Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mental Math and Money Madness

Am I the only teacher who cringes when I see a parent on facebook bashing Common Core math? My school didn't adopt Common Core standards, but we do teach a Singapore-based math curriculum so the concepts are very similar. Many of the Common Core standards were designed with Singapore-based math in mind. Why you ask? Because it works!

Buy, Sell, Save!

Singapore math teaches children the why and how of math. Kids memorize algorithms just as we did as kids, but they develop a much deeper number sense, too. The first year I taught Math In Focus was a mess. If you are in the middle of your first year, don't despair! The main reason I struggled was because I never developed a strong number sense myself. Math was my worst subject in school. I made my only C in elementary school in math. By the end of that first year teaching, I could add three and four digit numbers in my head! Mental math became my best friend. Trust me the concepts work! Now the worksheets some teachers send home with students are another story. Writing down something you work out in your head, is very difficult. Writing it down and leaving blanks for a student to understand and fill in later, is next to impossible.

Buy, Sell Save Game

I teach my students all of the strategies, but when I test them I allow the students to use any strategy that works for them. Practicing mental math strategies is a must! I am constantly trying to develop new ways to let them practice without filling out more of those crazy worksheets. Right now we are learning to add and subtract money mentally. I can't wait to share this new game with them after Spring Break! It includes 60 word problems. Students start with $30 and add or subtract as they draw word problem cards. The first one to save $100 wins the game! Check out Buy, Sell, Save! on TpT.