photo 3am_h1_zpse9aaabda.png                   photo 3am_am1_zps226e1806.png                   photo 3am_products1_zps40ddd5e3.png                   photo 3am_freebies1_zps0afbc6a9.png

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fluency through Flexibility

If you haven't connected with Christina Tondevold, otherwise known as The Recovering Traditionalist on her blog and the creator of the Best Math Apps and Websites for K-2, you need to hook up with her now. I first came across Christina's work from her math apps page and I have to say that her recommendations were perfect for my class. However, I am even more excited about this new book. Let's talk about just a few of the things I love about this new book.

1. It's research based. Christina took a lot of educational research, walks the reader through what it says about number sense in her introduction and then applies it directly to activities that will help your students.

2. It defines number sense. I know, I know, we all have a definition of number sense in our heads already. But if yours is anything like mine, it's too vague. What do students who have number sense really know? What can they do? This book uses the four areas from John Van de Walle's work to really define what students need to be capable of doing.
  • Spatial relationships - I can look at a small collection and recognize how many there are without counting.
  • One and two more, one and two less - I know which numbers are one or two more or less than a given number.
  • Benchmarks of 5 and 10 - I understand how numbers relate to 5 and 10.
  • Part-Part-Whole - I understand that a number is made of up of two or more parts.
3. Number lines are too hard for K-1 students. Finally someone said it. They are too hard and because they are too hard students make mistakes with them based on their lack of understanding. Yet I see a lot of teachers with number lines on their student name tags and our textbooks have lessons on using them. I love her number path. I will be blogging on how I've been using number paths in the future.

4. Easy. Christina makes it so easy to plan activities that are exactly what your students needs.  This book has 15 activities for each of the number sense areas. That's 60 different activities that you can do again and again. They're all easy to prepare and can be quickly done with small groups or with individual students. All of the black line masters are on her website and when I downloaded BLM 1, the dot pattern cards, I was surprised to find even more ideas for their use on the download. You couldn't ask for easier.

5. Have you ever looked for a good number sense assessment? It's impossible to find something, so I created my own. Many of the activities I included in my assessment are also in Christina's assessment. But that's it because I only created activities. Her number assessment puts the activities into the four areas and gives possible answers the students will give, helping you to evaluate each student and decide where you should begin working. Umm...headed over to TpT to take off my assessment. This number sense assessment has everything you need.

If you teach kindergarten or first grade, you need this book. For those of you who are teaching second, you probably need this book for some of your young struggling mathematicians. But no one should feel left out because Christina isn't finished. Her Fluency through Flexibility series will soon have How to Build Build Number Sense - Numbers 11-100 and How to Build Number Sense - Fractions. I can't wait for those.  Head on over to her website, Mathematically Minded, to order your copy. It's worth it.

1 comment:

  1. I just heard about her recently! Thank you for this post!