Thanks to Erin for allowing me to "swap" blogs with her for a day! I love reading her blog!
Have you ever heard of "Number Talks"?
I've been a using Number Talks for the past year and become a big fan of this wonderful technique to get kids talking about math. Listening to my kiddos as they talked about the different card patterns really gave me an understanding of what they "thought" about numbers and helped me see the ways they used strategies to create numbers.
Sherry talks about using dot images, rekenreks, double ten-frames, and number sentences to guide the number talks for different addition strategies...("Counting All and Counting On"..."Double or Near Doubles"...and my personal favorite "Making Tens").
Dot image cards are easy to create using those cool bingo dot stamp bottles or brightly colored round stickers you can find in Walmart, Target, or an Office Supply Store. I used the largest index cards (I think they were 5X7) and created the dot images that Sherry suggests in the book. I labeled the cards in subsets of A, B,C....etc and then each subset had 3 cards to look at in one number talk...A-1, A-2, A-3....I punched a hole in the set of cards A-1 through I-3 and then hung them on a hook near the area where we conducted calendar....book read alouds....whole group games...(in other words my "meeting area")...or as we like to say in the South "the meetin' area :)
Double Ten-Frames are something I use with my calendar. I have the kids use coins to fill in the frames as we add another day....I have 2 ten frames on the calendar...at the beginning of the year we just use dots to fill in the ten frames as the days go by...then we use nickels....then move up to dimes...for the final quarter I'll have the kids fill thef first ten frame with dimes and the second with nickels... somewhere towards the end of the year we add a third frame and use pennies...
My mom and dad created Rekenreks using bamboo skewers, pony beads, and small blocks of wood from my dad's woodshop. The kids enjoyed using these small versions of the rekenreks to solve problems and work out story problems.
You can even add as more than one line of beads to help practice with the double digits.
Number Talks has been a great addition into my math program. It allows the kids to use "Math Talk" and explain to each other what they see and how they see it.