First Grade Math Podcast
“Let’s Make Ten” Reflection
It is well known that students are more engaged in their learning when they are participating in hands-on activities. When a student can physically see and touch something, he or she is more likely able to understand it better. You can more readily keep a student’s attention if you are providing opportunities to be active while they are learning. Learning should be fun. There are many different learning techniques including group work. Group work benefits students in a classroom in many ways. It is important as a teacher to allow one’s students to work together with their classmates. Group work promotes social skills and problem-solving. When students are separated into groups, it gives them…show more content… The students worked on a math hands-on activity in pairs. A classroom full of first graders was engaged in an activity about determining different ways to make the number ten. They were assigned partners, and each of them had to roll a dice and evaluate the numbers in order to make the total ten. The teacher instructed the students to come up with ways to make three towers of ten in their groups. The students were given multi-colored Lego-like blocks and were told to stack a block to whichever number they rolled. After rolling the dice, the students were then asked to complete the tower by adding the remaining blocks which eventually would equal to ten in all. For example, if a pair of students rolled a six, they had to stack six blocks in one color. With their partners, the students had to figure out a way to come up with ten blocks in all. Once they figured it out, they had to stack four different colored blocks to their tower to equal ten. After the towers had been built, the teacher handed out pieces of paper that had three drawings of ten stacked blocks. The students were instructed to color in with markers what their towers looked like. When they completed their sketches of their towers, they were asked to write the equation they used at the bottom of the paper. For instance, they wrote six plus 4 are equal to ten. At the end of the activity, the teacher had the students share some of…show more content… However, as students progress through their later elementary and middle grades mathematics learning, it is important for instructional materials to continue including manipulatives. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (N.C.T.M.) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics emphasizes the importance of using manipulatives and visual representations, as well as mathematical modeling, in each of its standards at all grade levels. (p. 1). Shaw (2002) states that the use of manipulatives to teach math has many benefits including providing students with a visual representation of mathematical concepts which enhances problem-solving and understanding mathematical relationships (Shaw, 2002). “Working with manipulatives leads to retention and application of information in new problem-solving situations. In turn, the valuable time spent on manipulative and model-based lessons has the sustained, long-term effect of building student confidence and deepening mathematics understanding” (Shaw, 2002, p. 3). Especially with young students, unlike pencil and paper activities, the use of manipulatives allows freedom of movement and tactile experiences especially for younger minds. “Completing paper-and-pencil assignments is often boring and tedious. Students lose interest quickly or struggle to get through the assignment. Manipulatives feel more like playing than learning,