“Girls and boys, this is the last time you are going to make an anchor chart…” I say, matter-of-factly.
“Oh!” they protest, and I can’t help but grin.
“What I mean is, starting next week, you are going to make this chart before we practice the number! The chart you make will help we practice the number! The chart you make will help you learn our numbers each week! Now, show me you’re really good at this stuff.”
I get the kiddos talking about why we show the numbers in so many different ways and how our anchor charts help us. I even get them doing a little compare/contrast between 10-frames and our pictures, until I realize that our introduction is taking too much time. Does anyone else ever have that problem, I wonder. I just love talking with the little guys, and our talks can sometimes extend out into all kinds of fun directions.
I smile again, passing students their requested representations of five, and thinking for a minute about how far we’ve come since our bewildered day back when we put 1 together for the first time. This routine has proven to be valuable, and I can’t wait to see how our current summative work will help when it becomes our preview.
As usual, while the students are working away, I’m circulating away, getting the students to talk as much as possible about what they’re working on. While this is good practice in general, it’s especially important with concept development, and I’m finding that it’s “routine enough” that even students who usually need extra support feel very confident as they work on their 5’s.
“Okay, so let’s put up our number summary for the last time,” I state.
I don’t know if the kids actually feel pressure to show what they’ve learned one last time, but this is really going well. They’re using vocabulary with far less support from me, and I get to sit back and ask questions only when I find an opportunity. They’re really talking about the number!
“You did excellent work,” I declare. “You talked about how the top row on the 10 frame is all full. You talked about the ‘slide-across’ line on five tally marks… Do you remember when you had no idea what tally marks were?” I ask.
“We are learning, Ms. Novelli,” a few students announce, as if they can’t believe I didn’t notice. Yes, yes, you are!