Friday, August 10, 2012

Math Makeover

    Since I'll be flying solo this year, I've been giving a lot of thought to how I want to teach. The subject that is consuming most of my thoughts is math. I am in need of a serious math makeover. 

     My teaching partner and I have simultaneously taught math for the past 4 years. Each year we brainstormed new ways to reach all of our learners. We use interactive notebooks, brain based learning, the standards and the district mandated curriculum; the list goes on and on. Still something wasn't right. We sometimes felt like bad stand-up comics when we were teaching. *crickets*I tried to figure out the source of the problem; little background knowledge; tired after lunch; too close to recess; How about d.) none of the above? They're BORED! Bound by standards and a curriculum that doesn't match, it's nerve-wracking to disseminate so much information and hope for the best.

       Thus the need for my makeover. My dream is that the students have some huge problem to solve throughout each unit. I want to integrate other subjects if possible, but if I could at least get math and ELA standards in, I'll be happy. I want my students to WANT to learn the math so they can complete their task. I want them to be excited and engaged, and I feel like the "notes, process, extended thinking activity" way just isn't cutting it. The students are consistently coming into 5th grade with less and less FIRM background knowledge, so I need a spark. I've been obsessing over this for weeks now. 

      Fast forward to today. I've been tied to Teachers Pay Teachers for the past 4 days, and I came across Wise Guys. They are my new heroes. They have some of the very units I've been thinking about. They are going to help me turn my makeover dreams into a reality for now. First on my list to buy is the Problem Solving Design Zoo Math Challenge Common Core Standards.  Check it out if you have some time. I think my kids will love it! 

     If you know of any other resources, let me know! Until then, I'll be glued to the computer!


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