Create Success in Intermediate Math through Play….

“What are you doing in Math today?” the VP inquires of my grade 5,6,7 and 8 students.

“We’re playing games.”

“You’re playing games?”

“Yes, we always play in math.”

The assessments gathered from these classes provide me insight of where everyone is in their learning. My experience with assessments are that individual conversations to understand the thinking process provides the most valuable information. The range of each of my classes is from a low elementary level to a low secondary level.  This is quite a span. As a school we have been, “Landscaping” these students using; Fosnots- Landscape of Learning.  http://thelearningexchange.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Creating-Conditions-for-Learning-Math-Viewers-Guide.pdf This provides an great snapshot of where your learners are on a continuum. Our board has developed some very specific assessment questions for all grade levels which include strategic numbers to help determine the strategies individuals use.

How do I managed this?

It took me a while with the continuous disruptions to the daily routine. The way, I have adopted my assessment sessions this year is similar to how a reading group would be managed.  Provide the lesson, give the class expectations, then work with a small group on a rotating basis. The entire class already understands the rules and class expectations which have been familiar routines followed to date.

Now what?

I find creating a growth mindset is most important. This is developed through creating a comfort zone for all, including the teacher. Each year I am challenged to ensure my learners grow and develop forward on the continuum. I use a variety of resources such as Sherry Parrish’s-Number Talks http://www.meaningfulmathmoments.com/number-talks.html This is a great beginning to each class.

I resource Dr. Small’s-Big Ideas https://search.library.utoronto.ca/details?7785153&uuid=5d3e7d21-dfef-4e3a-a3d3-9f33f13418b9 for different activities to compliment the concept of study.

Presently I am using, From Patterns to Algebra, by Dr. Beatty and Dr. Bruce https://school.nelson.com/from-patterns-to-algebra-book/

Play, yes these resources include play which I implement on a regular basis.  The students enjoy learning with and from each other while I guide them. During my classes, Play creates a class dynamic for success.

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Updated: February 17, 2019 — 10:23 am

The Author

Kim Cousin

ETFO for 14 years, Mental Health Professional 20 years, Mother of a Child with diabetes, Social Justice Chair for NNTL, Lover of Wilderness, Teacher of Mathematics Grades 5/6, 7/8 and Special Needs

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