I was recently talking to a friend about some of the posts on the blog and realized that it would be good to create a Table of Contents for quick access. So here it is! All the postings for the September and October in a single post. One Stop Shopping! Enjoy!

The holidays are a few months away and I’m already struggling to find something to get the grandkids. I don’t want it to be just another gift. I want something that they will remember came from me and of course, BE FUN!

Math Activities Kit made by GG!

So, this year I decided to make “Fun Kits” that would support learning and of course full of GG/grandkid FUN! I chose to make it portable to travel back and forth between our homes. I also wanted to keep the cost under $10 so that teachers, parents and other GG’s could make their own! So, off I went to the Dollar Store, full of optimism and a $10 bill to create the perfect Christmas gift. The Result My First Fun Kit: Math!

Young children are naturally curious and therefore are great at problem solving. They can also be great math problem solvers with some simple guidance from adults. There are some common strategies that young children can learn to help them solve problems.

The BIG 5 Problem Solving Strategies for Young Kids

Guess and Check– This is one of the simplest strategies to solve problems. It allows students to respond and then check to see if their guess was right. Although easy, kids sometimes think it’s a game and guess any answer. Since guesses can be done without much thinking, you can support their guessing by asking them if it is the best guess. Encourage them to think about their guesses and ask do you think that’s the best guess?

Act it Out– Have kids pretend they are actors and perform the information in the problem. Ex. John went to the store and bought 3 apples. Mary also bought 3 apples. How many apples did they have all together? In this example John pretends to walk to a store to buy 3 apples. Mary does the same and then they put their apples together to solve the problem.

Use Manipulatives– Using items to represent numbers can help kids make a problem concrete. Manipulatives can be anything that can be easily moved. (counters, dice, money, beans, chips, fingers, money, paper clips) Be creative!

Draw– Drawing pictures gives students the opportunity to create their own manipulatives. This is a perfect strategy to use when there are no manipulatives nearby. Drawing helps to keep kids focused on the problem and it also creates a visual representation of the problem. This can be used to show their thinking.

Think It Through– Encourage kids to be thinkers. Teach them to think (remember) things they already know. Prompt them with questions and hints on ways to solve the The following questions can be used to guide their mathematical thinking: What did you do to get the answer?What did you do to get the answer?

Can you show me how you figured that out?

What happened in the problem?

Why do you think that is the correct answer?

Where do you think you should start?

Do you think that will work?

What did you do to get the answer?

Enjoy the Math Journey!

Children’s ability to solve problems will improve with experience and practice. Parents can engage their children in math by pointing out math concepts that surround them every day. Guide them to see the patterns, shapes and numbers in their world. Engage them in cooking, card playing, puzzles and different types of board games. Enjoy your math journey together.

Recently I was driving home with my granddaughter, who just started kindergarten. To help distract her on our long ride, I thought it would be fun to count to 100 and see how long it would be before we saw our house. When we got into the 50s she informed me she wasn’t very good at the higher numbers. Ah, a challenge for GG!

So, for her next visit I downloaded a 100 chart to help her develop an understanding of numbers. A hundred chart is an easy way to do fun math without lots of preparation. A 100 chart can easily be found online. I was ready for an exciting game of 100 chart BINGO.

Let the game begin!

After about 10 numbers, I realized her focus was more on the purple butterfly tokens we were using to cover the numbers rather than the numbers themselves. A good early childhood teachers knows to keep a lesson focused, short and fun. That day Miss M did not think my 100s chart game was any of the three. So, the hundred (100) chart game will wait for another day.

Kindergarten Concepts to Review Using a 100s Chart

Number identification

Number order

One to one correspondence(be sure to point to each number)

Patterns

Practice counting forwards

Practice counting backwards

Examples of 100s Chart Games

Find the number

Count off the days

Numbers are symbols for amounts

Ordinal numbers (first, second, third etc.)

Roll a die(1) or dice(2) and move that number of boxes on the chart.

Remember the fun is in the journey. Enjoy the moment !

This blog is response to a reader for a list of some good reading resources. A tough question because SO much goes into a recommendation depending on what their need is. Recommendations should be based on many factors. Who needs it? For what purpose is the recommendation? What type of reading resources do you need? Are you looking for resources, research, opinions?

The table below is my best attempt at a TOP 5 list. However, please look for future posts on this topic.

TOP 5 Reading Resources

Source

Overview

Cost

Teachers/Subs Student Teachers

Parents & Grands

Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR)

Research-based classroom activities developed to improve reading instruction Pre-K through 12^{th} grade. Center Activities includes a Teacher Resource Guide. A Professional Development Video that provides insights into differentiated instruction. www.fcrr.org

FREE

X

ABC Mouse

A subscription-based digital education program. Geared for children ages 2-6. First month is Free. Games and activities are based on student progress. Many subject areas included. www.abcmouse.com

FREE 1^{st} month

$79 yr. Look for coupons

X

X

Starfall

Starfall is a free public service to teach children to read with phonics. Excellent resources for preschool, K-2, special education, homeschool and ELL’s. Math and music activities are also included. www. starfall.com

FREE with Premium $35.00/yr.

X

X

Reading Rockets

Offers a wealth of reading strategies, lessons and activities designed to help young children read. Support to build fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills. www.readingrockets.org

FREE

X

X

ReadWrite Think

Provides access to high quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering the very best in FREE materials. Every lesson plan has been aligned to NCTE Standards for the English Language Arts and individual state standards as well. www.readwritethink.org

Earlier this month I presented at a Professional Development Day for Head Start teachers on Early Numeracy. We touched on a concept that certainly could fill an entire day, “Math Walks”. This is a great teaching strategy that can be effective from toddlers through adulthood. If you look around the room or through the window, math concepts are everywhere. I promised my Head Start colleagues that I would post a cheat sheet on “Math Walk” basics. So here you go Head Start friends, have fun!

