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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Math Books That Will Change Your Teaching

I have been so excited for this blog hop!  Ever since we started planning it and all these great bloggers began to choose books, I've been adding to my list of books to read. There are 12 stops along the way with 12 great math teachers.  But beware you will need to add to your list of books to buy, unless, of course, you are lucky in raffles!
I have chosen Number Sense Routines: Building Numerical Literacy Every Day in Grades K-3 by Jessica F. Shumway.

 "With strong number sense, children become more apt to attempt problems and make sense of mathematics. It is the key to understanding all math."
Jessica Shumway, Number Sense Routines, p. 8

Each year I have students who struggle to understand numbers in a variety of ways.  So I always started the year with activities to help build numerical understanding that are appropriate for the grade. But it wasn't until I read Number Sense Routines that I adopted a series of number sense activities which are rotated on a daily basis. These simple 5 minute number sense routines worked their way into my schedule last year. They are easy to differentiate and helped me to ensure my students are continually building a stronger understanding of numbers. Last year I used most of these, but I'll be implementing more this year.


Visual Image Routines
  • Dot cards, dominoes, dice - Show a card for a few seconds and then ask students what they saw.  The learning starts with your students just being able to quickly see a number, but it can become so much more in-depth through your class discussion. The author lists some questioning strategies to help build both perceptual and conceptual understanding. This is perfect for K-1 students.

  • Ten-Frames - Depending on your grade level you can use 5-frames, 10-frames, 20-frames or 100-frames. You can focus on how many are shown, how many are needed to reach 10, 20 or 100, addition with two frames and understanding of larger numbers (i.e 14 is created from ten and four). Perfect for grades K-3.

Rekenrek (wreck-en-wreck)
  • Rekenrek - Where has this math tool been all of my teaching years? I gave it a try last year and LOVED it! It helps with grouping, using the structures of ten and five in adding, composing and decomposing 10 and 20, understanding teen numbers and part-part-whole ideas. I use my large Rekenrek for whole class discoveries, small ones made from beads and pipe cleaners in small group instruction and the Number Rack app during independent work.  The most exciting change that happened for me last year was using the Rekenrek combined with class discussions to allow students to discover and teach addition strategies to one another. No more direct instruction of the strategies. This was so much more powerful. Grades K-2, but in kindergarten I would probably only use one bar for numbers up to 10.
Number Rack is a free app developed by the Math Learning Center.

We charted the strategies after they were discovered by students. I helped the students give names to the strategies so that eventually we could quit calling it _____'s way.
Counting Routines
  • Counting Around the Circle - This took a little bit of time for my first graders to get the hang of it, but I love it because depending on the grade level you can vary how you count. In Counting Around the Circle only one student is counting at a time. The trick is getting everyone to look at the person who is counting and think of the number in their mind. With older students you can count by fractional numbers, hundreds, thousands, and skip count. You can also start and stop anywhere - don't always begin with 1. Can be used with K-3.
  • Choral Counting - Everyone counts this time. This is a great routine if the majority of your class is struggling with a counting sequence. Sometimes I use it in small groups to really target the counting sequences a few students need help with. K-3 activity.
  • Stop and Start Counting - This is much like Choral Counting except you give starting and stopping numbers such as start at 76 and stop at 165. It's a great activity to emphasis the distance between numbers. Great for K-3.
  • Organic Number Line - I haven't used this activity as it's probably more suited for grades 2-3.  I love that you are creating a number line that can be added to throughout the year, plus you can include fractions and decimals which makes for a great way to show how they go together as well as looking at the equivalent numbers.
Making Sense of Numbers and Relationships
  • Ten Wand - Leave some time for a visit from the Queen of Ten. The ten wand is a great way to focus on making tens and part-part-whole concepts. Fun for K-1.
  • Ways to Make a Number - This is an activity that I have always called Incredible Equations. Depending on your grade level you can choose a number and have your students write as many ways as they can to represent the number. For added difficulty, require the use of decimals, fractions, multiplication, use of 3-digit numbers, etc. In my first grade we use the calendar date as our number, so each month I rotate through 1 through 30 or 31. Appropriate for grades K - 3.
  • Today's Number- Choose a number and ask questions in relation to the number. How many more to get to 100? How far is this number from 24? Your number and questions can vary in difficulty for any grade level. Perfect for K-3.
  • Mental Math - Present an equation or story problem and have your students solve it with no pencils or paper. Grades K - 3.
Calendar Routines
  • Calendar - Use the actual calendar to build number sense, count days, and explore one more/less. I also use it to include patterning since it is missing from the first grade common core. Grades K-3.
  • Collecting Data Over a Long Period of Time - My class did some year-long weather graphing but if you need to take it up a notch for older students, consider measuring the temperature. Grades K-3
  • Counting the Days in School - Last year I did this in two different ways. I did a chart that we wrote the numbers from 1 - 180 and I also used ten frames that were taped together when we reached one hundred. I loved this because the students were able to see how one hundred is made from 10 tens. It made a great visual for building place value understanding. Grades K-1.
I have only given you the tip of the iceberg with this great book. The author, Jessica Shumway, adds so much to each of these number sense routines by giving questions to further your students' understanding and offering new ways to think about the routines you already have in place. This book will forever change your thinking about number sense routines and how they can benefit your young mathematicians.

