Thursday, January 31, 2013

Borrowing Blues!

I love teaching math!  However, there is one unit that I dread teaching and that is subtraction with borrowing! Cue the dramatic music...dun dun dun!  Every year I have students that want to subtract up and forgo the borrowing all together!  I will probably go bald from pulling my hair out.
This year I have tried two different things with my students that seem to be helping them and my hair.
First, I make my students repeat over and over Bottom Bigger Borrow.  This reminds students that if the bottom number is bigger they have to borrow.  I even made a poster to help remind them.  You can click on the poster below to download it for FREE!
Secondly, I have shown my students the website National Library of Virtual Manipulative. (This website is FREE and great to use with interactive whiteboards.) On this website, there are virtual base ten blocks for students to subtract.  When they move the blocks over from the 100's or 10's column they will break apart!  The kids love the "magical" block change before their eyes.   This visual representation has really helped my students understand why we are borrowing.  (This website also offers virtual base ten blocks for addition, students lasso the blocks together to make a ten.)
I really hope these two things will help you, your students, and your hair. Please share any ideas that you may have as we we teachers must band together. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I am a slacker...

Well it is official!  I am a blogger slacker.  I am fulling embracing Common Core in my classroom this year, helping write our curriculum and rubric that are aligned to Common Core, and trying to be good teacher, mother, wife, and friend.  COMMON CORE you are kicking my butt! 
I feel like a first year teacher all over again.  I think I need to delete my post...Common Core..You Don't Scare Me.  As I am learning more of what is expected, I am nervous...not scared by nervous.  I am nervous of the unknown.  We will see what the future holds.  For now, I will be blogging about my Common Core adventures.  I hope that many of you will share your highs and lows as we all travel on this unknown journey.