As we re-examine our Math instruction as a school, as a board and as a province, we are all seeking to help students gain a deeper understanding and to be able to share how they know what they know. New brain research has taught us that as we make mistakes, our brain makes new connections that actually make us smarter. It is important that students know how to solve problems and explain the steps they have taken; both those that were successful and those that weren't.
One of the important things that research proves about mathematical understanding is that the use of timed tests to have students demonstrate math computation causes stress and anxiety in students that can result in them becoming fearful and trying to avoid math. Instead, having them become aware of their thought processes and strategies empowers them to solve math problems creatively. During our Professional Learning Day on Friday of this week we continued our staff discussions about Mathematics. In particular, we discussed "number talks". As part of our professional learning, teacher presenters chose to share the video below. It explains what number talks are, why they are important and how they work to support students' mathematical learning. This is a strategy that parents can also use at home to help children understand the methods that parents use to understand and explain math.
This week there has been a lot on the news about mathematics teaching and learning. With our year long focus on math and the information contained in this blog, I hope that you feel that we have involved you in how and why this is our area of focus. We will be sharing information about the CBE Math strategy at the meeting. If you are unable to join us, please view the video here. Your voice matters. Please plan to attend a parent meeting so you can learn more and share your thoughts. More information will be coming home shortly.
If you want to know more about how your child is learning, please arrange a meeting with your child's teacher.
News from Grade 5/6
In Grade 5/6 we completed 2016 with sharing our Arctic Experience with both students and parents of our community during our celebration of learning. Students led visitors through a variety of artifacts and exhibits of Arctic culture. They were entertained by stories around a fire and participated in fishing for fun facts. Visitors responded to their experience upstairs by moving downstairs to represent and reflect on what they saw and heard by creating their own soundscapes, guessing the animal sounds and creating a mural of what they observed and wondered.
We are on our final push to complete our regions of Canada presentations is Social Studies using multiple methods – green screening, skits, and soundscapes. We have recently begun our investigation of the Iroquois Confederacy.
We have launched into our new science unit, which is composed of two parts. The first part looks at air and aerodynamics, where students study the characteristics of air and the relationship between moving air and solids. By examining birds and airplanes, students come to gain a better understanding of the adaptations and designs that make flight possible. We have connected our classroom read aloud with our science unit, as we are reading Airborn by Canadian author Kenneth Oppel. This novel is set in a time where giant airships rule the skies and follows the main character, Matt Curse, as he voyages into dangerous and unknown circumstances.
Next week's Math Challenge
This week's Math challenge came from Ms. Mask. How many solutions can you find? Be sure to post images of your solutions on Twitter or send them to Mrs. Wickland so we can share them!
Natalie's bike shop has a number of bicycles and tricycles for sale. Natalie counted a total of 60 wheels. How many bikes and how many trikes were for sale?
Draw your response in your Math journal using pictures, numbers and words. Explain your thinking. Show how you got your answers in more than one way.
Extensions and Modifications
PE FOCUS – Cooperative Games
Playground schedule - Division 2 on playground before school and at recess and Division 1 on the playground at lunch time.
Remember to check out our school website - http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b347