Posts from the ‘Math’ Category

I’m sure they have math in France

math man at work..

have fun in France Mr. Owen.

Yo! Math – It’s Where It’s At

Math looks different in our classroom everyday.  Often it is incorporated into our current project (patterns in nature, seed sorting, counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying – depending on where you are), and sometimes it is from a book, sometimes it’s a group game on the floor, sometimes it’s cooperative work, making a treasure map with 10 or 100 stops labelled before the treasure is found (once again depending on where you are).  And sometimes you just need your own space, a little distance, the lights off and then your wheels start whirling and voila’, you get the hang of place value in an instant.

Chase’s $$ place value work that he came up with all on his own.

Izzy measures and records.

Nora(h),( I’m officially adding the (h) because she wants to change the spelling of her name and she asked me to), Catalina and Adah work at the same pace in their new and coveted math workbooks.

Holden helps the K group with their dice addition game.

Atti getting into the game in a neat and orderly fashion.

Talking about place value with Michelle, figuring, figuring, figuring…

Because what inspires you, you also like to do during your free time, Chase made himself an office (I didn’t even see it come together) and continued to work through open classroom. And I pretended not to notice the stuff he took from my desk.

First Weeks – Math Stations

Math comes in all shapes and sizes in our classroom.  It varies by the day, by the grade, by what other activities we incorporate it into and by our mood.  Sometimes it is a part of a larger project that includes writing, nature, building.  Other times I set it up in stations, having manipulatives available for manipulation and exploration.  We then discuss what we have done with the manipulatives and what it means.  We also use Everyday Math Books for further written math exploration.  We always use manipulatives with the math book work as well.


Here we have an introductory lesson with the kindergarteners in their Everyday Math Books.  The game is to roll two dice and then mark off the number 2 – 12, until the entire row is filled.  They LOVE this game.  A new way at looking at addition and estimation.  As we soon begin to learn about probability with each roll of the dice.


Anagrams have become a fun part of math stations.  Using shapes to make animals and ships and designs.  We’re stretching our brains to be able to figure out spacial relations.


Architecture is a fun way to explore space, shapes, design and cooperation.



Patterns.  Shapes.  Building.  Counting.  Design.


Money.  Counting.  Exchanging.  Buying.  Selling.







Design.  Patterns.  Configurations.  Beauty.  Pride.




Fractions baby, fractions.

Math stations are a fun, exciting and exploratory time for everyone.

Geometry, Architecture, Chemistry & Cooperation (with Toothpicks and Marshmallows)

Two years ago we were studying shapes and I introduced this activity. It was a huge hit. Who wouldn’t love to build with marshmallows? As we revisited this project last week, it started a more in-depth study in geometry. We were making shapes within shapes. Naming them, finding the hidden ones, and shading them in with a Sharpie.



As we built, the project evolved into architecture for some builders. Buildings were erected.


Then a bridge was constructed.



They tried to bridge the tables but it began to fall apart, so they ingeniously built an underlying structure to hold it up.


The completely unspoken cooperation during this joint bridge project was so beautiful!



Then we started talking about how some of our structures looked like molecular structures. We took a look at the periodical table and their molecular models.


We started making simple molecular structures like H2O and CO2.


Then we found a more intricate structure – caffeine.


Jacob wanted to give it a try.


And we have – caffeine!


So much thought, ideas and fun happened during this project. I love when one ideas spurs the kids to follow their own ideas and turn one activity into another. We’re just here to do the research for them – to print out the molecular models or fetch sharpies from the teacher alley. They took this simple idea and literally ran with it!

Learning Math with Games

In the afternoons, after topic writing, we get our games out.  When we play these games, we learn strategy, counting, number identification, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, base ten building, pattern finding and making, greater than, less than, patience, cooperation, turn taking, geometry, rules, reading practice and so much more.










Work at School and Home

We have started introducing some fun family activities for home.  These are available weekly and can be found next to the sign in sheet.  I’ve suggested that one “Read with your family” sheet be done weekly.  There will also be different math activities available each week.

The tigers (2nd graders) have their own spelling homework.  Each week we have a list of words that we work on together as a group.  I give them the words aloud, we spell them together, they write them and we put them in a sentence.  I then send them home to be reviewed in the same way.  Retention is typically gained through writing the words.  We then have a spelling test later in the week.  We have been working in the back room for forty-five minutes a day.  During this time I’ve told them that this is for them.  For them to learn the words for themselves.  That it’s not for me, or for their families or for their friends but for them so that they have a bank of words to reference when reading and writing.  They have been truly excited and so devoted to working on the words.  Please work on these words with your kids each week.  I want them to feel prepared and ready to move on when they get the new list for the next week.

Introducing Our New Scale

Place Value

We’ve been playing this game, which includes rolling a ball to each other and asking each other math questions. Some of the equations posed require us to change our place value such as adding some two digit numbers to some other two digit numbers as this sometimes creates a three digit number.

So, I made up a place value game. “I love this! This is so fun!” -Asher

Who knew?

On the first day, we did it together on the board.

On the second day, we did it on the board and I gave them the game I made of taking numbers and plugging them into the correct column. Then we read the numbers out loud and it made sense. I heard many, “Ohs” in the crowd. Because they could look at the number and look at the top of the column to see if it was 100, 1000 etc. We also talked about how many numbers are in 100’s, 1000’s. etc. Fun stuff!

A Number Story

Our K group, also known as the Earthworms, created number banners with Paul today.

Photo by Paul

While the rest of the class, also known as The Tigers, focused on figuring out how to use different coins to get to the same amount of money.

Two nickels and eleven pennies is the same as…

One dime and eleven pennies, which is the same as…

One dime, two nickels and a penny, which is the same as…twenty-one pennies (not shown…etc.)

The above is how we regroup numbers to find the answer.

Reading Partners, Number Belts and an Hour Long Story Time

This morning for circle I assigned reading partners. I organized this by reading level and who could best help each other with sounds and pronunciation. At first they all just looked at me like; “you’ve got to be kidding me” but then they got in a groove and forgot that the person they were reading with wasn’t their best friend (this type of work actually does build friendships though.) After about fifteen minutes the room was humming with words and sentences. It was beautiful.

For math we made number belts. We mostly focused on counting by 5’s (because of our time/money work,) although what numbers they worked with was based on where they are in their math journey. For those working on counting/writing by 5’s, we talked about the pattern that it makes and that it alternately ends in 0 and 5 etc.

Isabel made it up to 200!

And of course, taking the idea to an entirely new level, we discovered we have our very own self declared, “princess of numbers.”

Asher also brought in is MP3 Player and played a story for us. I didn’t check the time on the story before we started, mostly because I wasn’t sure how the player worked. About half way through I begin to wonder just how long the story was going to be. Occasionally, at a chapter break, I asked the group if they wanted to continue the story later but I got a resounding NO! So, today for story time, we all sat mighty still and listed to “The Absent Author” by Ron Roy for one hour exactly (and with quite a complex plot I might add.) What a mature group of story lovers we have here.

We had such a relaxed, joyous, fruitful day. Thank you Julie for stepping in for Paul (who was at the dentist) and helping today shine.

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