Favorite Subject!

I don't think this is any surprise here, but math is my FAVORITE subject to teach.   You'll notice I blog about math more than any other subject area.  If my dad were reading this he would probably laugh at that!  He was a finance guy and numbers just make complete and total sense to him.  My sister is the exact same way.  She can look at a huge math problem and solve it in her head in a matter of seconds.  It's a good thing she is the 5th grade math teacher and not me because I always struggled with math.  I think that's why I like it so much now.  I love finding ways to make kids excited about math since I just didn't get it as a kid.  I remember sitting at the table with math homework and my sister trying to explain it to me... and it never sunk in.  I'm also fairly certain that my College Algebra teacher just passed me because she felt sorry for me.  I know for certain that I didn't earn that C!!!

When it comes to teaching math, that's a whole other ballgame.  I'm constantly finding ways to incorporate food, toys, and fun objects into my lessons.  Math is the one subject area that I'm always teaching in new ways...what worked in the years past may not always work now and in the future.  It's important to keep up with new standards, new ways of learning, and how my students will learn best.  

This week we started place value.  When at the grocery store I perused the aisles to find food items that represented the ones, tens, and hundreds.  I finally settled on saltines for hundreds, pretzel sticks for tens, and small marshmallows for ones.
Today we used our place value dice to roll 3-digit numbers and then we represented the number using our food items.  Since we are just starting out, I didn't have my students write anything down.  I just wanted them to have fun making numbers!  They worked with their partner and made up new challenges along the way... who could make the larger number?  Who can name the expanded form first?  It was a lot of fun!  
Then, we used what we learned to model a 3 digit number on a cherry.  They loved this!

You can find the cherry activity and a lot more place value ideas by clicking HERE!
And, because I'm sure you want to see me in my sweats, messy hair, and worn-off makeup... here's a little video of how we have been expanding numbers this week.  We talked about how balloons expand...just like we do with our numbers!  I really think these little bitty arm movements have made a huge difference in how well my littles have grasped the concept!
Make sure you check out lots of other wonderful posts on Blog Hoppin!


Teagan Thresher said...

I love your blog!

This is my third year of teaching and second year of reading your blog!!!

You are my favourite teacher blogger Amy!!!! You always have such AMAZING ideas!!!

You are such an inspiration to me- I have even began blogging after reading your blog!

Thank you for being so incredible!!! :) :)

shuttheclassroomdoor said...

Thanks for the great idea! My school was closed for asbestos abatement 3 days before school started! I had my room all ready to go, then had to pack up and move out over the weekend...we are in a local church and most of my classroom is in my living and dining rooms at home!! I was not able to bring all my math manipulatives so this is an idea to supplement! Thanks!!

Sweet Sweet Primary said...

I love your place value ideas! We'll be starting that soon and I'll definitely be borrowing some of your ideas!

Leigh- The Applicious Teacher said...

LOL! Love the #messyhairdontcare video! Thank you for sharing. I am always looking for ways to get my kiddos up, moving, and learning. Your little chant def brings the learning to kinesthetic learners!

Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd said...

Love love love love love. I LOVE using food and LOVE using similar arm movements to teach place value, too!! Thanks so much for sharing these fab ideas with us, girl!! :)

mandy mistler said...

I used your ballon strategy with my fourth graders on 7 digit numbers today and the loved it!!