math workshop part 3: routines time | Teaching in the Tongass

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

math workshop part 3: routines time

This is the third post in my Math Workshop series.
math workshop


You can read the first post here and the second post here.

Another important element in any elementary (yes, 3-5 too!) math curriculum is Routines Time (aka Calendar Math).  My district implemented Everyday Counts when we adopted Math in Focus last year, but I like to incorporate lots of other activities.  I think it's important to remember that your wall space for math is just as critical as your ELA space...even if you don't like to teach it as much as you like to teach reading/writing (I know that's not you though)! I divided my large bulletin board straight down the middle (one side is a word wall, the other side is my Math Focus Wall) and although most of it stays put all year, there are a few things that change as students learn the concepts and we move on to other things (i.e. CHANGE IT UP! If they have the months of the year down, don't need to sing the song every. single. day.).
I made sure my kids had 200s charts on the back of their DEBs (dry erase boards). I've done both laminating/taping and just using page protectors, but I have to say the laminated versions last a lot longer and don't fall off...currently, I'm having a parent volunteer help cut out new ones so I can laminate and tape them on to the whiteboards.
You can download my 0-200 Chart FREEBIE by clicking below. Please remember to "tip your server" (leave feedback) while you're there.
Right after we have Roll & Write and Drops in the Bucket, students put their binders away and bring their DEB and marker to the floor (I have assigned spots for Routines Time...those who need lots of support sit right up in front so I can keep them engaged).  I used to cut erasers into thirds, but I found these dry erase markers with erasers on the caps on Amazon two years ago and they. are. awesome. I convinced our school admin to purchase a bundle of them so that every classroom could have them. Seriously, if your students use dry erase markers and you haven't invested in a set like this, I highly recommend you do.
We talk about using DEB as a tool, not a toy (doodling is for special occasions only...like when I have an emergency and I need them to give me 5 minutes). This year, on a whim, I stuck these googly eyes I bought over the summer and a wig I had in my room to give her some personality! The kids LOVED it. I blamed all the rules on DEB...she's just so darn particular!
I write anywhere from 1-5 questions on the board (depending on how much time we have left/difficulty of the problems). The problems are usually finishing a pattern, adding coins, input/output (function) boxes, identifying shapes, fractions, and telling time.  As students make their way to the floor they start working on the problems. I do this for a couple of reasons, but the main one is that I need something productive for my kids that get seated quickly.  My kids that take a long time to put their binders away might get to the floor and only have time for 1 problem. My intention isn't for everyone to do each problem, so that doesn't matter. After only a few minutes everyone should be seated and working quietly.  I begin Routines Time by showing how to find the answers to the problems on the whiteboard.  Students don't get to change their answers or add anything, whiteboards remain on the floor in front of them. This is SO HARD for so many of them.  But, eventually, they get over it.  Also, I've decided against students showing me their answers on their DEB simply because I can see them from where I stand. Of course, I use what I see on their DEB to guide my instruction.  This whole DEB process takes about 5 minutes total.

After DEBs, we move on to the actual Routines Time. You might call this Calendar Math, but because it's so much more than teaching days of the week and months of the year, some teachers have learned to use the term, "Routines Time" instead.  I move through a variety of things and keep a "perky pace" to the best of my ability. I only have 15 minutes, and I use every precious second of it. No time to tell me about the time your grandma took you to the zoo and blah blah blah. Sorry, maybe later when we're getting in line for recess. The main idea that I keep in mind for Routines, is that if the class understands a concept, make it more challenging. Don't just keep doing the same thing over and over.  Remember to differentiate and keep them learning, not just reviewing. Of course, it's important to go back and make sure they remember the months of the year. But if all 23 have it, I don't need to do it every day. Maybe I change the question about months to be: What month comes after February? Or what is the 5th month? I'm constantly differentiating and changing the questions to fit the needs of my students.
My Lakeshore pocket chart came with a write on/wipe off hundreds chart, but again, 1-100 isn't enough (plus...we need to teach "0" educational companies...are you listening?!), so I got a write on/wipe off 1-200 display size chart (again, no zero).  You can find one here for $15.  I took a pair of scissors and (gasp!) cut the 10s from the right side and moved them to the left side to line up with the zero I had to add myself. A little highlighter tape to make the tens a little more identifiable and we're in business.
Click below to download this FREEBIE! I use the questions in this pack as a guide for my instruction during Routines Time, but I don't stick to it like a script, so if you use this, please make sure you are changing the numbers/questions for what your kids need.



What do you do during Calendar Math? If you have any questions or thoughts, please comment below! 

To see the next post in this series, click below:
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1 comment

  1. I love that you call your boards "DEB" - how cute!! :) Thanks for linking up another fabulous post!
    Jivey

    ReplyDelete

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