Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Estimation, Math Notebooks, and Anchor Charts

This week we are teaching estimation by rounding to the nearest 10 and to the nearest 100, CCSS 3.NBT.1.  

On Monday, we created this anchor chart with our classes:

We also watched Brainpop!'s Rounding video and stopped before the Rounding Decimals part.

Students copied the anchor chart into their notebook onto their Frayer model anchor chart:

We also felt that it would help students to have a hundred chart with rounding tips, so they glued this chart from Super Teacher Worksheets into their notebook for this week, too.

Switching Groups Mid-Week

For the first time since starting math workshop, we changed our four math groups mid-week this week. We noticed certain students in the lowest group grasping estimation quicker than students in the low-medium group.  Based on yesterday's closure activity and in-class observations at the teacher station, we swapped some students between the red (lowest) and yellow (low-medium) groups.  For example, Johnny was in the red group but was catching on quicker than Suzy in the yellow group, so we switched the two.  Today, Suzy received more support during teacher station because her peers were at the same instructional level. This change emphasized to us how important ongoing assessment and closure are to driving instructional decisions. This is truly differentiated instruction.

Another Math Workshop Board

Anchor charts from the year so far...

Join us next week for a Q & A with a guest blogger, a fourth grade teacher starting math workshop this year! :) 

--Tabitha & Chloe

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

From State Standards to Common Core

WE'RE ALIVE!! :) We survived summer AND the beginning of the year!

We have received many emails asking how we planned on transitioning from GLEs (Missouri's grade level expectations) to the Common Core, all while keeping math workshop.

So this is what we did...

We first analyzed the Missouri GLEs to see which Common Core standards aligned. 

We then pulled out our year-long calendar for math workshop from last year:

Adapted from Joanna Clark

First, we rearranged the calendar based on last year's experiences.  For example, it made more sense to teach mental math strategies for adding and subtracting before teaching 3-digit addition and subtraction. 

Then we went through and checked off any GLEs that were exactly aligned with Common Core.  We tweaked others that were similar but not exactly aligned.  For example, a GLE was that students would tell time to the nearest 5 minutes, but now CCSS (Common Core State Standards) requires third graders to tell time to the nearest 1 minute.  

The CCSS that were left over and not aligned with GLEs, we stuck those in where they made sense.

We then took out GLEs that were no longer required under CCSS and kept them in mind in case our calendar would permit time to teach them. 

Once all CCSS were plugged in, we decided on a few GLEs that we still felt are necessary skills for 3rd graders, so we kept them.

THEN...after all of that, with the weeks of school left, we plugged in the GLEs that are not aligned with CCSS.

Another change that we made to this year's year-long math calendar was to include the specific CCSS code and/or GLE code beside each skill, so that we could refer back to the exact language of the standard.  We also changed the Date column to weeks.  This way, we won't have to change the dates each year.  Finally, we noted short weeks with a "s/w" so that we would plan accordingly.

Here is a snapshot of what our current calendar is with Common Core:

Adapted form Joanna Clark

We are also fortunate that our district adopted the revised Everyday Math Common Core edition this year.  We still pull lessons as they relate to the CCSS for third grade. :) EM is aligned to CCSS, but for multiple grade levels--since it is a spiral curriculum.

--Chloe & Tabitha