Pocket It template for Combining and Partitioning Number

I posted some photos during the week of my Pocket It template on my Facebook Page. Please hop on over and give me a “like” if you haven’t already done so. I often post photos of what is happening in my classroom on this page. It’s a great way to see what I am up to on an almost daily basis.

Here are some of those photos:

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I use my Pocket It template for Combining/Composing and Partitioning/Decomposing number. Apologies for the duplication of maths terms in the previous sentence. I am conscious that  different terms are used in different parts of the world. Here in Ireland we use the terms Composing and Decomposing. It seems that the U.S and Australia use the tees Combining and Partitioning. I thought I would use both terms as I like to be inclusive :)!

My photos generated some requests for the Pocket It template. It seems that when I originally created it I inadvertently forgot to save the copyright information for the clipart :(. I searched my computer and the internet, but alas they exact images eluded me…

I hate to disappoint so I created a new version of Pocket It, complete with copyright information. So… Here it is…

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I hope that you will love this version too! Click here to download Pocket It.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Teacher Prep. for Back to School: E.M.A Matching

I am so excited that I finally got around to ordering “A Pair of Socks” from MathStart, Level 1 by Stuart J. Murphy and Lois Ehlert. For those of you who don’t know, Lois Ehlert is the  illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!!!! This is for the benefit of those of you who are new to following me ” I LOVE CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM“. Click here for a link!

Of course, the illustrations are just to die for in “A Pair of Sock”. I mean just look at this!

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The idea of Mathstart Books just rocks my world. A whole series of books, across multiple levels, that explores maths. I just want to give a big shout out to Stuart J. Murphy and Lois Ehlert for such an inspired and amazing series of books. I literally want them all!!! Even the ones that are beyond what I would teach in Junior/Senior Infants.

I found it really difficult to get photos of the inside of any of the Mathstart books and just decided to take a chance on buying it, based primarily on the reputation of the author and illustrator. I have taken a few snaps so that you can get a feel for the book. They are iPhone quality. Need to save up for a camera…

 

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The whole book is about finding a “matching sock” to make a pair. I think that “A Pair of Socks” is a great resource for teaching EMA Matching and Classifying. It’s also going to be useful for Algebra. There’s a whole lot of patterning going on in her peeps. Drum roll of the price reveal… About 5 euro including delivery 🙂 Click here to view or purchase. It seems to be out of stock today. It would be worth

I will be blogging more about EMA Matching over the coming weeks. Please leave me a comment if you have any  “go to” resources or games. We would all love to hear from you!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Preparing your child for school: Sorting and Classifying Objects

Matching and Sorting/Classifying are likely to be the first maths activities that your child will explore in Junior Infants. I have to say that I love exploring Classifying. Its so much fun to see how kids will “sort” things out. I love giving them a “mystery box” a.k.a the contents of “the junk drawer” that never gets fully tidied. You know it, its the one with all sort of bits and pieces in it. Buttons, magnets, bits of lego, McDonalds Happy Meal gifts… The all sorts of everything drawer.

I would like to introduce you to some very dear friends of mine:

Meet the Venn Diagram:

It’s basically a circle. You can classify objects with your Venn Diagram in lots of different ways:

Sort by Colour: Here is a set of yellow bears:

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 09.57.20Sort by Type: Here is a set of Bears:

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 09.54.47A more advanced form of sorting by colour: Here is a set of yellow bears and a set of bears that are not yellow:

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Now meet the Carroll Diagram. You can sort and classify objects in the same way that you did with your Venn Diagram. It’s a matter of preference as to which form of diagram you use.

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 14.05.49Here I used the Carroll Diagram to sort my shapes into two sets. The one on the left is “a set of square” and the one on the right is a “set that are not squares’

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These diagrams just as to help your child to organise his/her thought. I am sure that you all have lots and lots of bits and pieces that can be sorted and classified. If you would like to purchase some “counters” or “manipulatives” to use during the year then check out this link. I just LOVE Prim-Ed’s manipulatives. At a price point of 9,95 Euro,  for 144 plastic pieces, they are quite affordable. The quality of these counters is just fantastic. They are brightly coloured and robust.

