Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Number Chart Fluency

I love the math group rotation system I am using in my classroom!  Today my teaching assistant was called to relieve another teacher for a bathroom break just as we were beginning math.  Her group was already engaged in a mini lesson on subtraction.  I told her I'd go relieve the other teacher for a few minutes.  I was able to do this because my "teacher time" group was quietly engaged in a "buffer activity" (for lack of a better term).  I always structure my group so that they have a consistent activity that they do as a "warm up" when they come to my group.  This gives me time to transition the other groups and make sure all the computers and listening centers are working, and that parent volunteers have their lesson task sheets for the groups they will work with.  I do these buffer activities for my literacy groups and math groups.  The kids can begin them independently and know how to transition to our lesson when I sit down with them.  My math "buffertivity" (hahaha) is for students to challenge themselves with the blank hundred chart white board.  They fill in the numbers backward, forward, by tens, etc with an expo marker.  Then they can use the Number Chart activity sheet (that is also in their daily folder as a weekly math activity) to help them practice counting skills.
number chart, gwhizteacher, hundred chart
When I join the group to teach my lesson, I give praise to students that challenge themselves.  I have asked students not to practice what is "easy" but to make their brains work hard as a type of math lesson warm up.  The kids love it!  When I came back five minutes later from the other teacher's classroom, my "Teacher Time" group was working hard at my kidney table!  I sat down, gave a few words of praise, and said, "Erase your boards; let's begin!"  
gwhizteacher, number chart, hundred board, counting chart
Download my Number Chart and use it as your own "buffertivity" during math groups.  You can put them in page protector sleeves and use with skinny expo markers if you don't have hundred chart white boards.  Your students will enjoy being independent while you get your other groups situated. :)