Summer Book Study – Week 3 – Chapter 3
Happy Week 3 Friends! If you are reading this, then you most likely know all about this math book study. But just in case you need a recap of chapters 1 and 2, you can find them here.
How do you find time to fit in purposeful play? That is a question that I have received frequently over the years. This chapter delves into looking for and finding blocks of time that work for your students and provide those opportunities. This chapter also breaks down some manipulatives and tools that you may already and how those apply to mathematics. This chapter just confirmed to me that the determinations and learning opportunities I provided for my students, as well as what I coach other teachers on, is right on target.
Take Aways from Chapter 3
- Explicit whole-group instruction is imperative and necessary – Use this time to explicitly teach + model specific manipulatives, demonstrating activities and pose questions or challenges.
- Math Tubs or Math Centers is the PERFECT time to give students structured play/practice, along with choice.
- You can have open choice time at the beginning of the day, instead of seat work; or have open choice time at the end of the day or even at the end of the week. Setting aside even 30 minutes a week is valuable.
- DON’T LET THE PERFECT BE THE ENEMY of the GOOD! (Jump in and try things…it doesn’t, nor will it be PERFECT!)
Great Math Tools, Materials & Manipulatives
I love that this book/chapter talks about a lot of the materials that most teachers/schools have already. And I always suggest teachers looking through ‘those closets’ in your school. You know, the ones that are overflowing with all the things that other teachers have gotten rid of and don’t want? Yeah, those closets or rooms. Haha. You would be amazed at all goodness in there.
- Add pictures for students to duplicate with blocks
- Legos/Mega Blocks
- Magnetic Tiles
- Number Puzzles work on number ID and ordering numbers and are a great way to incorporate puzzles and numbers
- Pattern Blocks
- Pattern Blocks to create numerals and match number representations
- Pattern Block pictures that increase in difficulty and abstract thinking
- Object Collections – This is great for sorting by colors, size and shape, as well as counting
- I love Counting Jars! You can use them for counting and can move on to decomposing and addition.
- Measuring Tools – This was a big AHA moment for me. I always did a specific unit on measuring and never made measuring tools available, outside of the measuring unit. Don’t be like me! Haha!
- Measuring cups in the sensory table or kitchen
- Flexible or kid-appropriate tape measure – You could include this with blocks, playdough or any other center/station
- Playdough!! Don’t skip out on the playdough!
- Don’t skip out on GAMES! Games not only focus on mathematical skills, but it helps to grow social interactions, communication and language skills as well!
Hands-on manipulatives and providing students an opportunity to interact with materials promote mathematical learning. If your admin/school/district are opposed to exploration time, consider having a conversation and sharing the research on how important these open opportunities are. Do the best you can, even if it’s only a few minutes a week.
If you have support, consider having a regular center/math tub time that is purposeful, yet allows for choice. I found that giving multiple activity options, provides that choice. I also recommend rotations, to give every student a chance at each station/center/tub, as well as eliminating certain students from monopolizing a specific activity. Finally, find a structure that includes direct, explicit instruction; independent practice time, and the elusive debriefing time. (Honestly, we have all been taught this in teacher college, but it’s the first thing we tend to eliminate and forget. 🙁 ) Don’t forget to scaffold instruction and learning too!
Sample Math Block (70 minutes)
- Whole-Group Calendar = 15 minutes
- Whole-Group Math Lesson (explicit instruction and modeling) = 20-25 minutes
- Math Tubs with Pull Out Small Groups = 30 minutes (consider  15 minute rotations)
- Debriefing = 5 minutes (explicit connections)
Thanks for following along with our Summer 2023 Book Study! I would love to hear your thoughts on chapter 3, please comment below and don’t forget to visit Mr.Greg’s page for his blog post!