Graphing the Holidays

Originally posted 11/27/2018

Teaching between Thanksgiving and the winter break can be a challenge. How do you keep your students engaged in meaningful math learning while embracing the season? Introducing graphing and data analysis might just be the answer.

Imagine starting your day in first grade with a question about favorite holiday treats. Students can answer the question and instantly you have meaningful data that can be organized into a tally chart, picture graph, or bar graph for students to analyze. Or, students can build a bar graph with post-it notes as they make their choices. Then, spend some time analyzing the results.

Ask 5th graders if they traveled over Thanksgiving break. If so, how far? Now use this data to find mean, median, and mode, or to create a histogram for students to analyze. Or, chart the temperatures over the course of a couple of weeks and use this data to create a line graph.

Third and fourth graders could tally the number of candles in their homes for the holidays and use this data to create a line plot. Fourth graders can use their line plots to explore finding the median.

Planning a holiday party? Survey the students on what should be served and what activities should be included. Students can present the findings in a graph and use the results to determine how much and what needs to be donated or purchased to make the party a success.

The holidays are a great time to share family traditions. Why not use that information to meet some graphing and data analysis standards?

For other ideas to keep students engaged in learning read Mental Math Breaks from December 2017.

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Come see us in April!

We’ll be presenting at the following conferences in April. Stop by and say “I’m a Math Champion” to get one of our cool buttons!


NCSM Annual Conference 2019 | San Diego
April 3 | 1:45 – 2:45 pm

No More “Menacing Multiplication” and “Laborious Long Division” – Understanding Procedures through Number Sense in Grades 3-5

As a mathematics leader, how many times have you heard teachers ask “My students are struggling, can’t I just teach them a procedure?” Teachers recognize the need for students to develop both procedural fluency and conceptual understanding but are often unsure of how to do so. Explore strategies focused on numeracy, sense-making, and fostering a conceptual understanding that will help even the most struggling student understand the abstract algorithms for multiplication and division


NCTM Annual Meeting 2019 | San Diego

We’ll be presenting regular and exhibitor sessions for Singapore Math, Inc. as they’re releasing their new Singapore Math Series Dimensions Math. Come meet the authors!

#133.4 Empowering Algebraic Thinkers
April 4 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Experience how mental math strategies for grades 4–6 build confidence and understanding for future algebra students. Fill up your teaching toolbox with Singapore math strategies that prepare elementary students for advanced math.

#255 Using Mental Math to Deepen Number Sense
April 4 | 3:15 pm – 4:30 pm Beth made some awesome short videos!

#360.3 Ready, Set, Play: Practicing Number Sense with Games
April 5 | 9:30 am – 10:30 am


NCEA 2019 Convention & Expo

Understanding Procedures through Number Sense: Grades 3-5
April 23 | 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Join us as we work with manipulatives to understand and practice multi-digit multiplication and long division algorithms for whole numbers and decimals. Learn how to help all learners master the move from concrete to pictorial representation to the ultimate abstract algorithm with a deep understanding of regrouping and place value.

Strategies First: Teaching Fact Fluency with Hands-on Activities and Games
April 24 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 p.m.
If we can’t teach memorization, then what do we do? Participants will learn how to develop hands-on lessons that promote deep conceptual understanding and strengthen students’ number sense. We will explore strategies for teaching and learning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts to make mathematics accessible to all students. Participants will engage in activities and games that promote automaticity with math facts, leaving with the tools needed to take what they learned and apply it immediately in their classrooms.


MCTM Spring Conference 2019
April 25-26, 2019

Ready, Set, Play: Practicing Number Sense with Games
Day/Time TBA

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Word Problem Wednesday – Marbles

This month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem comes from an article in the Daily Express, a UK newpaper.

The headline teases: This is the maths puzzle that is baffling everyone – but could you solve it?

Yes, we can! So, don’t lose your marbles over this one.

This appears to come from a Maths No Problem! workbook, probably 2A as the article states it is a problem for 7-year-olds. The author interviews a math professor:

Math expert, Dr. James Hind, of Nottingham Trent University, said the confusing question is above the level it was set for and to reach a conclusion it is best to try a number of equations.

Dr. Hind then proceeds to use a guess and check method to solve the problem. Maybe they asked the wrong expert.

Programs based on a Singapore Math approach start bar model drawing in either 2nd or 3rd grade, making this a challenging problem for many 2nd graders, but not a guess and check problem. Visualization of problem-solving actually starts in kindergarten!

See if you can solve this one like a 7-year- old. Submit your solutions by the end of the month!


Our last Word Problem Wednesday problem was from the chapter on the “Model Method and Algebra” from The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics.

We had several correct answers submitted. Here’s a worked example from Shirley Davis:

How did you do?


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Announcing: Jumpstart Your Singapore Math® Instruction Workshops for 2019

Back by popular demand!

We are pleased to announce the return of Jumpstart, an intensive, two-day workshop for current and potential users of Primary Math and Math in Focus, as well as any teacher interested in incorporating these techniques into their own classroom, regardless of current curriculum. If you are:

  • new to the Singapore approach to math instruction…
  • needing a refresher to boost your math teaching skills…
  • wanting to incorporate the best practices from Singapore into your current curriculum…or
  • curious about the reasons for Singapore’s remarkable success…

…then this workshop is for you!

Click here to get all of the details on this exciting program!

https://singaporemathsource.com/jumpstart-your-singapore-math-summer-2019/

Location and dates currently available:

Roanoke, VA | July 8-9, 2019:
Register Now!

Phoenix, AZ | July 18-19, 2019*:
Register Now!

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN | July 25-26, 2019:
Register Now!

Golden, CO | July 29-30, 2019:
Register Now!

Irvine, CA | August 1-2, 2019:
Register Now!

*Jumpstart AZ does not have a Day 2 Choose your own adventure option. You will cover similar content over 2 days with Cassy!

Do you want to be notified when a Jumpstart Your Singapore Math Instruction is scheduled near you? Fill out the form below:

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Word Problem Wednesday – Ava, Ben, and Carlos

This month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem comes from the chapter on the “Model Method and Algebra” from The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics.

The book models the Unitary Method as well as 3 variations on an algebraic solution. The author’s end this problem with the following commentary

The Model Method is a means, not and end in itself. It helps students formulate an algebraic equation to solve the problem. While more able students can proceed quickly to the absract algebraic method to solve problems without drawing a model, others may still need to rely on drawing the model as a problem-solving heuristic.

-The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics, p. 58

Wise words, indeed! On to the problem:

$120 is shared among 3 friends, Ava, Ben, and Carlos. If Ava receives $20 less than Ben, and Ben receives 3 times as much money as Carlos, how much does Carlos receive?

Submit your solutions by the end of the month!


Last month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem was from the chapter on Real-World Problems Math in Focus 2A:

We had several correct answers submitted. Here’s a worked example from Minnesota math teacher and coach Kris Simonsen:

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