Saturday, 25 October 2014

Fly on the Math Teacher's Wall - Place Value

Join me and my fellow math bloggers as we squash mathematical misconceptions, while offering you some insightful tips and tricks!

I teach 8th grade and the first thing I emphasize every year is place value. I think a lot of teachers are under the misconception that place value is a concept taught in the early years and does not need to be focused on in the higher grades.

Is place value a part of my math program? YES!
Is it technically part of my curriculum? NO.
Is it important to my students' understanding? YES!

Place value is so very important, and should be addressed every year, even into middle school and beyond. One of the first activities I do every year is a review of place value. You can grab a copy of my review here.

Without a firm comprehension of place value, students will never truly develop a strong understanding of numbers.

Why is place value important?

As I was trying to write an answer to this question, I decided to take a look around and see what other educators had to say. I love this explanation from Ruth Rumack.

"The concept that numbers can be broken apart and put back together gives the student a more solid understanding of how different operations work. Not only that, but the student can also figure out how to solve problems independently by playing with the numbers. Once a child has a good understanding of place value, he or she will have an easier time with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, expanded notation, etc. Place value is the "why" behind the basics of mathematics; it teaches beyond memorization and repetition."

I love the wording she uses - "playing with the numbers".

I am all about making math FUN, so I thought I would use this post to share some fun place value activities, that allow my students to "play with the numbers".

Place Value Tents make a great visual and really show students what a number is "worth". The best part is the fact that they get to "play" with the tents and move the numbers around...all while strengthening their number sense!

 I've seen a few similar ideas like this one on Pinterest using cups.

Games will always win over your students. Here are two that I use when teaching place value.

This game can easily be played with a few students or as a whole class.

If you have a 10 sided die, that works best, as there is the possibility to roll any digit from 0 - 9.

It is a game of chance and I always love seeing those risk takers waiting desperately until the last roll for me to call a 9 to put in the highest place!

This game is easily played with 3-5 players and makes a great activity for those early finishers. All you need is a deck of cards and you are ready to play.

Both of these games, and many more, are found in my Number Centers - Set #1.

I hope I have convinced you that place value is an important concept to emphasize, no matter what grade you teach. I also hope I provided you with a few ideas that you will want to try in your own classroom.

I could go on and on about place value, but I think I've said enough for today. I do plan to expand on this post and share some more ideas about place value in the days to come. I hope you come back to check them out!

For now, head on over to see what Meg has to say about place value misconceptions over at The Teacher Studio.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Pumpkin Math

It's fall time and Halloween is just around the know what that means??

Pumpkins are EVERYWHERE!

Why not incorporate them within your lessons next week and have your students do some pumpkin math?

Here are some links to my blog series on pumpkin math that I did with my students last year.
I hope it is something you can see trying in your own class this year. I bet your students will have a blast!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Using Math to Justify your Reasoning

"In my Math classroom, my students are not taught to do math, they are taught to think mathematically"

That is my motto!

My main goal is to help my students become confident, mathematical thinkers. How do I do that? Make math REAL! If teenagers can't see the connections between what they are learning and real life you are easily going to lose some of them.

I am a huge advocate of journaling in math class. You can check out a guest post I wrote for Minds in Bloom here.

Each week I work journaling into our routine. Thursday is known at "Thinking Math Thoughts" and I usually provide my students with a journal starter to get them thinking. However, I am thinking of switching it up from week to week, with the help of a website I found - Would you Rather?

I am so excited that I found this website! It is all about using math to justify your reasoning in real life examples. I LOVE it and can't wait to work it into my regular routine.

Here are some examples.

...and just in time for Halloween...

I LOVE these and cannot wait to see the different strategies my students come up with to justify their choices.

I would even take the time to have students partner up and share their responses with each other. Just to prove how differently we all think...and the different processes behind the thinking.

I might even encourage them to pose a "would you rather..." to their parents and see how they choose and the reasoning behind it.

So much math involved in this...can you tell I'm excited to give these a try?!?!?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Bright Idea - Showing off Student Notebooks

I am excited to be teaming up with an amazing group of teacher bloggers, once again, to bring you the "Bright Ideas Link Up". This link up was created to bring you practical classroom ideas from a variety of teachers, from different grades and subject areas. I hope you find some great ideas that you can easily implement in your own classroom. Enjoy!

