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Monday, April 20, 2015

Mathematics Through Play Book Study: Part 4

Welcome to the final week of our Math Through Play Book Study!  I have been doing a lot of thinking and planning about how to get more play into math class.  I started a Pinterest board with #MathPlay ideas and it is quickly approaching 100 pins.  I will also be starting a weekly series on #MathPlay ideas here on my blog.  

Here is the posting schedule for this book study:

Without further ado, lets wrap up this book study!

Chapter 8: Planning, Organizing and Assessing Independent Play

The ideas in this chapter about planning and organizing independent play reminded me a great deal of how I try to organize and plan math centers during Guided Math time.  One of my favorite ideas is the idea of a play menu that shows kids what is available that day and helps keep them focused on the areas that are open for them to use during this time.  This has been a huge help during Guided Math and other choice times in my own practice.  Also with various adults in and out of the rooms I work in, having written prompts and key questions posted in stations has been a huge help to making sure everyone is on the same page.  The idea of assessing through observation is certainly not new to me either and the idea of creating a notebook full of observations is something I have found beneficial.  A few years ago, I saw another teacher used post it notes to jot down observations and then stuck them in a notebook with a page dedicated to each kid.  I moved to this model 2 years ago and haven't looked back!  I love how the post it note system lets me move and organize my observations and assessments as I am reviewing what I know about a child.  

Chapter 9: Parents as Partners: Involving Parents in Mathematics and Play

As a teacher who spends a huge percent of her day teaching math and thinking about teaching math, it is so disheartening to me when I hear parents say in front of their children how they are not good at math or do not like math.  So much of a students' ability to do well in math seems to come from their perception of it and we need to stop letting students hear parents (and teachers!) say that they do not like math or are not good at it.  I believe that passion and enthusiasm for math are the 2 things that make me a good math teacher and make my students good learners.  I know math can have a bad reputation and not everyone has had a positive experience with learning math but it is certainly my mission to change that.  

Almost 10 years ago, a colleague and I did our first Family Math Night and it has continued to grow and evolve.  It has helped tremendously to have this positive experience for students and parents to share together and has really helped parents in our school see how much fun our students have learning math.  I have been thinking a lot lately about Family Math Night and how it can continue to evolve in our school and what our next steps might be.  I think we need more parents in the school and would love to have more classroom volunteers.  I am thinking about how I can use Family Math Night to help with this mission and would love some suggestions from other teachers and parents about what makes classroom volunteers work in their schools.  

It's never to late to join this book study!  Grab a copy of the book and leave comments as you read! 

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