Reflection: Organizational Systems Switching to Subtraction - Section 4: Independent Practice


I used to have a system in which I recorded data from periodic classroom assignments on a photocopy of one child's paper.  Sometimes it would be something as simple as tallying up the number of students that mastered a particular problem, which helped me pinpoint specific areas of difficulty.  Now that I often have them working on lined paper or scrap paper instead of neat study pages, I have changed to writing short anecdotal notes to myself in a notebook.  This is because their papers are usually not neat enough or consistent enough in format to be photocopied and used as a recording sheet.  Few of them have had much handwriting instruction, so when they need to write out additional information on top of the task at hand, they tend to fatigue easily and the work becomes more difficult to read.   I still need the data to plan for modifications for the following day/week, and I have found that quick notes to myself, while not as aesthetically pleasing, serve the purpose.

I prefer printed pages because it saves them the copying time (which in 3rd grade can be a factor) AND it's easier for me to read/scan because it's neater. Our school's copiers function poorly (frequent jams), are often broken, and the consequence of these two factors is often a long (20-35 minutes) wait.  I used to pay to make copies at what I still call Kinko's (copy shop) but after 17 years I've realized that some teaching expenses have to be cut!  So I cut way back on  the copies but still buy food for children, for example.  I know there are other seriously underfunded/ under-resourced schools and districts out there, so as much as possible I try to create lessons that can be implemented using a minimum of outside materials.  Even certain library books that are often included as part of a lesson can be a hurdle to jump, because our library doesn't have them and they are usually checked out from the city library.  Again, I used to buy them all, but this isn't a viable option long-term. Now, you can find many children's' titles as free Kindle books from the local library - but you have to have technology to access these. Yet another roadblock for underfunded districts. 

  Operating with limited tangible resources - keeping track of student progress
  Organizational Systems: Operating with limited tangible resources - keeping track of student progress
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Switching to Subtraction

Unit 2: Addition and Subtraction
Lesson 2 of 8

Objective: SWBAT use place value blocks with friendly tens / hundreds to understand regrouping when subtracting 3-digit numbers. They will use precise language to describe their thinking.

Big Idea: Place value blocks enhance understanding of regrouping in subtraction.

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