Math Vocabulary Cards

Looking for a resource for math vocab cards. Check out the following link. Vocab cards are categorized by grades K-5. Visually appealing cards that can become part of a Math Word Wall.


Math "Scrunchie" (aka Cootie Catcher) for Adding and Subtracting Time

Use this math "scrunchie" as a way to reinforce adding and subtracting time. I use the term "scrunchie" because we really aren't telling fortunes nor catching cooties when we use these in the math classroom :)! "Scrunchie" actually comes from the UK and that's what my students do when they use this foldable...they scrunch it together. Creative Teaching Press has published books using math cootie catchers to reinforce skills/concepts by grade level. The authors are Sharon L. Apichella and Mary D. Sutton. Using the one on time from the book and designing my own allowed me to address the different readiness levels of my students. I designed this "scrunchie" with a Common Core standard in mind for 3rd grade. When differentiating in the classroom, it is important that students have instruction and tools at their readiness levels. This kinesthetic and novel approach to reviewing skills can help to solidify understanding! Its self-checking nature provides students with immediate feedback. Click on the image below to grab a copy!


Literature in the Math Classroom

Literature can create a meaningful context for math concepts being taught (Price, Lennon 2009). Here is a brief list of math books that can be used to introduce, reinforce, or enrich a math concept. Click on the image below to get a copy of the list.

Questioning in the Math Classroom

What do students do when they do not know how to get started? What do students do when they get stuck? I have created questions that students can ask themselves in these situations. As 21st century learners, students need to be independent problem solvers. Modeling how to use these questions with students can help them become more responsible for their own learning. Modeling can be done during a whole group think aloud or during small group instruction.

The questions are color-coded. If students do not know how to get started on a problem or task after instruction and directions are given, the green cards can be used. Green means go. If students get stuck while doing a problem, the yellow cards can be used. Yellow means slow down and use caution. When students are done, are they really done? The red cards can be used to encourage students to stop and think about the reasonableness of their answers. Red means stop. In all these instances, students are self-regulating their own learning and asking themselves questions. By having these questions available to students on a ring or to put in their math notebooks, students can become better questioners. What's even better, students can learn to ask questions that they themselves have to answer in order to move their learning along. Encourage students to ask themselves THREE questions before they raise their hand to ask for help..."Ask yourself three before you ask me."

Want students to think deeper? Encourage students to ask themselves questions similar to those found on the purple cards. For those early finishers, ask students to answer one of the purple questions. These questions are designed to extend thinking and encourage higher level thinking. Ultimately in math, we want students to think beyond the answer!

How can you encourage student participation during small group instruction? Have the black cards available for students to use during small group. The black cards were cut out and hot glued to a Popsicle stick. I chose to put all these questions on black so students would not associate a particular question with a certain color. While discussion is occurring in small group, students can pull a stick and be asked to share their ideas to the question they find on their stick. To differentiate, look at the questions and hand out the question that you think best fits the readiness level of each student. While doing a math think aloud have these questions available. After modeling, ask students to share their thinking to one of these questions.

These questions are just a start! Once students become comfortable with self-questioning or questioning to dig for deeper meaning, they, too, can generate new questions that you can add to the collection. Click the image below to grab your own copy!


Small Group Instruction ~ Record Keeping

Small group instruction in the math classroom provides differentiated learning opportunities for students. Keeping track of student performance and progress sometimes can present a challenge. Here are two different versions of recording sheets you might find helpful to use with your students. One recording sheet can be used for all students in a given group on a given day. Recording key observations for students in a small group can help to plan future instruction for each student. One key to successful differentiation is flexible grouping. Keeping track of whether students are below target, on target, or above target for a given standard/objective can help in planning the next stages of instruction. The second recording sheet can be used to track student performance for given standards for a given unit. The follow up information that can be recorded includes the different learning experiences whether it involves remediation, additional small group instruction, enrichment, extension, etc. Grab a copy by clicking the image below.

Student MI Chart

Using Multiple Intelligences to differentiate process is one way to tap into students' learning styles. Have students complete this MI chart, filling in the bars to represent their learning preferences. Use these charts to help plan different learning opportunities that address the learning styles of your students. Students can be grouped according to their preferences. Students also can be encouraged to tap into some of the other intelligences that are not their preferences. Display your students' MI charts prior to the beginning of the year parent meeting and see if parents can pick out their child's MI chart. Parents, and students, can visually see the diversity of the students in your class this year. Click on the image below to grab your copy.

Midwest Diff Conf ~ Chicago

Thank you to all those who attended the session on Differentiate Your Math Instruction to Maximize Learning at the conference Tuesday morning. What a fantastic group of teachers! Keep checking back. I will be uploading the resources from the presentation in the coming days.


Fraction Learner Menu Using Thinker Keys

Thinking is essential in math. I am always looking for ways to push the level of thinking of my math students beyond just calculating an answer. With Common Core, students are asked to show multiple representations and dig deeper into mathematical understandings. Using Tony Ryan's Thinker Keys, I designed this Learner Menu for students to use to push the level of conceptual understanding of fractions with some higher level thinking. The Learner Menu could be used after instruction has taken place on the key concepts. Notice how the criteria at the top of the menu asks students to demonstrate their mathematical thinking and understanding when completing the tasks. Also notice how there is not one right answer, and sometimes that answer is not "right there.

Thinker Keys are a tool teachers can use to embed thinking into any lesson. They can be used as part of a Learner Menu as seen here. Thinker Keys can start a lesson. To encourage Math Talk, Thinker Keys can be used as part of small group work. In 2005, Tony Ryan, a Learning Consultant from Australia, updated the Thinker Keys. The earlier version, which is used on this menu, helps to foster creative thinking while focusing on deeper understanding of the standards. If you would like to learn more about the Thinker Keys, click on the links below.


Need a Hand? Try This!

What can students do when they recognize they do not understand what to do in math? That is besides asking the teacher for help or saying "I don't get it." Students need strategies in math, just like in reading, to help them overcome the hurdles when understanding breaks down. I created these "Need a Hand? Try This" cards to provide students with strategies that they can try independently. You know that saying, "Ask three, then me." Well, using these strategies, the mantra can be, "Try three, then ask me."

I used die-cut handprints, labels, and a metal ring to make this resource for students to use. My goal is to have students persevere and be independent learners even when things do not come easy. These strategies can be modeled during think alouds so students understand what each strategy "looks like" and "sounds like." These strategies can empower students.

You can grab a copy of the strategies by clicking on the image below. Just use 1" x 2 5/8" labels when printing a copy. These strategies also can become part of students' math notebooks or used as part of a bulletin board display.


Guess My Favorite

Here is a quick activity to hook students into a lesson or use as a bell ringer to start class. Tie in Common Core with logical reasoning. You can create the activity with a specific target of learning or have students create the template and share with classmates. Click here for your freebie.
Guess My Favorite

Common Core

The convenience of having Common Core at your fingertips can be done using this widget. Visit the link below to see how to embed this handy resource onto your blog. If you look to the right of this blog post, you can see how you, too, can have Common Core at your fingertips.


Try it out!
Thanks Lori at http://www.lorislatestlinks.com/ for sharing this!