We have always been partners in the mathematics education of our children — and now we find ourselves in a time that demands even more collaboration between home and school. Ensuring that our children have meaningful math learning experiences when we are inside and inundated with technological distractions can be difficult.
To that end I am inviting you to explore the following resource for parents of primary aged children. It was written years ago in a partnership between the BC Ministry of Education and a group of respected BC educators to support parents of young children to find and highlight mathematics in their daily lives. From sorting and counting to estimating and measuring, Math For Families has dozens of simple activities that families will love. The resource has also been translated into Chinese and Punjabi.
And please, stay well.
Hello to my friends near and far… It has been a long time since I have posted anything to my blog, and for that I am truly sorry. To my faithful visitors, I offer you my thanks. I hope this latest instalment has been worth the wait!
My newest collaboration — as always, co-created with the inimitable Sandra Ball — is entitled Financial Literacy In Primary: Thinking About Money in the Canadian Classroom. This full-colour, 50 page resource is free to download – but you’ll need a password to access it. Please use the form below to contact me for the secret code. Read on to learn more. Enjoy! Carole
Financial Literacy — An Important Aspect of Numeracy
Beginning in the fall of 2016, concepts addressing financial literacy are being introduced to the Western Canadian mathematics curriculum. Although they have been included at the middle school level for a number of years, this is the first time that financial literacy as been highlighted in elementary — and most notably at the primary level. This raises some important questions. What is financial literacy at the primary level anyway? Certainly it is more than recognizing and naming Canadian coins! Structured instead around notions of earning, saving and spending and giving money, curricular outcomes dedicated to financial literacy are intended to look more deeply at what it means to be financially responsible.
Our youngest learners need support and explicit teaching to reach these goals. Engaging, authentic and meaningful tasks are critically important. Learning about money should be fun, of course, but should include notions of social responsibility — earning, saving and giving — as well as spending!
Playing with Money: Connecting to Number Sense
In this new resource, Sandra and I have crafted a series of lessons to support teachers in introducing and developing ideas around financial literacy in Kindergarten through Grade 3. Currently there are few — if any — resources devoted to these ideas for primary students. We are hopeful this resource will fill that need!
Rich tasks, literature connections and games for practice in this resource are laid out along a continuum and are intended to be used across grades. In alignment with our new curriculum, these lessons are connected to both the core competencies (Thinking, Communicating and Personal and Social Responsibility) as well as to the curricular competenciesfor mathematics. By integrating financial literacy into our math program in primary, we create meaningful contexts for the math we are learning.
Think of the mathematical expertise our students will build as we represent and describe money amounts, compare and order values, skip count with coins and bills, use place value understandings and add and subtract dollar amounts!
The Math Big Ideas for Financial Literacy
This teacher resource is structured around a set of Big Math Ideas for earning money, saving money and spending and giving money. These enduring understandings apply across the primary grades and beyond. By addressing these Big Math Ideas in developmentally appropriate and engaging ways we can ensure students have fun while they lay the foundations for ensuring financially responsible decision-making.
Sandra and I hope that this resource proves useful to you and fun for your students!
To download the materials, visit my online store (https://mindfull.ecwid.com) and click on the FREE DOWNLOADS icon.
It has been some time since I have made a post here, but fear not – I have been busy in the interim! 🙂
I am very pleased to announce the release of my new book, entitled NUMBER SENSE – A Combined Grades Resource for Kindergarten and Grade 1 Math Classrooms.
As the title suggests, it has been written in support of teachers of K/1 combined classes. The resource deals specifically with the number strand outcomes from the WNCP curriculum (the one currently in place in Canada), and does so in a way that keeps kindergarten and grade 1 learners together. The resource includes:
• line masters for all lessons
• practice opportuntities in the form of games, centres and additional tasks
• ideas for meaningful daily routines – an alternative to calendar!
• assessment tools – both formal and informal
The cost for the resource is $30 plus $4 shipping (for 3 or more copies, shipping costs will differ).
If you’d like to order a copy, please click here to purchase online.
