We are off to a great start with our wonderful math program. During the first two weeks of school, we’ve been visualizing, representing, and breaking apart numbers using a variety of math tools: counters, stair steppers, and number cards. When we break apart a number, we take a larger number and split it into two smaller numbers. We call the two smaller numbers partners because when we add them together they equal the larger number. So far, we’ve discovered the partners (and switch partners) for 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. (Check out the chart below!) We have also used our knowledge about partners and patterns to solve addition (+0, +1, +2) and subtraction problems (-0, -1, -2).
During our math routine, we have been hard at work practicing with our 120 number grid, money flip chart, number path (<–link), and secret code cards. This routine involves a series of math activities that we will continue building on each day for the rest of the year to strengthen our students’ flexibility with numbers.
May 22 – Field Trip to the Zoo
(We will leave school around 9:15 and meet are chaperones at the zoo @ 9:40ish. Remember to dress your child for the outdoors, apply sunscreen, and send their sack lunch to school.)
May 24 – Last Library Day
Please send your child’s book back to school. We will head down to the library to turn our books in and listen to one more story from Mrs. Van.
Learning Update: We have been working on poetry and using our “poet’s eyes” during writing time. The kids LOVE writing and sharing their poetry!! During our readers’ workshop, we’ve been working on our fluency as we read our character books. During math we finished up our unit eight: practicing two digit addition. We have become experts at the: NEW 10 ABOVE strategy!
We continued to study shapes during our math time this week. We started the week combining triangles, rectangles and squares to form new shapes. We learned about: rhombuses, trapezoids, parallelograms, and hexagons. We also found that we could combine and transpose our shapes to create patterns.
Later in the week we began exploring with 3-dimensional shapes! We touched on the following shapes…
We learned about the attributes of each of these shapes. We also briefly discussed how these 3-D shapes compare to the 2-D shapes. For example: the 3-D sphere is just like a 2-D circle and the 3-D rectangular prism is just like a 2-D rectangle. We combined different shapes together to create new shapes and also tried to break large shapes apart into smaller ones.
Then, we moved into measurement. We discussed how in the old days before rulers were invented, people used to use their body parts to measure objects. This kids couldn’t believe this was true and brought up a very big problem… our feet and fingers are different sizes! We realized that when we use a common unit – like a paperclip – we all get the same results. To test this theory, we used paperclips to measure various things in our math book and around the room.
We also introduced the word “length” and talked about how to line up measurement tools properly to get the most accurate measurement. We compared lengths of objects from shortest to longest and longest to shortest (1, 2, 3)
During our math time this week we studied some familiar shapes: rectangles, squares, triangles and circles. We learned that every shape has special attributes that are always true!!
We also learned that shapes can be divided into equal parts. When a shape is broken into two equal parts we call these halves. When a shape is broken into four equal parts we call these fourths. It’s important to understand halves and fourths especially when we are trying to share something (like a pizza, cookie, or granola bar) equally.
This week, our mathematicians learned how to tell time to the hour and half hour!! They learned that the two different kinds of clocks that we use in everyday life are called an “analog” clock or a “digital” clock. We discussed that the shorter hand always points to the hours and the longer hand always points the minutes.
We spent lots of time reviewing and practicing drawing the time on an analog clock and on a digital clock! The hardest part for the kids is to remember that when it is a half hour, the hour hand is half way past that hour (they often read it as the next hour ahead instead of the hour it is half past).
For the last few weeks, we have created graphs and made comparisons during our math switch time. As our expertise grew, so did our graphs! Instead of comparing just two groups of objects, most of our graphs now compare three categories of data, like the graph below:
We are always trying to make comparisons between the data in each category (group) by finding the MAGIC NUMBER. With three groups it’s a little harder to find the difference especially when comparing the top category of data with the bottom category of data. If we use a pencil to cover up the extra information, finding the MAGIC NUMBER is a breeze.
We then transitioned to solving comparison stories. Our first graders learned a new strategy called: COMPARISON BARS. Comparison bars are a visual tool for solving stories in which two amounts are compared and the difference (magic number) is either known or unknown. Check out the examples below:
Thank you (ahead of time) for helping your child on his or her homework pages this week. Be sure to check their work. This new strategy is tricky and sometimes our first graders are unsure about where the known information should go. (If the magic number or the difference is known, the information always goes inside the oval.) We will review more comparison stories next week and then we will wrap up Unit 6 with an assessment.
We began our Unit 6 in math this past week. Our first grade mathematicians are now sorting, organizing, and comparing data. What a blast!!
To start things off, we learned how to take random data and record it on a chart or graph. Crossing out each object as we add it to our graph helps us to be accurate in our representation.
After graphing the information, we were able to notice many things about the data we were studying. Which group had the most? Which group had the fewest? How many in all? And, we were also able to make comparisons – how many more or how many fewer. To compare our data, we drew matching pairs and then circled the magic number.
The magic number represents the difference between the two groups being compared. No matter if we are comparing how many more or how many fewer – the number is always the same (that’s why it’s magic!).
We can’t wait to learn more!