I don’t think this is any surprise here, but math is my FAVORITE subject to teach. You’ll notice I blog about math more than any other subject area. If my dad were reading this he would probably laugh at that! He was a finance guy and numbers just make complete and total sense to him. My sister is the exact same way. She can look at a huge math problem and solve it in her head in a matter of seconds. It’s a good thing she is the 5th grade math teacher and not me because I always struggled with math. I think that’s why I like it so much now. I love finding ways to make kids excited about math since I just didn’t get it as a kid. I remember sitting at the table with math homework and my sister trying to explain it to me… and it never sunk in. I’m also fairly certain that my College Algebra teacher just passed me because she felt sorry for me. I know for certain that I didn’t earn that C!!!
When it comes to teaching math, that’s a whole other ballgame. I’m constantly finding ways to incorporate food, toys, and fun objects into my lessons. Math is the one subject area that I’m always teaching in new ways…what worked in the years past may not always work now and in the future. It’s important to keep up with new standards, new ways of learning, and how my students will learn best.
This week we started place value. When at the grocery store I perused the aisles to find food items that represented the ones, tens, and hundreds. I finally settled on saltines for hundreds, pretzel sticks for tens, and small marshmallows for ones.
Today we used our place value dice to roll 3-digit numbers and then we represented the number using our food items. Since we are just starting out, I didn’t have my students write anything down. I just wanted them to have fun making numbers! They worked with their partner and made up new challenges along the way… who could make the larger number? Who can name the expanded form first? It was a lot of fun!
Then, we used what we learned to model a 3 digit number on a cherry. They loved this!
You can find the cherry activity and a lot more place value ideas by clicking HERE!
And, because I’m sure you want to see me in my sweats, messy hair, and worn-off makeup… here’s a little video of how we have been expanding numbers this week. We talked about how balloons expand…just like we do with our numbers! I really think these little bitty arm movements have made a huge difference in how well my littles have grasped the concept!