I’m not going to lie: making the jump to drawing number lines independently has taken a while! All the grade 2s can explain what I am doing on a number line, and all of them (ok, most of them) can describe a strategy and when I draw it on a number line they confirm I have drawn what they were doing in their heads. But to make their own? That’s been hard.

We had completed all of the activities in “Ages and Timelines”, one of the Context for Learning Units, and people were still referring to tools (hundred chart mostly, they they tried to use math racks unsuccessfully) so I wanted to spend an extra week just talking about how to use that number line AND draw it independently.

One day last week, I created some Smart Notebook slides and we all sat down the chalkboards. Here’s the first one,along with some notation to show that people were flexible with strategies…they used both addition and subtraction to find the answer. I will say that those who added were surprised some had used subtraction, and those who subtracted were surprised that addition could be used, so we had a great conversation about this slide! (Oh, and we are collecting paper towel tubes for science! 🙂 )

Here is another of our questions:

I wandered around and captured some number lines. Now, this might not be beautiful to you, but darn it! It is gorgeous to me! Look at the line, the iterated jumps, the acknowledgment that 4 jumps of 1 is the same as 1 jump of 4…*sigh* I’m smiling again just thinking about it!

I caught one person who was struggling, and handed that child a hundred chart, with a 25 chart on the back. For this problem, this child was able to use the 25 chart, but for later problems, had to use the 100 chart, and did!

Another beautiful number line… Another great demonstration of the iterated units drawn evenly and there even arrows on the end!

One of the most amazing things that happened is shown here. One child had a 100 chart and was using it well. Another had no strategy and was looking around the room to see if she was alone in this dilemma. As soon as she spotted the 100 chart, she scooted over to it. However, upon arrival, she realized she wasn’t sure what to do. The other child showed her!!! (There is a sock on one child’s hand because we use them to erase the chalkboards!)

So, it took us an extra week, and I am quite sure the number of grey hairs on my head has doubled since March Break. Next week, mixed in with some probability to math workshop centres, I am going to be sitting at a table interviewing these lovely grade 2’s to see what they can really do all on their own. Can’t wait!

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