Making Mathematics Accessible & Meaningful AND Problem Solving
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# Making Mathematics Accessible & Meaningful AND Problem Solving

Curated by Jamie Kanrich
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Differentiating Math Lessons

Jamie Kanrich's insight:

Problem Solving:

I think this provides a great journal prompt for my first grade class. It helps them explore different strategies and it simply puts a Common Core Standard in a question format. It is a great way to begin whole-group math lessons and to get the class thinking. It is also not too hard because students are familiar with the language, yet it will provide some struggle at the same time. Reading it aloud to the class, reviewing vocabulary and then having the students work on it will not take long and is an enticing way to think about mathematical operations.

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## Everyday Mathematics in First Grade

I'm so excited! My six-year-old brought home the first Everyday Mathematics unit for First Grade last week. I already conquered First Grade math myself back in the 70s, and I survived First Grade w...

Via Rebecca Siegel
Jamie Kanrich's insight:

Making Mathematics Accessible & Meaningful:

This blog offers useful suggestions on quick ways to integrate math in childrens day-to-day routines. For instance, she gives her child to the count of 3 to pick up her backpack. In my class, I have actually implemented something similar where I say I'll give you to the count of 10 to clean up, get ready for lunch, and line up quietly. It always works and students sometimes recite the numbers with me as well. I can aslo discuss the weather, for instance, it is 30 degrees outside- put on a jacket. Or, it is 90 degrees outside, let's go swimming. Students will associate these degree temperatures with their correlating weather. This promotes a further understanding of the integration of math.

Rebecca Siegel's curator insight,

This blog post includes great ways for parents to incorporate math language and skills into every day activities.  One of my favorites was counting by 2s or 5s instead of by 1s.

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## Telling Time

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Making Mathematics Accessible & Meaningful:

This video is very vibrant, visual, and a child-friendly way to introduce time. It is narrated by "Timothy Time" through song and rhyme. It begins with the ultimate basics clearly defining the different parts of the clock including the face and how that is where the numbers stay. "Timothy Time" explicitly teaches reading analog clocks on the hour and half hours. He repeats frequently and looks at examples after teaching each part. He then relates time to a typical school day which is something all students can relate to. For example, one line in the song he sings,  "8 o'clock am is the start of my school day, 4 o'clock pm is the time for friends to play." The video is interactive and also provides opportunities for students to repat the times with him and say it aloud. Teachers can also pause throughout to address things as necessary or answer anyquestions. Moreover, a teacher can break up parts of the video each day as she sees fit for students ability level. I think it makes telling time more easily understood for young children especially by including common spoken phrases such as "half past..."

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## Teaching Ideas

Jamie Kanrich's insight:

Making Mathematics Accssible & Meaningful:

I think this is such an age-appropriate and engaging activity for first graders. This worksheet is a great way to show students how math is integrated in their daily lives. From their favorite number, date of birth, to how many teeth they have lost, each child can participate. It helps them practice their counting skills while incorporating their own personal experiences. It puts mathematical concepts in a relevant context which is important for such young learners. I can definitely see my students enjoying this activity.

Sloane Soffer's curator insight,

This is so adorable! I would love to see students in first grade engaging in this activity. I think this set up could be spruced up and made more challenging for students in 3rd grade if I were to add multiplication and division to it. This is a great way for students to realize that their personal lives matter and they may find a greater interest in doing math equations that incorporate themselves.

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## Pairing Like Students for Perseverance in Problem Solving

Jamie Kanrich's insight:

Problem Solving:

I found this article really interesting because in my classroom, my mentor and I usually pair students so one can help the other. Specifically, we might pair a low level student with a higher level. Hogan makes a good point however in that when students of equal abilities are paired together they tend to do more work and engage in more struggle. This is not necessarily a bad thing because both are forced to take an active role in problem solving rather than a  higher level student doing all the work. When students look at me for affirmation I tell them to continue their method and they will figure it out. As students are working I use productive talk moves and questioning strategies that we have learned in EDCI 352 to help me guide my students' understanding. I think this really helped because rather than just helping them solve a problem by giving them the answer, (which would not even help at all,) I assist them in a form of a question that leads back to thinking it through their own way. This helps students advance their own thinking. While it may take some time for lower level students to eventually come up with the right solution, it allows for more communication and discussion on the different strategies students to took to get there.

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1st grade Number Activities aligned with the Common Core State Standards
Jamie Kanrich's insight:

Problem Solving:

The resources on this page align perfectly with the Common Core State Standards as they provide age-appropriate and engaging problem solving activities for first graders. I think they can all be used in my classroom and the use of manipulatives supports students word problem solving process overall.

