In chapter 3, Sammons discusses the importance of getting kids thinking about math as soon as they walk in the classroom in the morning. Sammons gives lots of great math warm-up activities that can be adapted for many different grade levels. I LOVED her ideas!!! Here are a few of my favorites:
Number of the Day: The teacher writes a number on chart paper (I plan to just use the smart board) and students come up with as many ways as possible to represent that number. The representations might include expanded form, base 10 pictures or various equations that yield that number as an answer. The teacher can have students add some of their representations to the board or paper. Now all students are learning new approaches from their teammates. I have done a number of the day before that was much more worksheet based and less interactive. I like this idea! Super simple!
What Comes Next?: This warm-up really requires some teamwork! It is the perfect way to have students practice patterns. The teacher uses chart paper (or the smart board) to write the first few numbers of a pattern (maybe even a couple in the middle). The teacher leaves enough blank lines for each student to have one to fill in. As students finish unpacking in the morning, they would go and add the next number in the pattern to the blank line. Students will have to work together because if one person puts the wrong number, the rest of the numbers will be incorrect as well. Students have to communicate with one another to correct any errors so that the entire pattern is accurate. I love the fact that they are working together and helping each other!
How we used math last night: With this warm-up, students are asked to think of at least one way that their family used math the night before. The teacher can have students record their answers on chart paper so that the whole class can see all the ways that nth is used in our everyday lives. Students might come up with things like measuring ingredients for dinner, paying a bill, calculating the amount of time before bed, etc. This sounds like a fun way to get families involved! It also proves to students that math is meaningful!
Data Collection: My daughter's kindergarten teacher used to use this warm-up with her class. As soon as I read about it in Sammons' book, I was like "Why in the world haven't I been doing this with my third graders?!!!" The teacher writes or displays a question on the board. Students record their answer in the form of a picture or a tally mark on the board. Then students make a graph to show the class data. It is a brilliant way to practice graphing and to get to know your students deeper! Questions to graph might be: What is your favorite subject? What is your favorite genre of book to read? What is your favorite board game? So many options!!! I am going to give my students some blank graphs to keep in page protectors in their binder. They can make these graphs and then erase and have it ready for the next week. Later in the year, I may take the graph away and have them start from scratch.
You can download a FREE copy of these graphs HERE.
First, I can't wait to call them warm-ups. It is perfect for my sports themed classroom! Just like athletes need to stretch and warm up their muscles- so do mathematicians. I also loved Sammons' suggestion to have a different warm-up for each day of the week. I think I will implement this next year. Last year, I did a daily math type worksheet. Each day had a few problems for students to solve. It was a good way to have a spiral review of math concepts. I don't think I will totally get rid of it. But I think that for the warm-up, I would like to get students working together more. I love that many of Sammons warm-ups require cooperative learning. This sounds like a much better way to set the tone first thing in the morning than doing a worksheet! Here is a schedule that I want to use in my classroom...
I added a Write the Problem warm-up to my class schedule. I plan to give my students an answer and ask them to write a word problem for that particular answer. My students love to do this and it is fun to compare all of the different problems that they write.
Also in chapter three, Sammons talks about the importance of linking math concepts to real world applications. This is the purpose of the warm-up about how they used math at home- but there are other ways we can help students see math all around them. One suggestion that Sammons gave was to have students track their own grades and graph their scores. I nearly squealed when I read this! I already have my data graphs copied and ready for my students next year. I love the idea of having students becoming more accountable for their learning. I think it increases their motivation and allows them to see just how much they are growing. The added bonus is that they will have that data and graphing standard mastered long before the unit comes up in our math studies! They will be using math in a meaningful way.
I have data tracking binders in my store for second and third grade. You can click on the pictures below to see the product in my TpT store.
It's your turn! Here are some questions from Sammons. I's love to hear from you!
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