An Environment of Numeracy

I just started a book study, led by Mrs. Bell and Mrs. LeSeure, on the book Guided Math by Laney Sammons.  I have only read the first few chapters so far, but am really loving it already.  The book is based on the idea of using the strategies that kiddos already know as readers (visualizing, connecting, questioning, rereading, summarizing, etc) in relation to math; the same things that we do to understand what we read can help us understand math (or any other subject, for that matter!).

So, like I said, we’re just at the beginning, but have learned the overview of the big ideas in Guided Math.  Then we were supposed to choose one that we were going to commit to change or add to our math class as we work through the book together.  My goal was to add to the environment of numeracy in my classroom: to find new and innovative ways to add math to parts of our day outside of “math time.”  The goal is to get kids thinking like mathematicians in all parts of their life at school.

One way to do this, even from the minute they walk into the room in the morning is with warm-ups.  These are quick, math-focused questions that kids answer on a chart for everyone to learn from together.  This was our warm-up from this morning:

It wasn’t a ground-breaking question, nor is it the most deeply I’ll ever ask my kids to think, but it got us focused on math right from the beginning.  I loved it when someone said they had no idea what to write and with just one question from a friend, were able to add “I used math when I had to figure out how long I had until I had to leave to go to my dad’s house” to the chart.  That’s what it’s all about really, supporting each other in our learning.

So what math did you use this weekend?  How do you involve your kids in mathematical thinking outside of “math time?”  What suggestions do you have for math questions we can use for a warm-up?  We’ve love to hear your thinking and add to ours!

4 thoughts on “An Environment of Numeracy

  1. There is marvelous numeracy all around us in the natural world. Look at any plant – tomato, strawberry or pineapple, count the number of petals, or the way the leaves are arranged. You will find them set out in pairs, threes, fives, eights or thirteens, but never fours. Plants don’t like four.

    Plants stick to numbers in the series 1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34 where each number comes from adding the previous two together. The series is called The Fibonacci Sequence. Mathematicians love this string of numbers, as do plants. You will find these numbers in the five seed chambers you find when you cut across an apple, or the 34 or 55 spiral whorls in a sunflower head. We do not have four-leafed clover or a four-leafed anything else ( except as mutants ).

  2. I love this idea! And, I love the question you asked on Monday. What a terrific and fun way to build our children’s learning AND confidence in math, (no more, “I’m not good in math,” “Why do we have to learn this stuff?”).

    I work in book publishing, so I just calculated how many hours it will take my proofreader to complete 45 chapters, totaling 467 pages, at an average of 8 pages an hour. The answer is ???? I would bet your class could figure this out!

  3. Pingback: Rethinking, Rebuilding and Redecorating Rm. 201 « 20somethingkidsand1kookyteacher

  4. Pingback: Guided Math « 20somethingkidsand1kookyteacher

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