Thankful for......New Ideas! 
Today we are thankful ideas!

For me.....I'm a follower.  I know, shocker right?  Really though I search and search and find new ideas from all of YOU and then I try them out in my classroom.  So when I had to come up with something that was NEW I felt a little pressure.  So I am going to share something that I have been doing that is new to me and I feel really good about!

I took CGI (Cognitive Guided Instruction) about 5 years ago.  I learned so much and implemented a lot of what I learned in my classroom.  Then I took a pretty intenstive 2 year Math/Science Partnership class that taught more (than I probably ever wanted to know) about math.  VERY long story short......I've learned to get my kiddos talking about their math. 

To do this I start math every single day with a class problem.  It includes a math problem (with one of my kiddos names) that we solve in our math journals. I make sure to include things that are important to them (Brock likes Pokeman.....Reighns likes trucks) so they are invested in the problem. 

Here are a few examples of my class problems via Google docs. Click on the pic to see the examples:

I cut theses up and my kiddos glue them into their journals.  We then go about solving them and writing about them.  

This week we talked about "Where did you start?"

Students want to shout out the answer, "5!"  But when you get them talking about how they got there then the math really comes through.  When I ask my kids where they start in this problem they finally got around to telling me they started with 7 crayons......because we know that's what her sister gave her.  And she ended up with 12 so we COUNTED ON to get there from 7......that's where the 5 comes in!  We are focusing on all of our strategies and naming them.  It's working wonders!

This is what's "NEW" to me in my classroom the last few weeks and it feels really good.  After kiddos can tell me "how they know" I let them move on to a math station.  They are excited about math and I feel like I am reaching ALL my students!

I can't wait until tomorrow's Thankful post.  I've been waiting all week for it!

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