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Kindergarten and First Grade teachers have introduced Abacus Math to the children. The students were intrigued by the teachers’ abacus and excited to get their hands on one of their own. It was an amazing sight as they discovered the difference between the “heavenly” beads and the “earthly” beads and began adding and subtracting using the abacus as their calculator. Mrs. Liroff took the children on an imaginary journey outside so they could “visualize” the terminology by looking upward and down below. Visualization plays such an important role in mathematical thinking, and is emphasized beginning in Kindergarten as a precursor to mental math skills.
Teachers will begin sending the abacus home this week for the children to “practice” and feel comfortable manipulating the beads.
Grades 2 through 8 are all beginning to incorporate Writing in Math as an important component of their Math classes. Research has shown that in order for students to effectively use mathematics in solving everyday problems, they must be able to explain the procedures they use and reflect on their thinking. Communicating through writing in a Math journal also affords the student the opportunity to maintain an ongoing record of what they are learning and keeps them actively involved in thinking about mathematics.
Today in 2nd Grade, Mrs. Spier gave each student a “target” number and let him or her explore the many different ways in which they could reach their target. They recorded this activity in their Math journal so they can refer back to it as well as to keep a running record of their progress over time. The creativity and mathematical thinking in class today was awesome! Thank you Mrs. Spier, Mrs. Liroff, and all of the “K through 8” teachers for starting off the school year on such a mathematical high note!