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Math Portfolio

Melanie L. Gaskins

The College of New Jersey

Math 596: Concepts and Methods of Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary Grades

Professor Niemis

November 24, 2015

1. Cover page

2. Portfolio rubric

3. Table of contents

4. Math Autobiography

5. Teaching Statement

6. Introductory Letter

7. Resume

8. Sample Math Lesson Plan Taught

a. Lesson Plan with activities

b. Assessment

c. Reflection

9. Sample Math Lesson Plan

a. Lesson Plan with activities

b. Assessment

10. Literature titles and explanations

11. Math Activities and explanations

12. Websites and explanations

_______/1 pt

_______/1 pt

_______/2 pts

_______/5 pts

_______/10 pts

_______/10 pts

_______/5 pts

_______/10 pts

_______/3 pts

_______/5 pts

_______/10 pts

_______/3 pts

_______/10 pts

_______/15 pts

_______/10 pts

Total

_______/100 pts

Table of Contents

Math Autobiography

p. 4-5

Teaching Statement

p. 6-8

p. 9-10

Resume

p. 11-13

p. 14-17

p. 18-20

p. 21-22

p. 23-26

Math Activities

p.27-32

Math Websites

p. 33-36

Math Autobiography

Growing up math was both comforting and unnerving as there was always a right answer.

A series of formulas and steps could lead you to the Promised Land or down the rabbit hole. In

elementary school, I regularly entered the Promised Land. Math made sense and the formulas

and reasoning behind addition, subtraction, fractions etc. were easy to follow. I enjoyed solving

the problem and as we learned more and began to get homework I felt more grown up. I

especially loved word problems that involved more than one factor and logic problems. As a

participant of the talented and gifted program, I had an opportunity to work on many tricky

math problems. A wonderful feeling of accomplishment followed the correct answer. I do not

remember needing extensive help to understand the process or execute the problems given.

I entered middle school feeling confident in most subjects. The act of writing began to be

an irritant but my encounters with math continued to be positive. I do not actually have any

concrete memories about math from that time. I dont particularly remember my teachers and I

do not have any intense feelings about middle school math one way or the other. I do know that I

did not require tutoring or extra help in class and was on the advanced track. Overall, school

until this point was fun and appropriately challenging.

The beginning of high school brought about the need to work harder. The need to study

and be a part of late night study groups at the local diner became a necessity. I do not remember

feeling anxious about the need to work harder. I suppose I assumed I could do the work or at

least was expected to do the work and therefore did so. My high school crush sat in the seat

directly in front of me during AP calculus. Needless to say, I eagerly attended that course and

have fond memories of calculus.

As a result of my SAT scores and high school math classes, I was only required to take

one online math course my freshman year of college at Temple University. Consequently,

experiencing math in a learning environment ended in the fall of 2000 and practical math ensued.

During my pregnancy, Sudoku became a fun game I could play with my father. We challenged

each other to be the first to complete the puzzle; I won exactly two times. Although there are

many numbers in this game it is probably more about strategy than actual math techniques and

learning. My feelings surrounding math continue to be positive but not overwhelming so. I still

enjoy problems with multiple components and remember basic math concepts. I hope the work I

have done in mathematics has prepared me to be an effective educator.

Teaching Statement

I began my professional career as a performer and developed a passion for teaching in an

indirect manner. After graduation from Temple University, I danced my way across the United

States and Canada for 12 years in Broadway national tours and regional theaters. I lived my

dream. While on this journey, I was able to teach master classes to children and young adults

across the country, and in the process gained a love of teaching children. More importantly, I

learned that a childs energy is a direct reflection of their teachers energy and commitment to a

successful learning experience. My professional career also taught me first hand that to be truly

successful one must fully commit to an idea by putting both positive and determined energy into

it. This statement reflects my personal philosophy and the way I approach all aspects of my life.

Two years ago I became Tuckers mom and my career aspirations changed. It is time to

pursue a new dream. I am ready and excited to travel the path of a teacher. Tuckers very

existence demands that I work hard and display "grit" as I move through this world and achieve

my goals. I hope to be an amazing example for him to follow his dreams, do work that truly

inspires him and work that allows him to directly impact the lives of others. As I was encouraged

by my parents, I will encourage him and my students. I will remind them that it is possible to

make a living doing what you love. [Im] not trying to mold them into what [I] believe they

should be. [Im] trying to open doors to show them alternatives for what they could be (Jose

Luis Vilson).

I come from a family of high achievers, positive thinkers and information seekers. My

family believes in education, and in encouraging dreams and ideas in youth. My 84-year-old

father, a man of color, became a lawyer at a time when men of his station were not able to do so

easily. My mother, a woman of color, was the first in her family to obtain an advanced degree in

Social Administration. She worked as a school social worker for the Deptford Board of

Education for 15 years before retiring. I was privileged to be surrounded by successful,

hardworking and compassionate people who looked like me. That is not true for all children of

color. Multiculturalism in schools is essential to the way students of color see themselves as

potential professionals. After all children cant be what they cant see (Jose Luis Vilson). It is

also important for students who are not of color to positively interact with different cultures. Our

world is quickly becoming more ethnically diverse. It is critical for children to begin to

appreciate and respect their wonderful differences while also recognizing the sameness in

humanity. In my classroom I will actively work to expand the cultural knowledge of my students

while celebrating their uniqueness.

