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Friday, 6 March 2015

Forecast: More Sun to Come

Monday will not be a lot of fun with all the tired children that will be showing up for class. Daylight Saving, especially in the Spring, really causes all of us to need to readjust our internal clock.  Here is some advice to help your little ones be ready for this change:
a) try going to bed 15 minutes earlier both tonight and tomorrow night
b) don't allow 'screen time' (iPads, TV, computer) for an hour before bedtime
c) have a quiet routine in that last hour before bed...limit the silliness and  running around, choosing quiet games and books instead
d) don't change the morning routine on Sunday...get up at the same regular time, don't sleep in
e) get lots of sunshine exposure, especially in the morning
We continued our Robert Munsch story marathon with Alligator Baby, the first book that they have read with Michael Martchenko as the illustrator.  Now almost every book that Robert Munsch publishes has Michael as the illustrator.
Amy Lemons' craftivity was darling and the students attempted to write a summary of the story with five sentences.  The writing was not a success!  They wanted to write and write and write!

In mathematics, the children are beginning to add large numbers.  Some people do not understand the method that is being used for mathematics instruction currently.  Think back to when you (the parent) felt that you no longer were confident in working with numbers.  I know exactly when it was for me, when algebra began.  Our goal in math today is not to allow children to just 'do it' but to understand what they are doing and why.  Here is the perfect example.
The children worked with dominoes.  They chose two, and used them to generate two digit numbers to add together.  This reviews the concept of place value.  They then consciously had to add the ones and the tens together.  Look at the SMARTBoard to see the process.  3 add 5 is 8, then 40 add 30 is 70.  That is the very important step.  The student should NOT be saying 4 add 3 is 7 because those digits are in the tens place and must be understood to represent tens.  The reason dominoes are used to begin with is because there would be few opportunities to have larger numbers that might 'trip them up' as they are practising this new concept.  The second example 89 add 99 demonstrates how the addition becomes a two part process with the larger numbers, what would happen when numbers need to be regrouped.  We'll get there a little later.

**In the photo with the dominoes above, do you see where this little girl still needs more practise?  60 add 50 should be 110.  She showed 6 add 5 is 11.  That small error in thinking may cause trouble later, so it needs to be corrected now.  The understanding of what the value of the digit is, is crucial.
In the Bee Binder is the sheet that the children were working on so that you could see (and hear when you ask them) their thinking.  As with all new concepts, some of the students are still not completely clear on this and need more practise.  I am asking the students to try some at home, using their own dominoes or dice to generate the questions.  No dominoes or dice? Please generate some numbers on your own, being aware that larger numbers means two steps.

Here are two happy, successful guys proud to show off their work to you!

There will be more practice patterns introduced to solidify the understanding that addition involves place value.
Please do NOT introduce the algorithm to your child yet.  That will be done a little later.  Remember, the process is to have the students understand WHAT they are doing and WHY they are doing it.  The algorithm is just one way to get to the solution.  It is not the way to do math.

Our goal should be to see our little ones love the challenge that math brings.  It did my heart good to hear one little girl say "I LOVE THIS! I can't wait to do some more at home"  Wish my math journey as a child would have left me with that attitude!

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