Jill & Amy: "Ok for this class, you are all going to make a math blog."

Instant panic set in. I was confused... a math blog? So... we have to write about math things EVERY week? My confusion turned into mild anger. I don't know how to make a blog! Now that I have gotten the hang of things, I have to say, you were right! I really enjoy this math blog. This little story will serve as a reminder to me as I set out on my teaching adventure that not all students may initially like my teaching style/project ideas etc. but it is the journey that counts. There is so much to be learned from new experiences and it is alright to be slightly hesitant. Just jump right in! So here we go:

Instant panic set in. I was confused... a math blog? So... we have to write about math things EVERY week? My confusion turned into mild anger. I don't know how to make a blog! Now that I have gotten the hang of things, I have to say, you were right! I really enjoy this math blog. This little story will serve as a reminder to me as I set out on my teaching adventure that not all students may initially like my teaching style/project ideas etc. but it is the journey that counts. There is so much to be learned from new experiences and it is alright to be slightly hesitant. Just jump right in! So here we go:

Ok, time to focus. Chapter 5 does a nice job outlining teaching through problem solving. I like how the chapter begins by stating the importance of having the proper environment; one that incorporates thinking rather than simply showing. This is important because with more complex problems, students must be able to apply their knowledge based on the scenario in order to solve the problem. The section exploring different strategies to solve problems is great because it supports the fact that there is such an abundance of different types of problems. Also, depending on the type of learner that each student is, they may understand one strategy better than another for a certain type of problem. I was instantly drawn to the "use an open sentence" strategy because I like to write out my thoughts and show all of my steps when solving problems. Perhaps this strategy will be useful for the chapter problem? Perhaps "draw a picture" will be better suited?

Turns out, the "draw a picture" strategy was my choice for this particular problem. I found having the visual representation very helpful. Having everything laid out helped ascertain no duplications in my coin combinations. The "use a model" strategy would have worked wonderfully for this problem too... but let's be honest, I am at my computer and the coin jar is all the way downstairs in the drawer and I already went to the gym today.

Chapter 8 explained operation concepts with A TON of great visuals and diagrams. I appreciate the use of various math terms because developing a proper sense of vocabulary in math is an important skill. The chapter explained multiple properties of operations (commutative, distributive etc.) which was done wonderfully and is important to remember because these concepts can be taken for granted when you are used to doing more advanced mathematics. Young learners must be taught these concepts in order to build a solid foundation

Chapter 8 explained operation concepts with A TON of great visuals and diagrams. I appreciate the use of various math terms because developing a proper sense of vocabulary in math is an important skill. The chapter explained multiple properties of operations (commutative, distributive etc.) which was done wonderfully and is important to remember because these concepts can be taken for granted when you are used to doing more advanced mathematics. Young learners must be taught these concepts in order to build a solid foundation

Yum! Jelly Belly jelly beans. In grade 4 or 5, one of my best friends (who later turned out to be one of my bridesmaids this year!) had a birthday party and there was a little activity that involved estimating. There was a big jar full of the delicious little treats and each guest had to make a guess as to the number inside. My guess was the closest! To this day, I am still not sure how I won because my spacial sense isn't the greatest. Perhaps I happened to really pay attention to the lessons on estimating in class that year. When we completed various activities in class this week involving estimating, this story instantly came to mind. I enjoyed playing these estimating games in class this week - another reminder that if I enjoyed math games, my future students will mostly likely as well. See my "read more" section below to find my thoughts on last week's comments!

In response to last week's comments:

My first inclination is to call upon a student that may have a more simple solution because if I know that there is a student with a more elaborate solution, I can call upon them to elaborate on the first student's solution. By doing this, I would hope encourage students to add detail and expand on their solutions. As students discuss their solutions, it will allow me to really evaluate how they are thinking and communicating what they know.

My first inclination is to call upon a student that may have a more simple solution because if I know that there is a student with a more elaborate solution, I can call upon them to elaborate on the first student's solution. By doing this, I would hope encourage students to add detail and expand on their solutions. As students discuss their solutions, it will allow me to really evaluate how they are thinking and communicating what they know.