Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Math Block Mini-Series {Part 5}

Welcome to part 5 of this series! If you missed any of the posts in this series, click below to go back:

7. Build the hundreds chart

This is something we started just a few weeks ago. I put up the blank chart and told them that all of the numbers fell off and we need to rebuild it (challenge accepted).

Please ignore the orange thing for now. :)

I have been pulling seemingly random numbers each day for the kids to put on (seemingly because there is a purpose behind each number that I pull). The first few days, I used multiples of 5 and numbers that go one under the other. The kids quickly caught on and knew exactly where the numbers go. The usual routine is I pass out 3-4 numbers to random (good listening) students. One at a time, they stand up at the front and show us the number (I will call on low students last to give them extended time to figure out where the number goes). The other students will look on the chart and eyeball where they think it goes. After 30 seconds to 1 minute, the student with the number places it where he/she thinks it goes and tells why. The other students give up a thumbs up or down if they agree/disagree. Sometimes, I call on multiple students to tell where it goes instead of the helper. That is totally random. After each number is placed, we always discuss patterns and make some predictions. In the few weeks that we have been doing this my students' knowledge of the hundreds chart and numbers in general has skyrocketed! I am very pleased and impressed!

We use the orange window to focus on a number and determine what is 1 more and 1 less. I made it really quickly one day because I forgot to make it ahead of time; it is just laminated cardstock with popsicle sticks taped on the back.

8. Weather
Weather has become a bit more popular since we added a few more things to it. Here is a flashback to September:

And now:
It changed after we studied more about clouds and wind in science. I LOVE to change things up based on new learning and so do the kiddos! One young meteorologist (we always use the proper term) takes the page off the clipboard (which is attached with command strips) and goes outside to check the clouds and the wind; he/she will move the paper clip accordingly. Another meteorologist grabs the "How does it look?" cards and checks the sky. A third meteorologist grabs the "How does it feel?"cards and checks for that.

While the meteorologists are checking, the calendar helper is calling on classmates to make weather predictions. We have recess, P.E. and music right before our math block, so the students recall what it looked/felt like from then. After the meteorologists return and deliver the report, we put all pieces back on the board and read it together.

And that, my friends, ends our calendar time!!! :) It took 5 posts to explain it though our calendar time only 15-20 minutes (longer when they have SO much to say and I hate to turn it off). I'm so glad you stopped by to read about it and I hope you are leaving with some new ideas!

Next up in the series is the remainder of my math block, which is math lesson/stations time. Tune in tomorrow!! :)


  1. Rebuilding the hundred's chart is a fantastic activity that requires many foundational math skills! THANKS FOR SHARING! Stop by anytime!

  2. This is beyond amazing....keep it coming!!!
    Thinking of Teaching

  3. Also, are you still teaching Grade 4 when you are doing this Math block?
    And I blogged about you...this is just so amazing I had to share!!!
    Thinking of Teaching

    1. No, I teach first grade now. I know, I need to update my blog tagline! However, the activities I am doing now with my 1st graders I would not hesitate to do with 4th graders, especially since they lacked foundational skills.

      Thank you SOOO much for blogging about me!! You did not have to do that--you are too sweet!! :)

  4. Awesome information! I teach first and we do all of this also! Glad I am on the right track! Can't wait to read more, Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love the orange thing! I also love the idea of having kids build the 100's chart. It gets them the same things as writing the numbers in but in a much more efficient way that really supports those who struggle with symbolic notation.

    The Math Maniac