Wednesday, November 11, 2015

11/5 - Tangrams

We read two books about tangrams this week.  First was "Grandfather Tang's Story" by Ann Tompert.  Then we played with tangrams for a while.  Tangrams are an ancient Chinese puzzle consisting of 7 pieces: 5 triangles, 1 parallelogram, and 1 square.  The kids tried to make the animal shapes from the book as well as some shapes on worksheets I provided, then they worked on creating things from their imaginations (they did an awesome job).  At the end of class, we read "The Warlord's Puzzle" by Virginia Walton Pilegard.  One of the puzzles we had been working on was how to fit all of the tangram pieces into a square and this book gave the solution to the square puzzle.

10/29 - Dice Games

We had lots of fun playing with dice this week.  First we played a game called Hex (without dice), where the kids had to try and beat their partner across a game board by making a path of connected hexagons.  Then we played Contig and Math Dice.  The kids had to use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with the numbers on their dice to try and make certain numbers so they could earn more points than their opponent. 

10/22 - Math Curse

This week, we read the book "Math Curse" by Jon Scieska.  The child in the book feels cursed and can only think of everything as a math problem.  After reading the book, we went back and solved the math problems mentioned.  We talked about problem solving and the kids had an opportunity to create their own word problems to solve.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

10/15 - Symmetry

We learned about symmetry this past week.  We talked about the different types of symmetry including line symmetry (using letters E, O, M) and rotational symmetry (letters Z and N).  We discovered that a circle has infinite lines of symmetry.

We then broke up into groups to do a few activities relating to mirror images.  They used mirrors that could fold 90 degrees so they could look at an object from different angles.  They also got into pairs, stood facing one another and took turns trying to be each other's mirrors.  They had a lot of fun doing that, as you can imagine.

We then sat back at the table and had them tape a paper to their desk.  They choose two markers, one for each hand, and then attempted to draw a symmetrical drawing using both hands at the same time.  I was pretty impressed.  We closed by cutting out snowflakes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

10/8 - Place Value

We read the book "Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens."  Sir Cumference and his wife have a hard time counting all of the king's party guests until they group themselves in tens, then hundreds, then thousands.  The king has 9,999 guests. 

After reading the book and discussing place value for a few minutes, the kids got in pairs and played a board game about place value.  Then we worked on an activity page about the book.  I also sent home another page with two math problems that they can complete to earn points.

10/1 - How Much is a Million?

Unfortunately, my assistant and I both had sick kids this day and so Teacher Shannon H. took over the class for us.  The kids talked about big numbers and how much a million is.  Then the kids had the task of spending a million dollars using ads for homes, cars, and department stores.  It sounds like they had fun and also realized that it might be kind of hard to spend one million dollars.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

9/24/15 - Iconic Quantities

In our last class, we talked all about iconic quantities.  Iconic quantities are objects that represent numbers.  So our hands can represent 5 (one hand) or 10 (two hands). Our eyes/ears/arms/legs represent 2.  We talked about numbers in stories and songs.  Then we tried to figure out how many ants are mentioned in the song "The Ants Go Marching."  Some students figured out right away that 1 by 1 meant 1 times 1 and 4 by 4 meant 4 times 4.  For those who knew their multiplication facts, they were able to do most of the work on their own.  For others, it was more of a challenge and I showed them some different ways to figure it out.  Most of the students enjoyed trying to figure it out. 

I gave the students a couple of math puzzles to take home.  These are completely optional.  Throughout the semester, I will give them other puzzles or assignments they can complete on their own time.  They can earn points for these and if they earn a total of 100 points, they will get a set of 5 colored dice.  The two puzzles I already gave them were worth 5 points each.  They can also draw or photograph examples of iconic quantities for up to 10 points at anytime during the semester.