One element that I use every day (and am a huge advocate of), is Roll and Write. Now, this may be a lengthy explanation, but stick with it. Here's how it works:
Some teachers use lined paper (notebooks) for students to do their Roll and Write, but I have come to prefer these packets that I made. I actually like students to write in a lined notebook (is that crazy?), but for some reason, this fits my brain better lately....The Roll and Write packet is stored in their Math Binder (1 inch). They open it to a new page, write the date, and wait for me to start the timer for 5 minutes.
At the beginning of every year, I give explicit instructions on what Roll and Write should look/sound like. Students need to hold the dice in their hands, put their wrist down on their desk and open their palms. I've discovered there is no reason to roll or shake the dice (sometimes kids like to shake dice for 30 seconds...time wasting). After the dice are rolled, they ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH THEM. For some reason, I've noticed lots of kids (girls in particular), that like to adjust their dice and make them side by side or perfectly aligned so the number isn't upside down. Doing this each and every time adds up. I demonstrate why we don't roll dice, drop them from above, or waste time making them 'look pretty' (I make a show of it, dropping dice all over, acting silly...acting is such a big part of our job, isn't it?).
After students have mastered how to quickly roll their dice, I start the timer and students get to work. They roll and write, roll and write, roll and write. While they are working, I roam the room with a RED pen (I know, I know, I'm a terrible person). It could be a different color, as long as it isn't the same as what they are using. If I spot ANY mistakes (number reversals, digit reversals, incorrect answers, sloppy writing, etc.), I underline the mistake with my red pen and WALK AWAY. That part is really important. Students need to be able to identify their own mistakes, and I've learned that if I stay there right next to them, they tend to argue or get in a discussion of "what I meant to write was a ...." instead of just fixing the problem. As soon as I underline, students need to fix their mistakes. This is really important as I don't have time to look over each roll and write every day, and I don't want them practicing something incorrectly.
Motivation plays a big factor in a successful day of Roll and Write. I sometimes use Matthew Cando (get it? Math you can do!) as a motivator. I got him at a district training a few years ago and the kids LOVE him. He has a cute robot voice (my husband taught me well) and likes to sit on the desk of someone who had a CAN-DO attitude during Roll & Write.
When a student completes 3 days (does not have to be consecutive) of 30/30, I move them on to the next thing on my Roll and Write checklist and write the date they started the new skill. I keep this list in a page protector on the whiteboard so that I have quick access to it.
Click below to check out their website and download sample pages.
I haven't used my Rekenreks for a while now, but plan on it this year. My 2nd graders this year will be needing the extra support and visual aid. Thankfully, I bought a great little curriculum set a few years ago that goes really well with the use of Rekenreks. It even comes with big books (these are my favorite part) that introduce the mathematical concept you are working on! This helps students visualize and put numbers to a context (like a story problem), which I have found is really important for these younger kiddos.
Before I bought this one, my husband made one (I gave it to a dear teacher friend though, so no photo for you!). I bought spray paint, wooden dowels, wooden balls and he used some scrap wood and his drill to make one. If you aren't inclined to do that sort of thing but are fortunate enough to have a crafty man in your life (or woman for that matter), show them what it looks like and see if they'd be willing to try! Don't forget the thank you
The second way I teach whole group fluency is with ten frames and a deck of jumbo display cards or ten frame cards. I keep one ten frame set for display above my Math Focus Wall, and another set is used as flash cards. You can find these in my Editable Chalkboard Decor Pack.
If you have a deck of cards or even index cards with numbers on them, you can practice whole group fluency. I found these at a local store.
While my kids are sitting on the floor, or are standing in line while we are waiting to go out the door, I flash a ten frame card. Depending on the skill we are working on, I could be asking them to tell me "the other part of ten, double or double plus one" (etc.). For instance, I hold up a 6, the class says "4" if we are practicing tens partners. Or I hold up a 7, the class says "14" if we are practicing doubles.
Nancy bestowed many different number lines upon me, but these are my favorite ones. I keep one on my dry erase board for whole group minilessons, and a class set in a ziploc bag for games time. I've added velcro to the student number lines so they will stick to the carpet when kids are playing math games, and magnet strips to my display number line so it will stick to my magnetic whiteboard.
