Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA) Sequence of Instruction in Math

Phew. Long title.
This sequence of teaching is so simple, yet so important! You have probably seen it before or heard it by a different name, but I am really trying to make sure my kids get tons of practice in each level.

Concrete
Students are using actual objects and manipulatives when working on math.
example: When adding, the students use bear counters to sort into groups, count and add.
Representational
Students use pictures, and representations when working on math.
example: When adding, students use ten frames to add 2 numbers together.
Abstract
Students now use symbols and numbers when working on math.
example: When adding, students roll 2 cubes with numbers on them and add together.

Also, its important not to always do the sequences separate of each other. Students need to see how they connect to each other.
Often when students lack a deep understanding in math, it is because they moved too quickly to the Abstract and didn’t spend enough time in the Concrete and Representational parts. If students are struggling with solving number sentences, you need to take them back to using concrete materials and pictures!

Here are some activities my kids have been working on to help us move through the CRA sequence.

Students during my guided math group, were working on subtracting and connecting it with one less. We use counters on our ten frames to show us taking away 1, and then wrote a number sentence to match. (Concrete and Abstract)

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During Math by Myself, students rolled a die, added bears to a ten frame tray, drew a picture on a ten frame to match and wrote a number sentence. (Concrete-Representational-Abstract)

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Students picked a card, drew the number on the ten frame, added one more and then wrote a number sentence. (Representational-Abstract)

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Think of the math activities your kids are working on. How many of those allow the students to have multiple opportunities in the concrete and representational phase before you move them to abstract?
Head on over to the Math Coaches Corner for more amazing ideas around CRA. She is where I get a TON of ideas from!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Organization with class numbers

I`ve started organizing many things in my class for the students based on numbers. Each kid has a class number that helps them locate their materials. It has cut down on having to re-label things every year with a new group of kids. It also helped in getting new kids in the middle of the year! I recently had a student move and I am getting a new one on Monday! Easy peasy! They just took over that kids number and I already have his math bag, book bin and daily 5 board labelled and ready to go because of it!

There are still some things I keep names on for the students . (coat hooks, hometime folders, etc) But this helped a ton with getting ready in September! I could label everything early! I also didn`t even have to re-print new numbers for some things!

Here is what I label with numbers:

Book Bins

I labelled these last year and my kids took such great care of them we re-used almost all this year!
Kids find their number when going out to daily 5. The duotangs in the book bins also have their number on them.
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Math Bags

Kids find their bag and take it with them to Math daily 5.

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I also labelled as many things in the bag as I could with their number. If something gets left on the ground….you know which bag it belongs too!

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Question of the Day Magnets

Kids answer the question of the day in the morning by putting up their magnet on the ten frame.

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Daily 5 Choice Board

I used to have names here last year and every time a new kid came I had to re-print on coloured paper, laminate, and move everyone’s names in alphabetical order.

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How do you organize and label things?


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