Chris Laurie
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<div>I dug into my Smart Board app and discovered a great dynamic multimedia scale.</div>
I am going to try it out with my class.
Here is a screen shot.
 This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Chris Laurie.

I am so bad, in the past I would tell my struggling students to take out their “Primary Calculator” (their ruler) and use it to solve their work.
No more. I love learning new terms like “Subtrahend and Minuend”. Can’t wait to drop that one in the staff room.
I see Kindergarten student teachers rushing counting strategies. I need to share today’s concepts with my staff.
I will have to think of a less pejorative name for student’s rulers. ? Selfpowered calculator?

Since we have been using currency in my Grade 5 class. This video inspired me to compare unlike coins to ask which is more or less. I would line up pictures of each coin. This is would be great activity before working with place value.
Which is More or Less?
a) dimes: 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 10
b) quarters: 25 – 25
Change up the types of coins, from more or less move to a number line comparison, then ask how much more or less.

I liked the sequencing graphic at the end.
(Sorry, as a Grade 5 teacher, I did fast forward much of your discussion)
But I am planning on asking students, “How many square centimetres is their desk?”
A) Direct Comparison: – provide a single cubed cm square for them.
B) Indirect Comparison: – provide each student one (4cm x 5cm) Postit note.
– provide each student with 4 more postits.
C) Direct Measure: – as a class cover one desktop
– assess how they deal with new information
D) Indirect Measure: – *since desks are not the same, use their rulers to calculate square centimetres.
I love listening for leading questions to draw from students their thinking.

Wow, I read the teachers ideas.
However, many saw a need to go many steps beyond the rectangle indirectly measured with squares. Triangles? comparing two rhombus?? Wow that is rocket science! Then liquid measures. How abstract?? As teachers, I think we needlessly complicate instruction. We need to show more empathy (get into the sneakers of our less developed students).
The most important idea I heard was: TRUST.
Students need time and experience to develop TRUST. Educators are in such a hurry to ‘cover concepts’ and get to the next topic. These lessons have impressed upon me the need to build foundational skills through play (is only). Civil engineers advocate for a sound foundation before proceeding with any construction.
Educators need to chill. My greatest thrill is watching student light bulbs lite as they grasp new concepts or express themselves in new ways.
“Be Calm and PLAY On.”

I like the example revealing the different ways to create number sentences. I will use the bus example Monday. Then the air plane problem later with my Grade 5 (BC) class. Thanks for letting me know I can access more than the course: “Concept holding your kids back” I signed up for.

I teach grade 5 and use the following homework. Your theme is a Spiral Course Plan. This might help. SuperStar Math ensures students revisit different concepts on a regular bases.

The number of simultaneous measures complicates our perception. Visually, we can easily draw a conclusion with a single linear measure. Secondly, comparing area requires experience to play and learn from different attempts and comparisons. Finally Volume, requires us to imagine (abstractly) even more. If students don’t regularly bake or manage liquid volumes how can they compare without experience?
Developmentally, I know Kindergarten kids love their sandboxes and filling cups. Too often the toys and tools are left in the primary classes and too quickly substituted with paper and pencil in higher grades.
When I am shopping, it drives me nuts trying to compare produces in various jars. Even when I read the volume label I have to fight my instinct not to grab the ‘taller’ jar. Marketers use so many games to mess with our perceptions.

I used the Hot Chocolate as my first task. I dug deep into the back of our school supplies and found 1/2 lined exercise notebooks. Normally, these are popular in primary grades but I love the blank top for students to sketch and share their thinking visually.
 This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Chris Laurie.

We did the Hot Chocolate task.
By the time I assigned the 55 tablespoons. It was as though the class was lit on fire. One spark plug blurted out the answer was 165 glasses. As I wrote his response with a neutral expression, his face suddenly froze and he realize his response did not make sense and he selfcorrected. I reinforced the phrase: “Wrong Draft Math” and encouraged him to refine his thinking.
 This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Chris Laurie.

