Monday, May 18, 2015

Math Monday - Intervals


Welcome and thank you for stopping by Math Monday, 
I hope you will consider joining the conversation.


Today is our last week of school and I'm beginning to think about summer; projects around the house, hobbies to reconnect with, time with my girls and time to be.  This list doesn't include anything about teaching but I've been thinking of things to work on during the summer and I recently read a great post - Number Lines, Part 2 over at Becoming the Math Teacher You Wished You'd Had by Tracy Zager.  I found the work she shared around number lines fascinating and inspiring.  I had never thought about showing and modeling intervals in our lives for students.  

As I returned to second grade this year, I've been muddling through lots of new standards and trying to understand them.  Since reading Tracy's post one of my summer plans is to collect pictures of intervals to help make Measurement and Data Standard B.6 visual; Represent whole numbers as lengths form 0 on a number line diagram with equally spaced points corresponding to the numbers 0, 1, 2,... and represent-whole number sums and differences within 100 on a  number line diagram.

However, she inspired me to think about other math areas where intervals are integral; number lines, analog clocks, arrays, rulers, graphs, and measuring cups.  I was also inspired to think about places I see intervals or encounter them within my own life.  While cleaning my house blinds last night, I discovered intervals.

I'm so excited to join #intervalchat and make that part of our Math Monday posts.






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Monday, May 11, 2015

Math Monday - Do You Share Math Mistakes?

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Have you ever considered sharing real life math mistakes with your students?  I don't usually.  I talk about reading mistakes and writing mistakes.  I model those mistakes all the time.  Why don't I share math mistakes?  I'm thinking it's important to share math mistakes.  It shows our students reasons for thinking mathematically in our lives.  It gives math a purpose for learning.  It models the application of math in our daily living.

When I think about making math mistakes, I'm not thinking about calculation errors.  That's easy and they will probably catch on to those.  I'm talking about real life applications of math where my stomach is grumbling 24 hours later because I didn't spend my money wisely and my garden is a few plants less.  

I was at  a local hodge lodge of a store yesterday where grocery store meets hardware store meets Target all rolled into one.  It's a unique store here in Central Ohio and I was thrilled to be in their garden center.  I was trying to carefully plan out my flower boxes that go around my deck handrail.  Last year I changed up my usual plan, increasing the different kinds of plants I wanted which increased the expense.  While I thought I was carefully planning out how many plants I exactly needed I over spent because I missed the flat price discount!  I could have spent four dollars less and had 12 more plants.  I actually found a spot for 12 more plants and have considered taking my receipt back and asking for forgiveness.

That might not work out for me but what will work out is sharing a small slice of my "numbers" life in hopes of inspiring my students to think about how they use math outside of the school day to avoid math mistakes.



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don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are thinking mathematically!


To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Slice of Life - Reading is Hard

Our bedtime read aloud is The Lightening Thief, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1 by Rick Riordan and I'm struggling a little bit.  I find myself asking is it fantasy?  Is it a myth?  Is it science fiction?  Is it adventure?  Either way, these genres are not in my comfort zone.  I've been working on reading fantasy because my girls like fantasy.  You could say it's my personal reading goal.

I actually feel okay about my comprehension.  I have to pay attention and ask questions to confirm my character connections.  A little who is who with my daughter.  I've also learned I pay attention better if I am doing the reading but when she is reading I follow along as she goes to help me stay focused.  These probably don't feel like big struggles and as I write about them I realize I have figured out strategies to help me be a more successful reader. 

However, my real struggle that continues each night is my decoding of character specific terms and names.  I don't know who many times I can attempt satyr to only have my "parrot" repeat the correct pronunciation in my ear.  Each time my helpful "parrot" rescues me I just want to cringe and then I start a grumbling feeling where I might not like this book.  However, this book is my youngest daughter's favorite book so I will persevere and overcome my struggles with decoding.  Together can overcomes  struggles and I need to remember this when student's need a little support and also be a little bit more gentle with those "parrot" reminders.


Thank you Two Writing Teachers for hosting and fostering this writing community.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Math Monday - Summer Math?

Welcome and thank you for stopping by Math Monday, 
I hope you will consider joining the conversation.

In my feedly reader and twitter there's a lot of buzz about helping students stay engaged with books and reading during the upcoming summer months.  That got me wondering, I've never heard the phrase Summer Math.  That got me pondering, what would I recommend on a summer math list for families.  This is my initial thinking and I hope you will add some ideas in the comments to extend this list and then I will re-share our combined efforts in a future post.


