Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Math: Slow, Fast, and Fancy

Mrs. T's First Grade Class inspires me often with her ideas.  As I'm learning how to press my mathematicians conceptually, her idea of place value decomposition has come in so very handy.  Here's a picture from her blog.  Click on it to go directly to her post.  You'll definitely want to read the story behind this picture.


In the past, I would have been happy if my kids knew that 47 was 4 tens and 7 ones.  It's a great place to start, but learning to be flexible with decomposition will prepare them for their future experiences with math so much more.  I took Mrs. T's idea and found a few ways to use it with my kids.  (It's certainly not something they can do once or twice and thoroughly understand.  We'll be coming back to this often I'm sure.)

I sent pairs of students to travel around the room to various collections of cubes.  On their sheet of paper, they documented a slow, fast, and fancy way to decompose the number of cubes.  (Thank you Mrs. T for that language.  It makes so much sense to them!)

This is a picture of two kids who had just finished.  After I quickly checked them, they got to travel to a new set of cubes. 
Here's a close-up picture of their slow, fast, and fancy ways.

Another activity we tried involved Smarties.  I gave each child two collections of Smarties.  They found a slow, fast, and fancy way to break apart the number of Smarties they had.


If you're interested in a copy of the form they used, click on the picture below for your own.

I'd sure like to thank Mrs. T.  She deserves the credit for helping me push my kids to a new level of thinking about numbers!

Pin It!

16 comments:

  1. How cool! Both of your blogs are inspiring and always make me really think about how I'm doing things. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Elisabeth, that's very sweet of you to say. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm glad this post was helpful!

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    1. Jill, nope I'm not way too nice. I'm just telling it like it is. Thank you for letting me share your great idea!

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  3. What a GREAT WAY to teach decomposition of numbers! That concept ALWAYS tricks up my kiddos! I am pinning this for next year! Thanks for sharing!

    Leigh
    The Applicious Teacher

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    1. Leigh, thank you for the pin. It's a tricky concept for sure. I'm finding it takes lots of exposure to get it all figured out.

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  4. I like this math activity and the different ways to show a number! Gets them thinking!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Lori, it for sure gets them thinking and really presses them conceptually.

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  5. This is a great activity to use for differentiated instruction. SUPER cool!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Tori, thank you. I'm glad you're going to find it helpful with your mathematicians.

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  6. What a great hands-on activity! We're in the middle of place value, so this will be very valuable!
    Jenny
    Owl Things First

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    1. Jenny, I'm so glad you can use this! Thanks for coming by.

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  7. I've never thought of doing it this way. Now my mind is pressed for ways to use this in my classroom. I can see how it would really encourage kids to think about numbers in a different way.
    Connie Anderson:)
    www.welcometofirstgraderoom5.blogspot.com

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    1. Connie, if you find some great ways to use this, please let me know! :)

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  8. This is great! I'm featuring this post on Bagels and Blogs tomorrow. :)

    Donna
    Math Coach’s Corner

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    1. Thank you Donna. I'm excited to be featured, and I hope Mrs. T gets some visits too.

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