Monday, November 26, 2018

Choral Counting and Counting Collections {Math Monday}

At our recent state math conference I heard positive reviews for Choral Counting and Counting Collections written by Megan L Franke, Elham Kazemi, and Angela Chan Turrou.  I had previously read a little bit about counting collections and as I pondered about my current mathematicians I wanted to explore these two activities further.  I think curriculum changes have de-emphasized the importance of choral counting and looking for number patterns which foster number sense.

This book is written for K - 5 classrooms and I'm thrilled to share there are plenty of examples in the text stretching what might appear as K-2 activities.  I'm quite fascinated about the visual recordings and the different decisions a teacher can make to help foster number thinking.  Discussing what students notice is a great tool to make thinking visible and supports striving mathematicians.  I'm pondering how the ideas in this book help mathematicians work with fluidness through the CRA model; Conrete, Representational, and Abstract with the Choral Counting having us work through this in a backwards manner.

Nudges I found to try within my own work

- make a visual record of choral counts 
- rearrange how these choral counts and records are recorded
           (horizontal or vertical and how many numbers in each row)
- implement counting collections
- ponder whole class counting collection day or as a menu activity
- discuss what we notice from choral count records and celebrate noticing

Quotes that are sticking with me

"When we leave the activity open for young mathematicians to reason about structure, quantity,and organization, we allow them to problem-solve, to build on their own ideas and those of their classmates, and to grapple with what makes sense."

"While accuracy is important in counting, we caution agains making accuracy the ultimate focus...too narrow of a focus on accuracy can zap that joy and wonder."

"In the same way that reads learn to select just-right books, young mathematicians learn how to set just-right challenges for themselves."

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Some Days my Head Spins...{Slice of Life}

Some days my head spins just thinking about spelling rules and spelling rule breakers.  Today was one of those days.  My class is working with suffixes this week and while looking at ed endings we discovered sometimes adding ed doesn't work.  For example,  ate and ran.  There's excitement when rule breakers are discovered.  As we discuss each rule breaker I can see clarity in their thinking and learning transferred.  Spelling rules seem to make sense for a bit.

Later in the day, I'm working with a reteaching group and our focus is to understand three ways to make the  k sound when we will use each one.  Over a few days we've made progress in knowing when to use a c or k at the beginning of a word.  In helping my reteaching group see it in new ways from the initial learning, I realize how hard it is to for striving word learners to see how the second letter in each word determines the first.  We use a k if the vowel is an e, i, or y.  Which leaves using the c if the vowel is an a, o, or u.  In thinking about when to use ck, students need to realize the word has a short vowel sound and ends with a ck.  Spelling rules are making writing laborious.    

Some days my head spins just thinking about spelling rules and spelling rule breakers.  Every day my head doesn't spin during writing workshop when we are making things and spelling is part of the process; not the focus.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.