What is a “Math Walk”?

A “Math Walk” is a planned walk with sites along the way to show students math concepts. It encourages students to ask and answer questions. It’s an opportunity to take kids out of the classroom to “see” math. It is an active learning strategy to keep kids moving and of course talking!

Top 10 Benefits of Math Walks

Can be done anywhere, anytime and with anyone

Easy to prepare

Opens children’s eyes to the world around them

Helps kids see and understand math concepts

Gets kids actively learning

Gives multiple opportunities to solve problems

Encourages communicating thoughts and ideas

Builds confidence and a willingness to try

Can be tailored to meet children’s abilities

Promotes FUN in learning!

“Math Walks” give students and teachers opportunities to see and talk about math terms in everyday conversations. Start a checklist using the following terms and see how many you use during your walks.

Depending on students’ interests and abilities, questions can be prepared to discuss counting, number sense, measurement and geometry. Open-ended questioning gives students opportunities to solve problems and develop language. The possibilities of “Math Walks” are endless.

Geometry & Measurement

Can we find any shapes in the buildings? Squares, rectangles etc.

Can you name the shape?

Do you see any shapes in the buildings, ground, cars that pass by?

Do you see any patterns?

How tall is the tree?

How can we measure an item?

Number Sense and Counting

How many windows do you see in our classroom?

Can you find an object that is approximately one foot long?

Estimate which item is bigger, smaller, shorter, taller

Can you find a specific number of things? Ex. Three windows?

TRY THIS NOW: Sample Math Walk: Take a look at the photo in this blog.

Estimate how many small mailboxes there are?

How many mailboxes are there all together?

Look at each mailbox, are there any other shapes on the box? What shapes are there?

Is the circle bigger than a quarter, dime, nickel or penny?

Do you see any other Math symbols on the mailbox? What do you see?

How many columns are in the structure? How many rows?

How many mailboxes are in each column? Row?

What shape is each mailbox? How do you know?

What size is the mailbox? Can you measure it?

What is the shape of all the mailboxes added together in each column? Row?

Tell me something is taller than each mailbox? Shorter?

Are all the mailboxes together taller than you? Shorter than you? Taller/shorter than mommy?

Teachers: Don’t forget to add “Math Walks” to your plan books

“Math Walks” are not an “extra” in your lesson planning. “Math Walks” meet important NCTM Process Standards.

Recognizing and applying mathematics

Communicating mathematical thinking

Analyzing and evaluating the mathematical thinking of others

Making and using connections among mathematical ideas

Finally, one of the keys to creating a positive learning experience is motivating students. Try a “Math Walk” today and “see math” through the eyes of your students. Enjoy the walk!

Many preschool students understand numeracy. However, they probably don’t know the vocabulary. Creative Curriculum gives teachers many new terms to use. The “Go slow to go fast: Learning about math is neither short-term nor rote” presentation reminds teachers that learning takes time.

Thank you Astor friends for inviting me to your Professional Development Day.

Welcome to the 2nd month of threeringsconnections.orgMonthly Math Enrichment Problems post, Each month I post some Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3. I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

Draw a picture

Guess and Check

Use a table or list

Find a pattern

Logical reasoning

Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Problem Solving – Here we go!

On a baseball team, Chris, Jerry and Matt each played one of three positions of pitcher, catcher and second baseman, though not necessarily in that order. The second baseman, playing his first season with the team, had the lowest salary. Chris, who along with Jerry had played two seasons with this team, earned more than the pitcher. Who was the pitcher?

Declan wants to swim 20 yards out into the ocean. He swims out 5 yards in 4 seconds but then in one second a wave pushes him back 2 yards. If this cycle continues, how long will it take Declan to get 20 yards out for the first time, even if only for an instant?

A group of 63 students went to the museum. Some students took the bus, the rest went by car. If 41 students took the bus and 3 students rode in each car, then how many cars were needed?

Lowyn likes to celebrate her birthday for a whole week. On the first day she eats one cookie. On the second day she eats 2 cookies. This continues on until the seventh day when she eats 7 cookies. How many cookies did Lowyn eat that week?

Doug spent $44 This is twice as much as Kelly and Marian spent together. Kelly spent $9. How much did Marian spend?

61 + 12 = __ – 7 Find the number that belongs on the line.

If 40 – 6 = Q, how much is 45 + Q

Answers:

Matt is the pitcher. Neither Chris nor Jerry played second base (it wasn’t their first season). Matt played second base. Chris earned more than the pitcher so he’s not the pitcher, Matt is.

The answer is 29. Every 5 seconds he gains 3 yards. After 25 seconds he is 15 yards out. In 4 more seconds he will be 20 yards out for the first time (even if only for an instant).

The answer is 8. 63-41=22. If 3 students traveled in each car, there were 8 cars. 7 cars had 3 students for 21 total and an 8^{th} car was needed for the 22^{nd} student.

The answer is 28. 1+2+3+4+5+6+7=28

The answer is $13. Half of $44 is $22. Since Kelly spent $9, then Marian had to spend $13 to equal $22.

80 goes on the line. 61 + 12 = 73 and 80 – 7 = 73

Q = 79.

Don’t forget to check in NEXT MONTH for more Enrichment Problems