Monday, June 10, 2013

Building Mathematical Comprehension–Chapter 1

Wow!  Where did that weekend go?!?  I had all these great intentions, but we still have a week and a half left of school and there is SO MUCH TO DO!  I worked on report cards, but Sunday was just too nice!  My husband and I took the dog to the state park about 45 minutes away and enjoyed the nice weather on a little picnic.

I am linking up with Thinking of Teaching and Primary Inspired for their book study. I found some time to fit in chapter 1 of Building Mathematical Comprehension, but I have to admit, my mind just wasn’t there. 

My thoughts:

1. I really like the connections to Mosaic of Thought.  I have not read that book in years and I do not think I have read the most recent addition with the curricular connections, so I may need to check that out some time.

2. As I was reading about explicit instruction, my mind was thinking about the Daily CAFÉ and Daily 5.  The description of explaining the what, when and why of a strategy or concept to the students is very similar to the approach The Sisters advocate for teaching new reading strategies, along with the modeling and gradual release of responsibility.

3. We have been working with the UPSL model for a few years to solve word problems – it is a four square model.

U = Understand – record data and key words important to the word problem

P = Plan – What are you going to do? and operations

S = Solve – solve the problem

L = Look back – check work or explain

This is a first grade version. In third grade, we use a blank grid with the word problem above it.  We encourage students to use this on assessments.  We model different ways to solve a problem and how to explain what you did to solve it.


I think it has been helpful in expanding our students’ mathematical thinking and helping them to think through the process.

4. Several other posters did more of an outline of specific sections of the chapter. The before, during, and after strategies are interesting and helpful to take a look at.

Questions I Have:

  • What does this look like?

With my move to third grade this year, I have also move to a building where there are math houses.  We switch students among 4 classrooms for a more homogenous mix of kids.  This makes flexibility difficult.  I love the idea of infusing more literacy-based strategies, but I’m just not sure how to make it fit. The classes run a bit more like a middle school/high school model and it seems like the time and ability to implement so much would be a challenge.  Maybe it would be best to try a few things at a time.

I guess I am a very primary-minded teacher and like to integrate everything.  Switching classes makes this impossible and I wonder how to make this all work.

I can’t wait to read more chapters and read what others have to say about their understandings.  Link up and share your ideas!

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic post! I had the same thoughts about Mosaic of Thought except that somehow, I have never read it. I've ordered it from our professional library to peruse before I am going to decide if I need to own it.
    I also really like your references to The Daily 5 and CAFE. I think that will help a lot of people see that they are already doing this type of teaching, they just need to transfer their skills to their math class.
    Thanks for linking up.
    Thinking of Teaching