Monday, 28 May 2012

Writing in Math Class

These past few weeks, students in Division 5 have continued to develop their understanding of multiplication and division through hands-on activities, problem solving, playing games, and last week through reading and writing.

Over the course of the week, we watched One Hundred Hungry Ants, written by Elinor J. Pinces on YouTube...

And then I read aloud A Remainder of One, also written by Elinor J. Pinces.

We did a hands on problem solving task.   The students were asked to demonstrate all the ways 36 ants could march in equal groups.  The sequins were added for a little fun - although some of my mathematicians chose to use markers as they could show their thinking quicker!

After reading the Remainder of One together, we talked through all of the scenarios presented and added mathematical symbols/equations to each page with sticky notes.  Next, I asked the students if they could create their own mathematical stories.   Below are some examples of a few...

I think what I love best about open ended activities like this one, is how they allow for diversity.   Some children wrote about division stories that worked out evenly, others had remainders and one went beyond the task to discuss prime numbers (see the last two pictures).  This led to the student and I entering into a discussion about the properties of prime and composite numbers.  I wondered how he chose this number and when asked he replied "that he chose the number from our class number line".  Running across the front of the classroom is a number line with numbers from 1- 100.  Above most of the numbers are coloured circlular dot stickers (a Kim Sutton resource) that show multiples of numbers and as my friend discovered, factors too!

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