Thanks so much for your support…
UPDATE: Thank you to all of those who have bought the book! A file of select line masters drawn from the resource is attached here. These are best printed and enjoyed in colour…
I thought I would post a copy of a game that I created (which I KNOW someone else out there has likely done before me!) to support young children in recognizing sets of number at a a glance. We all know how important this skill is in promoting number sense in young learners! In this game called “I have… Who Has…?” for grades 1 and 2, students start with a card (or more than one, if there are enough cards to go around!). Choose any child you like to begin the cycle. She reads from her card, from left to right, saying the number represented in the picture (“I have 14.”) and then asking the question (“Who has seven?”). Students listen for their number, then ask their question until all students have had a chance to read. The game is over when the first person to read, reads again. Be sure and hand out ALL the cards, or the cycle won’t work… 🙂
I have created a Kindergarten version of the “I have… Who has…?” game as well. The numbers go only to 10, and there are picture of fingers to help them “read” the number word. A small group – or partners – works best for this one, since there are only ten cards!
Have fun with this!
(And for my friends in Coquitlam who witnessed the spectacular initial fail of this game, rest assured that I’ve fixed it!)
I am, as many of you know, a great fan of the games produced by the good folks at BEAM. They are conceptual, strategic and focus on the big math ideas across the grades. One of my favourites is “Totally Ten Snake”, in which two players take turns covering pairs of digits that add to 10 along a “snake” of numbers. When all the digits are covered – each player using his or her own coloured counters – the winner is the one with the longest string of digits covered in their colour. In the example below, red wins, with 4 in a row at the end of the game against purple:
Well, I love this game a lot, and when played strategically it can engage kids across the grades (and even adults at my workshops!). That said, I thought it was worth re-jigging the game for children who are younger, and for those who need support to focus on quantity rather than on the digits as set out in the original BEAM game.
These edited games are geared towards understandings of 5-ness and ten-ness, and use dots in place of digits. The rules are the same as in the original. You can download your own version of Terrific Ten Snake or the easier ten frame 10 snake and/or the Fabulous Five Worm by clicking on their names…
PS – If you’re looking for more ideas like this for K and grade 1, consider purchasing a copy of my book: Number Sense – A Combined Grades Resource for K, K/1 and Grade 1 Math Classrooms. It’s set up to support teachers in addressing the number PLOs in mindful ways while keeping their Kindergarten and Grade 1 students together. Games, tasks, problems and meaningful practice opportunities are included in English and in French. To order online, click here.
My apologies to my colleagues in Coquitlam – I promised to post this over the weekend, but ended up riding my bike to the Olympic sites downtown – and was completely overwhelmed by the celebrations…
The 2010 Olympic Games are in full force here in Vancouver, and I for one couldn’t be more excited – or more proud – to live in this city! Kids everywhere are getting right into the games and patriotism is at an unprecedented high. So, with that in mind, I structured a math lesson with an Olympic spin for primary classrooms. The big math ideas of this lesson highlight 2 things: “We can find the sum using 3 addends”, and “We can make ten in many ways.”
I had a great time engaging with students in Kindergarten with this task – but I’d suggest there are ways to extend it all the way through Grade 2, depending on the questions you ask. Here’s what we did.
I told the kinders that I was a volunteer with the Olympics and that my job was to figure out for each event who had won and how many medals each country had in all. I told them that I had to produce a report for the Olympic Committee to show how I had figured it all out. I began by talking about the different kinds of medals we could win, then told them the names of the 3 countries I would be comparing – China, the US and Canada. We modelled a possible solution for one event (the speed-skating event) and figured out a way to record and compare the results.
Students went to tables and, working in partners and alone, modelled and recorded solutions for each of the sports that I was in charge of – namely Snowboarding, Bobsledding, Curling, Skiing and Figure Skating. They were VERY excited to discover that Canada had won each event… With a coincidental score of 10 medals for each and every event! 🙂
Next, we compared the different ways we can make 10 (1+8+1; 3+3+4, 5+3+2, etc) and focussed on how each set made ten, no matter how we added them – a big concept for the primary grades.
To take this context and the math even further, students could compare the number of medals earned by each country and calculate the difference between each country’s total. At later grades, students could sort out how many gold, silver and bronze medals were handed out, and then how many medals were awarded in all.
Hopefully there’s something helpful in these materials for you to use in the next while. Get the results by country and by sports, images of the medals and an image to match each sport here…