My professional experience is not ordinary. In fact, it is extraordinary and has perfectly

prepared me for a career in elementary education. Essentially, I played pretend for 12 years! I am

able to relate to young minds. I am able to think outside of the box and use my creativity and

imagination to impart a solid education to students. I have helped students further develop the

ability to follow directions, listening skills, and confidence in social settings. I have promoted

spatial awareness and a desire to reach for ones personal best. Although my work with children

has primarily been in an artistic framework, I know that these are skills all children need - not

just dancers and singers. I have also had the opportunity to teach at the New Freedom Theater in

Philadelphia, PA. Working with students of varying economic backgrounds and social

experiences really tests your strength, patience and creativity. Finding a way to relate to each

student was a challenge I eagerly met. I strongly believe that movement is essential for schoolaged children and I will strive to integrate movement and physical activity daily in the classroom

while reinforcing core skills and concepts. I believe that my unique experience in dance and the

performing arts will set my classroom apart; stimulating all areas of learning

Nelson Mandela stated, Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to

change the world. My ultimate goals are to encourage every student that crosses my path to

reach for greatness and employ the use of their most powerful weapon. I want to prepare them

for their current and future success by providing them with a solid character education they can

rely on as they navigate the rest of their lives. I want to provide opportunities for children to

explore and develop ideas about their world with my support. I will be a teacher who makes

learning interesting and fun so that the desire to learn is eternal. Ultimately, I believe I can be a

teacher that can encourage students to see beyond their environments and reach their fullest

potential. I will teach to that potential.

Dear Reader,

I love math! As I left undergraduate school and journeyed into the real world, math

became less important and opportunities to be challenged by problems involving math became

obsolete. I used math to pay bills or double check my change from a store employee therefore

my love of the challenge and feelings of comfort in finding the answer were long forgotten. Math

596 taught by Professor Niemis at The College of New Jersey has unearthed an excitement about

math and how to solve its problems. Discovering the why, embracing strategies, and finding

fun in the challenges are important concepts I learned while in class and also while teaching

math during my first internship.

As I sat surrounded by other graduate students, formulas and algorithms returned to the

forefront of my thinking. We played with and used many manipulatives and computer programs

to learn how to teach math. Math is being taught much differently than it was when I attended

elementary school. We remembered facts and equations, using various mnemonic devices to aid

our problem solving. Students today are encouraged to know the whys of math. If they

understand why something is so then when encountering a problem with similar features they

will know how to answer or solve the problem. Their ability to solve the problem will not depend

on how well they remember the Pythagorean Theorem. This is exciting because as stated

previously there are many whys that I had not learned before. I am a true student of math all

over again.

Secondly, students are encouraged to develop several strategies to help them find

solutions to problems. This is a positive skill to have in all academic subjects and in all walks of

life. There is more than one way to solve a problem. And those different ways of solving

problems speak to the specific strengths of individuals. Those strengths should be highlighted

and encouraged. Students also learn a great deal from their classmates. Highlighting an addition

strategy done by one student may influence another student to try and succeed, using that

strategy.

10

I have an affinity towards math, as a result the challenges in math are fun to me. I enjoy

finding ways to solve the problem or plotting a box and whisker plot. Many students including

my classmates feel apprehensive when encountering math concepts. I believe it is important to

create a classroom environment that encourages students to persevere or display grit as they

approach challenges in math and beyond. And that this should be fun. We are in school because

there is much we need to learn. It is ok that on this day we do not know it all but we will have

fun as we find our way. And if our first attempts fall short, we will try again with perhaps a new

strategy or using a different manipulative.

As I move forward, I feel better prepared to tackle math class with future students. I feel

encouraged to support math strategies and to find the fun in the challenge. Most importantly I am

ready to use what I know, what I am learning and what I will discover to inform and prepare

young minds for a successful future in math and beyond.

MELANIE L. GASKINS

2704 Cove Rd. Pennsauken, NJ 08109 | M: 609.332.3859

melaniegaskins@gmail.com

OBJECTIVE

To provide a classroom that promotes positivity, while encouraging and challenging young minds

to reach for greatness and strive for success. To enable students to use the mind and body to

learn and grow, pushing individual boundaries to reach maximum potential.

11

EDUCATION

THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY, Ewing, NJ

Master of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education, Expected Graduation Date August 2016

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY, Philadelphia, PA

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, August 2004

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Promoted to dance captain for the Broadway National tour of The Color Purple,

which involves leading a team, training other employees and communicating within different

departments.