Have you held your conferences yet this year? Have you started planning what they might look like?

Do you hold student-led conferences? If not, but you want to learn more, check out my earlier Bright Ideas post here.

For me, student-led conferences are all about the students celebrating their learning with their parents, by showing/demonstrating things that they have learned.

My Math Scrapbooks are a huge part of my math program and the students take a lot of pride in them. Seeing that they rarely go home, I want the students to have an opportunity to show them off to their parents.

The idea - Have students tab 2 (or more) activities to demonstrate to their parent(s) from their notebooks during conferences.

A few days before conferences I spend quite a bit of time prepping my students on what will be expected of them when they come in with their parents.

During conferences, my students travel around through different stations with their parents to demonstrate different skills they have learned over the course of the term.

One station is dedicated to their Math Scrapbooks. Before conferences, students are asked to tab 2 activities with post-its. They are allowed to choose any activities they wish, however they need to feel confidant enough to be able to fully explain the activities to their parents.

I find tabbing the activities before hand cuts down on wasted time searching for the right page. It also helps the students feel more prepared, when they know ahead of time what they will be showing their parents.

If you have some time before hand, have students partner up and pretend to be each other's parents in a mock conference. This will give them that extra boost in confidence when presenting to their parents, and also help reinforce those math skills one more time. It's a win-win!

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook for more great ideas!

For even more bright ideas, please browse through the link-up below, and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Giveaway Prize Pack #2

Let's continue the party! 
If you missed my earlier post I am so excited to announce that I have hit 1000 followers in my TpT store!
To celebrate this milestone, I am hosting a giveaway chock-full of amazing resources from some great teacher-authors.

Let me tell you a bit about some friends of mine that will be helping me celebrate...

John from Created by Mr Hughes strives to make engaging and hands-on activities that will get your students excited about learning math, science, language arts and more!

The Classroom Sparrow is all about making English Language Arts fun and at the same time, making life easier for teachers!

The Math Post is all about the use of interactive materials to promote an engaging, student-centered math classroom!

Jamie from MissMathDork wants to make math meaningful, interactive, and most of all...FUN!

Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog is a Canadian middle school teacher who loves to create and share with other.

Darlene Anne from ELA Buffet believes that reading and writing resources can be fun AND easy to use!

Danielle from Study all Knight is all about creating interactive secondary resources for teachers.

Jennifer from 4mulaFun is all about differentiating curriculum through Interactive notebooks, work stations and more!

...and then there's me...

I'm Kim from Teaching Math by Hart and I am all about making Math FUN, and making it REAL!

All of the above teacher-authors have generously donated a $10 shopping spree in their stores, plus I'm adding on a $20 shopping spree in my own store!

That's $100 worth of amazing teaching resources that will make your life so much easier!!

What are you waiting for...enter now!

Contest closes on Thursday, and the winners will be announced on Friday.

Good luck!

P.S. Did you already check out yesterday's prize pack geared for grades 3-6?

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It's Thanksgiving...and We're Showing our Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians out there!

As I look back at the last year, I am thankful for so many things.

First, and foremost is my family. I wouldn't be who I am without their love and support. They drive me absolutely crazy sometimes, but I wouldn't change them for the world.

I am truly thankful for all the simple things in life, being able to go to a job that I  love, having a warm place to call home, and being able to put nutritious food on the table, Sadly, being a teacher I am all too aware that so many kids do not have their basic needs being met and this reminds me to be even more thankful for the things that I have and the ability to give my sons a great start at life.

...and of course I am thankful for all of you. You take the time to read my blog, and test out my ideas, and I am truly grateful for that. To show my thanks I've teamed up with some fabulous Canadian teacher-authors for a big sale this weekend.

This Sunday you will find everything in my store on sale!
...and just to make sure you don't miss out if you are busy cooking, or eating your turkey dinners, I will keep my store on sale throughout the holiday Monday as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Check out even more great deals from my fellow Canadian bloggers below.