Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Learner Express: Modules for Teaching and Learning
A teacher uses one story to create eight story-based centers—places where students explore different aspects of the story, especially as it pertains to mathematical learning. As part of this, students explore patterns, write stories, play with coins, and make models. Run Time: 00:03:00
Esphry Slobodkina's book Caps for Sale (Harper Collins, 1947) is the theme for eight centers in Elizabeth Cleary-Bewley's second grade class. In one center, students graph replicas of the peddlers' caps. In another, students explore computer-generated patterns like the ones found in the story. A third center finds students writing story problems and number sentences. A fourth center has students making coin combinations that equal 50£, the cost of one cap in the peddler's inventory. Another center focuses on patterns through visual arts. The students paint patterns on caps and graph the caps by pattern design. In a sixth center, students enjoy listening to Caps for Sale again. In the seventh center, students use construction paper, geoblocks, and tiles to make a model of the peddler's town. In the last center, children create a map of the route the peddler traveled in the story. To conclude the lesson, Mrs. Bewley photographs each group and its finished projects and has the student share their work. This sharing reveals students' thought processes, while making them responsible and accountable for their own learning.
(Practice Standard)—The Common Core Practice Standard #4—Model with mathematics—is represented in this lesson when a story provides a real-world context for students to model their mathematical ideas. One group is assigned to the writing center. They are to color and cut out the activity sheet of caps, create a picture using the cut-out caps, write a story for the picture, and write a number sentence related to the story. One girl's story: "He had 17 and he sold 7 and he had 10." Her number sentence: "17 - 7 = 10." Using a diagram, a story and a number sentence, she models the information in her story. Given a chance to reflect on the connections between the models, students should be able to discover the advantages and limitations of each model. (For example: In this scenario, the "story" is rich in context but lacks conciseness while the "number sentence" is concise but is devoid of context.)
(Content Standard)—The domain that best capture the mathematics content of this clip is 2.OA Operations and Algebraic Thinking. As seen, one student is able to represent and solve a subtraction problem within 20.
What are the pros and cons of using learning centers in mathematics classrooms? When students model with mathematics, they have to translate among symbol systems (i.e. pictures, words, and numbers). Why is this translating ability important? What should teachers look out for during these translations? How might knowledge of students' modality (learning style) strengths be used when planning activities requiring mathematical modeling?
4. Model with mathematics
2.OA Operations and Algebraic Thinking