Lions, Rectangles and Triangles–Oh My!

We have been on a bit of a geometrical journey as of late.  We’ve studied sides, corners (which we know are called angles), diamonds (which of course are really called rhombuses!), square corners, trapezoids and loads of other things.  We’ve taken pictures, manipulated blocks, read books and even drawn pictures.  Pictures of shapes, and now pictures of lions, too.  Let me explain. 🙂

Well, actually, let me let a guest author explain. 🙂

Hi parents, guardians and friends of Room 202 1st graders! My name is Kate, or Ms. Holzmueller, and I work as a TA at Robinson. I’m one of the TA’s assigned to the 1st grade recess (where I often referee kickball) and lunch (where I help maintain order and pass out napkins and embellish hamburgers with ketchup smiley faces!) I’ve been spending time in Mrs. Bearden’s classroom the past few months, supporting some of the fantastic kiddos and doing a few read alouds, too! 🙂
Last week I spent time during math rotations having discussions with kids about squares and triangles and other shapes. (One of the benchmarks for first grade learners is that they, say, recognize that a square is a square because it has four equal sides and four equal angles.) While playing with the manipulative shapes I thought of one of my favorite authors, Ed Emberley and his books that help children (and adults like me who love to draw!) draw animals and monsters and people and cities, etc. all by drawing simple shapes. I showed Mrs. Bearden an Ed Emberley book and she was kind enough to let me share his work with your students.
fullsizeoutput_e0b

So during math centers, we looked at two pictures of a lion, one real, the other drawn. We had conversations about the shapes within the lion–how it’s nose looks like a triangle, how it’s head looks like a rectangle, etc. Then we practiced drawing all the shapes we had identified on white boards with dry erase markers. After that, we followed Mr. Emberley’s tutorial on how to draw his version of a lion, again on the whiteboard. (First by making a rectangle, then another rectangle, then a triangle…) 

Today during math time we practiced drawing shapes again on the whiteboard and then we used cardstock and markers to draw our own lions, still using rectangles and triangles and circles, etc.

Students were allowed to use whatever colors they liked and embellish their lion as they best saw fit–some have freckles! Some have angry eyebrows! We had conversations about how many triangles they used to show the teeth, how many triangles to make the mane, etc.

The results are very colorful and scary and fun and are now greeting passers-by in the halls. 

(And BOY are they BEAUTIFUL! Sorry–this is Mrs. Bearden.  Had to throw in my two cents about how great they are.  AND how great Ms. Holzmueller did as she taught the lesson! Learned a few things myself that I will incorporate tomorrow. 🙂  Really, I did!  Ok…back to the guest post…:) ).

If your student mentioned drawing a lion today know that Mr. Emberley has lots of other fun books they might like, too! (I found two of them in the Robinson library just today!)  And remember it’s just as easy to play “I Spy” with geometrical shapes as it is colors! “I Spy with my little eye something that is a square…” 

Another Number Skype–Inside Robinson!

On Friday we were able to have another Mystery Number Skype, with some friends INSIDE ROBINSON!  We’ve done this before, the last time I taught 1st grade when we were learning to Skype and we called Ms. Turken’s class who was in Mrs. Fry’s classroom.  This time we answered a call from Mrs. Dix and Mrs. Bell and talked to their second graders.  We were excited!

We are getting so good at this and at asking questions that knock out a large group of numbers at once.  Our 2nd grade friends guessed our number and we did, too!  What a great way to practice what we know about numbers and place value!

Do you want to Skype with us, too?  Leave a message here, or tweet to us at @jbeardensclass@jbeardensclass.  WE LOVE TO CONNECT!

Math Warm Ups: Week of Oct. 19-21, 2016

I used to blog our math warm-ups every week.  Then this year I changed our warm-up plan again and sometimes they are questions other than math problems and so I never really got into that routine.  This week, however, they were indeed all math warm-ups so I thought I’d share what we’ve been doing!

(This was a short week of school, with only 3 days and 2 warm-ups.  Small but mighty math thinking!)

fullsizeoutput_cd9

My kindergartener, Allie, created this one for Rm. 2o2 kiddos and was very excited to share it with them.  I was impressed with how they are getting better at telling stories and creating word problems to solve.

fullsizeoutput_cd8

Some highlights of the answers to this one:

We also tried one during math on Friday as an extension after we’d talked about the warm-up together.  We’re learning how to use Padlet, so it’s been the place we’ve been sharing our thinking lately (and since we’re still working on the logistics, some friends didn’t quite get their answer on the board).

screenshot-2016-10-30-19-58-03

Great thinking lately, Rm. 202 friends!  More to come soon!

Digital Recording: Counting Strategies

I shared the story of how we have been counting EVERYTHING in our room this week, but there’s a quick story that actually come just before that, as we started our initial journey into practicing counting and recording our strategies.

