Category Archives: Math Riddles

Master’s Update and Math Apps!

I have been working really hard this year to try to differentiate a bit more effectively for my students. Last year I looked into Guided Math, and although I loved the way it sounded, I know that I fell short of actually following through with my well-intended plan. As part of a Master’s assignment this year, I actively started incorporating more small group time for guided practice into my classroom. Honestly, I can already feel the shift. The things that I thought would happen (a bunch of hands up in the air as I try to help those in the group) haven’t really been an issue, yet. Those who need help are with me and those who do not are able to move along and complete their work. It’s actually kind of simple. I also established some anchor activities for students to choose from when they do complete their work. I haven’t worked out all of the kinks, but knowing that I’m going to get to more students more quickly makes me feel as though I am teaching more authentically! If you don’t do much “guided practice” after your initial lesson, try it! For a week or two, try to build in more time to work with students in a small group. And keep it simple! Right now, I have it established that after my mini-lesson anyone who feels that they would like to work through a few more examples can join me at the back table. The students CHOOSE to come. What I love MOST is when the students who choose to join are the ones whom I was worried would be acting up and making it difficult for me to teach. They are CHOOSING to come back and work through examples with me. I still have a few students that I’d like to see join me at the back, however, I will give them time to decide if they need my help or not. If they should be going through more examples with me, I will ask them to join the group as well. I’m playing this part by ear, so far. What I’m also really happy about, is that my small group time has been with many different students. Initially I was scared that there may be a negative stigma attached to coming to the small group for more guided practice. However, this has not been the case. This small change to my teaching practice this year has been amazing and I’m looking forward to really harnessing the power of small group instruction.

As a part of this week’s assignment for my course I found a great blog post on Math Puzzle Apps and another on Incorporating Games into the Classroom . Math games and puzzles are simple options to use as anchor activities for students when they have finished the assigned work for the day. They keep the kids engaged while you can continue to work with those students who need your help.

I haven’t checked out all of the Math Apps in the article yet, but it’s on my to-do list for later this week!

Do you have any great Math Apps for middle school that don’t require internet? Please share if you do! I’m always on the lookout!

 

 

Starting the Year Off With A Little Bit of Problem Solving

I have had a great time getting to know my students in our first full week back to school. I’m pretty sure that I have lucked out this year! Ahh…the honeymoon period. I love it!

Anyhow, I had mentioned a book a little while ago that I’d read this summer (What’s Your Math Problem? Getting to the Heart of Teaching Problem Solving) and wanted to include in some capacity in my teaching this year. I just wanted to throw out a little update. 

It’s so practical! I’ve used 2 problems from the book, just this week, and the kids are enjoying the challenge (so far). 

The first problem I gave the students is pictured below. I gave them coins on their desks to manipulate and they had the solution in no time! I love when things work out the way I want them to!

 

brain teaser math problem

 

 How is your school year going so far?

 

 

 

Can you solve this math riddle?

This is one of my favorite math riddles (Brain Busters  I call them) that I always like to share with my class. I like to post it and give a prize to the first student who solves it. Click on the poster to download a copy for yourself.

Oh…and don’t worry. The answer is included in the download!

Krystal