Taught Master Dance Classes for The Broadway National Tours of The Color

Purple and Rock of Ages demonstrating the ability to think creatively and customize a class

to meet specific needs

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Internship 1, Carroll Robbins Elementary School, Trenton, NJ | Fall 2015

Student Teacher

Taught a 2nd grade class math, phonics, reading, writing, science, and social studies

Used whole brain techniques and class dojo to manage classroom

Led guided reading groups and encouraged comprehension by developing prediction skills,

questioning skills, the ability to use context clues, the ability to locate and identify text

features, and by using the pictures and context clues to inform the reader

Developed a science unit on matter that encouraged the concepts of the Nature of Science

and the Next Generation science standards

Used various mediums such as the apple TV, power point slides, picture sorts and games to

encourage the understanding of phonics lessons

Created many opportunities for students to have hands on experiences such as: boat building,

science labs, making butter, and math manipulatives

Aligned lesson plans to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

Gym Instructor

Created a positive and encouraging environment in which children age 4months-12years

explore their own potential using physical movement and gymnastics

Used physical movement to increase physical strength, fine and gross motor skill

development, coordination, balance and flexibility

Developed imagination using music, song and various props

Promoted listening skills, working with others and problem solving

12

Master Class Dance Teacher

Adapted professional choreography from Broadway National Tours making it accessible to

students of all ages

Provided a creative environment in which students were encouraged to express themselves

through movement

Provided dancers with an understanding of dance techniques and skills in modern, jazz and

hip hop

Promote spatial awareness by encouraging students to move in groups and as a group

Created an environment for students to develop listening skills and the ability to follow

directions

New Freedom Theatre, Philadelphia, PA | 2005-2006 and 2010

Dance Teacher

Jazz/Hip Hop/Movement class to students ages 5.5-11

Responsible for creating and setting movement on students

Responsible for rehearsing students

Audition workshops to students ages 6-17

Provides dancers and non-dancers with a basic understanding of dance technique and

promotes body awareness

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Phoenix Entertainment, Frederick, MD | 2011-2014

Dance Supervisor/Dance Captain

Responsible for maintaining the integrity of the choreography and blocking

Taught the choreography and related blocking for new productions of the show and to

replacement cast members

Responsible for maintaining an accurate and up to date copy of the script that includes

blocking and choreography

Responsible for rehearsing cast

Responsible for altering choreography if necessary due to changes in theaters or changes in

cast

Theatrical Concepts, Inc., New York, New York | 2007-Present

Artistic Assistant to the Director

Liaison between director, choreographer, performers, lighting design team, sound technicians

and other crew members

Responsible for maintaining the integrity of the choreography and blocking

Taught the choreography and related blocking for new productions of the show and to

replacement cast members

Responsible for maintaining an accurate and up to date copy of the script that includes

blocking and choreography

Responsible for rehearsing and managing students/cast

Melanie Gaskins

Professor Niemes

MATH 596

November 1, 2015

Title: How Many Wishes Make a Whole?

Grade: 3

13

14

Essential Question: How do we solve word problems using parts of a whole and fractions?

Standards

NJCCS 3.NF.A.1

NJCCS 3.NF.A.3

CC.MP.1

CC.MP.3

CC.MP.4

Learning Objectives and Assessments:

Learning Objectives

Assessments

fourths and eighths.

responses during group discussion

and pair share.

fraction and solve word problems using their

knowledge of parts and wholes and fractions.

erase board for all pupil response

and final question.

Materials

The Wishing Club by Donna Jo Napoli

Wishing Club Bags (1 per pair of students; materials will be separated using zip lock

bags)

o 1 dollar, 4 quarters, 10 dimes, 10 nickels and 10 pennies

o counting chips

o circular pie pieces

1 whole

2 halves

3 thirds

rectangular pieces

1 whole

2 halves

4 fourths

6 eights

dry erase board, dry erase marker, eraser (1 each per student)

Pre-lesson assignments and/or prior knowledge: The students will have previously practiced

determining the quantity of coins and dollars. Additionally, they have partitioned circles and

15

rectangles into two, three, or four equal shares, as stated by the NJCC. The students are also

familiar with the following vocabulary: halves, thirds and fourths.

Lesson Beginning: The teacher will instruct the students to put all materials in their desk. After

the students are seated and ready the teacher will explain to the students that she is going to read

them a new book called The Wishing Club. She will ask students if they have ever been a part of

a club. She will explain the purpose of the wishing club and invite students to be a part of the

club. As members of the club the students receive certain perks such as wishing club bags. The

teacher will first show the class the wishing club bags and the contents of the bags. Next, she will

explain the procedure for the reading.

The teacher will hand out the materials.

The students are only to use the materials in the bag when asked to do so.

The students are to share the contents of the bag with the person seated next to them at

their desk clusters.

(5 minutes)

Instructional Plan:

Timetable & Transitions

0:5:00-0:25:00

The teacher will introduce the book and read the story aloud to the class from the front of

the classroom. She will remain standing and cross in front of the room as she reads.

The teacher will stop reading the book as the students learn what each child in the book

received as a result of their wish. The class will use what they know about fractions and

their manipulatives to determine how many parts of the whole or fraction each wisher

received.

o Petey- 4 years old; receives of his wishes.

wishes for 1 dollar but receives 1 quarter

The teacher will ask the students what they could use from their

wishing bag to help them determine how many quarters are in 1

dollar.

Students may use the money provided or drawings on their

dry erase boards to determine the answer. They will write

the answer on the dry erase boards and hold their boards up

when asked.

