Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MWS ~ Addition & Subtraction

Hi Ho Cherry O ~ Addition Story book we are making this summer!

Being a part of the Math Work Stations blog party has been a great learning opportunity! Finding enough time to read the book, read all the blog posts, print some of the amazing freebies from my blogging buddies, and plan stations to use with my son at home has become a part-time job! Once the kiddos are in bed I get started and promise myself to stop at 10:30 or 11 or 11:15.....but this routine leads to a full night of math dreams! Anyone else dreaming of math?

Then during the day I keep seeing all these math teachable moments. Like on Father's Day when we were playing mini-golf. I thought, why don't they make each sign for the holes with dots & numerals? That would be great for the little golfers on the course. Oh, this score card would be perfect for talking about more or less, adding, & ordering numbers. Then on hole seven I saw an amazing teaching tool, the shuffle board score board that was near the course. I tried convincing my son to come over and skip count by 10s with me but he gave me this look and said, "Mom, I'm here to golf not count!"

Oh well....

This week's chapter is about Addition and Subtraction stations. The book is chock full of ideas and my blogging buddies have amazing suggestions and freebies. My head is spinning with ideas, and I don't know where to start. I think I'm still digesting all of the ideas from last week's posts and I'm not sure I can keep up this pace of one chapter a week!

My main thinking this week has been around the idea of how to help families at HOME to use these wonderful ideas. Currently I am a stay-at-home mom and my wee little boy will be a kindergartner in the fall. Being on the other side of the parent/teacher role has me thinking about how my child's school could be doing a better job educating parents about reinforcing early math & literacy skills at home.

A few important points & reflections from this chapter:

As children learn basic addition facts we need to help them connect what they know to related subtraction facts. I know with my son that he is quite fluent with addition facts but I've neglected to work on subtraction, so we will be starting this right away.

I also thought Debbie's suggestion that children need to have a strong beginning number concept first and then work on addition and subtraction. Also using the language (p.132) before using the abstract symbols of + and - is a really important tidbit to share with parents of our students. I know when I participated in math nights, parents often said flashcards were the way they practiced addition and subtraction skills. Workbooks were the other parent favorite. So we as teachers need to explain why counters, manipulatives, fingers, and other supports are essential in teaching beginning number concepts as well as addition and subtraction.

Sharing math talk cards with families would be a great way to connect what kids are learning in the classroom and practice at home. I know for myself that the Math Talk cards have been a great tool for ME, when working with my own son at home.

Another thought is that maybe teachers could also create a smaller version of anchor charts to send home as well? It would be great to also send home math materials for each child. Frugal materials such as bean sticks, rekenreks made from pipe cleaners, inexpensive counters would be a great too. Sending home copies of a student created "I Can" chart would even be better!

I think it's important to also share with parents WHY we are teaching what we are teaching. That's where math nights are great for sharing information with parents and families.

Okay, this has been way too long winded...thanks for reading & sorry I've got no freebie for you. Maybe the caption on this photo will give you a little laugh!

My son was making this poster for his Daddy's birthday. As he was making the cake he said in dismay, "Okay, Daddy is going to only get 20 candles this year because my cake is too small to draw 45 candles!"

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