Can you believe we are about to wrap up our 2nd full week of school?
This year I'm starting things off by assisting our teachers with a school-wide Fall Math Assessment. This will give us a snap shot of what our strengths are as a school/grade level/classroom as well as what mathematical areas we want to focus on. So far I've been really proud of the effort that the students have put into taking this assessment. They have comfortably expressed to me that it is OK if they don't know something - because that is how their teacher will know what they need to learn. Love it!
I've also been spending time in the 1st grade classrooms teaching math lessons. The original intent was to do the Week of Inspirational Math from YouCubed, which is what we started with (Day 1), but we soon ended up following our own path.
This change in plans led us to my new favorite acronym - WODB? If you have a first grader, ask them if they can tell you what it means. We had a ton of fun trying to say it as a word ... "wadubuh" ... "wadubuh"... "wadubuh"
WODB stands for Which One Doesn't Belong? This activity involves four items, images, numbers, etc... that all belong together in some manner. The task is to choose which one you think doesn't belong AND then be able to explain why.
Mathematical Reasoning - check!
Explain Your Thinking - check!
The beauty of WODB is that there is NO right or wrong answer. You just need to be able to explain your thinking. I read the book Which One Doesn't Belong? by Christopher Daniels to each class, and shared his set of posters - an extension of the book - with them the next day. The kids loved the idea that there wasn't wrong answer. It seemed to really free them up so that they felt comfortable sharing their thinking. That experience of sharing and listening to others' observations was truly a powerful mathematical community building experience - especially for me, as I was able to do it 3x over!
During our last lesson the students worked together (we also learned that collaboration and discussion are an important part of doing math) to create their own WODB? posters. Let me just say that I knew this task was going to be a challenge, and I honestly did my very best to guide them as much as I could. It was one of those lessons where you knrw there were going to be mistakes made (on your part) and yet you could have never predicted what they'd be. It was all good though and every bump became a learning opportunity, with the occasional "Oh my!" or a good chuckle. By this point the 1st graders were getting really good at talking things through with their partners, sharing responsibilities, and being able to explain their thinking. I was truly impressed by their work and am super proud of them! I think Ms. Meck summed up the experience nicely in one of her most recent tweets:
Which One Doesn't Belong?
Remember - there are no right or wrong answers, but you must be able to explain your thinking - and of course have fun and enjoy yourselves!
Thank you Ms. Meck, Ms. Teske, and Ms. Smith for letting me join your classrooms.
Thank you QAE First Graders for being such great Mathematicians!