Q&A #2889

Teaching mathematics creatively

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From: Claudia (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Feb 04, 2000 at 10:34:47
Subject: Re: Teaching mathematics creatively

To practice addition and subtraction without boring fast students and overwhelming slow students, why not play the "Base Ten game", "Race for 100" and "Go For Broke"? With Race for 100, you need ten materials for groups of 4. Heterogeneous groups work fine for this. Have students put their materials on the middle of the table, and roll a pair of dice for units? For example, they roll 5 and 3 to get 8 units. They each roll and build their number on their desk. They always roll for units, and when they have ten units, they must trade for one ten. If they forget to trade, their opponent can "sizzle" them and get their units. The first person to place the one hundred flat is the winner in each group. As each individual group reaches 100, they automatically begin to "Go for Broke". This means that they continue rolling the dice, finding the sum of the two dice, but now they subtract it from their total. Each person does not have to reach 100 before the game begins. I usually let them begin whenever the first person in the group wins by reaching 100. That way, they are more individualized as they begin to subtract. In this game, of course, the first person to get zero is the winner. I like to add a writing focus too. After they have played the game, I ask them to write the name of the game and directions for playing it in their journal. I ask for any strategy that they use to help them win. After that, we even use a three-point rubric to assign grades. Example of a rubric for Race to 100: 3= All of 2 plus, I drew a picture/model of the game in my journal. I found more than one strategy. I found something new and interesting about the game. 2= I used my base ten to keep an accurate score. I traded ten units in for 1 ten, and ten tens in for 1 hundred. I cooperated with my group. I cleaned up and put away my materials when I was done. I wrote the directions in my journal. I found a strategy that helped me win. 1= I did not finish a game. I did not keep accurate score. I did not cooperate with my group. I did not write in my journal or I did not finish. I always have the students write their rubric score in their journal with the game description, and I have them write at least one sentence telling what they could do to improve. This is great in parent conferences, because not only does the student know why she received a certain grade, but she knows what to do to get better. If you have more questions, please contact me at Judybishop@aol.com. -Claudia, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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