This week, we have spent the last two days in meetings with our math consultant, Cassy Turner. She met with grade level teams to talk about our successes with our new program, Math In Focus - and to help us look ahead as we plan our continued implementation. It was good to hear her affirm how we're teaching math in our classrooms, and how engaged our students are with new vocabulary and problem-solving strategies. One thing we heard loud & clear was to make sure our students are 'fluent' with their math facts. So, continue to practice these at home. Last night, approximately 35 parents attend "boot camp". As one parent commented, "I need to be in school again to learn math this way." Much of last night's session was "hands-on" for parents . . . here are notes taken by Peg Bailey from Cassy's presentation.
Boot Camp for Parents
Presenter: Cassy Turner, consultant and trainer
Big Ideas in Singapore Math:
Number Sense: our goal for students is to develop a deep understanding of number
Making Connections: we want students to see connections between mathematical ideas
Visualization: mental models help students see the math
Metacognition: we want to give students opportunities to “think about my thinking . . . .”
Communication: How do I communicate and share my understanding?
For our youngest learners, they learn to tell a number story about a picture. They learn to apply the concept of number bonds. Students use manipulatives to understand math. Math In Focus moves from concrete to pictorial to abstract.
Strategies our students learn:
· Make a ten
· Using a tens frame
· Make the next ten
Where we start . . . 67 + 5 leads to a vertical algorithm 67
Language of Math In Focus - parents will likely hear:
· Decomposing – breaking numbers apart to make an easier equation
· Subitizing - You can see a quantity and know the number without counting.
· Regrouping/Renaming – trading ones for a ten, tens for a hundred, etc.
Bar Modeling – an essential strategy (visual representation) in Singapore Math In Focus
· Drawing a picture to represent a problem increases understanding
· Bar models support students in 3/4th grades to understand fractions
· Bar models introduce students to the structure of algebraic thinking
· Part-whole models (adding or subtracting parts to make a whole) – students are introduced to this in the early grades
Examples of problems: Helen has 14 breadsticks. Her friend has 17. How may do they have altogether? - Or - There are 21 fish in a bowl. Fifteen are from students. The rest are from the school. How many are from the school?
· Comparison models (How many more or fewer is one quantity compared to another?) Example of a problem: Grant buys 345 fruit bars. Ken buys 230 more fruit bars than Grant. How many fruit bars does Ken buy?
Parents worked on creating a bar model for this problem:
A farmer has in his pasture 63 farm animals consisting of cows, goats, and sheep. There are twice as many goats as cows, and twice as many sheep as goats; how many has he of each sort?
The bar models show we know the relationship
between goats and cows is 2:1. This can be represented as 1 bar for cows and 2 bars for goats. We know the relationship between sheep and goats is 2:1. Therefore, there are 4 bars for sheep. We know the total is 63 animals and we have 7 bars. Therefore, 63 divided by 7 = 9. If each bar represents 9, then we have 9 cows, 18 goats, and 36 sheep, which is 63 in all.)
This year, we are teaching computation to mastery – a foundation needed for the next grade’s work. This year, some of the concepts are being picked up in science (such as measurement). By the end of next year, students should be ‘caught up’ with the program, since this year we ‘backfilled’ some concepts and vocabulary since the program is new to all.
By the end of 1st grade, we want students to know their addition/subtraction facts by memory.
By the end of 3rd grade, we want students to know their multiplication facts by memory.
Parents are encouraged to play games and practice basic math facts.
We may want our children to get the right answer, but we also want them to know why it is the right answer.Mathematical problem solving is central to mathematics learning. It involves the acquisition and application of mathematics concepts and skills in a wide range of situations, including non-routine, open-ended and real-world problems.
Thinkingblocks.com – website and iPad
Thesingaporemaths.comXyla and Yabu iPad app