Monday, October 8, 2012

Math Mountains

I worked all weekend on designing a set of common core "I can" cards for my class.  I really spent a lot of time making the cards just the way I want them.  I am glad I put the time and effort into making them because I think I have a better understanding of the standards than I did before this endeavor.  I really liked including the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards and Strands for ELA and the Domain & Cluster groups for Math.  Being in a primary grade level, it is sometimes difficult to see what the foundational skills we teach are really leading toward.  

I LOVE the new math standards and the strong focus on problem solving.  Even though it's been a whirlwind teaching with the new math standards so far, I believe, in the long run, the children will benefit from knowing HOW to think instead of just WHAT to think.   As a CGI math girl at heart, the problem solving aspect to the Common Core Math standards is my favorite.  I enjoy meeting with small groups each day to work on problem solving strategies!  
gwhizteacher, math mountains

One of the strategies the children enjoy working with are "math mountains."  The math mountains are a great visual representation of the "fact family" concept.  I like the simplicity it provides without making the kids think specifically about the terms subtraction and addition.  They are able to visualize the relationship between the two before we establish more formal labels. 

gwhizteacher, math mountains
I use this sheet with my kids in the Hands-On center.  I put several copies into plastic page protector sleeves to make a wipe off center.  Students or partners roll dice, choose dominoes, and use flash cards to record facts or find the missing addend or sum.  I can't wait until the kids are ready for the fact family wipe off sheet and are able to compare operations.  I heard one of my students tell my instructional assistant during small group, "Hey! Your subtraction lesson sounds a lot like Mrs. G's addition lesson!"  Yes!  I love it when they uncover these connections on their own!  Download the Math Mountain sheet for your Hands-On math center and stay tuned for my fact family sheet!

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