Math Comprehension

I’ve started reading an awesome book- Building Mathematical Comprehension by Laney Sammons.

I can’t wait to get further into it- it’s all about using literacy strategies during math.


I was doing this as my husband was working on the gates for the cow lots.

This is one of the things I love most about him! Hard working!


I had a nice relaxing day reading and watching him. I DID carry 2 boards when he asked me. πŸ™‚

This was after 3 days taking care of my 19 year old daughter after she had all 4 wisdom teeth taken out. πŸ™‚


She was pretty miserable in that picture. πŸ™‚

Of course when she felt better, I had the pleasure of babysitting Sophee- her precious little dog!


Now it’s time for bed! Or reading. Wink-wink. πŸ™‚

Math, math, math

I have officially decided to start using the math textbook on Monday and ditch the teacher made curriculum I had been using since school started. Here are the reasons why:

Common core, analyzing, common core, reasoning, common core, applying, solving, common core, etc….

Need I say more?

However, I’m feeling overwhelmed, agitated, and frustrated. Look at what 1 page of our 800 page textbook looks like. Eeeeek!


Does anyone else out there use Glencoe McGraw Hill Math Connects??

Please help a girl out if you do! Would love to collaborate!! πŸ™‚

OREO Project

Today we reviewed finding mean, median, and mode through our OREO Project!

I got beat by one of my students!! I stacked 21, and she stacked 23! πŸ™‚

It was LOTS of fun, and we are the untouched leftover Oreos! πŸ™‚

Nothing like good and building to to get the kids engaged!

As students were stacking, here are some great words I heard as we all watched and made comments:


A very fun day!


Mountain Math



This is my mountain math bulletin board. Doesn’t it look pretty? Love those bright colors.

But let me tell you a few things. Boy, was it HARD to align with my curriculum. And when I say curriculum I mean align with the math common core standards AND the math textbook that my district adopted.

4 hours people. That’s how long it took me to work it all out. That’s not counting PUTTING THE BULLETIN BOARD UP. πŸ™‚

I’ll give you a rundown of the positive things about mountain math:

1. Spirals so that no skill is ever forgotten. In my opinion this is the way to go with math. Well, really with everything.

2. Cards are done for you. Sure you could make up your own kit (which I was tempted to do about each hour!), but who wants to do that?

3. Colorful. Yes, I’m ashamed to admit that color draws me in. Love it. Can’t help it.

4. Friendly customer service.

Now for the negative things. And I really do hate putting this out here, but it’s got to be told so that if YOU buy a kit, you’ll know what you’re getting. And they may not bother you. πŸ™‚

1. The 6th grade kit was not common core aligned so you could buy extensions that MADE it common core aligned. Well, um, no not really!!!!!!!!!! Out of the 6 extensions (8.00 each) only 3 are 6th grade common core. Right. Not happy. And not ALL common core standards are in the kit. No inequalities. No other stuff-I can’t remember what else. So it’s STILL not common core aligned completely!!Β 

2. No answer keys are provided. Ok, maybe I’m being unrealistic here. Am I?Β 

With that being said, I am glad I bought the kit because I’m thinking it’s going to benefit my students so much. Hopefully. I’m sure they will be delighted to have more “math practice”. πŸ™‚

Now this is what I have left to do.

1. Retype the question sheet that will be given to the students in my order.(Before school)

2. Number the cards easiest to hardest for each problem set.(After school starts)

3. Make answer keys. (After school starts)

Here’s the Mountain Math website.

Have you ever used the spiraling concept in your classroom?

Unpacking Math Common Core Standards

I Β  Β don’t Β evenknow Β  Β  Β  if I Β  Β have Β  theener Β gy Β to writethis Β  Β  post. πŸ™‚

Today Β I met with 2 of my colleagues to TRY and figure out the math common core standards. None of us have taught with them yet, and I’ve have never even taught math.

So the first thing we attempted to do was this little introduction activity that you can find at Achieve The Core. I would post the exact link, but I CAN’T FIND IT. I know-it surprises me too. πŸ™‚

So here is what it looked like after we finished this activity.



We did it without looking at the standards-got about half right. πŸ™‚ So there were 5 or 6 sets of colored cards (representing the strands)-we did THAT set and stopped!!

We then decided we would start reading the standards and discussing them. 4th and 6th grades because 2 of us will be in 6th and 1 in 4th.


Can we say RIDICULOUS??? WHY did they write the #ccss in such a DIFFICULT way??

OK-I’ll get off my soapbox now! I did get my memory refreshed a lot with math skills that I haven’t used since elementary/high school. But some of the stuff we had never heard of. So I’ll be googling away….

Oh yeah, one more thing I don’t understand. The common core is supposed to allow us to teach fewer standards in a deeper way instead of just skimming the surface.

6th grade has 29 standards with 47 skills. 36 weeks in school. Do the math. πŸ™‚

HOW does that allow us to teach deeper? And what about those students who don’t even have the prerequisite skills for THESE skills? Or the fact that there will be a known gap for a few years?

Oooops…there went that soapbox again. πŸ™‚

It helped that we went and ate Mexican for lunch. Brain break. Research based.

AND this helped!



Here’s an example of a 6th grade math standards:

8. Write an inequality of the form Γ— > c or Γ— < c to represent a constraint or condition in a real-world or mathematical problem. Recognize that inequalities of the form Γ— > c or Γ— < c have infinitely many solutions; represent solutions of such inequalities on number line diagrams.

Whaaaat? I swear a curtain falls down when I try to read something like this and INTERPRET it. Maybe I need a #ccss translator. Wait-strike the “maybe”. πŸ™‚

With this being said, my next move is to dive into our textbook (that looks like a college textbook) and correlate the standards to the textbook content, create a pacing guide, and start WORKING OUT SOME PROBLEMS. πŸ™‚

What are your thoughts on the Common Core Math Standards? Oh, you can’t think anymore since your brain is fried, too? Do I detect smoke? πŸ™‚

Math, Anyone???

I went to a math sharing session after school today. You know-in case I actually teach math next year. πŸ™‚ Currently, I only teach history/english. Being at a small school has its advantages and disadvantages. One minor disadvantage is that you frequently have to change what you are teaching including grade levels. Next year will be one of those changes.

I’m hoping I land in 6th grade. HOPING. PRAYING. πŸ™‚

If I do then Mr. Brady and I have talked about going self-contained so we can collaborate with each other-especially with reading and math. So, I’m planning ahead. Which is why I went to this math session!

Other schools in our district are spending about 1 1/2 hours each day with math. WOW! The lower grade levels have implemented small group math whereas the upper elementary grade levels do remediation in math and are leaning toward small groups in the future.

With the small groups the key is doing a formative assessment (a quick one) each day after the whole group lesson. This is how they determine who will be in what small group. So the groups are FLEXIBLE!

Before I left I asked one of the 4th grade teachers what she would recommend for me next year if I teach 6th grade. What is one thing I should use?

She said definitely ROCKET MATH. Have you ever heard of it? You can read about it here at Rocket Math.

It’s a method of math facts practice that partners can complete with each other with the teacher as the facilitator.

It’s a daily thing.

I’ll be checking this out if I end up in the number world next year. I’ve NEVER taught math except in Kindergarten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Biting nails. πŸ™‚

Do you have any suggestions for me?