I recently got the Vegetable Counters. I have some plastic fruit in my classroom . I think that sorting fruit from vegetables is going to be a nice maths/science lesson. I will be using them in lots of other lessons throughout the year.

I made a set of corn on the cob (my absolute favourite vegetable!!) and then a set of corn and a set of other vegetables.I’m pretty good at classifying, don’t you think?! Image 2

 

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You could add some yellow apples to the corn on the cob and make it a yellow set. Think of the possibilities!!!!

Here are the objectives as laid down by the Department of Education and Science for Junior Infants:

Strand: Early Maths Activities         Unit:  Classifying

  • classify objects on the basis of one attribute, such as colour, shape, texture or size
  • identify the complement of a set (i.e. elements not in a set)

Here are some free sorting mats that I have created for you all to use. Click here to download.

 

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If you have older children then  print out the mats, pop them in polypockets and send them out to the garden on a scavenger hunt. How can they classify their findings? These “early maths activities” are not just “child’s play”. They prepare your child to collect, describe, assess and analysis data. Perhaps you could have a future scientist or engineer on your hands as a result 😉

Have fun sorting and classifying,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Maths Journal for Mental Maths

I have had a great response to my “Maths Journal” photos on my Facebook page and on Twitter. In response to lots of questions I have decided to write a blog post in it!

Maths Journals are a wonderful teaching and assessment resource to have in your classrooms. They cost almost nothing and do not take very much time at all. I have used them with both Junior and Senior Infants in the past. I am currently teaching Junior Infants and we have started journaling. I am a huge advocate of challenging children with mental maths and oral maths problems. I mean why else do we need to learn maths if not to use it in our everyday lives!

How to Maths Journal:

Each child needs:

  • blank copy, non-lined type, per child
  • optional Maths Journal cover
  • glue
  • mental maths challenges
  • a 5 minute timer

How do I start?:

From their very first maths class my class are exposed to problem solving and mental/oral maths challenges. It is just a normal part of our day. I “maths talk” and show children how a problem can be solved while illustrating it it on my whiteboard or with manipulatives. I ask for children to suggest and model how they would solve a problem. By the time we come to our “Maths Journal” enteries my class have already developed problem solving skills.

About 2 weeks before children are given their journals I begin to work more formal on recording their answers. I write a question on the board  and “maths talk” what I would do. Demonstrating how to illustrate and record my answer. I try to do this daily during that two week preparation period.

One their first day with their Maths Journal I explain my expectations and the practicality of where they glue the question and how long they have to answer the question. What are my expectations?

  1. That children try to complete these challenges in 5 minutes.
  2. That they focus on the maths rather than the colouring. Its about good maths thinking rather than beautiful drawings.
  3. That it is a maths challenge so they will probably have to write a number to show their answer. That they do not look at another child’s work and if they do to remember that there are often multiple ways of solving a problem so both of them can be correct even if they look different 😉
  4. That the task is completed without talking to their friends about it. It is their challenge to solve

I will sometimes read the question and sometimes not, depending on the age of the children and their literacy levels.  That is as much help as my pupils are given. I ensure that the prompts relate to an aspect of the curriculum that we are currently studying or have already studied. Therefore the challenge should not required modelling. That is the beauty of these journals, I can see thought processes, strenghts and weaknesses at a glance. To my mind they are worth their weight in gold! I used handout last year and regretted it. It is so much better to have a running record.

Here are the Maths Journal covers that I designed for this year:

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Click here to download

Here is a photo of what they look like in real life:

maths journal cover ImageHere are some images of our very first journal entry. It was a revision page for the Number 3. I told my class that there was a “secret number” on their prompt. That number would tell them how many apples to draw. They had to draw that many apples, number them and colour them.
Image 1Image 3Then I set my 5 minute timer and wait to see how they would solve the problem. Click here for a link to the timer.
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That is pretty much it! I aim to complete a minimum of 2 entries per week. In an ideal world I would favour daily entries. With severe curriculum overload those 5 mins/day can be very, very elusive!!!

To encourage you to give it a whirl here is a Junior Infant, a Senior Infant and a 1st Class prompt 😉 Click here to download

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