In the Kindergarten or 1st grade classroom, especially within the Math Workshop, it’s almost impossible to have a Math with Writing station where kids are actually reading and solving story problems without needing any kind of help to decode what the problem is asking and know apply how to apply addition and subtraction processes to that concept. We typically say that Math with Writing should be up and running around 2nd grade, so what does problem solving actually look like in Kindergarten and 1st grade?
When students are looking at story problems, they’ll typically do one of two things.
Math involves a lot of preparation, especially when you’re using manipulatives. We want to put the C back in CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract). Of course, C stands for concrete, but it also stands for careful planning!
I love listening to kids and their math reasoning when you give them an opportunity to tell you how they think! They have masterful minds. I love the ways they come up with to tell you how their brain is thinking, and even if they aren’t sure how their brain is thinking, they tell you in their cute five-year-old way!
It’s mid-September…the honeymoon is over. The excitement of the school year has worn off and Thanksgiving seems like an eternity away. If your school is anything like the one I visited today (a few kids having meltdown, a few kids visiting the sensory room…). This is the perfect time to revisit social stories!
Kids can look at a digit and recognize it as an 8, but they often don’t understand what’s behind the digit. Yes, the symbol means 8, but 8 could be 4 and 4, or 5 and 3, or 6 and 2. In some countries, they teach letters last and the sounds first. If the student doesn’t know what sound the K makes, there’s no point in looking at the symbol and knowing its name. The same is true of math.
Today, schools seem to place so much pressure on students to be able to do “fast facts.” Schools are giving out awards and incentivizing the memorization of facts with things like ice cream parties where students are only allowed to get a certain amount of ice cream or toppings based on the groups of facts they know.
I’ve walked in to dozens of different schools around the country (and outside of it!) in the last month. In fact, I’ve been working with teacher for the last 14 days in a row, and I see the prep that goes into the school year.
Fractions are hard. There are few kids (or even teachers!) who would say they love fractions. I recently found an excellent book that presents strategies to help teachers develop fraction sense in their students!
Guest Post by Sarah Westgreen, Tuck Sleep Foundation
Children with special needs are often at a greater risk of suffering from sleep disorders and sleep struggles. More than half of children with autism suffer from insomnia as many as 50 percent of children with ADHD suffer from sleep problems.