Kiddos were given a partner and a “mystery bag,” which was full of between 10-35 of something (bags were differentiated for different counters), and asked to figure out how many things were in it.  They were to use an efficient strategy and somehow capture an image to demonstrate how they counted their item(s).  Partners worked together to determine the most efficient way to count their items, took pictures together, talked about their work and added explanations to their pictures via the Notability app on their iPads.

Through the information I received from seeing their images, as well as through observations and conversations conducted during their work time, I was able to more effectively create pairings for later in the investigation.  Partnerships were formed to best challenge and support mathematicians in their continued learning.

Mathematical strategies and digital tools for the win!

 

Gotta Count ‘Em All!

We’ve been working on a beginning counting and place value unit in math lately, and the premise behind the investigation is that we need to organize and do inventory on things in our classroom (this came after we read a story about a messy family called the Masloppys and how their son Nicholas does just that in their house so they can find things!).  We’ve been counting everything in our room. And I do mean everything.  If it’s not attached to the floor (or too heavy to pick up), someone has put their mathematician fingers on it!

Kiddos worked in pairs to catalog a collection of classroom items (and then many more as they finished), focusing on using efficient and accurate ways to count the group.  Students were charged to find a way to easily share their thinking with others; counting by groups or keeping track made it easier to tell someone else what they had done.   Callahan and Jesse were especially proud to share the learning they had brought with them from kindergarten (“Mr. Peacock taught us to make groups of 10!”), and they made bunches of 10 crayons into a bundle of 100!

We have had many conversations sharing kid strategies, tips and suggestions for how to count large groups of things, and then we started to look at the numbers of totals.  We wanted to know how many bundles of 10 we would have in each amount (if we counted like Callahan and Jesse!).  Our chart began together with some class numbers, and then kiddos got in on the fun (work!) as they continued to count EVERYTHING in our room:

fullsizerender-4

(As a side note, I am always excited with how many possibilities there are for ELA in math–here for example as I could conference with kiddos as they wrote on the chart and helped them work through sounds in words!)

It was funny as kiddos kept running up to me asking “Can I count this?”  The more they counted, too, the smarter they got at using efficient groups–notice all the rubber bands, cups and baggies in our pictures?

We counted so many things we needed to record that Rachel asked for a new sheet.  Love it!

fullsizerender-3-min

The next phase is moving into further connections with 10s, as we think about how many we’d have to had to have whole groups of 10 for each item.  We’re playing math games to make combinations of 10 in a variety of ways , and will continue this thinking as we move into addition and subtraction.  Place value discussions throughout the year will go back to these beginning inventory experiences. 🙂

 

#FDOFG: Guided Discoveries–Math Manipulatives

I realize this post is a little bit after the true “first days of first grade,” but I’d say it still applies, and the actual learning actually took place then anyway, so that counts, right?

One of the things we do a lot of in the beginning of our time together in first grade is explore.  These guided discoveries take on many forms, and have been done with colored pencils, pattern blocks and play-doh before (among other things that are done less formally).  In the beginning days of math workshop, guided discoveries of math tools are an important learning activity.

Rotating through 6 stations–dominoes, power polygons, multilink cubes, Geoblocks, square inch tiles and Cuisenaire Rods–students were posed two simple questions to consider while they worked: “What could a mathematician use this tool to learn more about?  What are the possibilities?”  Then, in small groups, they explored the tools, for only about 7 or 8 minutes each:

Dominoes

Most kids built things to knock over. LOL

Power Polygons

Many kids put these together in piles and looked through them–they’re made of pretty colors. 🙂 (And yes, we’ll talk about more mathematical ways to use them later–right now it’s just work to figure them out and try things!)

 

Multi-Link Cubes

These tool may be the interesting just because it’s one of the most versatile.  Lots of different kinds of exploration happened in this station.

 Geoblocks

Inch Tiles

Also a versatile tool, kiddos stacked and counted, sorted and created with these little squares!

Cuisenaire Rods

While these blocks have many place value uses, many kids use them as building blocks, and many sorted them by size or color.

The last step was to chart some thoughts on our answers to those questions I posed at the beginning.

It was just the beginning, but definitely got us off on a good foot to some smart mathematical thinking this year!

Morning (Mostly Math) Warm-Ups: First Grade 2016

If you have been around 20somethingkids for more than this year, you’ve probably seen my math warm-up posts, and then the start of our writing warm-ups that went really well in 2nd grade last year.

This year I started morning warm-ups pretty soon after school began, to get kiddos into the habit of reading the easel, thinking about their answer, and adding their post-it.  The ones in the beginning, though, were not yet math (or writing), but were other things instead that were related to what was going on in the classroom.

Our first warm ups of 2016 looked like this:

 

Then, once we had the hang of it, we started into more traditional math warm-ups, which are related to what we will be talking about that day (or what we did the day before):

Kiddos are on a roll with this Rm. 202 routine!