Saturday, April 13, 2013

Knee Deep In Problem Solving!!!!

Hi friends!
Well I have certainly learned a lot this week!  We are into our second week of problem solving and I was quite delighted with how well my little kiddos seemed to be grasping the various strategies.  I wanted to get some our learning up on the wall - visual reminders of how much we are learning.  I wanted the kids to solve the problem using a number line, tens frames, and drawing a picture.  That should be easy right?  Nope!!  It was what stumped them that surprised me.  They couldn't draw tens frames!!  This shocked somewhat surprised me since we have used tens frames off and on since September!  Suddenly my kids thought tens (and I emphasize the word "TENS") frames should have 21 boxes!  Seriously???   So we spent 15 minutes just practicing drawing tens frames - who knew?  I found this interesting because when we are going over Provincial testing results we often wonder where the learning breaks down - it could simply be that they didn't know how to draw a tens frame!!!  Once they got a hang of the whole tens frame thing we were off to the races!
Then we did a super cute bulletin board display.  In keeping with our movie theme I chose 12 different movie  characters and made a problem for each character.  The kids each picked their favourite character and then did the corresponding problem.  They decorated their character and added some glitter - because everything looks better with glitter - even Superman!

So the great news is that I have added 59 pages to my problem solving unit "Problem Solving Super Stars" - just click HERE if you're interested:)   I added another problem solving booklet and all the problems and characters to make your own bulletin board!

Enjoy your weekend!

Bye for now,

Monday, April 1, 2013

Problem Solving Super Stars!!!

Happy Easter friends!
There is nothing sweeter than a 4-day weekend my friends!  Spring is definitely in the air and summer is just around the corner!  This year our school has been focusing on problem solving in math.  As we all know, this is an essential math skills for our little kiddos but boy it can be tricky one to teach!  There is a lot of language in this math strand and that can be a problem for some of our beginning readers.  As a primary division we have been exploring which problem solving strategies are the most effective and the most accessible for our beginning problem solvers.  The five strategies we have looked at are:
*use a number line
*use ten frames
*draw a picture
*draw tally marks
*use manipulatives

I have spent the weekend putting a unit together that will explicatively teach each of these strategies.  I have created anchor charts to be displayed and my students will make a colourful flap book for them to use as their own individual anchor charts.  I have included an addition poem and subtraction poem that uses those always important "signal" words and there are 2 signal words craftivities - I love me a craft!!!  I have also made a 5 page student booklet for each of the five strategies.  I finished the unit off with an 11-page problem solving journal that will give students a chance to choose the strategy of their choice - it will help to really solidify their learning!  I chose a movie theme for this unit and used popular movies as the topics for the problems (Cinderella, Harry Potter, Snow White, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Peter Pan, Charlotte's Web, Spiderman, The Avengers ...)  ~ thank goodness I have a HUGE clip art collection!!

Here's a peek in case you are interested:)

I've loaded it up to my TpT store so you can grab yourself a copy!

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your long weekend!!

Bye for now!