Summer Math Ideas

1.  Replay Family Math games. 

2.  Make recipes together in the kitchen.

3.  Suggest board games involving strategies.

4.  Suggest board games to reinforce fact fluency.

5.  Play with measuring cups and spoons in the sandbox or pool.

6.  While at the grocery store, discuss all kinds of possible buying scenarios.

7.  Look for arrays in the environment/shopping opportunities.

8.  Build structures with pattern blocks or wooden blocks.

9.  Measure plants growing.

10.  Figure out elapsed time for different summer events.

11.  Skip count when jumping rope.

12.  Make paper airplanes and measure how far they can travel.

13.  Have a lemonade aid stand.



I've purposefully left technology off this list to hopefully provide opportunities for creativity and engagement with others.  I hope you will share your ideas with me and we can grow this list together.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Slice of Life - My Dress

My dress was picked out two nights ago.  Something black, white polka dots, and little strips of the same fabric sewn near the bottom in the shape of flowers.  A new dress I thought would scream fun summer event, seemed very appropriate for my dear friend's funeral.  

Funerals are a celebration of life and my grandmother's words guided me today, "Funerals are beautiful, I like funerals now."  She went on to further explain, "I get to see people I haven't seen in a very long time and people are willing to visit and tell stories."  Her words kept me grounded quite often throughout the mass because it was beautiful.  

I took time today to sit.  I took time today to listen.  I took time today to reflect.  Sometimes the beautiful is hard but my little new dress with a little spunk reminded me to carry on, life is fun, and it made me smile.  Sometimes wearing the right thing can get you through the hard stuff and today it was my black and white polka dotted dress.  Now I need to find that fun summer event to wear it to.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Math Monday - Elapsed Time Saved Me

Welcome and thank you for stopping by Math Monday, 
I hope you will consider joining the conversation.


I can't wait to see my students today and hear all about their time away as we return from spring break.  I have my own story to share and it's all about elapsed time...

It's only 4.5 minutes of my life!  It will have moments where it stops.  If you are NOT a fan of roller coasters you can get through this ride.  This was all the important information I gathered from my guide book for Universal Studios.  In particular the ride - Escape from Gringotts.  The experience leading up to the actual ride was a must to see - so I decided to be brave.

The scenes Leading up the actual ride was worth every minute of the ride.  What actually happened when I was on the ride - white knuckles, closed eyes, opened eyes at pauses to see images from Harry Potter, shaking legs, shaking arms, and I'd like to think of it as meditation but I kept repeating it's only 4.5 minutes of my life!

Later on the next day - my trusty guide book called Flight of Hippogriff a junior roller coaster and it was only to be 1 minute of my life.  It didn't look too bad.  There weren't any major dips and 1 minute is a quarter-ish of the ride Escape from Gringotts Bank, I can do this.  Let's just say, I gripped the lap/lock you in bar tightly and closed my eyes the whole way!  There's a reason I hadn't been on a roller coaster for 29 years.

I found myself very thankful for having to teach students how to tell time, especially elapsed time.  I think it's very important to share and show how we use math in our own lives.  I'd love to know if you have any interesting stories to share about math as a part of your life.


Leave your link within a comment and 

don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are thinking mathematically!


To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
it would be nice for you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Math Monday post, don't forget to use #mathmonday!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Slice of Life - Take Care of Yourself

I've been trying to plan this slice all day and wanted to write about something else but this is what my mind is preoccupied with.  My dear friend entered my life three years ago and has made me a better person.  She transferred to our building and was the new teacher at the end of the hallway, teaching first grade.  

I don't know what brought us together but eventually passing in the hallway we started up small talk and it quickly grew to lots of talk - personally and professionally.  She was planning her wedding and so kindly asked if she could invite me but didn't want to make me feel awkward because we were new friends.  During our short time together, our friendship grew and we talked daily.  We would try to squeeze in lunch together during our busy days, where we would try to solve all things education or plot another professional book to read, or our list of technology we would learn and work through together.  I've never really worked with anyone who reads as much as I do and anytime I would ask, have you read - she probably had.  

This year we each moved classrooms and she was my neighbor, I thought I had struck gold!  Each day we would chat about teaching and life.  She would also offer such sound advice and guidance.  I could text her at 11pm and know she would answer and have a thought about my newest ramblings and ideas for second grade.  We shared a common philosophy about many things.

She had been working a lot lately, it seemed a bit more than usual.  She came to work last week two days because we have a sub shortage and no one picked up her jobs.  Luckily, one staff member could cover at the end of the day and it got her to the doctor to find out she had flu B.  On Friday, she came in to set up her class with other first grade teachers to go home and rest.  Today I learned, her cold got worst, she went to the ER yesterday and passed away shortly after with an infection that developed with the cold/fluB.

Friends, please take care of yourself.  School can wait.  Papers can wait.  Students can wait.  My friend was resting and taking care of herself but I wonder if she had started earlier would she have been strong enough to fight this horrible infection and prevented such sadness we are all feeling who knew and loved her.



Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering and organizing this writing challenge.  I've enjoyed writing and sharing stories with you all.