of who was ready for a larger number line. Sometimes just having the children turn around and face the opposite direction, helps them focus and listen. I think they think if they can't see me, then nobody can see them and even the reluctant few give it a try on their own.
I have printed a few extra to keep with the counting books when the children independently read during math. This book is a perfect fit because it has items on each page to count and then they find that number on the number line. Having something in their hands helps keep them engaged and thinking. It is a great way to continue counting the quantities on the page and finding the number on the number line. 10 Orange Pumpkins is a countdown book so we had fun counting backwards.
Spending this time working with the number lines really made a difference because our Number Talks were lively considering how many children had something to say about what strategies they used to find the correct number.
Counting from zero.
Counting from one.
Counting backwards from 10.
Counting from a known number.
Counting and touching each number to find the unknown.
Asking a friend.
Looking at another number line.
Eventually we moved on to talking about how we could use this tool to help us in math each day. All in all, about a 15 minute session with a few materials and a lot of engagement and talk...exactly why I love Number Talking!
Number lines have been added to my unit on TeacherspayTeachers. If you have previously purchased this unit please download again to get 1-10 and 0-20 student sized number lines!


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