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Thursday, July 10, 2014


I just wanted you to know that I practice what I teach. We have a entering kindergartener in the house and I am beginning to work with her on subitizing numbers. 

 Subitizing means to instantly recognize a quantity without counting.
 These are the steps in my house to the second floor. I taped the number dots on the risers of the stairs.  As she walks upstairs, she says their value... 3,3,2,3,2 and so on.  I will change the cards to  larger number values as the posted numbers become too easy.  Since she will be in a Dual Language Class, next she will say the numbers in Spanish too.  In her class, math is taught in Spanish.

John Van de Walle discusses subitizing in his book, "Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics: Grades K-3."  You can print a copy of his blackline masters of the dot patterns that are smaller in size than shown in my photo. Just click here .

I always say-  break in down in learnable bits...
 with a spoonful of sugar.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Computer Research for Fourth Grade Common Core Math Standard 4.OA.3

Here is a research project that can be completed in the computer lab for:  Math Standard 4.OA.3

Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.

Go to which shows the entire McDonald’s menu.

When you hover your mouse over a food item you can view it's  nutritional information.

 Students use this information to write a multistep math problem and it's solution.  Students print their problem, and then exchange problems with other students to solve.



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Family Math Night at the Local Grocery Store ACTIVITIES

Mary Bauer recently commented on my post about the Family Math Night at a local grocery store:
"We have a local grocery store that would participate. What kind of activities do families do?':

Well, I been working on the activities for grades Kindergarten through 5th Grade. I want the activity sheets to be both in English and Spanish when I am finished.

 Here is an example of the Kindergarten Activity sheet:
Some of the pages of this packet will be available for free download from my Google Docs pages, and the entire Math Night kit will be available from my Teacher Pay Teacher store when I am finished with the entire packet. The pages will be editable so if the activity doesn't fit your store exactly, you can easily change the wording of the document.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Family Math Night at the Local Grocery Store

More work on those Family Math Night at the Local Grocery Store documents.
Today I made a WELCOME banner to hang above the registration table. I used PowerPoint to create the banner.
Example of parts of the banner


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Upcoming Project: Family Math Night at the Local Grocery Store

I recently attended a Family Math Night at a local grocery store. It was fantastic. In fact, I am so excited about the possibilities and value of these types of events that I am working on a packet of materials needed for a Family Math Night that your school can also hold with all the planning done, and editable sheets to use at the event for Grades K - 5.
So far, I've created an informational/sign-up letter about the event, a poster for the event to be placed on the front door of the grocery store doors, and a parent response letter to their child to be posted back at school the day following the event.
Here is a peek of what I am working on...

Positive Parent Letter to their Child about their work at the Family Math Night.
These letters  would be hung up in the hallway the day after the event under the heading of,
"My Parents Think I'm a Super Hero."

Would you like to hold an event like this at
your local grocery store?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thinking Map: Brace Map with Multigrade Adaptations

 I'm taking a photography class with my new camera. That lead to the creation of these teaching materials using my photographs of a Ford Mustang and a Thinking Map  called a "Brace Map.".

I created a  set of teaching materials to be used with a sentence strip chart.  Brace Maps explain the relationship of the whole to their parts. I would be happy to share this two page resource with you by clicking HERE.
Teacher Page

Student Page
I created some additional pages that expands
 the teacher materials provided:
First, individual pictures with a label are provided for each "part" to use during your Whole Group Teaching Lesson.


If you need a Multi-Grade Adaptation, the below sheet could be given to the higher grade students or more talented reading students.  In this assignment, one of the parts is further expanded into new categories. For example, the wheel could be broken down into tire, hubcap,  wheel well, or lug nuts.

Here is a link to the complete unit for $1.50 at my
 Teacher Pay Teacher Account... click HERE.
Leave a comment and tell me what you think. 
Deborah Devine

Monday, March 3, 2014

Providing PROOF While Learning About Place Value

The First Grader I was working with  has a lot of experience with building numbers using base ten blocks using worksheets to show her understanding.

 But my goal was to have her PROVE that she knew her answer was correct.

I wanted her to verbalize her thinking.
So we began by having her count the number shown on the base ten blocks that I gave her and write down the number. In this photo you can see that she wrote down "52."
As you can see there are 12 ones. 
So when I ask her to prove to me that there were 5 tens and not just the 4 tens bars that I had given her, she placed the 10 ones on top of an empty tens bar to prove to me why she knew the number was 52.
"Oh, now I can see your thinking," I said.
Here is the problem that I gave her next.
You can see that I am guiding her to again form tens bars from the ones units because she knew that she was going to have to PROVE and EXPLAIN why she knew her answer was correct.
I increased the difficulty because I wanted to see what she knew about the hundreds place.  I also ask her to list her answer as a single number like 92, and also in an expanded form:____ tens _____ones.

This was her response:  11 tens and 6 ones  and 116.
That created the discussion about the fact that you can create one hundred out of the 11 tens with one ten left over.
"Let's do one with a thousand in it," she requested.

Of course, I explained one way to write out your proof for the final number calculated.
Because I wanted to see how she would react when there way no hundreds place amount.
Next problem
Solved and explained with ease.
The next twist was to give her the number to build and explain why she knew she had built it correctly.
And... while all this discussion was taking place, I was cooking spaghetti with homemade meat sauce and garlic bread too.

So... yes, I was working one on one with a learner, but this same discussion can be done with a small group or the whole group with a way to project an image of what is going on to the group.

We recorded our thinking by taking pictures on the I-Pad as we worked. When we were finished, we went back through the pictures and verbally summarized our thinking. 
 Your students could do the same thing, and record their thinking by making a video, and then giving it to you to listen to at a later time.


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