Sunday, November 22, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Please click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures. If you wish, you may leave a comment by clicking on the "comment counter" at the very bottom of the page.
This story about fractional numbers is told from the bottom picture up.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Problem number one was a subtraction problem, and the most popular strategy was the use of an open number line to add up from $267 to $323. The class then gave a go at "straight subtraction" which uses positive and negative values. Many in the class found this to be even easier to navigate, and most thought that it was faster too. Fast and accurate; you cannot beat that!
The second problem shows a very efficient execution of left to right adding. Adding the greatest place value first can help reduce large errors in calculations. I'd much rather be off by a dollar than a million dollars!
The final problem was almost universally solved by using a "generic rectangle" to multiply 16 by 12. The partial products are usually accurate, easy to calculate, fast, and easy to add up. Some students used multiplication clusters like 16 X 10 and 16 x 2 to solve the problem, and that is another fast and accurate strategy that is great for this factor combination!
These students ROCK!
Friday, August 28, 2009
The first problem was quickly identified as a "subtraction" problem, but it was solved using simple addition. This young mathematician added up from 267 to 323 on an open number line. This is kind of like what folks did in the good old days before cash registers had built in electronic calculators. They would count back the change using landmarks along the way. This student also used landmarks (easily recognized and "easy to work with numbers"), as she first "jumped from 267 to 270. This allowed her to easily add on to 270 in order to get to 300. From 300, the jump to 323 was a piece of cake. Finally, all of the jumps were totalled, and the distance between $267 and $323 was found correctly.
Also of note are the sentence restating the prompt (question) and the matching equation, These also signify a real sense of math understanding.
On the second problem, the student added from left to right, and to me that is great! Adding the largest place values first makes it less likely to make a mistake of great magnitude. Using the traditional algorithm makes it more likely to make a mistake in the larger place values, and that's a real drawback to sticking with traditional algorithmic thinking, unless you REALLY understand the method well.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
These are pictures of the first couple of days work in a our calendar math series, "Every Day Counts". All of these examples show student work that is remarkably complete and detailed. The concepts may seem simple, but in reality all of this work involved very deep conversations about place value and other important concepts that relate to number sense.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
To do this, I really need parents to sign and turn in all of the Internet permission slips. I will never post a child's name. I might call Suzy "Student S." :-}, or I might just leave it at "This student". You guys please tell me what you are OK with. I will never embarrass a student by leaving a negative comment about work.
Oh, just another note about the photos of work that I attach. What you will see first is a small "thumb nail" image at the top of the blog. By clicking on the thumb nail, you will see the full size piece of work. Sometimes, I forget to select the correct size for the image, and the work will be too large to view. If I do this, please let me know.
I am blessed and honored to have your kids in my class. They WILL create remarkable work!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I just measured my cat and she is 10 inches tall at the shoulder. She is a smallish seven-year-old female cat. Does that make you think anything about what kind of sample this might have been?
If you have a cat, could you measure their height and reply? We'll stick to inches since the chart was created in that unit:-}
Sunday, March 22, 2009
A. a prime number
B. an odd number
C. a multiple of 5
D. an even number
Many students would look at choice A, and state that it has a 4:8 or 50% probability, as 4 of the 8 numbers are prime.
B would have a 5:8 or 62.5% probability, as there are 5 odd numbers
C would have a 4:8 or 50% probability, as there are 4 multiples of 5
D would have a 3:8 or 37.5% probability, as there are 3 even numbers
Man students would just look for the highest probabilities. Perhaps, they would choose A and B, but if you study those choices closely, you may see that several sections would be possible "losers". So, what two options would you choose?
Sunday, March 8, 2009
2. You have all the tools you need in order to be successful. I've taught a bunch of kids, and you guys have the goods!
3. Do not stress out. This is a time to show off.
4. If a question is too difficult, skip it! It is far better to miss one item than the 23 items that come after it :-}
5. Read each question carefully. Be sure to read with "a voice" that you can hear in your head. Rereading with a voice has helped me solve so many problems over the years.
6. Make some notes to back up your mental math strategies. If you show some work, your chances of being correct go up a bunch. I have seen that most errors occur through rushed simple operations like adding or subtracting. So, don not rush (you know who I am talking to ;-} )However, please remember that you do not have time to "write a book" about each problem (again, you know who I am talking to ;-} ) .
