When introducing any mathematical concept without a doubt we are using manipulatives. I like for the kids to explore the concept, make mistakes, and it always gives us a chance to ditch the worksheet/save a tree.
For teaching addition and subtraction regrouping I get really fancy with Popsicle sticks and beans. For area they use square tiles and a string for the perimeter and measure it with a ruler.
For fractions we use pattern blocks. Each piece gets a name. The hexagon is our whole and then the kids have to figure out the names of the other pieces. They make a key as they figure it out. The triangle is no longer a triangle but 1/6th. When we call them by those names they stop stressing about the math.
They quickly start discovering "things equal the same thing Ms. Sarah" and just like that they are working with equivalent fractions. I ask them to show me their thinking and they always blow me away with what they figure out when given freedom. I might be green... but boy do they impress me!
For multiplication they roll a dice. For arrays the first roll is the rows. They place that many chips down. The second is the columns and then they fill in the array. They write the repeated addition and then multiplication problem. Same goes when teaching sets in a group. The first number is how many groups the second about is the stars or circles they draw in.
The fact that they get to write on their desk and it's at their own pace keeps them engaged and differentiated.
I leave for Kenya in ONE MONTH! It is surreal that we are on the countdown. This week we are making round two of the chalkboards. Home Depot donated ALL of the supplies!!! The Boy Scouts cut and sanded the boards and now all of the students are going to be painting them. UNREAL!
Today I had the honor of depositing this money--- all collected from the hands of students. You are looking at allowance, first communion money, door to door selling of lemonade. I can't handle the hearts of kids. They put everything into perspective.
This money is going to buy one world futbols.
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