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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Day 35: Creating Number Sense

My Plan To Create Number Sense.
This year I want to create activities that help foster number sense. Number sense to me is the students having the ability to do mental math, break down numbers, solve the same problems in different ways, and estimation skills. My plan is to have a new activity to do each unit for bell work. For bell work I give the kids the first 5 minutes of class to work on their activity. I tell them that this is your time to...make your best better, increase number sense, and increase your mental math ability. Trying to create that ownership in the kids. That the are in charge of improving their math skills. I actually started using a 5 minute timer video or the one click chrome extension to make sure we stay on track. I am not sure why but students seem to love the music it plays when the timer is over. I actually had one student "Shazam" It. I was amazed that the Shazam app actually found the song.

Here are some of the activities we have been doing:

Estimation 180: I am a big fan of Estimation 180. We have been doing an estimation each day for bell work. Student's click on any day, we started with the first week to get going. They choose a guess that is to low and  two high, and then place a guess in between their range. They then have to justify why they chose that estimate, which by far is my favorite part of this activity. Then we practice figure out what percent error we have. Been good just to have the kids reason and work on their number sense skills. I collected this and gave them feedback on sticky notes. Most students where having trouble with figuring out percent error. Some students did a really good job with explaining their reasoning. Some just said I guessed, which is what I want them to stop doing. I want them to think about their guess.'

Sample of student's work

Clothesline Math: Estimation 180  has a sister site, Clothesline Math, which has been a great addition to my classroom. Made up my own activity with Scientific notation. Student's made up their own benchmarks written in scientific notation and some in decimal notation. Then they had to figure out where each value went. What I liked about it is one student placed 9 times 10 to the negative second power and put in-between -1 and 0. Then the student realized that just because it has a negative exponent that the number is still a positive integer and was able to slide his answer in the correct spot.  We then made equivalent cards (In a different color) in decimal notation and placed them on another clothesline underneath the first clothesline. I would like to do more activities like this to see visual how numbers relate to each other.

Students going up there and interacting with the number line. 

Students making their own benchmarks (not sure if I am using that term right. I think that's what they call them on the website)

Four 4's and Four 5's: Have done a variety of different versions of this activity but basically you can only use four of the same numbers to get a target answer. I usually have them do four 4's and try to solve every number form 1-20. Have done it as an individual assignment that they then came back and entered into a collaborative Google Doc. It was really neat seeing the students enter the solutions live. I want to do other versions of this like five 4's and find answers up to 100. 

This activity was fun to see the kids enter into google Doc's Live. Love, love, love, that we are using technology more this year. Especially to collaborate. Part of me thinks that the kids just see it as annoying extra step. Hope I can plant a seed and get them use to using tech. Also think it would be better if we had Chromebooks and not a 1:1 iPad's. 

5-4-3-2-1 Challenge: Got this idea form Math Equals Love Post, click here. Similar to four 4's, but students have to come up with target number with using 5-4-3-2-1 in that order and only using multiplication, division, adding, and subtracting. Students can use parenthesis. I like this problem since there are many ways to get the same target number. This is our new unit's bell work that I am doing with all my classes. I have really enjoyed doing this with kids. It has allowed us to talk about order of operations any why we use parentheses. When a student completes a task they explain their solution to the class. I like that students are willing to go up and are even eager to go up and explain their solution. sometimes I don't even ask for any volunteers and students are writing their solutions on the board. 

The problem bellow the student original wrote the problem with parenthesis, which is not an issue.  I then asked what would happen if we didn't use parenthesis? Students where amazed that they got the same answer. Love when kids have that "what is happening moment. How does that work". I feel like they are truly engaged and interested in learning. 

Other Ideas I want to try:
-Witzzle Puzzle, I made up my own version of this with cubes.
-Number talks
-Dot card activities

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