Today the students were working with partners to determine if math equations were equal or unequal. They worked together to prove their equations with drawings and other mathematical thinking on large chart paper. As always, the children enjoy working with their partners on investigations. As I walked around I could hear students talking together about how they were solving the equations and noticing when each other made an error in thinking. Then they worked together to fix it. I was so impressed with how the students challenged each other in this activity.
In reading workshop, the students have been working on learning about the characters in their books. They are exploring their feelings and character traits. They are also working hard to understand how their feelings affect the way the characters talk. They also have learned about different clues the author puts into the sentences to help tell the reader or "actor" how to read their "part". Today the students worked in partners to act as directors. They listened to their partner read a page, and called "cut" when they heard or noticed their partner not sounding like the page should sound. They loved this partner time. It really was a great way for students to practice their fluency and expression. Being "actors" learning and practicing "lines" over and over was exciting for the children.
In our current math unit, students will be working with story problems that involve comparing. One of the most natural ways to visualize comparing is in graphing. We started this new learning, by reviewing old learning. We created graphs using linking cubes. We had three data points, which also allowed us to practice adding with three numbers and how to answer questions about graphs. Once we had the graph, we started talking about "How many more.... than ...." in terms the graph. This might have sounded like, "How many more children liked red apples than green apples?" or "How many less children liked pizza than hamburgers?" While using the cubes, the children were able to visually see the difference between the two "cube towers" representing numbers. This then got translated into story problems. The students have since learned how to show this on paper, using the graph visualization to help them draw a picture to solve it.