Thursday, December 6, 2012

Doubles plus one equals what?!?

After attending a great math conference in Chicago last week, I couldn't wait to come back and try out all the new strategies I had learned.  I'm happy to say that just in the short time I've had this week, I'm already seeing some positive changes and more "lights" are turning on!  Today we continued to work on doubles (2+2=4, 4+4=8, etc) and how we can find a double (new strategy) in an addition problem in order to help us add the numbers together.  For instance, we can look at 5+6 as 5+5+1 -- finding the double and adding one more.  We can look at 5+7 as 5+5+2 -- finding the double and adding two more.  It all sounds as simple as can be, doesn't it!?  Well, try to get 26 first graders to catch on and you've got yourself a challenge!  We made doubles flip books today to help students remember their doubles facts -- they practiced and quizzed each other afterward.  They are learning more and more that math is not just about numbers -- it's about patterns -- taking things apart and putting things together.  I never looked at math that way when I was first learning -- I certainly wish I would have -- it would have been way more fun!

The Christmas Spirit of GIVING!

Our first grade classroom successfully collected A LOT of toys and money for the Otsego County Toys for Tots program. (It's hard to tell from this picture, but there is a lot there!)  We chose this charity to help this season because of a recent fire that destroyed their entire donation collection.  I'm sure many people and groups came together to replenish what was lost, but my students only saw the pile of toys in our classroom grow day by day and it made them feel very proud!  Many students and members of our staff helped collect donations and they were all picked up today by Katie Liedtke who volunteered to drive them over to Gaylord for delivery!  THANK YOU to everyone who gave toys and money!  Your Christmas Spirit is ALIVE!