Hi...remember me??

*opens door...fumbles around for the light...brushes off dust*

Hi friends! It's been a LONG time! I always make promises to be a better blogger but I am really motivated this time. I have had a splendid Christmas break (and it's not done yet!) Seriously how great are the vacation perks of being a teacher?? Granted we need them desperately to keep from going out of our minds, but isn't it a great feeling to see people going back to work and knowing you have another week or so of freedom?

Anyway to help me get my own blogging butt into gear I decided to start focusing on some favorite math activities that I use in the classroom. Math was my favorite subject when I was in school and it is still my favorite to teach.

First up: number bonds. I really love using number bonds in the classroom. When I first started teaching it took a little practice for me to figure out how to introduce well and use them with my kids but they have proven to be a great tool to introduce and reinforce some key math concepts. My last school was a thinking map school and number bonds fit in perfectly alongside our work with brace maps and their "whole" and "part" concepts.

I start by giving them the manipulatives for their mats (in this case goldfish) and we tell number stories and move the fish around the mat to show how the 5 (or at this point in the year 10) can be broken down and then put back together. We have lots and lots of talking and moving (and occasionally some sneaky manipulative eating here or there haha).  It's really a great visual for composing and decomposing and can be extended easily to addition and subtraction concepts.

After the kids have gotten comfortable with the parts and the whole I start moving them into more "missing part" activities. For instance "if there is a 5 on the penguin belly, and we put 3 fish in the top box, how many need to go in the bottom box to get 5 all together?" We use number bonds all year in different ways as the skills get harder and the numbers get bigger.

You can find the penguin number bond mats and some practice sheets in my new little penguin mini math unit.


I'm off to the NC mountains to go skiing for the first time ever...say a prayer that I come back on 2 legs!!