7. Look at your final answer and see if it makes sense. Elephants do not weight 17 pounds!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Well, there was this time when I had to have Mrs. Shannon come rescue DA at the ER at 12:00 midnight, because I had a kidney stone! Oh, I already emailed that huh?
Well then, there was this fall from my road bike that peeled me like a tater! Oh yeah, I emailed and sent pictures.
OK, I’ve got it. When I was born, I cost exactly $196.80, and I can prove it!
Now, if you knew that, you must work for the CIA or something.
Keeping things chronologically oriented, I have always been better at math than I was at more cultured things like the fine arts, and again, I can prove it.
Thanks to my dear old mom’s careful interrogation and subsequent documentation, I know that the picture (both are from first grade) contains one black bear, one deer under a tree, one raccoon hiding in a hole in a log, one bunny, one bird flying someplace, and a partridge in a pear tree! You try and figure it out.
I have never acted in a play unlike Ms. Lipsky, but my family did kind of resemble a TV family that traveled on a big groovy bus, and again, I have the evidence!
Nice Lamb-Chops Pops!
I often spent part of the summer with my grand mom and granddad in Vidalia, Georgia. They had the biggest house in town, and granddad always had the latest Caddy, except for the time that he bought a Rolls Royce! They were pure southern gentry right down to their bigoted cores. Granddad built almost all of the roads in S.E. GA. (well, he owned the company, but his job seemed to be riding around in his 30 foot long land-yacht checking on the crew and admiring or criticizing their work). Grand mom stayed home, made homemade candies, crocheted quilts, told the maids what to do, played bridge, played the stock market and counted her money. Being the son of a preacher man that marched with Dr. King, opened the first integrated church in Montgomery, Alabama, and started an integrated summer camp in Pensacola, Florida, I did my dead-level best to set my grandparents on the right path. When I was seven, I asked my grand mom why the very nice maid was not eating lunch with us; after all, she made the lunch. I got the stare and then was told that “the help” eats on the back porch. Without a word, I got up with my food and started to stroll away from the table. Grand mom asked where I was headed. Needless to say, I had a very nice lunch on the porch. The scene of the crime is pictured below. The Chamber of Commerce used their house on their brochure cover.
Outlaw biker days! From 6 to 15-years-old, I do not remember a day that I did not ride a motorcycle. At 15, you were legally allowed to pilot a motorcycle that was “producing less than five brake horse power”. Somehow, I convinced my dad that my 120 MPH Honda café racer only made 4-5 horsepower. He was not, and never will be, mechanically inclined! However, the joke would be on me as, on December 30, 1979 I left planet earth after my motorcycle rear-ended a turning car. I was taken to St. Vincent’s ER and “pronounced”—“called”—and about to be toe-tagged when an older ER nurse said that my vitals did not show due to a build up of fluid around my heart and in my lungs. She “bagged me” with a salt and ammonia mixture and saved my life. I spent the next five days in ICU. My folks say that I kept asking the same question over and over again, “Has the Gator Bowl started?” (that was the year that Clemson beat Ohio State and Woody Hayes punched Clemson linebacker Charlie Bauman in the mouth ending Hayes career). I also complained about bugs running up and down my IV drip (there were no bugs). When I left the hospital, I had blurred vision for a while and I tended to repeat myself, I tended to repeat myself. I still love cycles, and I have owned about 20, but it took me 15 years to get on one after the wreck. I do not ride today, as the costs outweigh the benefits. My 15th birthday card was a bit prophetic?
Number VI: I really could run a 4.45 forty coming out of high school!
Final bit of totally useless knowledge: My whole family calls me by a different name than my CCE family. I was known to the world by my middle name, Rives, right up until I enrolled at UNF. It’s pronounced Reeeeevs. However, most of the time when people read my name it turned into Rivers, Riiiiiiiiiives, Rivas, Rico, boy with the blonde hair, or “did they misspell this?”. Being shy and unwanting of extra attention, I cringed every time I got a new teacher, because they would butcher my name and then argue that they were right, because “the silent e makes the vowel long”. Combine the middle name with the equally challenging last name, Ruark, and you simply cannot say them both without sounding like you have a mouth full of marbles. So finally, at UNF when a prof started to say “Ruh, uh Rii, uh Ria”, I broke in and said, “It’s Tom. Teee Ohhh M.” Oh, Ma Bell still can’t get with the program either. To wit,