Monday, August 12, 2013

Math Expressions

Finally got my hands on the new Math Expressions manual for next year. The new version is aligned to the Common Core! It saves me a lot of work trying to align my lessons. Each day for math I have my students do 4 station rotations. These stations give the kids time to explore manipulatives and practice their skills. I try to work on  art projects, whole body kinesthetics activities, and lit connects when I can during station time. Some of the math stations I package up into a gallon ziplock (we call them math buckets) and put in a tote. In the past I have given my kids an occasional Free Friday and let them work in pairs and pick their own "math bucket" or fast finishers sometimes get some extra math bucket time. I have also sent home a math bucket and instruction card with a child who needed some extra practice.

Math expressions comes with 3 activities (intervention, on level, and challenge) for each unit. I have found that they can get repetitive. Some days I include one or two of the Math Expressions activities and a workbook page when available in my station rotation. Some of the stations also get repeated throughout the unit so my kids don't get hit with 4 news games everyday. There is usually one repeat or a slight variation on an old station each day. There is also the occasion "explore" station which is when I just give them time to play with a new manipulative. It is usually a manipulative that we are going to use as a whole group the following day and I want them to be able to get to play with it before we need to use it the next day.

I put together a document with the lesson title (I used to reference the CCS but now i don't have to because it's in the new teacher manual!!!), a few whole group ideas, some of the Math Expressions daily routine (the 100s chart counting part of the Math Expression routine I generally include as part of our morning meeting and calendar time), and 4 station ideas for the day.

Clearly some of the stations may change. Sometimes we combine two easy lessons or we might need to spend more than one day on a difficult lesson and do a station  two days in a row if it is a difficult concept but this at least provides me with a daily outline and stations ideas to pull from.

This document is still a work in progress but I hope to be done with Unit 3 this week which will at least get me a good jump start on the year!

Math Expressions Unit Breakdown and Station Activities

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