Another important element in any elementary (yes, 3-5 too!) math curriculum is Routines Time (aka Calendar Math). My district implemented Everyday Counts when we adopted Math in Focus last year, but I like to incorporate lots of other activities. I think it's important to remember that your wall space for math is just as critical as your ELA space...even if you don't like to teach it as much as you like to teach reading/writing (I know that's not you though)! I divided my large bulletin board straight down the middle (one side is a word wall, the other side is my Math Focus Wall) and although most of it stays put all year, there are a few things that change as students learn the concepts and we move on to other things (i.e. CHANGE IT UP! If they have the months of the year down, don't need to sing the song every. single. day.).
After DEBs, we move on to the actual Routines Time. You might call this Calendar Math, but because it's so much more than teaching days of the week and months of the year, some teachers have learned to use the term, "Routines Time" instead. I move through a variety of things and keep a "perky pace" to the best of my ability. I only have 15 minutes, and I use every precious second of it. No time to tell me about the time your grandma took you to the zoo and blah blah blah. Sorry, maybe later when we're getting in line for recess. The main idea that I keep in mind for Routines, is that if the class understands a concept, make it more challenging. Don't just keep doing the same thing over and over. Remember to differentiate and keep them learning, not just reviewing. Of course, it's important to go back and make sure they remember the months of the year. But if all 23 have it, I don't need to do it every day. Maybe I change the question about months to be: What month comes after February? Or what is the 5th month? I'm constantly differentiating and changing the questions to fit the needs of my students.
here for $15. I took a pair of scissors and (gasp!) cut the 10s from the right side and moved them to the left side to line up with the zero I had to add myself. A little highlighter tape to make the tens a little more identifiable and we're in business.
Click below to download this FREEBIE! I use the questions in these as guides for my instruction during Routines Time, but I don't stick to it like a script, so if you use this, please make sure you are changing the numbers/questions for what your kids need.We begin each Chapter Lesson with a minilesson, but sometimes that minilesson is more of a major lesson (as in 20 minutes). Sometimes students have their textbooks out and are following along with me as I introduce a concept using my handy dandy teacher guide, but when following the chapter example problems isn't enough (they aren't getting it), I use "number strings" (an idea I first learned about during the Saturday PD class). You can buy the Number Talks book that explains more about number strings (and even has sets for you to use before you become skilled at making your own sets) here. The basic concept of number strings is that they are purposeful sets of problems/equations that build upon one another and increase in difficulty/level of understanding. Once you get used to the idea, you can easily write your own number strings "on the fly" and adjust them while you are instructing based on how your students are responding. For example, if I was teaching double-digit addition and wanted students to learn another addition strategy, I might start off by writing 23+56 on the whiteboard. If my students can solve this equation, the next one might be 23+58. After listening to students explain their thinking (the importance of Math Talk cannot be stressed enough), you would know who was able to use which strategy and whether or not they are using an efficient strategy. Are they noticing the pattern (2 more) from the equation we just did? Is anyone able to use the strategy "share some to make it friendly (take 2 from 23, making the equation 22+60)?" I would then decide if I should do a few more similar problems that students could try the concept I was trying to teach. I have anchor charts for each strategy that I keep up all year for students to refer to. I need to make individual sized ones (or just print these photos) for their binders, making a mental note to do that now. Here's one we are focusing on now.
The basic idea behind guided practice is that students are working through the problems with you. I like my students to use spiral notebooks to work out the equations in the textbook. The best way I have found to manage this is to have students share a textbook between them. If I can't do that, I have showed them how to put their notebook on one side of the textbook so they can fit everything on their desk. Life skills, check.
There are 2 methods I use for Independent Practice. Before MIF, I would make up my own "sets" (A, B, and C) of equations for students at varying levels of ability. Students work independently to solve these problems and check their work with a partner when they are finished. Now, I can still use my own equations, but I often use the ones straight from the text or workbook. If partners get different answers, they are supposed to solve the equation together or prove why they think their answer is correct until they can agree on the answer. This is where having a good foundation of Math Talk is critical. Click below to download the FREEBIE! Your students can have it out when they are checking each other's work, while playing a math game, or you can use it as a poster for whole group time (I made it in 2 different skin tones, as well as black and white).
I've also done centers/math game rotations in the past, and I loved this format of Guided Math. I gave each student an accountability sheet with the week's centers, and they checked off which ones they completed after each day. Then, at the end of the week, they would write a small reflection. This would give them a chance to voice any concerns or problems I didn't notice while I was working with my groups.