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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Math thinking spoons

One of our math opening activities is something I call math number spoons.  When I first started doing them, I had little ceramic tiles that we used.  Each child received a bag with ten ceramic tiles in it--1 for each digit.  When I left that school, I left those tiles behind.  I now do the same type of activities with little wooden spoons from the craft store. 

The setup is simple.  Make a list of clues in which each digit is used just once.  I display the clues on the SMARTBoard. I try to make my clues to review current math topics, but also to offer some challenge and introduction to math terms.  I encourage my students to TAKE A RISK.  They should do the ones that they are sure of first and then give a go to those that they are not so sure of.  After enough time for most kids to determine their answers, we move into the next part of the lesson.

Students are given a partner to go over the answers with.  The key to this portion of the activity is the reading of the phrases.  One student reads the words and the other student tells what they have for that answer, and then they switch roles.  This continues until they have reviewed all of the statements.  It is a great way for the kids to be exposed to the math vocabulary and to have the opportunity to support  their answers to the partner.  I do not require partners to change their answers.  They can keep what they believe is correct.

Finally, we go over the terms and answers as a class on the SMARTBoard.  This offers everyone an opportunity to check their answers and to learn how to solve the ones they were unsure of.  Kids really like this, and I like the way it offers  me an opportunity to cover many topics.  The image below will take you to a SMART doc with some sample pages for this activity.  We typically do this one to two times per week.

Sometimes, we use the number tiles at our desks while we do our People number math.  It helps to keep everyone involved!


Tara said...

Another great idea:) Thanks for sharing:)

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