Analogies and Dice

Yesterday I shared with you some of my purchases from MPM School Supply. Well, my kiddos have looooved the dice and the number balance. In fact, today I sent the number balance with one of my groups for tutoring and both tutor and students were thrilled! The tutor reported it was one of their best sessions ever. Not only does it clearly show the relationship between numbers and that "equal" means the same amount on both sides of the equation, the number balance is so fun to use that the kids are highly motivated to experiment with numbers and addition. Love it!

I am also loving two other parts of our whole group Math time - I throw these in at the end of calendar time. First up is analogies. I know, I didn't necessarily think "math" when our reading coach offered me this book, but it is fabulous! She was going through some of her old books and came across one that she used to use several years ago as part of a different curriculum. She passed it on to me to see if I'd like to use it.

I decided to try it, just to fill in a few minutes one day and because I felt guilty for having a book and not using it lol. We complete a few every morning and about 10 of my kiddos are super at them - I barely finish writing it on the board and they are raising their hands to answer. Then I have 10 who can answer some of the easier ones, especially the ones involving shapes and colors. The other 5 are completely clueless at this point, but I'm hoping that with daily exposure they'll eventually catch on.

 Analogical reasoning  is a higher order thinking skill. I'm hoping it helps my firsties to learn to solve a problem using the solution to a similar known problem. Talk about applications! We are studying the commutative and associative properties of addition right now, plus learning to solve for unknows in all positions of an addition equation (x+3=5, 4+x=7, 5+3=x). If my firsties develop their analogical reasoning it should soon be second nature for them to know that if 6+4=10 then 4+6 must also equal 10. Of course, analogical reasoning also helps students make inferences about texts, make comparisons between texts or characters and make predictions based on prior knowledge.

So far we've started off with just a couple a day, and I have to admit that I have no idea whether adding in analogies will help with our reading comprehension or math skills, but it's very engaging for my students at this point. They are very eager to try to solve each analogy and very proud of themselves when they "get it".

The other new thing we've added to calendar time is dice play. I have many different dice now and we do different things with each kind. We don't do each one every day, I just pick and choose what I want to emphasize or have them practice.

 Here are my newest dice:
Place value dice to 1000, word dice, and foam dice with 7-12! Can you just imagine all the math fun we're going to be having?
 Since we do this whole group, I like to use my Elmo for this:
 I roll the dice under the Elmo. Sometimes I have kiddos come up to roll too.

  It's hard to see from this picture, but everyone has a bird's eye view of the dice on my Smartboard!

My kiddos each have their own marker and dry erase board and follow along as I choose a student to come to the board to write the answer. In this instance we were doing place value with my new place value dice, but sometimes we just roll two dice and make up addition sentences, roll two dice and make two numbers (ie 13 and 31) or roll dice to compare numbers (7<12). We also do graphing with the dice from my Roll & Graph packs.

Here's one of our analogies, but below that are two examples of a place value dice  roll.

Hope you enjoyed this look into our calendar time! Coming this weekend: some dice activity freebies! Make sure you stop by to grab them!

1 Rustle Up A Response!:

Elizabeth said... Reply to comment

I love the analogies! I'm so amazed that your little guys are understanding them! Way to go! (I guess I don't remember just how hard the little guys can work!)

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