Saturday, August 4, 2012

Math Stretches and Calendar (Freebies)

I have been slightly obsessed with planning for my new math program every since finishing Guided Math and the book study. I plan to start slow, so as to not overwhelm myself, and work towards having a fully integrated guided math program. My first implementation is going to be Calendar and Math Stretches.

By starting with Calendar and Math Stretches I think that I can get a handle on this new way of teaching math and not overwhelm myself right from the beginning. The Daily 5 will be an integral part of my literacy program and this will only be my second year using it, so I am planning to make changes there as well. As much as I want to jump right in and do EVERYTHING that I read about in Guided Math, I also recognize that I need time as a learner to adjust and stretch my own thinking. Diving right in and doing things just to do them isn't going to help my students and will probably just stress me out. As teachers, I think we need to give ourselves time to learn and grow as much as we give that time to our students.

So, back to the freebies! Here is my initial set-up for calendar math. I went through the Ontario curriculum for Grade 3 and tried to identify what I felt were the key ideas/concepts that my students would struggle with throughout the year. Grade 3 is also one of the years that our students write EQAO (which is the standardized testing in Ontario) so I wanted to include concepts that would help them across their math studies. It is important for me to recognize that this calendar set-up will change, and should change. This is just my start-up plan to get me going and using this routine in my class.

Click on the image or title to get your own copy!

I also plan to start each day with Math Stretches as they were outlined in Guided Math. I moved the math stretches around to the days I felt would work better for my class/teaching style and also revamped one math stretch completely. On Tuesday I will be doing "Make It Different" instead of "Number of the Day" that is outlined in Guided Math. I decided that I wanted to do a number of the day everyday as part of our calendar math routine, and that it was important for my students to have a weekly practice with composing and decomposing numbers.

Math Stretches
Click on the image or title to get your own copy!

My next step is to print off a Math Stretch Planning template and five Calendar Math Outlines for each week of the school year and then bind them together. This way I will have a consistent record of what we have covered in both our Math Stretches and during Calendar Time as I plan through the year. However, even as I write this I realize that I plan to change my Calendar ... so maybe just a binder instead of a spiral bound book?

My one thought/question is this...I want to keep my Math Stretch and Calendar time brief and I will be teaching Grade 3 this year so my thoughts are that I will not have my students copy down anything that we do during this time for the good chunk of the beginning of the year. Instead it will be a whole class oral exercise in order to develop our math literacy! Thoughts about this??

I also plan to have my Friday Math Stretch "How Did My Family Use Math This Week?" as part of my student's weekly homework...but that is another post for another day!

13 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Beverley Baird said...

Teaching gr. 3 in Ontario as well - and appreciate your take onthe math calendar and stretches. I have been reading through Guided Math as well but haven't finished yet - doing too much reading of other things! But I am looking forward to changing my math programme as well. Thanks for these great resources.

Beth said...

@Beverley, I'd love to see what you come up with and decide to do in your class. Maybe we can trade ideas back and forth?

Jennifer said...

I've used Guided Math (sort of) without actually reading the book for two years now and it makes my world go round. My kids love math and beg me to do "math groups". This year, I've moved to only teach math (departmentalizing), and I just purchased the grade 4 (my grade) Math Stretches. Can't wait to try them out.

You and your kids will love the Guided Math concept.

Jennifer said...

I grabbed the book at our local teacher's store- but here's the link from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Math-Stretches-Building-Conceptual-Understanding/dp/1425807860/ref=pd_sim_b_2

I've linked the 3-5. I first went through and just sticky-noted the ones I thought I'd use, and realized I'd sticky-noted about 75% of the book. It divides the different stretches up by skill (number sense, geometry, measurement). Some stretches I can really only use once or twice, around the time I'm teaching the skill. Others, I can use year round and just change the number used or the data to work with.

It just seems to be so much better to use than a random "problem of the day" to solve. This way they have to actually manipulate the numbers and such.

Beth said...

Jennifer- Thanks so much!! I am going to head over to Amazon right now to check it out. I really appreciate it.
Beth

Unknown said...

I taught 3rd grade in NYS for 4 years, and did a HUGE calendar math portion every day. One good option for the beginning of the year is have a form (half sheet) that is mostly filled out. The kiddos just have to insert the date, and the actual arithmetic they do. It worked for me. I had them glue it into their notebook. Eventually, they were able to write it all on their own in the same allotted time. Good Luck! If I find the form, I will email it to you. :) Jodi

Beth said...

@Jodi- Thanks...I would love to see that if you can find it. I like the idea of having a few things filled out and then slowly build to they can do it all themselves.

Unknown said...

Will do! I have to figure out which computer I made it on. :/

Elizabeth said...

I absolutely love this outline. I've been trying to decide if I want to do my calendar on a bulletin board or project it on the SmartBoard. I think that with this outline, I can figure out how to do it on the SmartBoard. Thank you so much for posting this. I was beginning to stress out about what I wanted to do about it and now my life just got easier. So, thanks :)

Elizabeth
Fun in Room 4B

Beth said...

@ Elizabeth- Yeah me!! just kidding. I am so glad to have helped. I don't have a smart board so it will be either on the bulletin board or perhaps I can use the document camera for mine...something else to think about now.

Unknown said...

Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about before.Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written. Will be referring a lot of friends about this. Keep blogging
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Aloha

Beth said...

@Amina- thank you so much! It means a to to get such positive feedback. I really appreciate that you took the time so comment. I hope you come back again soon.
Beth

mdeanda said...

Great Post. I like how you created a schedule of your math stretches.

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