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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Spring has Sprung!

On the way out on Sunday morning, these crocuses greeted me under my evergreen tree in the front yard.  I also saw my first robin!  Spring is here!
We are moving from the understanding of subtraction of large numbers into using the traditional algorithm for North America.  It will look familiar to you because it is the way that most of us learned to do this calculation.
One more way that we solidified our understanding is to use place value blocks.  The students worked in small groups and talked about what they were doing.  They put 4 tens blocks in the tens column and tried to then subtract 9 from 0.  They saw (visually) that there were no ones, so they broke a ten block into ones and then they still had 40 but it was 3 tens and 10 ones.  Using the new grouping, they were able to do 10 - 9 in the ones column,
and 30-10 in the tens column to arrive at the solution of 21.
Moving onto the paper and pencil task may have some students struggling to transfer this concrete knowledge into the abstract thinking that happens in our heads.

In small groups the students also attempted to create the paper boats out of newspaper that Curious George made in the story Curious George Rides a Bike
It turned out to much more difficult than they thought!
They worked without assistance from an adult to begin with.  It is interesting to see which students have 'staying power' and are willing to keep trying even when things get difficult and which students immediately give up when they are successful.

We want our students to build up the belief that they can succeed if they are willing to try!  If an adult is always coming to the rescue, the child does not develop that resilience and 'I can do it' attitude.

The first step is on the other page, but here's what they were trying to follow.  They learnt that if they did not do a good job of folding on step 2 or 3, their boat would not work out on step 7 or 8.  That means, every step is important.  I can make a connection to the math algorithm here!
Taking your time is also important if... want a boat like George!

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