Before you buy this book, you might want to enter this raffle to win a copy of Number Sense Routines. The winner will be announced on Saturday, August 30 and I will have a copy of the book sent to your doorstep.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hop on over to the The Math Maniac for another great book.
The Math Maniac



36 comments:

  1. Love using rekenreks. Know of any good books which show steps and strategies for them?

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    1. Here is a great free download to get you started!
      http://catalog.mathlearningcenter.org/store/product-8473.htm

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    2. I would have given you the same link, The Elementary Math Maniac just beat me to it!

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  2. Never heard of a rekenreks! Lots of good ideas here! Carol

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    1. I tried using the rekenrek last year for the first time and I have absolutely loved it. Give it a try.

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  3. Love all the visual models this book presents!

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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  4. Will be using rekenreks for the first time this year!

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  5. Thanks for the blog hop! Lovin it

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    1. I'm glad. So many good books....I know what I'm going to be ordering!

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  6. Looking forward to using rekenreks this year in my K classroom.

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  7. Love this! Working on new math program...always needs "guidance"...THANKS! Wendy 1stgradefireworks

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  8. I am beyond excited about this linky! Thanks so much for sharing. I am implementing number sense routines and math talks this year in my K class.

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  9. Awesome post! I look at this text every time I get my Stenhouse catalog and have never ordered it! I have my fingers crossed. Thanks for sharing so many goodies from your reading...

    Smiles,
    Sarah

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  10. I love this!!!!! So many ideas! Thank you!

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  11. I read this book years ago and LOVED it!! I may need to go back and re-read it to freshen up on some of the ideas! Thanks so much for organizing this awesome bloghop!

    Jamie aka MissMathDork!

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  12. Thanks for sharing so many great ideas to teach number sense!

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  13. Brandi, thank you so much for organizing this wonderful blog hop. This is a great book choice. I have this one in my library and refer back to it from time to time. Thanks!

    Greg
    Mr Elementary Math Blog

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  14. So many ideas in that book to really help the children understand number concepts!

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  15. Great post! You have included MANY great routines for elementary teachers to incorporate into their instruction and small group work!

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  16. I used to do some of these activities many years ago, but forgot about them as more and more was put on my teaching plate! What a great reminder to use them again! Thank you, Marion

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    1. My plate is also feeling full. My goal this year is to set aside the unimportant things and really focus on what's best for students. Number sense is so important - bring back those activities.

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  17. I've heard quite a bit about this book and look forward to finding out more!

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    1. If you don't win it, it's worth it to buy it. So many great ideas are in it.

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  18. What great ideas for helping my students with number sense and making it fun so they don`t think they are learning.

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  19. I've never read this book, but apparently some of the trainers in my district have. I've had great success with many of these strategies. I really like the dot cards flash games.
    Deb
    Not very fancy

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  20. I LOVE this book! If I win it, I plan to give it to a colleague who'll love it, too!

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    1. I should try and get my colleagues to enter!

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  21. Lots of ideas to use at my math stations.

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  22. Would love to read about how to use some new strategies.

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  23. I use some of these, but would LOVE some more information to make my math time more meaningful.

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  24. Even though I teach grade 7 and up, its great to have a reminder of the basis of numbersense.

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  25. One of my favorite books as well! Great post!

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