Students hear it from me all the time...
"You need to know your math facts like you know your name."
Knowing basic addition and subtraction math facts are the building blocks for all math concepts. It is imperative that students become fluent in their math facts.
Every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, our class does a One Minute Math exercise. Students are given 60 seconds in which to answer 20 addition or subtraction problems. We then check together, and students graph their daily results.
Tuesdays, however, are Timed Test Tuesdays. These more-formal assessments have students answering 100 math facts in five minutes. If students score 95 or more in two trials, or if they score 90 or more in three trials, they move on to the next level of math facts. The progression of facts are as follows:
Addition & Subtraction Mixed, 0-18*
Addition 0-18 (3 minutes)
Subtraction 0-18 (3 minutes)
If students complete all of the levels above, they will try their hands at multiplication and division!
Although we will spend time with math fact practice daily in class, it is very important that students are practicing at home, too. Flashcards work well, but another, more personalized option is by having your child log in to his/her XtraMath account. Please make sure your child is practicing his/her math facts on a weekly basis so that more complex math concepts will be easier to understand.
*Completion goal by end of year
Our class will be making an interactive math notebook to go along with our learning. The math notebook will involve cutting and gluing foldable tools to help students practice and remember math concepts on their own, and will have a table of contents at the front so that students can easily find what they're looking for.
The math notebook will only be as helpful as the kids make it. They know that if they see me write something in my notebook on the board, they need to write it in theirs. Hopefully you will see the math notebook make some appearances at home when your child is working on math homework.
In an attempt to make math hands on, engaging, and meaningful, students will be participating in BUILD every week starting in September.
What is BUILD? BUILD is a management tool for centers. After introducing a new math concept and practicing it whole-class for a few days, students are then broken up into small, flexible groups to be exposed to these concepts in a variety of ways through BUILD.
BUILD centers begin in the middle of math class on Wednesdays with one 20-minute rotation. This allows the students plenty of whole-class instruction for the main topic in math that week. After that, two 20-minute rotations occur on Thursdays and Fridays, resulting in every student going to every center once a week. We may end on Fridays with a whole-class recap, and maybe a quiz or test.
Here the kids get to play math games together that cover a topic we are currently learning about, or a previously-learned topic for review. These types of math games could be board games, card games, kinesthetic games, or any other type of partner or whole-group activity.
At this center, students might be engaged with math tools such as pattern blocks, play money, clocks, base-ten blocks, and more.
This is where students get to show what they know on their own. At this center, the kids are sometimes asked to respond to a math quick check, complete a page from their math book, or demonstrate math knowledge on another solo activity.
[L]earning about numbers
Students need a strong foundation in basic math facts, and this is where they get to practice their skills. After a round of XtraMath, this center offers math fact activities like Math Stacks, Kaboom!, Elimination, and an ever-changing variety of other activities for partners or individuals.
[D]oing math with Mr. Wachsberger
Students come to the math table to go deeper into exploration with the topic that we're learning about in class. Each student is provided a whiteboard, dry erase marker, and an eraser so that we can learn together and share our ideas in a small group.