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Monday, June 22, 2015

Starting the Year with Your Numbers: Journal #3

Photo Credit
I've been thinking about the ways that I'll invite students into the math curriculum next year. I want students to enjoy the number work we'll do, and I know that if I start by connecting numbers to students' lives that will bring our math learning relevance and meaning.

So after the initial lesson about routines and the worth of your name, we'll move on to learning about each math tool in the class with numbers related to students' lives.

On or around day three, we'll focus on birthdays. For most of us, especially children, birth dates are special numbers. As we focus on birthdays, we'll focus on the following math tools and structures:
  • proper use of calculators
  • line plots
  • bar graphs
  • number patterns and charts
First, we'll make a line plot as a class which identifies the month of each individual's birthday. Then we'll analyze the plot. After that we'll convert the line plot to a bar graph and stem and leaf plot. We'll hang those graphs up in the classroom for future reference.

After that we'll review calculator use and each child will have the chance to calculate their age in days, minutes, and possibly even seconds. Students will record those numbers in their journals for future use.

For homework students will review the lesson with this journal page. The next day some students will start by sharing their journal pages while others decorate cakes for our class birthday pictograph. We'll then move onto other relative data and new math tools. 

Beginning the year with meaningful data helps students to get to know one another while also reviewing essential math concepts, skills, and tools. This will set the stage for our second main study which will be an in-depth review of the numbers 0-12 and related math vocabulary.