Now skip that same student ahead to sixth grade: He is now working with regrouping in a larger more complex way. He can’t just “borrow from a neighbor” when he is decomposing numbers. At this time, it at times is okay to “put the bigger number on the top” when working with negative numbers or decimals. So now, the student is frustrated that they no longer can depend on old habits and terms they have learned to depend on.
This is the importance of teaching the math language correctly, consistently, and from the beginning.
In the lower grades, number towers are both fun and helpful. Students use unifix cubes of the same color to make a group of ten. Then when they build on they start a different color. This is a way to build the concept of ten as a benchmark. Students can easily count on when they see a ten first and add to it.
Understand the needs of your students in order to develop the lessons in a way that target the skills they are in need of the most. Starting each unit with a pre-assessment is a great way to see what students already know and decide what it is they need to learn.
How do you know if you are adequately planning and pacing yourself? Will you end up not finishing all of the content by the end of the school year? Will you cover the state test required concepts in time? All of these racing thoughts are very typical and often discussed continuously among colleagues.
- Classroom Teacher
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