I am pleased to say that — beyond spending every day on the water this summer — I DID manage to create a new teacher resource for my intermediate colleagues.
This time, it’s a stand up calendar of problems — one for every day of the school year!
This compact but potent book comes with an easel so you can set it up on your desk and flip from one rich problem to the next, posing open-ended questions of your intermediate students.
Good Questions: A Year of Open-Ended Tasks is a problem-a-day resource that includes
rich tasks ideal for grades 5, 6, 7 and 8. Organized by topic and structured in problem sets of 5 or more, this simple to use teacher resource includes 210 mathematically important questions to engage your students in deep thinking. For only $25, it’s a perfect back-to-school gift for yourself!
Proportional reasoning, measurement, operations and algebra are featured in this calendar of problems. Each one engages students in thinking flexibly, critically and creatively in the face of important and challenging mathematics.
Let the problem-solving begin!
For those of you who have been looking for some of the teacher resources and student materials that I have used in my demonstration lessons, I’ve opted to try and put a collection of them all in one post… This collection of materials are intended for teaching place value, for use in lessons involving partitioning (addition, subtraction and multiplication), for comparing and ordering whole numbers as well as decimals, and for the teaching of fractions. As you’ve seen modelled in the lessons I’ve taught, these materials work best in concert with visuals (ten frames, base ten blocks, etc) and with plenty of opportunities for students to write equations, describe their thinking orally, build with models and create real-world situations to match.
The money and Cuisenaire Rods are best printed in colour, of course. I’d recommend sending the pdf’s to Staples.ca for printing. You can specify the weight of the paper (I like 80lb gloss cover) – and they’ll have the materials ready quickly for a reasonable price.
Consider putting magnetic tape on the back of these materials to allow them to be displayed on the white board. Check out the dispenser of magnetic tape available from Poster Pals. It’s great stuff!
I hope these prove helpful.
Here are some of my favourite Cuisenaire rod tasks for elementary. There are so many cool things to be done with these materials, I can’t begin to delve into it all here, but start with some of these ideas and see what kinds of thinking your students come up with. Remember it’s critical to record the numbers to accompany with your students’ constructions – modelling for them how a mathematician would record their reasoning is so very important. It allows students to formalize their learning and make connections to the “naked math”… (A phrase a dear friend of mine used to use often. Attention-getting, no??)
As well, I’ve uploaded are some Cuisenaire provocations — images to inspire creativity that your younger students may enjoy. To keep the play moving mathematically, try placing one or more of these pictures at the table where students are exploring the materials. You can suggest they might like to try making something like the image, but it’s much more interesting to simply place the image on the table and walk away. Your students will no doubt do something with the picture – and it’s oh-so-fun to observe them in action!
Look around your school for Cuisenaire rods – it’s not unusual to find them stashed away in a cupboard somewhere, forgotten. They are a classic manipulative and one with great possibilities. If you find them and want to figure out ways to use them, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d be happy to provide a workshop for your school staff, or to do a series of demonstration lessons with students across the grades with these versatile materials.
My favourite place to order Cuisenaire rods is through Spectrum Educational. Be sure to get the wooden materials only – they truly demonstrate the relationships in the most compelling way. Here’s a link to a class set of wooden materials from their on-line catalogue. For those of you in the lower mainland of BC, be sure to call Collins Educational — or drop by to pick some up. They’re always happy to help.
Enjoy a lovely weekend.