Day 6: Wednesday, Aug. 31

Today was the last student comment on the Name Tents. I’ll pass them back tomorrow, then collect them again. I want to do this again, maybe in November – but one class (subject) per week! We had an awesome discussion on the Number Visuals they had to do for homework last night (draw visuals for #1-12, including the factors). I had a couple of kids in each class put their work on the doc camera and they had to explain their patterns. They made corrections as they went, and the rest of the class was supposed to correct their papers if they noticed they’d made similar errors. The patterns had to be consistent – so if 3 was a vertical line of 3 circles, and 6 was two vertical lines of 3, then 9 couldn’t be 3 horizontal lines of 3!  It was great. Two of the kids had started patterns with even and odd numbers and put 9 as 9 x 1, but only prime numbers could be factored that way so that was a good discussion too!

After that we did a Number Talk, with the goal of having them use the strategy of Doubling and Halving, and a lot of other cool strategies appeared too! 26 x 5 was the prompt. I got 25 x 5 + 1 x 5, because 25 is a nice number to work with; 20 x 5 + 6 x 5, because we’d done it in the last talk; 13 x 10, the Halving and Doubling, as well as 26 x 10, quantity divided by 2 – which is what I had done, even though I wanted Doubling and Halving of the numbers! (I guess that is also Doubling and Halving, just not my original thought.) We also did 64 x 5 and 128 x 5 (not intentionally doubling 64 on my part). One boy did 5 cubed = 125 plus 3 x 5. He just knew that 5 cubed was 125! A boy in another class had added by 5’s 26 times for the first one. I asked him to count it for me and wrote down all of the numbers. I asked him how he knew when he had 26 numbers and he showed me his fingers.  I said this is a totally great way to do it, that’s why we have a Base 10 number system, because we have 10 fingers, but it’s not always the easiest way. When I put up 64 x 5 I told him to try another strategy! I’m naming the strategies for the kids that share them, so we had Travis’ way, and Katie’s way, etc.  Then in the next round the kids would say, “I used Katie’s way”. I love it.

In my algebra classes we did Sara VanDerWerk’s 1-100 activity.  Big surprise – it was awesome (I watched the Lego Movie on a Snowboard/Ski trip last year and Everything Is Awesome goes through my head a lot. lol.). The kids did it for 2 minutes, then looked for a pattern, in both classes at least one group saw that the numbers went in a spiral. Then, after one group showed what they meant on the doc camera, the groups did it again (on another page). Most of them improved by around 8 numbers, which is 2 more rounds passing the pen! Look how they’re engaged!

Homework was answering the question (in a complete sentence) “What new strategy did you learn today” and then do a problem and explain the strategy. This is the last week of Learning How To Work In A Group and How To Communicate With Each Other, then on to more math, in this manner!


About debboden

I teach middle school math in Thousand Oaks, California. I love my job! When I'm not teaching, or thinking about teaching, I love to ride horses, read, take Zumba classes and be with my family and friends.
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One Response to Day 6: Wednesday, Aug. 31

  1. Sarah Harlan says:

    Fascinating. Your math classes are SO MUCH more interesting than any I ever had. Way to go! Thanks for the two pictures, also – yes, they certainly are engaged. Love, Mom

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