Tip #1 Spiral
I didn't realize how much I needed to do this until this past year. When you're teaching first grade, it seems like the entire year is spent on addition and subtraction that just gradually increases in difficulty. But as you move up in grade levels, the amount of content just seems to get larger and larger. There's so much to teach and I didn't have time, nor did I want to build in time, for a lot of review. So it's important to not let students forget what they already know. There are a lot of ways to spiral your math content, but here are a few easy ways I'm using that just fit right in.
- Number Talks - Last year I wrote a post about starting number talks in the classroom (you can read it here). Number talks were one of my favorite times of the day and they are a great way to bring back past content. They don't take long and you can easily embed your review into the daily routine. Don't just move from addition to subtraction to multiplication and finally division. Mix it up. Keep your students using everything they can. One of my favorite ways to review fractions was setting this up as the daily number talk:
- Math Tasks - I love using larger problem solving tasks and these are a great way to bring back past content. I often use a multi-day problem that's tied to a holiday or integrated into other curriculum as a way to change things up from time to time. It also gives me a great chance to get my students using multiple concepts at once.
Tip #2 Student Driven Anchor Charts
Rather than coming up with a clever anchor chart that looks great, let your charts be student driven either by making them with the students or letting the students make them. Here are a few examples from my classroom. They aren't as beautiful as the ones I see on Pinterest, but so much learning and solidifying of math concepts goes into the making of each of these.
This next chart is completely student made. All of the students worked in small groups to create a chart that helped them convert measurements within the metric system. Each groups explained their chart and we picked one that was easy to read and understand to hang up.
These student made charts are from our math word wall. I gave different math vocabulary words for our fraction unit to small groups of students who then wrote definitions, refined the definitions with feedback from the class, and designed the word wall cards.
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Have a great year!
Have a great year!