A great resource...
07302013, 10:03 AM


...is Debbie Diller's Math Workstations. I got it a few yrs back, read through it, but never really implemented it b/c I wasn't so much into all the handson. Well, now, with the Common Core math curriculum we started, last year, you really have to do the handson, even if you're uncomfortable w/ it. I think Debbie Diller's book really would mesh w/ the Common Core philosophy.
I know, w/ our math curriculum, it is suggested that we start w/ exploration of manipulatives. Maybe do colored bear counters, one day, then use colored cubes, colored links, etc., whatever you may have. Of course, establish rules such as "no throwing manipulatives", "all manipulatives stay on the table", etc., before passing out the materials. You can use the same type of manipulative at each table, each day. You don't have to get overwhelmed w/ bears at one table, cubes at another table, etc. Put bears at every group's table on Monday, cubes at every group's table on Tuesday, etc. After you have established management rules, just let the kids explore. See what they come up w/. Don't necessarily tell them, "Make a pattern w/ those cubes" or "Order those bears by size". See what they come up w/ on their own. You could also incorporate sorting circles (those things that unfold and you can lay one partially over the other...like a Venn diagram, double bubble map) and see if anyone can figure out what to do w/ it. Walk around and observe what the kids are doing, whether or not they're talking to each other, what they're talking about, etc.
This kind of thing goes on for maybe a week or so, before a formal math lesson would really begin. In the meantime, you can be teaching simple number songs to 10, even just forward and backward. And, of course, if your district has a calendar math program, introduce that, also, starting on the first day.
I really would recommend Debbie Diller's book, though. It has a lot of great handson ideas.
