Last week, I was ending the week feeling like I may have spent a few days talking to the walls. (You can read about it here.) This weekend, I feel much better.
We spent the week working on building an understanding of number lines. After making a measuring strips, in groups of 5’s and 10’s, and measuring some things, we needed to start thinking about how a person could skip around on that number line and use it for adding. When I taped a 100 strip to the board and started asking kids to tell me the number of a certain cube on that number line, it was like a miracle had occurred. Because nobody could reach the number line to touch each square, and because we’d talked a lot in our math congresses about how we could use the 5 and 10 structure of the paper number line to skip count, they started actually using the number line tool and the skip counting strategy to find the answers I was seeking. THEY ACTUALLY DID!
Oh, and no big deal, but they were finally counting on from a known number instead of starting back at zero every time. Seriously. I’m not even exaggerating to make myself look/feel better.
Here’s the lesson for me:
- Trust Cathy Fosnot.
- Sometimes moving forward helps some kids who appeared to not be ready to move on. I thought I would do a quick number string, sort out who needed some more help with skip counting and counting on, and then make up some Math Workshop groups. But, low and behold, some of the kids who haven’t been counting on started counting on! And many who had been fully committed to counting by ones were using the 5s and 10s.
So there you have it: Valentine’s Day, Winter Electives, and a field trip, all in the same week, and we still moved around on the Landscape of Learning!