I will need to rewatch the division example. Now I see why teacher guides recommend using the language of “units” when working with base ten blocks. My primary colleges often call the smallest units “ones”. As a result, my grade five kids have difficulty conceptionally visualising the little red cubes as tenths of a rod. Playing with connecting cubes in groups of five would be a gradual first step. They love building things. (gun, towers, strange patterns) Your right. Adults are too quick to express abstractly with symbols. I will slow down.

As a grade 5 teacher, I am charged with introducing French language to BC kids for the first time. “Sonn” or “cent” was an uhha moment. I always impress upon the french spelling of metre and the pronunciation: Keelometer, and not Killometer. I totally, went a different direction in finding squares. I found 38, 20ones, 12fours, 4nines, and 2sixteens. Each year, I give the kids adding machine paper to create individual height strips. We go around the school measuring the hall in “Alice’s” and the gym in “Jame’s”. To be more accurate we have to sometimes include 1/2 an Alice. Confusion with dramatically taller students lead to discussions of common units.


The object you will be measuring: What if I gave students pattern blocks?
a) ten green triangles, b) ten yellow hexigon, c) ten red trapiods, d) a mixture of ten different block.

The specific attribute you plan to measure:
Ask students to list what their collection have in common.

The unit you will use to measure that attribute:
Ask class whose are larger, smaller, ask students for attributes to compare, (harder to find in a dark room, pointer edges, sharper edges, easier to package in a group….) 
Describe how you will use the unit to compare with the quantity to measure.
– ask class to brainstorm what rules of measure (types of measure) can we use to justify your answer.
which groups block make the longest chain (touching)
which groups blocks can cover the most surface of a 81/2 by 11 paper?
Which group can stack their’s higher
I didn’t quite know were we are going with properties. Until considering what makes a rectangle?
What makes a triangle? I am going to keep thinking. I can’t wait to see how my class can come up with ways to brag what attributes their collection has. (maybe I will not have a mixed collection for grade 5)


Initially, I thought the dots on the rights looked bigger, because of the spaces between. I was surprised to learn I perceived such a fine difference. I when thought, “It’s a Trick” model and forces my intuition to choose the left organized array. For years, I have three jars, one huge 1 1/2 gallon plastic container filled with cotton balls, second about 300 ml plastic container filled with beans, and third a small glass jar filled with lead. I add weight to ensure each is equal on the scale. Kids’ sense of touch immediately lead kids to assume the tiny jar is much heavier. It’s a great way to prove we can’t trust our senses and need practice observing attributes and sometimes need measuring tools to help us.

As I go about my chores and renos around my home, this lesson reminds me how I think and solve problems in a relative nature than additive. For example, herbicides or radiator fluid concentrates to my seed and fertiliser spreader. I think teachers prefer “The Answer” in strict concrete undebated easy to mark abstract terms. While kids love pattern blocks, measuring liquids, and folding paper. I need to consider how my practice will better prepare students for “LIFE”.
By the way, can I get a copy of all my reflections by the end of the course? ie. keep in my own reflection journal?

I am guilty of moving too quickly to abstract representations with classes. I need to recognize where kids are developmentally and lead them more gradually.

Marianne,
I’d suggest adding the algebraic expression below. If you are a smartboard ( Smartnotebook 11) user they have a dynamic Scale within the Smart Exchange.
X – $3.50 = $1.50
Scale:
X – 3.50 + 3.50 = $1.50 + 3.50

Not sure what you mean by counting cubes? Are you suggesting connecting cubes? Maybe give students access to connecting cubes and ask them create a visual number lines. Let them determine the colour order to visualize a base ten system.
Later, I we can explore our rulers. They can ‘mod’ modify their ruler to visualize a number line. (mod with highlighting each ten with a yellow jiffy ect…)

Our class collected change for a Terry Fox fundraiser. I was surprise how little experience my grade 5 students had with counting coins. I searched through Jump Math for some worksheets to practice. There were no practice pages beyond the grade 3 level in Jump Math. For my weakest kids I gave them a hundreds chart to assist with counting change. Maybe I need to assign visiting a garage sale on the weekend?