Mathematical Practices are standards that support the Common Core. They do not dictate a specific computational skill, but they emphasize critical thinking skills and applications that allow children to approach any level of difficulty with the appropriate thinking skills needed to solve a mathematical problem. As a district we have focused on a few of these skills. As a teaching professional I found three of these practices are most valuable to the stage of learning our students are at:
CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4 Model with mathematics.
CCSS.Math.Practice.MP5 Use appropriate tools strategically.
CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6 Attend to precision.
To practice these concepts in the classroom we discussed three ways to model with math (a term we are using to combine the three mathematical practices above). When modeling with math students can draw and create math problems. They will draw a math problem by using hand drawn "sticks" (tens) and "cubes" (ones) to show a math sentence. Or they can use actual manipulatives of sticks and cubes to move around the pieces to show a math problem. The third way to model with math is something that is very unique to our school. Students can use the Number Pieces app on their iPad to represent a math sentence. We feel so lucky as a class to be able to model with math in THREE different ways.
To make sure we are modeling, using appropriate tools, and attending to precision we are practicing every day in math centers. Students will use all three tools (drawings, manipulatives, and iPads) to represent one math problem. Currently we are focused on vertical math sentences to "show our work." Students are working towards explaining with words and writing how to use each of the tools to demonstrate a problem, ensuring we are attending to precision. Students understand that "Ms. Cowan only cares about the work and not the answer because if you did your work correctly there is no need for Ms. Cowan to check the answer." Check out the pictures** and video below to see how mathematical practices are being demonstrated by our brilliant second graders!
For more information on Common Core and mathematical practices click here.
To download the Number Pieces app click here.
**Blog will be updated with more iPad pictures...technical difficulties (:
Mrs. Cowan loves photography, horses, coffee, tennis, hiking, more coffee, and her animals. Teaching is my greatest passion and I live everyday to find new and exciting things to share with my kids!