The teacher will put an enlarged illustration of how this is

modeled in the book on the document camera to enforce

this concept.

The teacher will ask the students if Petey has 1 quarter and

4 quarters make one whole dollar, then how many parts of a

dollar does he have.

Students will use manipulatives and their dry erase boards

to determine the answer. Students will write the answer on

their boards and hold their boards up when asked.

Joey- 2 years old; receives of his wishes

16

The teacher will ask the students what they could use from

their wishing bag to use as a cookie.

Students will identify circular pie pieces.

Teacher will ask students to find of a whole cookie

Teacher will ask students how many halves make one

whole cookie

audible all pupil response

The teacher will put an enlarged illustration of how this is

modeled in the book on the document camera to enforce

this concept.

Sally - 8 years old; receives of her wishes

wishes for 1 bag of 80 marbles receives 10 marbles

The teacher will ask the students what they could use from

their wishing bag to represent the marbles.

students will identify the chips

The teacher will ask the group if Sally has 10 marbles but

there should be 80 marbles in the bag what part or fraction

of marbles does Sally have?

Students will work with partners to determine strategies to

determine the answer.

The teacher will illustrate the students strategies on the

board or the document camera. The group will discuss the

strategies and the answers they developed.

Age/Fraction relationship is revealed

Teacher will write this information on the board using a chart

Make a whole pig

If all the children in the book wished for a whole pig would they

get it? Lets find out. The students will use their dry erase boards

while the teacher uses the blackboard.

The teacher will ask students to find a rectangular whole

piece in their wishing club bags.

The teacher will ask the students to trace the whole

rectangular piece on their dry erase boards.

The class will add pig details as modeled by the teacher on

the rectangle

Ask students what part or fraction of a whole each child in

the story receives when they make a wish. Students and the

teacher can refer to the chart for clarity.

As each child is named find the corresponding rectangular

piece and place it on top of the outline of the rectangular

whole. All of the pieces when added together make a whole

pig.

17

than make up of the whole.

Differentiation:

Students will be able to pair share or group share In order to get ideas and share ideas if

needed.

Students will have access to manipulatives and are able to use drawings to aid in their

problem solving.

Students will be able to see enlarged models of how the whole breaks into parts for every

example.

Classroom Management:

The teacher will use whole brain teaching techniques.

She will circulate the room during pair/small group discussions.

She check for a thumb's to determine if students are ready to reveal their answers.

The teacher will preview the wishing club bags and how to use them before handing

out the materials.

Closure:

0:25:00-0:30:00

The teacher will ask the students two questions related to the material but not directly

from the material to formatively assess the students comprehension of the content.

o If we added my 4 year-old little cousin, Sherman, to the wishing club what part of

the whole would he receive?

audible pupil response

If Sherman also wished for marbles and 80 marbles are supposed to come

in the bag how many marbles would he get? Write the answer on your dry

erase board. Give me a thumbs up when you have an answer?

The teacher will check individual students work.

Melanie Gaskins

Professor Niemes

MATH 596

2nd Grade Skip Counting Lesson

December 4. 2015

18

Topic: Use skip counting to find the total number in equal groups

Essential Question: How can we use skip counting to solve math problems?

Standards:

2.OA.B.2 Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.

2.NBT.A.2 Count within 1000; skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s.

CC.MP.1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them

CC.MP.4 Model with mathematics

Learning Objectives and Assessments:

Learning Objectives

SWBAT model skip counting to find the

total in equal groups by completing at least

5 problems correctly.

Assessments

Visual check of students counting chips,

classwork, and homework assignment.

Teacher will listen to students responses during

group discussion, group share and during the

closure of the lesson.

Materials

Everyday Math- student book and teachers edition

Easel whiteboard and dry erase markers

Counting chips

number lines

100s chart-classroom version and one for each student

number cards 1-100

Math journal

clip boards

document camera and or apple TV

Pre-lesson assignments and/or prior knowledge: The students will have previously had

lessons on solving word problems. Additionally, as part of the math meeting students have

practiced counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, and 100s using the 100 chart and identified patterns when skip

counting using the 100 chart.

Lesson Beginning: The teacher will instruct the students to take out their math books. They will

rip out pages 113-118. Students will immediately place the last page which is homework in their

homework folders. Next, the teacher will instruct the students to meet on the magic carpet

(reading rug). After the students are seated the teacher will proceed with the math meeting.

How many days the students have been in school -place value

19

identify money and the different values -penny, nickel, dime, quarter, dollar

Instructional Plan:

Timetable & Transitions

0:0:00-0:35:00

The teacher will introduce skip counting as a strategy to solve addition problems. The teacher

will illustrate the problem on the board.

I have 3 lily pads and 2 frogs on each lily pad. How many frogs do I have?

o students will offer suggestions

use counters

draw

o If I were to draw it what should I draw?

o How can I use skip counting to solve the problem?

o Because we have groups with an equal number in each group we can skip count to

find the answer instead of adding each frog one at time. Lets try another one.

