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Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Math Literature Volume 49

If you missed last week's post (and freebie!) about Ten Red Apples, you can check it out here!

This week, I want to share with you a piece of literature that I never had thought about using for math class. The wise ladies who wrote Math And Literature, Grades K-1 wrote about how they used this book in the classroom.  I took many ideas for this lesson from their book.  This series of books spans K-8 and is a great way to inspire you to go deeper into your literature collection for math class.  You can see my favorite lesson on graphing from the 3-5 book here!

Here is the entire collection (I have and love all of them!)


The book I want to share with you today is The Napping House

This is a book that many teachers already have in their math literature collection.  If you have not read it, it is a funny story about a mouse, a cat, a dog, a child and a granny taking a nap on a bed when a wakeful flea comes along bites the mouse who wakes the cat and you can guess what happens from there!  It is a great read aloud and very engaging for students.  But where is the math?

The math is hiding in the house.  When I finished reading the story, I asked students to help me find out how many feet live in the house.  We worked together to figure out different ways to prove this.  (I forgot to take a picture!)  Some kids wanted to draw each animal and others wanted to make a list.  Several students even suggested writing an equation.  Once we figured out that there were 18 feet in the house, I gave each student an origami house and had them figure out how many feet lived in their house.  We had a quick discussion about drawing a sketch versus drawing a detailed picture.  I made the origami houses ahead of time, but they are simple enough to make with kids as well.  Here is a video that shows you how!

One students drawing of who/what lives in their house.  

Most kids chose to draw the people and animals living in their house.  Then, I asked them to close their house and write the number of feet living in their house on the door. Then we practiced ordering numbers by putting the houses in order on the table from the smallest number of feet to the most.  I did this lesson with a smaller summer intervention group but had I done it with a full class, I might have asked them to hold their house in front of them and line up.

Now for the really fun part!  I chose the house with an 8 on it and asked kids to think about who could live in a house with 8 feet.  We brainstormed a list of several ideas as a whole group.  At this point, one kid
(who loves to write) suggested we write the names of the people living in the house and how many feet they have instead of drawing them.  Other kids really wanted to stick with drawing all the feet in the house.

After doing this as a whole group, I sent kids out to work on their own.  I gave them each one of the papers I was using for recording, had them choose any number they wanted for the number of feet on the house and get to work figuring out different ways that you can represent that number of feet. 

This student is writing the name of the people or animal that live in the house and the number of feet they have.  Notice they wrote a 14 on the house in the middle of the page.   You can grab this record sheet here!

This student is working on 10 feet in the house and is using sketches and equations to record her thinking.  
Ready to try this lesson with your students?  You can grab the recording sheet here free on Google Drive.  

The best part about this lesson is that it is so easy to differentiate.  You can use other books in place of the Napping House as well like Best Friends Sleep Over , Winter Days in the Big Woods or Clifford's Family.  Any book that has people or animals in a house would work well for this lesson.  

Head over to Deanna's blog for more great children's literature. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Studies: Guided Math and Teach Like a Pirate

Hi all!  I have several professional books on my to do list this summer and have yet to get started with any of them!  To keep me motivated and make sure these great looking books get read, I am going to share what I read with you and would love for you to read along and participate!  I will be doing two book studies this summer on my blog.  If either of these are books you have been thinking about reading, feel free to join in!  

I love how guided math gives kids time in small groups and really believe that finding time for small group work is the key to differentiating instruction and meeting the needs of all students.  If you are new to guided math or have had some experience with it, this book will help you help your students.  I am also quite excited to share with you that this morning I stumbled upon a new blog called Adventures in Guided Math that looks like it is going to be a great resource.  I will be blogging about two chapters each week starting next Wednesday, July 2nd.  UPDATE: Part 1 is up!  Click here to head on over

This book is part of my effort to reflect on my teaching and get excited for next school year.  I have read parts and pieces of this book and heard such great things about it.  I will be doing this book study as a 3 part series to follow the three parts of this book. UPDATE: Now that I have the book and have started reading it, I know I will need more than 3 posts to cover this book!  The first one will be posted on Saturday July 12th and will be about the Passion and Immersion parts from the first section. 

I will also be participating in a book study over at The Math Coach's Corner on Teaching Numeracy: 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking.  She will be posting her book study on Mondays starting next week (June 30th).

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on any (or all) of these books!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Great Math App: King of Math Junior

A few months ago, I wrote about an app I was using with early finishers and kids looking for a challenge in grades 3-8 called King of Math.  Recently, I realized that the same company also put out King of Math Junior and installed it on my iPad.  It is a great app with a lot of different options that I will be using in the classroom this coming school year.

I can see myself using this app two different ways.  First, similar to the original app, I can see this app as a great option for early finishers or kids looking for a challenge in grades 1-3.  Second, there are parts of this app I like so much for early numeracy and additive reasoning practice that I can see myself using parts of this app with intervention kids who need a fun way to practice important skills.  

You can have students sign in as a player with their own name if you want them to use this app repeatedly for early finishers or a challenge.  You can also create a generic account for use with intervention or individual time in the classroom.  
Once you open the app and choose your player, you see a bunch of books.  These books have the topics that are available and include counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, geometry, comparing, puzzles, measuring and fractions.  When you select a book, you will see it has 9 levels.  You must start with level 1 and complete it before it will unlock level 2.  If a level is unlocked, you can play it over and over again.  Each level has 10 questions.  You will see 3 stars in the upper right hand corner.  These are your three "lives" for that level.  If you get more than 3 wrong answers, you fail that level and have to start over.  

Here are some shots of the game in action


This is an easy and quick level to use with K students or intervention first graders who need more practice with subitizing or counting

Missing numeral up to 5

Another great one for K students!

Addition and Subtraction

The models are the same for addition and subtraction and quite a variety of models are included.  Objects, fingers, dice and number line are all part of the addition and subtraction section.  I also love when students have to pick the equation to match the picture.  You can see how useful this app would be to target specific skills for specific students.  

Multiplication and Divsion

I love how these operations start out with their very basic beginnings and how well they use the equal groups models.  As you move up in levels, there are some fun ways for kids to practice their multiplication and division facts with visual supports.


The geometry section offers a variety of practice with 2 and 3 dimensional shapes.  However, I did find one mathematical inaccuracy with one of the sections where kids are asked to identify a prism.  It shows a triangular prism, a pyramid, a cube and a cylinder.  They have the "correct" answer as being the prism.  However, a cube is also a prism because it is a polyhedron that has the same cross section along its entire length.   If you address that issue with your students, the rest of this section has some good practice.  I particularly like the angle practice where it asks for an estimated angle measure.

Other Sections

The other sections also have some interesting levels.

King of Math Junior is currently free in the app store!  I am not sure if it is always free so grab it now! (The original King of math app was 99 cents but is also currently listed as free!)