Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Which One Doesn't Belong?


When I was younger, I was a terrible math student.  Unsure of myself.  Self-conscious.  I remember being in First Grade and feeling overwhelmed during our math period.  I always had a stomachache during math.  Always wanted to go to the nurse.

I certainly never saw myself as a mathematician. No one else ever saw me as one either. Back then, math was either right or wrong.  No middle ground.  No getting messy in your thoughts and certainly no risk-taking was involved. You knew it or you didn't.

I didn't.

I never was able to overcome my early hurdles so when I became a teacher, I promised myself that I would make math relevant.  Hands-on.  Fun.  Every child would view him/herself as a mathematician and would be able to use mathematical terms and justify their answers and be encouraged to get messy in the thought process.  I wanted to slow down math.  Dig deep and let the kids breathe and play around with numbers and concepts.  Explore.

I so wish we had open-ended questions when I was six years old.  They are designed for ALL levels of thinkers and they build confidence and encourage risk-taking.  That's why I love to create and use Open-Ended Questions in my own First Grade classroom now. That's why I just uploaded Which One Doesn't Belong?




They allow for deeper thinking and a variety of answers. For a nervous math student, I would have appreciated the wiggle room to share my thoughts and justify MY answers. See math through MY eyes.

The kids cheer when I use these in my classroom.  (You can hear some gasps in first video when this first flashes on screen.) Because students know that there are several answers, participation is high. Sky high. No one is asking to go to the nurse. Isn't that the way it should be?


I've used for Do-Nows, homework, Workstations, and I did one for a math warm-up for my observations.  Designed for Grades 1-2, there are plenty of slides to last throughout your number sense unit.



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