(Use name of student in class) has 3 vases with 5 flowers in each? How many flowers

does she have?

o Turn and talk to your partner. Tell them how you would solve the problem.

o Now who would like to share with the group?

How would you solve the problem?

Why would you do it that way? Can you show us?(provide counters or

blocks if necessary)

How can you prove that your answer is correct?

Great Work! Ok lets break into smaller groups.

Group B please log onto Reflex Math. Group A please get clipboards and bring page 113,

page 115, and one pencil to the carpet.

Small Group Work with counters

The teacher will model the odd numbered problems on page 114 using counters.

o How many groups should I make?

o How many should be in each group?

o What should we skip count by to find the answer?

The students will use the counters to answer the even problems on page 115

o Who can tell me the answer?

o How do you know that?

o How many groups did you make? What did you skip count by?

The groups will switch.

0:35:00-0:45:00

Everyone please log off of Reflex Math and put your materials away. You have one

minute on the timer to do that and return to your desks.

20

I want us to practice skip counting a bit more. We are going to play Spin and Skip

Count. Please take out your math journals and one pencil (teacher will model journal

entry on the document camera).

o This is a game we will play often. Normally, I am going to give each of you a

different number card. But for today lets do one together to practice.

o You will write the number that I give you at the top of the next clean page in your

math journal. Please put a circle around that number.

o Below that number on the first line please write.

My number is________.

fill in your number

o Below that please write

I will skip count by_______.

o We will spin the spinner on the spinner app to see what number we will skip count

by.

Show the spinner on the document camera.

fill in that number

o Below that write your number again followed by a comma. Next we will begin to

skip count. After every number we will add a comma. You will skip count for 1

minutes. Ill set the timer. Lets do it!

Great Work! Tomorrow you will try this on your own.

Differentiation:

Students will be able to group share/pair share in order to check their results.

Students will have access to manipulatives, number lines and individual 100s charts.

Early finishers can do the remaining odd problems.

Classroom Management:

The teacher will use whole brain teaching techniques.

She will circulate the room while students are drawing shapes and sharing results.

She check for a thumbs up to verify that students are ready to move on to the next shape.

Closure: I want you to use what we practiced today to help you solve your homework problems.

Lets try one more as class to make sure we understand. If there are 5 glue sticks at every group

of desks how can we figure out how many glue sticks there are total?

What for students to think then ask for suggestions.

o Praise accurate suggestions and suggest counting the number of groups of desks if

necessary.

o Next, draw the picture on the board.

o What should we skip count by?

Use think, get ready, release ( all pupil response)

o Skip count as a class to find the answer

21

This lesson was inspired by the Trenton Public School Curriculum and the Everyday Math

textbook. I was afforded an opportunity to teach this lesson to a second grade class at Carroll

Robins Elementary School. The students regularly practice skip counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, and 100s

during the Math Meeting. However they have never applied this skill to any other aspect of

Math. The students have practice solving addition and subtraction problems and also word

problems with multiple steps. The students practice math strategies regularly but the majority

still use their fingers and the number line regularly. They do not yet count on, use their doubles

facts or find a familiar anchor number such as 5 with any regularity. Therefore I was excited to

teach this strategy to the students as a way to help them more effectively add numbers together

and solve word problems.

When asked how to illustrate the math problems and to show the equal groups (we

circled the groups to distinguish one from another) the students were very successful. They could

quickly see how to separate the groups and how to illustrate the problem to aid in solving it.

They had difficulty when asked how skip counting could be used to help solve the problem at

hand. This was a relatively new concept to the students and appeared reasonable that they had

difficulty relating skip counting with solving math equations and word problems. After providing

basic prompts half of the class was able to grasp the concept being taught. After solving the

group example problem as a class the large majority appeared to understand the concept.

Problems arose when the class broke into small group instruction. I demonstrated how to

use counters to model equal groups and to illustrate a problem. The students add a difficult time

separating the counters into clearly visible equal groups and therefore had difficulty deciding

22

what to skip count by. A white work mat to contrast the colors would have been useful. Also a

worksheet similar to a 10-frame would have helped the students clearly organize the necessary

equal groups. Additionally the students had a difficult time staying on task while using the

manipulatives. I made an adjustment during the second small group session deciding to use the

individual white boards as opposed to the manipulatives. This worked well as the students were

able to focus and enjoyed drawing to illustrate the problem at hand.

I used the conclusion of the lesson and the students homework to assess whether the

students had an acceptable grasp of the material presented during the lesson. The majority of the

class appeared to understand how to use skip counting as a way to solve problems by the

conclusion of the lesson as demonstrated by their all pupil response However, only half of the

class used the new strategies learned to complete the homework. The other half used the

strategies they are most comfortable with and familiar using. It is important that the students

understand how to use various math strategies to aid them as their educational journey continues.

To encourage this, I would provide a new problem each day during the Math Minute and allow

the students the option to use one of two strategies listed on the board. The strategies listed

would change as we learned more ways to solve math equations and word problems. As a review,

older strategies would also be presented as one of the available strategies.

23

Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton: In this book one lonely hippopotamus throws a party

and more hippos than anticipated arrive for the good time. The hippos party through the night

and leave in groups the following day. This story could be used to practice counting and relating

quantities to their number equivalent. This story could also be used to practice and develop

addition and subtraction strategies.

