Students worked with partners to solve a mathematical problem. The focus of the lesson was in having students use numbers in problem-solving situations. Students worked cooperatively and explained their thinking and understanding. First, the teacher read a story about a farmer in a field. Then, the teacher presented the problem.
There are 5 cows.
There are 4 chickens.
How many feet and tails are there altogether?
Students in grade one had solved the problem of how many feet and tails there were for 4 cows and 3 chickens. During the class discussion, students explained what they had done. During this process, they presented their reasoning processes and gained valuable math language. In addition, they had the opportunity to listen and learn from others’ approaches to thinking. The emphasis of their learning was to extend their understanding of math and to talk about their ideas, not to develop algorithmic proficiency. Students were encouraged to share their strategies and describe their thinking.
Critical and creative thinking requires students to use their imagination and innovation in all learning areas at school and in their lives beyond school. To help students understand, we read, The Magnificent Tree, by Nick Bland. In this story, the characters Bonny and Pop are bursting with ideas for inventions and projects. Bonny and Pop are really good at making things together. Bonny likes to do things simply and properly. She likes to think logically. Pop, on the other hand, is a fan dangled thinker. He likes to think big and brave and bold and even slightly kooky. When they agree that they need to invent something that will keep the beautiful birds from flying away, each comes up with an idea for a tree. Students enjoyed listening and writing about this story. To encourage discussion, ask your child the following questions:
What are ideas?
What is a simple idea? What is a complex idea?
Create a list of ideas and place them into categories.
Draw up your own inventions – one that is simple and one that is complex. Both need to fulfill a similar purpose and/or solve a problem.
Room 9 & 11 will be sharing their learning every Friday.