I have stepped up using gestures in the room though. We've been working on our quick ten facts, as they are the first scheduled to be mastered this year. So we've been learning different games to play- like Investigations Make Ten and Tens Go Fish. I went hunting for other options as well, in hopes that I could get five or six excellent make ten games going in the room to work on math workshop routines and also start pulling for small groups and quick assessments.
Pinterest junky that I am, I do have a board for Facts to 20. And I ran across this pin here:
I must admit that I just looked a the pin and didn't read the blog post, initially. Which, unfortunately, I do with a lot of my pins- but I have read the post over at this point, and actually discovered a lot more variations for using this game which will come in handy at other points in the year- so you, too, should go read Anne's post at Common Core Connection. All I did in my room was make the card stock board, hand them ten pennies, and then have them shake, spill, sort, and do the hand motions for the math equation that made ten. And I had a teachable moment as I wandered from pair to pair checking on their understanding- but before I get to that- I had laid some tens ground work with the kiddos beforehand.
A year ago I came across this awesome freebie from Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher:
It also comes in black and white, and with blank lines for the kids to fill in. I used it with my kiddos this year as a tie-in to maps. I told them that the rainbow was like a map to get to ten, and we traced with our finger the "road" from one side to the other.
And then I got funky with the hand motions.
WBT talks a lot about using gestures to activate the motor cortex. So I told my kids exactly that- doing the motions will help you remember. Here's a little video clip of two of my girls doing the motions as they play the making ten game with pennies:
So these two babes got it. And I loved how her partner would mirror her while she did her side. As I went from group to group, I found that some partners would mirror, and others were shy about it. I will continue to work on that through the year- I figure the more they do it all together the more natural it will seem.
But I also came across a partnership that had seemed to miss the major point of what we were doing:
Yikes! This baby doll has also been reluctant with the hand motions. So we take a moment to do the game AGAIN, using the correct steps. What a treat for you, you get to hear my froggy voice!
I can't decide if I sound too harsh or not. Oh well. I am pleased to see my guy in the background though doing a great job at the game.
To reflect on this experience with the kids- I like videotaping. It's been very helpful for me to look back over what I'm seeing them do, and even catching some of what's happening in the background. I'd like to figure out a way to tape more of what I do- but not sure my iPad could handle anything lengthy.
I am also really beginning to see how I really have to make a point to sit with each group during a game session and watch them play. I think sometimes, as teachers, we teach a game, and then workshop time starts and we see it as an opportunity to either only focus on a couple of kids or even get some other work done. But had I done either of those things- I would not have caught my two little buddies here. It turns out that his partner did have a better grasp of the game, but had been completely going along with the wrong way of playing it as to not make waves.
Another discovery that can be found as I go from group to group is social skill deficits. Who needs a lesson on speaking loud enough for a partner to hear? Or taking a turn with a degree of grace? I'm also discovering who doesn't know anyone's name yet. And I can work on oral language by having them use sentence frames when talking to each other so that they are saying more than a one word utterance.