The Fuzzy Duckling by Jane Werner Watson: An adorable duckling goes for a walk one

morning and encounters different animals increasing in number, for example, 2 colts, 3 calves

and 4 turkeys. This story can be used to practice counting and also addition and subtraction. It

would be beneficial for younger students to count the animals on the page, predict how many

animals might be on the next page, or practice subitizing. Older students could discuss how

many total animals are on a page or how many lambs would remain if the black one ran away?

Also, if the duckling sees two colts, how many more colts would make five colts? This story is

great way for students to unknowingly create strategies.

Elevator Magic by Stuart J. Murphy: This is a story about an imaginative little boy riding an

elevator who uses math to figure out how to arrive on different floors. Each floor is filled with

exciting things for example, farm animals and a rock band. This book focuses on subtraction but

a teacher could also practice addition strategies. A teacher could ask students questions such as:

How many floors is 3 down from 10? What would be on that floor? A teacher could also create

worksheets and ask the students to fill them in using information the book. Providing students

with a number line would be very beneficial when using this book and practicing subtraction.

24

One Inch Tall by Shel Silverstein: This poem asks the reader to consider what would happen if

you were one inch tall. How big would you be? What would your life be like? This is a great

way to experiment with measurement and to practice estimation skills. If you were one inch tall

what, in the classroom, would be the same height as you? What might be double your size?

Students could also be introduced to ratio. If you are one third as tall as me, what is something

that would be my height if you were only 1 inch tall?

Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy: Lisa, the main character of the story, has an important

homework assignment: to measure something in several different ways. She begins to measure

different aspects of her dog, Penny at home and at the park. Lisa uses estimation, as well as

several different units of measurement standard, non-standard, area, volume, and time. This

book is a great way to help students begin to think about the large concept of measurement.

There are a variety of activities students can do as relates to this story: students can be given the

same assignment as Lisa or given a non-standard unit of measure, such as their hand, and ask

them to find several things with that measurement.

The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss: Young readers will love this book as it depicts various and

sometimes outrageous kinds of feet using rhyme, color and texture. A teacher could introduce the

concept of measurement; direct student attention to different foot sizes, and shapes, and lead

them towards comparing the sizes against each other. A teacher could also practice grouping

feet together and using skip counting to find the total.

25

Eating Fractions by Bruce McMillan: This is a fractions concept book that displays two

children eating through different fractions such as halves, thirds and fourths. This book would be

a great way to introduce fraction concepts as it is easy to follow and all students are able to make

connections to food. A teacher could discuss parts of a whole and sharing tasks.

The Wishing Club: A Story about Fractions by Donna Jo Napoli: This book is about a

charming group of kids who make very kid like wishes on a shooting star and those wishes are

granted. The kids are only given a fraction of their wish and this fraction is based on their

different ages. This story can be used to inforce concepts about fractions using ordinary relatable

objects such as a quarter, a cookie and marbles. Students would have a wonderful time following

along with the story, creating fractions using manipulatives, and answering related questions.

Full House: An invitation to fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds: Full house: An Invitation to

Fractions is a delightful story in which Ms. Bloom, an innkeeper, keeps track of her guests and

desserts using fractions. When one guest arrives 1/6 of the inn is full. A student could be given a

cutout of an inn or a measurement stick and told to color it in using different colors as the inn

becomes filled. Additionally, the students could decide how to split up the cake in the story

within their own group or class or decide how many cakes they would need based on the

information received from reading the story.

Shapes by Shel Silverstein: This is a short whimsical, nonsensical poem, where a triangle falls

onto a square, and a circle brings him to the hospital. This poem could be used to introduce

geometric terms. Early elementary students could draw the shapes as they hear them and discuss

26

the similarities and differences between them. Students could also create their own poems using

shapes as a fun way to build familiarity with the terms.

27

Scavenger Hunt: This is an introductory activity wherein students are asked to locate specific

material from the text book. Students work in groups and are given a time limit. This activity is

great as it allows students to work together without having to know one another intimately.

Conversation not related to the topic is limited allowing students who are less outgoing to

actively participate in a group. In this way, students were able to become acquainted with each

other in a non-threatening manner. Also this was a wonderful way to introduce students to the

format of a particular text book. Students are able to locate various text features to practice

finding key useful information within the text. Lower elementary students unfamiliar with text

features would benefit from this activity as a way to practice being good readers by using good

reader strategies such as identifying text features. This is also a way to present information much

different than a lecture. Allowing students to locate and write down information found makes

them active participants in their learning experience.

Jigsaw Activity: The jigsaw activity is a class favorite as it allows the student to become the

teacher. Students will be put into groups and given a topic that they must master using notes,

worksheets or text. For example, the different properties of addition: commutative, associative

and zero property. Together, the group must review their topic and be prepared to teach another

group about their specific topic. They must be able to answer questions and provide examples.

After a previously established amount of time has passed the teacher organizes the groups into

new groups with one person from each original group. Students take turns teaching other

students what they learned about the topic. This activity is beneficial because as students are

asked to explain a topic their knowledge of that topic increases and deepens. Additionally, as

their peers ask questions all of the students are deepening their understanding of the topic.

