On Tuesdays I will feature another blogger by having them answer some questions and talk about something they are interested in sharing to help out all of us teachers! I am super excited for the first blog - The Elementary Math Maniac!
The Elementary Math Maniac
2. Tell us a little about your blog and why you started it.
I have learned so much about how kids learn math and how I can help move them along to better mathematical understanding. Over the years, I have refined my routines, lessons and games and really wanted to share some of the things I am doing in the classroom and some of the things I have learned with other teachers. I have learned so much from other teachers I wanted to pay it back as much as possible.
3. How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for 9 years.
4. What grade do you teach?
The last 7 years I have spent as a K-6 Math Specialist. I love seeing such a wide range of kids each day and I really like the long term relationship you can form with kids when you see them every day for several years in a row. (or 7 years in a row like many of my sixth graders!)
5. What is your favorite thing about teaching?
My favorite thing about teaching is when kids invent math strategies for themselves. I love the enthusiasm this gives them for learning and how confident and smart they feel. Also when kids invent their own strategies, it shows me that they have great conceptual understanding and will not be likely to forget what they just learned. Their enthusiasm is contagious and spreads to the rest of the class. It is a breath of fresh air for a teacher and it really makes my job the best one there is!
6. Tell us about your special blog topic.
I love working with kids who are struggling to learn math. Here are my best tips, tricks and routines to help your struggling K kids!
Use 10 frames to build early numeracy: If you don’t use 10 frames with your kids (struggling or otherwise) start now! There are tons of 10 frames available on the web for free and lots of ideas to get you started. (I have included a link to a free set of spring themed 10 frames in this blog post!) The quickest and easiest way to get started with these is a routine I call sneak a peek. You simply flash a ten frame at students and get them to figure out how many objects they saw on the ten frame.
Math Hands: This is simple and easy and you already have a class set of materials. It is really important for kids to be able to build combinations of numbers and bridge to 5 and 10. Start by holding up some of your fingers and have kids tell how many they saw. When students are catching onto this, the next step is having them show you a given number on their math hands. This is a great way to show different combinations that make a given number. For example if you say “show me 8” kids can show you 5 fingers on one hand and 3 on the other. They also could show you 4 fingers and 4 fingers. Similar to the ten frames, it can really help kids build a variety of early numeracy skills. When your kids get proficient with math hands, you can keep using them as you move into teen numbers and beyond. (have them flash a 10 and some more!)
Math Games: If your students need more practice with a particular skill try to turn it into a game. With pinterest and teachers pay teachers and teacher blogs there is a wealth of materials and ideas out there that you can bring into your classroom with a few clicks of your mouse. A quick search and you will have a fun, engaging game to help your students get a little more practice.
Home Game Folders: When you introduce a new game to students (especially one that looks really engaging) make up a few extra game sets and put them in pocket folders or some type of folder with a closure. Write the name of the game on the outside and after you introduce the game to students and let them play in class at least once, send the folders with the games in them home. Primary aged kids love to share a game they learned at school with their families and I love when kids get a little extra practice at home and share what they have been learning with their families.
Give some of these ideas a try and let me know how they work for you!
7. Where else can we find you?
I can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers and on Pinterest
8.If you want to include a freebie, what is it and where can we find it?
This is a great freebie for spring. It is a pack of frog and flower themed 10 frames. It is the number one thing I would say all K-1 teachers need to make sure they are using with their students. You can download it at my teachers pay teachers store.
You can read more about how I use ten frames like these in K-2 classrooms starting with this blogpost.
I don't know about you, but I can't wait to use these 10 frames! We are working on this in just a few weeks. Stop by and check out The Elementary Math Maniac and tell her I sent you!
Are you interested in guest blogging for Teacher Blog Tuesday? Click the link at the top of this page to shoot me an email! Or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from you soon!