Structuring the Math Day

One of the questions I get most often is:

How do I use the materials with my Singapore Math curriculum and fit it all into an hour math block?

First off, kudos to your school for setting aside an hour math block for your youngest learners! Through math instruction, students will gain the skills and thought processes necessary to solve problems. Math needs to be given a priority in the schedule. Following is one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Yeap Ban Har, author, and contributor to several Singapore Math style curriculum.

“We are not teaching math. We are teaching thinking through the medium of math.”

What should I include in my lessons?
  • Ongoing cumulative review
  • Direct instruction
  • Guided practice
  • Independent practice
How much time should I spend on each component?

10 minutes – Ongoing Cumulative Review
20 minutes – Direct Instruction
30 minutes – Guided and Independent Practice

What does each component consist of?
Ongoing Cumulative Review (10 minutes)

According to Steven Leinwand, in his book Accessible Mathematics: 10 Instructional Shifts that Raise Student Achievement, in every classroom there should be signs of: 

A deliberate and carefully planned reliance on ongoing, cumulative review of key skills and concepts.

As you teach concepts, you will want to include them in your ongoing cumulative review. With such an emphasis on mental math strategies and the development of number sense, mental math should play a major role in your daily review.

Mental Math can be practiced through the use of:

Direct Instruction (20 minutes)

  • Teacher directed (follow the plan in the Teacher’s Guide)
  • Through student exploration (also known as, an Anchor Task)

Guided Practice (30 minutes combined with Independent Practice)

  • Textbook problems can be worked:
    • Whole group answering problems on individual whiteboards,
    • With partners working through problems together, or
    • Individually

Independent Practice (30 minutes combined with Guided Practice)

  • Workbook problems
    • As home enjoyment
    • As classwork
  • Fluency practice

Comment below with your questions or concerns about structuring your math day!

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World Metrology Day


I know you’re on the edge of your seat.

World Metrology Day is celebrated annually on May 20, the anniversary of  the international agreement on units of measurement finalized at the Metre Convention in Paris, France in 1875.

World Metrology Day (WMD) commemorates the signing of the treaty and it is a day when all the countries in the world that enjoy the benefits of a single, coherent system of measurements, traceable to the International System of Units (SI), celebrate the scientific, technological, and economic achievements that this treaty has enabled for more than a century.

There are only 3 countries in the world that have not officially recognized the metric system: Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States.

Great news for students struggling to remember how many ounces in a pound, feet in a mile, or cups in a gallon. According to Elizabeth Gentry of the National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST):

The United States is undergoing a subtle transition to the International System of Units (SI), commonly known as the metric system.

Learn about events in Gaitherburg, MD and Boulder, CO as well as celebrations around the world at the official WMD2009 site.

You were wondering: “What is Metrology?”

From Coastal Calibration Laboratories:

Definition 1): Metrology is the science of measurement.

Definition 2): Metrology is the science of weights and measures used to determine the conformance of an item to technical requirements. Metrology also includes the development of standards and systems for absolute and relative measurements.

Want to learn more about Metrology?

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Pi Day Songs

Piday

Only 3 more shopping days until Pi day.

In case you were seeking some music for your celebration:

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi day to you,
Happy Pi day to you,
Happy Pi day everybody,
Happy Pi day to you.

(to the tune of “Happy Birthday”)

And there are more at this Pi day website. Be sure to check out all the mathematics and science songs at Greg Crowther’s site.

You missed the shipping date this year, but who says there’s a “season” for Pi shirts and aprons?

(Image via flickr user myklroventine)

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Happy Square Root Day!

From Yahoo news:

Dust off the slide rules and recharge the calculators. Square Root Day is upon us.

The math-buffs’ holiday, which only occurs nine times each century, falls on Tuesday — 3/3/09 (for the mathematically challenged, three is the square root of nine).

“These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day — and poof — they’re gone,” said Ron Gordon, a Redwood City teacher who started a contest meant to get people excited about the event.

Be sure to get your fill of square carrots and radishes, there are only 6 left in this century:

1/1/01
2/2/04
3/3/09
4/4/16
5/5/25
6/6/36
7/7/49
8/8/64
9/9/81

Image via flickr user denaldo

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