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## Problem Solving

Problem-solving is a mental process that involves discovering, analyzing and solving problems. The ultimate goal of problem-solving is to overcome obstacles and find a solution that best resolves the issue.
Jamie Kanrich's insight:

Problem Solving:

When we think about problem solving we need to define it for what it is. We need to look at the basic psychology behind it before making any decisions. I found "What is Problem-Solving?" an interesting article given it expressed a different view on problem solving- not one based on mathematics. It states "The best strategy for solving a problem depends largely on the unique situation." This links closely with math word problems in that teachers cannot teach one way to solve a problem nor can students solve every problem the same way. It depends on what the problem is. Therefore, the first step when problem solving is to identify the problem. Once we identify what the actual problem is, that we are looking to solve, then we can define it and form an appropriate strategy. Four more steps follow and I think this process serves as a foundation young children need to be instructed with, especially ELLs.

jbcassidy's curator insight,

Helping students develop stamina in math means learning how to approach a challenging problem.

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## Exploring Math in the Garden | kidsgardening.org

Ideas for incorporating standard-focused math activities in the garden
Jamie Kanrich's insight:

Making Math Accessible & Meaningful:

Math in the Garden is a great way to incorporate gardening, science, nature, plants, and weather with mathematics. This book links with lessons for any age group. It incorporates hands-on activities which makes math more engaging for children. The lessons also promote inquiry, reflection, language arts and nutrition. Students participate in real-world math applications. Some of these lessons can be easily applied for my students given we have a garden right outside of our classroom. Students can thus count items in the garden and tally the number of interesting things theysee. They can then "walk" these numbers on a huge numberline. Students can also explore the garden for shapes of vegetables and flowers in the garden. This can lead to a discussion about symmetry and properties of shpaes. It can also lead to dicussion on the differences between man-made and natural resources which links with both science and social studies lessons taught in first grade.

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## How We Can Help First Grade Students Understand Addition & Subtraction

First Grade curriculum standards in most states include subtraction and addition facts for sums up to 20. Children need to make real world connections in order to strengthen their understanding of ...
Jamie Kanrich's insight:

Making Mathematics Accessible & Meaningful:

This article discusses how using hands-on materials can support children in making real world connections to their understanding of mathematical operations. Specifically, addition and subtraction physical activities are suitable for first graders given they are sensory learners. Using objects such as stuffed animals, pieces of candy, fruit, etc. supports first graders in understanding putting together and taking apart groups of things. Having them be up and moving by drawing a number line across the classroom and students participate in jumping to different numbers is a really beneficial way for them to understand the way number lines work. For example, "If you walk 5 more steps where will you be?" is a good sort of question to get them thinking. We did this in my classroom and it really helped my students, especially the ELL's, gain an understanding for how the number line works. Telling stories as well to support a word problem puts the information in a relevant context for students and engages them more in solving the problem. When doing open-ended's and Developing a Mathematical Eye related activities in my classroom, I make sure to link the content to their prior knowledge. Moreover, if it does not seem to be working I pause for a moment and give a real example of myself or using students in the classroom. For example, one time I was explaining fact families and I used my own family as an example. I explained how there is one boy (my dad) and three girls (me, my sister, and my mom.) I wrote numbers within a fact family house and drew stick figures to represent the girls and the boys. Once I explained it using these terms, I immedietely caught students attention. I told students how we all have different fact family houses depending on how many people are in your family. I then had each student create their own fact family based on their individual families.

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## Common Core Corner :: PoWerful Ideas

Make Sense of Problems...
This issue we look at the first Common Core Mathematical Practice, “Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Jamie Kanrich's insight:

Problem Solving:

I think it's important for students to notice and wonder about a problem first before beginning to solve it. I practiced this a lot with "Developing a Mathematical Eye" in which I showed pictures to the class each time I was there. I always started off with, "What do you see?" Every student was able to participate and could not be wrong since they just simply stated what they noticed. It is a good way for them to develop sense-making strategies.

We also do a selected word problem at the end of our math lesson each day. After reading it aloud and presenting it for all to see, I go around the room and ask what each student hears, wonders about it, whether we agree, have something to add or build off of. I think it is really important to understand the story behind a math problem. Visualizing and illustrating it can help their sense making too- especially for such young learners. Also, discussing as a class early on before students engage in a lengthy process of work based on a wring assumption, helps get everyone on the same page. I have found this overall practice very beneficial to my class as they have been improving on the problem solving process more and more.

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