28

Subitizing Activities: Subitizing is the ability to look at an amount of objects and to just see

how many there are in total without really counting. This is a critical skill to master when

developing a students number sense. Instant recognition of amounts must be practiced as

students begin to associate specific quantities with objects as opposed to larger, smaller, greater

or less than. A way to introduce students to subitizing is to show them pictures and ask them to

tell you how they see or organize the groups. You can also flash pictures of dots in small

numbers to students and ask the following: How many dots did you see? What did the pattern

look like? Another way to practice subitizing is to introduce the 5 or 10 frame allowing students

an opportunity to begin to see quantity in relationship to an anchor number such as 5 or 10.

Students can also work in pairs with one student creating a pattern in the frame while the other

student covers his own eyes. The student looks at the frame quickly and then again covers his

eyes while his partner removes the pattern from the frame. The student then opens his eyes and

recreates the pattern on the frame.

Part-Part Whole Activities: There are several ways students can be introduced to part-part

whole concepts that are both engaging and interactive. Students, for example, can be given

connecting blocks of two different colors, squares of paper that are different colors or counters.

Students usually focus on one number and explore all of the different combinations of numbers

that are the same as that one number. Students can either build or deconstruct a whole to practice

part-part whole relationships. These activities connect subtraction and addition concepts. They

allow students access to these concepts using information they already know or can see

physically. Students should write down or say aloud these combinations in order to reflect upon

29

the part-part whole relationships. They should also be asked to create number sentences to go

with their combinations. This activity can be done as a group, in small groups or individually.

Mystery Addends: This is a missing-part activity which is a variation of the part-part whole

activities. Students are encouraged to use what they know about numbers and parts of a whole to

find the missing addend. Two students put one number card each on their foreheads without first

seeing what their numbers are. The class tells the students the sum of their two numbers and the

students use that information as well as the number displayed on their classmates forehead to

guess what their own number is. This game can also be played with groups of three and with

large numbers for older or more advanced students. This activity can pave the way for addition

and subtraction algorithms and student invented strategies by asking students to informally add

and subtract numbers to find the addend. Students also use what they know about more than or

less than when making appropriate guesses and estimations.

Speed Dating: The purpose of this activity is for students to share independent research with the

rest of the class in a fast paced setting much like speed dating. Students will be divided into two

groups. One group will remain seated while the other group rotates around the room. Pairs will

sit together and share information for a predetermined time. When the time is up the moving

group will rotate to the next seat to begin the process again. Students must share the allotted time

fairly providing all students an equal opportunity to present their research or information. Speed

dating has many benefits. It provides an opportunity for students to get new ideas from their

classmates, to practice public speaking in an informal setting with a small audience, and to also

practice time management. As students continue to practice presenting their information they

30

become more conscious of the time restriction and as a result are more concise and clear when

relaying information. These things are beneficial to all aspects of education and are not limited to

math content.

Trashketball: This game is used as a fun and competitive way for students to review material in

preparation for a test or at the end of a unit. It can also be used to reinforce information learned

in class and as a formative assessment. To play the game students are divided into groups or

teams. Each team member is given a letter T, R, A, S, H. The teacher asks a question or

displays a question on the board. Each team is given an opportunity to answer the question

correctly. The teams that answer correctly are able to try to gain points. The teacher will call out

one letter. The winning team members with that letter try to get points for their team by throwing

a crumpled piece of paper into a trashcan. After every round the teacher will call a different letter

affording every student a possible opportunity to make a basket and gain points for their team. To

make the game more exciting the teacher could make a 1 point and a 3 point line on the floor

using tape. Students could choose to shoot from the 1 point line or the 3 point line based on their

comfort with the activity.

Hundreds Chart Activities: A hundreds chart is a valuable tool for a student to use when

developing connections between numbers, place-value concepts, and skip counting skills. It is

especially important for students between kindergarten and second grade. Students can be given

a hundreds chart with missing numbers and asked to fill in the numbers. They can be asked to

notice relationships between numbers and their placement on the hundreds chart. Students can

also be asked to notice patterns on the hundreds chart. Additionally students can be asked to

31

place one number on the chart and to also place all of its neighbors on the chart. As students get

older they can use the chart to determine how much is from one number to the next, reinforcing

subtraction and addition skills. Group discussion about this chart can be used to gain insight into

students ideas about numbers and their relationships.

Polygon Flipbook: The polygon flipbook is an excellent study guide and organizer for students

trying to distinguish between the properties of different shapes. There are many ways to use this

assignment but I believe it would be most beneficial to create this flipbook towards the

beginning of a geometry unit. This flip book could then be a resource for students to refer to,

avoiding any misconceptions. Students could also add more clarifying detail as it became

available during lessons. The flip book itself is made up of many pieces of colored construction

paper. The students should layer the paper one on top of one another leaving one half inch of

space between each color. Once this is complete, students can fold their papers in half and staple

along the fold or use a rubber band to hold the book together. If successfully done the flipbook

will have been created with the smallest flap on top, with each flap increasing in size as the folds

reach the bottom of the book. The teacher then leads the students in adding information to the

book regarding the properties of different shapes.

