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Saturday, May 19, 2012

BUILDing Math Masters

I have been trying to pull together a format for how I want to teach math. Part of my final project for grad school is to explain how I would teach various subjects. Math is the subject I fear teaching the most. Why?

1 ~ Most kids either hate math, find it boring, or are afraid of it
2 ~ It is fundamental for everything in life
3 ~ I hate worksheet based curriculums
4 ~ I struggle with how to make math come alive, to make it fun, exciting, and engaging.

So this is the area that I have spent the most time on. The one thing that I want each of my students to know and be able to do by the time they leave my class is to have a foundation in math and to know how they best learn math concepts.

To do this... I need to create a multidimensional environment in which to teach the subject. I need my students to have a way to organize their thoughts on this and be able to reference them if needed. I need to be able to teach to the whole as well as to unique individual levels. I need to make it fun and real and exciting. I need to not be bored when teaching it.

The first thing I created was an interactive notebook. I took my brainy matters idea and improved it. Brainy Matters is a type of interactive notebook only I didn't know that at the time I started working on it. I will use this primarily for whole group lessons. Students will end up creating their own math textbooks. It will be AMAZING!

Second... I discovered this great idea!

The name of my math program and interactive notebook will be BUILDing  Math Masters! Each of my students will become a Math Master in their own right! Go to the link above or click on the picture to read more about this great idea!

I will be changing this up a little of my classroom. I love how this is organized so will be setting it up to where my centers for the week or set up as above and I will store all my math centers below. I will work on figuring out how to do that better later but for now. I am so excited to have a format to build off of!

B - Buddy Games (with partners or small groups)

U - Using Manipulatives (exploring the concept!)

I - Independent Work (The original focused on reading math books independently. Mine will primarily be working on completing worksheets or other assessments for the unit. I will include a book scavenger hunt if I have a related math book available.)

L - Learning (The original was titled Learning about Numbers. Mine version is small group lessons and working on deficient skills at independent levels. I want my students to have those basic facts mastered and we will be doing a lot of that here at this stage.)

D - Doing Math (This will be our actual curriculum materials. So whatever the district requires will go here. I will also use this time for teaching the whole group lessons, working on interactive notebooks, and introducing new games, manipulatives, activities, etc...). 

Mrs. Thompson created this great free hand-out to go with it to help keep track of the which centers her students choose. 
Soooooo.... why do I like this method so much?
1 ~ Lots of flexibility. I can add in great things I find from other teachers, things from my district, team teachers, etc... all within this one easy to use format.
2 ~ Reminds me of the daily 5. I love the thoughts around this set up. I am planning on implementing my own version of this for language arts and perhaps science/technology as well.
3 ~ I love the freedom the children have to choose what they want to learn. We all get bored, there are somethings that excite us more... this gives the students the power to choose what works best for them
I will be creating labels for baskets, tubs, etc... as well as posters in the black,white, and red them for this in my store soon. I will also be sharing soon my interactive math notebook as I create those for each unit. It will take time but eventually I think this will be AM~AZ~ING!
I will also create additional posts on what I will include in each category for various units as I sort through things and get them ready for class. 

Don't forget!

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At May 19, 2012 at 9:29 AM , Blogger Molly said...

I have been thinking the same thing about my math teaching! We have been having so much fun this chapter because we are doing geometry and I have found so many great activities from blogs and tpt that really bring the concepts to life for my students and it is wonderful!! I would love to make the rest of the year like this too! I saw the build idea from pinterest a while back and wanted to look into it this summer! And I want to check out interactive notebooks as well! I can't wait to see what you end up doing for your class!!!

Lessons with Laughter

At May 23, 2012 at 9:32 AM , Blogger April Walker said...

This looks like a great idea!
April @ The Idea Backpack


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