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Sunday, 14 October 2012

A Busy Week

My goal is to post at least twice a week, because if I don't then I end up with too many things to talk about!  I will post about our new work in Language Learning tomorrow, so that we are back on track!  This week we worked on understanding that the patterns of numbers extend past 100.  Each student filled in a hundred chart that represented a group of 100 numbers such as 201 to 300.  Once done, the chart was cut into strips of 10 such as 221 to 230.  The strips then were reconnected horizontally so that the strip ending with 230 was then attached to the strip starting with 231.  This was quite eye opening to some of the students as they recognized that 100 numbers followed a pattern and became a longer and longer strip.
The challenge wasn't over though.  Once the students had their 100 numbers in a long strip, they then had to group together and create a larger number line from 1 to 1000. The room was abuzz as they discussed, planned and recognized that there was a problem!
The class has twenty students, so I had planned to have two full groups creating 1000 number lines, but two students were away that morning, so two charts were not complete.  It was so interesting to hear the various opinions of the students as to how they were going to solve this new dilemma.  One little guy suggested that they just leave out 701 to 800,  so that their number line would have said 700 then 801.  He was quickly told by his peers that wouldn't work.  Finally someone suggested that someone would have to complete the missing number line.  

Parents may wonder why there aren't a whole lot of math worksheets coming home for practice.  There is a place for pencil and paper work in the learning of math, but research is telling educators that just working things out in algorithms without the understanding of why numbers work that way, will eventually make mathematics a rote activity rather than a thinking activity.  How many of you as a parent do not really like or understand math?  My excitement over this changed method of instruction, is that I get to see and hear the students' thinking, work with them immediately to intervene in cases of misconceptions, and then hear those magic words as they are cleaning up "That was really fun!"
 OOPS!  A picture from the next post somehow managed to slip into this one!
We returned from the Long Thanksgiving weekend to a flight cage with Painted Lady Butterflies in it, using their proboscis to nourish themselves with a sugar water solution in sponges.
These butterflies are native to Alberta and do not fly away to warmer climates.  As we also have had our first snow flurries, it was important to let them go free so that they could prepare themselves for the winter months.  Butterflies should not be touched because of the powder on their wings, but this guy was still on the little top of the container so we was able to be passed around.
Did you know that when a butterfly lands on something that it puts its' wings together?  A moth leaves its wings down.  This guy is actually crawling up the jacket of one of the students so its' wings were opening and closing.  Another distinction between butterflies and moths is the balls at the end of the antennae.  Moths have feathery ends instead.
Thank you all for the letters of encouragement written to your children as they started their CCAT testing.  They had huge smiles as they read them!  With proper preparation in what to expect, learning how to fill in 'bubble sheets', and your love, they were calm through the first three exams this week.

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