Area Cut Outs: Students are currently taught strategies and the whys of theorems and

formulas. As a result, it is important that they understand how those formulas were developed.

The idea being that if students understand why something is so than they will not have to

remember formulas. To understand is also a higher order thinking skill as opposed to

remembering. Students should have an opportunity to explore area formulas such as:

32

Area of a square = bh

Area of a triangle = bh

Area of a trapezoid = 1/2h(b1+b2)

Pythagorean Theorem

The above formulas can all be modeled using graph paper. For example to model the

Pythagorean Theorem students will first be asked to draw a right triangle using graph paper. The

students should label the legs a and b and the hypotenuse should be labeled c. Next, students

will create squares attached to legs a and b of the triangle using the dimensions of those legs. The

students will find the area of those two squares. Following that, students will then be asked to cut

out the squares they created and to cut them into the smaller squares of the graph paper. Next,

students will draw a square attached to the hypotenuse and fit the small graph paper squares

inside of it. Students will notice that all of the small squares from the larger squares fit into the

hypotenuse square. Therefore, the area of square a plus square b is the same as the area of square

c which when simplified is the Pythagorean Theorem. Activities such as this allow the students a

chance to learn through understanding and do not rely solely on memorization. Additionally,

students have an opportunity to work with their hands providing another entry point for this

information and a way to keep students engaged.

33

Calculation Nation: www.calculationnation.nctm.org. This website uses the power of the Web

to let students challenge opponents from anywhere in the world. At the same time, students are

able to challenge themselves by investigating significant mathematical content and practicing

fundamental skills. The element of competition adds an extra layer of excitement.

Times Square Directions: Students use their knowledge of multiplication facts to get

four numbers in a row on the game board before their opponent. They must strategically

decide which numbers they need to make 4 in a row. The students must identify and tag

the factors of those numbers.

NCTM to provide educational resources such as lesson plans and activities that highlight the

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.

Pan-Balance: Shapes: This activity encourages ideas about scale and how to balance the

scale by adding different shapes to each side based on what the student learns about the

properties of that shape. For example, a circle and a diamond weigh the same as a

triangle. This activity can begin or strengthen a discussion on less than and more than.

Fraction Models: This activity explores different representations of fractions including

improper fractions, mixed numbers, decimals, and percentages. Additionally, there are

length, area, region, and set models. Students can adjust numerators and denominators to

see how they alter the representations and models. There is also a table to keep track of

the material explored. Students can physically see what makes a fraction improper. They

can adjust the model to represent and identify equal fractions or find decimals and

percentile equivalents to fractions.

34

This site asks students to help Melvin organize and put away his potions by identifying

equal fractions. The activity uses various fraction models enabling students to become

more proficient with the concept of equivalency. The fractions become more complex as

students successfully completes each level.

Symmetry: http://www.topmarks.co.uk/Flash.aspx?f=Symmetry

This is a basic game for students beginning to learn about the idea of symmetry in

Geometry. Students can choose to find the symmetry in shapes, pictures or patterns.

Additionally, students are able to sort shapes, pictures or patterns based on whether they

have a line of symmetry. Young students will enjoy this activity as it is very bright and

colorful.

This website is a more advanced site for students to practice using what they know about

symmetry. Students are asks increasingly difficult questions regarding rotational

symmetry using degrees of rotation of shapes, letters etc. to challenge students

understanding of this concept. This game is set to a timer and students can go up or down

in level based on how well they perform during the game. This game is exciting and fun.

This site has variety of uses and resources such as lesson plans and

interactives. It is also not geared solely towards mathematics and

tackles a wide range of grade levels. The interactives include but are

not limited to: area models to multiply and reduce fractions, building a

number line to explore how numbers and operations are related to

each other, and using the scale to practice equivalency concepts. This

35

students tackled new math concepts. It would provide a different visual

aid to solidify information being taught.

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives:

http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/frames_asid_192_g_2_t_1.html.

This site has its origins at Utah State University. It is organized by content area and grade

level. One of the best things about this particular site is its use of virtual manipulatives.

The site allows students to work with base ten blocks, counting chips, pie pieces, the

hundreds chart etc. This allows students to have a different experience with the

manipulatives and an opportunity to practice computer skills. Additionally, students with

mobility or fine motor skill disabilities would have an opportunity to more comfortably

use manipulatives on their own.

Zondle: www.zondle.com.

Zondle is a website that gives teachers an opportunity to create their own questions for

whole group teaching, homework, and assessments. Teachers are also able to access

questions other teachers have created. This website can be used across any content area or

grade level and is a wonderful tool to use for a whole class review.

Kahoot: www.getkahoot.com.

Kahoot is another website that allows teachers to create questions to be used as a fun

game, review, or assessment. The questions are multiple choice and teachers are able to

add videos, diagrams, and images to enhance the students engagement. The game is

viewed on a shared screen but students can respond to these questions using their own

devices such as a tablet, computer or phone. I would use this website to enhance review

36

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