Active Math

I design worksheets and here I am advocating 'active math'.  What is active math you ask? It's using body movements to learn math concepts. Why? Because young learners need to be active. When you allow for physical activity, learners are more engaged which allows for more permanent learning of  the concept being taught.

Just how to you get your learners physical for math? Here are 3 to get you started:
  1. All students stand up. Do the countdown around the room. Start at any number and when it's an even number, the girls touch their toes, when it's an odd number the boys turn around once. You can add any other elements you wish. (Jump once, squat twice etc.)
  2. Form numbers with bodies. 1 or 2 students makes their body form a shape or number.
  3. Math stomp. The teacher gives the question (3x2 or 9+2 or 12-7) etc. and the students stomp the answer by lifting their knees up and stomping down. Or students squat the number of times the answer would be.
Let you imagination wonder, add movement to math facts and you'll have a more engaged class! Use the comment section to add yours.
Of course, now that the class is tired out, you might want to turn to some fun math worksheets:
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The Value of Skip Counting

Skip counting is an important skill and can really turn into a great deal of fun. Skip counting merely means to count by 2's, 3's, 4's etc. When a child learns to skip count, the strategy will help with later math concepts:
  • Multiplication, let's say they're doing 4 x 6, they simply skip count by 4's or 6's tapping on each finger.....6....12.....18.....24 (tapping each finger as they skip count helps to remember how many times.)
  • Division, let's say they're doing 25 divided by 5, again, they skip count by 5, tapping each finger so they know how many taps they've done as they count 5, 10, 15, 20, 25
These are just a couple to name a few. To an adult, it just makes sense, however, to a child, you will want to point out this strategy.  Another great way to emphasize skip counting is to use 100's charts. For these, you will ask the child to shade skip counts of 2 in yellow, or put an x on skip-counts to 4, or circle skip counts of 6. Get your imagination going as the ideas are endless.
See the worksheet resources here.

Enjoy and be sure to share your great ideas, educators are always looking for something new to try.
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Literature Circles

Differentiated instruction is another educational buzzword but as I've often said, the pendulum doesn't quite swing back and forth. Rather, it hangs on to the 'good stuff' often re-naming it and let's go of the 'not so good stuff'. Differentiated instruction isn't new, it's another word for doing your best to individualize instruction - remember multiple intelligences? Bloom's Taxonomy? Well, if you used those, there's no doubt you're diffentiating instruction. The first step toward differentiated instruction? Groupwork!

One great method to help you differentiate, is to use literature circles. Essentially, you establish groups based on the book that each group will read. The groups discuss the book through various roles and the teacher rotates through the groups.

To keep it easy for you, you'll find quick tip information on how to use Literature Circles in the classroom, worksheets for each of the roles and a marking rubric.  Everything you need to support your literacy practice!

Be sure to post your great ideas, educators love what you share.
Make it a great week, Dar
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