<![CDATA[2015-2016 3rd Grade Year! - Math]]>Fri, 27 Nov 2015 22:06:47 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Bar Models as a Problem Solving Tool!]]>Wed, 11 Nov 2015 22:18:20 GMThttp://qaeliner2015.weebly.com/math/november-11th-2015After exploring and understanding various strategies for solving addition and subtraction problems, our next unit in Math is all about putting those skills to the test with some problem solving!  As we tackle word problems, we are going to put on our critical thinking hats and become detectives, identifying key words that signal which operation to use along with creating bar models to visually show (and check!) our understanding of the question.  Here are a few videos that we watched that do a good job introducing bar models or the part part whole method.  First one is a video from learnzillion.com which is a great resource for video mini lessons on a variety of topics. HERE  It requires you to sign up but as a teacher I feel that it is a great resource.

Bar models also lead into algebra and understanding the relationship between addition and subtraction!  I am excited at making what seems like a complicated subject (algebra) and presenting it in a way they can understand and see!    

Keeping our Ideas Organized and Clear

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A big step in 3rd grade lies in tackling multi-step word problems, and the confusion that can create on the page. To help keep ideas and steps organized, we also discussed and practiced ways that we could clearly show our thinking and our problem solving.  Taken from our Extended Response Rubric that the 3rd grade team made together last year, we used the following anchor chart to help us as we tackled tough word problems.  I am incredibly proud of the overall progress in applying such organizational tools in just a week!  As we tackle fun and meaningful problem solving activities that require us to not only show our thinking but also defend our answer, these tools and skills will be put to the test!

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<![CDATA[Addition and Subtraction]]>Wed, 11 Nov 2015 22:07:26 GMThttp://qaeliner2015.weebly.com/math/addition-and-subtractionPicture
Before covering regrouping and adding large numbers up to 10,000, we learned a few key addition properties and the fancy vocabulary that goes with them.  Although some seem pretty straightforward (The Identity Property seems like a real "duh!" moment), learning these addition properties gives us the language and understanding to begin to compare and contrast the different Math operations.  Understanding the addition properties also gives us the tools to begin to represent and solve multi-step problems which can definitely be tricky sometimes!

We also covered multiple strategies to present and solve addition problems.  Knowing and being able to use and explain multiple strategies helps strengthen the brain and we had a few amazing moments when exploring the many ways we can represent addition.  The last method that is not on the anchor chart is the standard algorithm to solving addition (or "stacking" as they like to call it), which we went over as well!  Next up is subtraction and understanding the relationship between the two Math operations!

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Subtraction!  After refreshing ourselves on addition, we then jumped right into the dreaded land of regrouping and borrowing (even across zeros!).  As we begin to explore the relationship between addition and subtraction, I find that understanding how to represent and solve a problem in a variety of ways strengthens the depth of mastery over the concept.  We had a few of those wonderful "Ah hah!" moments with modeling subtraction using counting cubes and a number line as our first instinct may seem to be going right to the standard algorithm to solve tricky subtraction problems.  

We also focused a lot on borrowing and regrouping within subtraction.  Thinking back to when I was taught subtraction, I remember learning the steps to regrouping without fully understanding what was actually going on within the problem.  Hoping to show the standard algorithm steps side by side with counting cubes, I am working to bridge the understanding of how borrowing works.  This requires a mastery of place value, knowing that 4 tens is equal to 3 tens and 10 ones, along with a foundational understanding of subtraction in which the numbers cannot switch places like they can in addition.  I hope to continue to model borrowing across zeros using counting cubes in hopes that they make sense of the crazy crossing out and regrouping going on in their work.

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<![CDATA[Setting a Strong Foundation: Place Value]]>Tue, 03 Nov 2015 01:05:38 GMThttp://qaeliner2015.weebly.com/math/setting-a-strong-foundation-place-valueOur first Math unit, place value, quickly becomes the foundation of our Math understanding, helping us with everything from regrouping to rounding.  We began Math this year really hoping to become place value masters, and although it might have been a review for most of us, I hoped to challenge their understanding through representing numbers in unconventional ways (ex: 3 hundreds or 2 hundreds and 10 tens), or having the class try to find patterns within a growing or shrinking chain of numbers.

Along with representing numbers in a variety of ways, we also solidified our understanding of rounding and connected the skill to real world situations in which we use rounding to estimate a close answer.  We also add rounding and estimation to our Math problem solving toolbox as a way to quickly check to see if our answer is reasonable.  
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<![CDATA[Week of Inspirational Math!]]>Fri, 25 Sep 2015 23:11:11 GMThttp://qaeliner2015.weebly.com/math/week-of-inspirational-mathGrowth Mindset Video
I really wanted our first week of Math together to be fun and set us all up to really rethink Math through a series of fun activities and projects.  As a third grade team we participated in a Week of Inspirational Math!  Each day we had a different group activity that allowed us to explore Math and establish norms for group work.  From noticing patterns in Pascal's Triangle, to creating new numbers using just four fours, to even coming up with our own observations on how a set of shapes are growing, we really had a lot of fun!  We also focused on approaching Math with the Growth Mindset along with understanding that mistakes are KEY to learning and growing.  Here are some photos of us working through various Math challenges.
Here is a summation of our key concepts and take-aways from each day of Math!
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