Saturday, September 15, 2012

Week 2 Math Stations: Number Sense

Well it only took me until the first full week of school to get sick this year...not a good sign! I remember my first year of teaching I was literally sick every 2 weeks. It was awful. I guess I'm going to have to be a little more religious about washing my hands. Anyways, things are clicking along in my classroom. We are all getting to know each other better and with that new sense of comfort comes a few instances of pushing the limits. As I enter my fourth year in my current district, I have come to learn that as students warm up, their true behaviors and personalities come out. Managing behavior is the most frustrating and rewarding part of my job. Needless to say I have created a few behavior checklists so far this week and spent my Friday making phone calls to explain them to parents and get them on board. Sometimes I feel like I could use another teacher in my classroom just to handle behavior related issues. It's a lot of work, but it is so necessary. 

As I continue to manage behavior and reinforce expectations, I thought I would share some of our number sense math stations. Our grade level relies heavily on Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics by John Van de Walle and LouAnn Lovin. It is the text that my math professor used at JMU and not only explains the math concepts (K-3) but also provides excellent station ideas and black line masters. It is one of my top 3 most consulted teaching books. Some of these ideas came from this book and many of them come from a colleague who is a talented math teacher. We are working on reviewing kindergarten concepts and number sense for the first 3 weeks of school. Since the kids just need to practice this skill, we have been spending a lot of time learning stations and practicing them.

{Station # 1: Missing Number Cards} In this station the students fill in the missing number. Some of the cards have a number missing at the end. Others have a number missing in the middle, like 72, ___, 74. These are fairly easy because the students have 2 numbers to refer to. The hardest type of card in this station is when the number is missing in the first box, like ___, 68, 69. We are currently working on the terms right before and right after to help students understand how numbers work. If necessary, students can use a hundreds chart to help them figure out the missing number.

{Station # 2: Calendar Station} Calendar station is going to be a regular station in our classroom. Right now my students are working on the months of the year and days of the week. They can sing the Days of the Week song until your ears start to bleed, but when asked to sort them vs. the months, things start to break down. I don't have a picture of this, but this station also has cards that say "If today is Monday, tomorrow will be _______.,  If today is Wednesday, yesterday was _____."
{Station # 3: Tens Frames War} In this station, students play the traditional game of war. With the students we call it "Compare." They each get a pile of tens frame cards, count to three then flip a card over. After they compare the two cards, whoever has the higher card gets to take both cards in their pile. These black line master are from Van de Walle/Lovin's book. This helps students master the concepts of "more," "less," and "same." Van de Walle points out that the concept of "less" is more difficult for students to grasp, perhaps because students given more opportunities to use the idea of "more" in everyday life (pg. 38). A good question to ask in this station is "why do you think this set has less." Students will start to see the relationship between sets of numbers on a ten frame and develop math talk skills.
{Station # 4: Hundreds Chart Sticker Charts} There is not a concise name for this station! Basically we took blank hundreds charts, filled them with different numbers of bingo stamps, checks or stickers, and then wrote the number on the back. Students can either play Compare or practice counting and checking themselves. Although students probably don't have an understanding of tens and ones, they are being exposed to how numbers to 100 are sequenced. Van de Walle states, "Most important at this early level is for students to become familiar with the counting patterns to 100" (pg. 57). A lot of our number sense activities include the hundreds chart.

{Station # 5: Patterns on the Hundreds Chart} This picture doesn't do this station let me explain! Students were given counters to practice counting a collection of objects. After they counted it, there were supposed to find the number on the hundreds chart. However, these 2 students were using their inquiry brains and started having a discussion about patterns on the hundreds chart. The student on the right noticed that the numbers on the left side all ended in 1 and decided to mark those numbers with counters. The student on the left side of the picture was starting to recognize the patterns in a row vs. a column. Here are some patterns Van de Walle highlights (I like the language he uses):
  • The numbers in a column all end with the same number, which is the same number at the top
  • In a row, one number "counts" (the ones digit goes 1, 2, 3 ...); the first number (tens digit) stays the same
  • In a column, the first number (tens digit) "counts" or goes up by ones

There is SO much you can do with number sense in math stations. I have eight stations, 2-3 students at each station and we spend about 12-15 minutes in each station. Students go to two stations a day. Many of these activities will remain in my station rotation for many weeks, until I feel students have mastered them. In addition, a lot of these activities are things that I will do with a small group of students at the teaching table. It gives students who may be struggling with a concept time to practice in front of me and then independently in their station.  I know math stations can be a daunting task, but once you get them set up your math time should run nice and smooth!

1 comment:

raj kumar said...

Number sense is defined as an intuitive feel for numbers and a common sense approach to using them. It is a
comfort with what numbers represent, coming from investigating their characteristics and using them in
diverse situations.Powers of Numbers