## Saturday, September 22, 2012

### Holy Math Standards, Batman!

Holy smokes, what a busy week!  In addition to regular teaching and family duties, my husband and I have been extra busy with two great events and one unexpected one.  First, we had Open House on Thursday.  Now that my husband has started teaching at the International School of Morocco with me – he is the Arabic teacher, we both needed to be in attendance, making for an extra long evening.  In addition to Open House, my husband began his Master’s classes on Thursday.  His program is an online program from the US, and so it is very, very important for him to have a good computer and quality internet access.  Of course, his computer chose Thursday to catch a virus!  Yikes!  Anyways, I’m telling you guys all this a way of saying, no, I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth (or this blog), but I may be posting slightly less until his computer gets fixed, as it is more important for him to write his papers than for me to write my blog posts – .  He’s finished for now, though, so let me tell you about my week!

This week was all about math in my classroom. My school uses standards from the UK and so I am still adjusting to the difference in expectations.  Some of the differences from the US standards that my fellow teachers and I have noticed are:

- students are expected to have a good amount of automaticity in multiplication facts by the end of 2nd grade

- students are expected to do more mental math and less working out the problems with steps and computation

- students have more time spent discussing multiples, number patterns and number combinations.

Many of my students were not in UK programs last year, so they are having to do some “catching up” in these areas.  This week, we worked on making number pairs to 100, 10 (using decimals) and 1,000.  Then, we connected how we could use these number pairs to subtract across zeros without subtracting.  For example: 400 – 138 = ____ becomes 138 + _____ = 400, which is then broken down into counting up to the next ten and next hundred (138 + ____ = 140; 140 + ____= 200; 200 + ____ = 400).  To help reinforce this for my students, I made this simple sheet, which you can feel free to grab from Google Docs.

In preparation for Open House, my kids helped me finish our Problem Solving Place Bulletin Board.  I don’t do a lot of cute bulletin boards, but I like how this one turned out.  You can grab all the pieces free in the Problem Solving Place Bulletin Board Kit I recently uploaded to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  My students are making good progress on this first month’s problems.  (You can also grab those free at my TPT Store – both 3rd grade and 4th grade.  Now, I need to get month 2’s done before October first, lol!)  One of my students has already finished her entire journal, prompting me to print out my Multiplication Tiling Puzzle Packet for her – she’s one of those who always needs an additional plan to keep her busy, so I’m going to be pulling back into lots of things I have to keep her productive and happy!  These puzzles are also available at my TPT store.

One other math activity we started this week was our 1 minute quizzes.  Since my kids didn’t have exposure to the UK curriculum last year, they don’t all have that “automaticity” in their multiplication and division facts that is expected.  To help them with that, we started taking a 1 minute/20 question multiplication quiz each morning.  As students get 100 percent on their quiz, they get to color in a sun, add it to our door and move on to the next level.  Here’s a picture of our door right now (sorry about the glare!)  You can grab the suns from my Basic Fact Reward Kit for FREE at my TPT store, and you can grab the multiplication quizzes (as well as addition quizzes and subtraction quizzes) too.

Holy math batman!  What is your class doing in math right now?