Math should be fun. This is true for big kids, but is especially true for small ones. One of my favorite blogs, Design in Play, turns math for young children into a thing of beauty filled with play. The author beautifully marries design into play. She has posts on gumdrop engineering, spin art with snap circuits, paper bridges, and architecture body building that all embed engineering into projects for young (and older children). Her Snow Crystal Geometry post teaches children how to use a compass and a protractor as they create stunning paper snowflakes. This blog is a must-read for anyone who has young children in their life.
Since I think math should be fun, I have to say that I love Sarah Carter’s blog. This summer, I read her post on Function Auctions and thought that it sounded like so much fun that I spent the next two days making a Proportional Relationship Auction ,some proportional relationship anecdotal records and a proportional relationship card set that I can use7 different ways. Sarah’s blog makes you feel like you have this friendly, creative teacher down the hall.
In addition to being fun, math should be meaningful. Students should be making sense and teachers should be thinking deeply to ensure that is happening. The desire to think more deeply about my work and about my students’ work is part of why I have chosen to be part of MTBoS. My students deserve the best that I can give them and Mark regularly poses questions that make me think. His post on exit cards was the first time I really considered whether my exit cards were addressing the spectrum of the things that I want to know about my students. As I read his post, I realized I was doing a fairly good job of incorporating conceptual and procedural assessments, I really needed to incorporate more metacognition into my assessments. I appreciate that his posts don’t allow me to be complacent.