Monday, September 30, 2013

How do I do a Task? Multiplication and Division Tasks!

Teaching math is my favorite part of the day!  We usually start our day off with the number of day.  I used to use whatever number the day actually was, but this year I started using three and four digit numbers instead and it is helping them so much.  We use an anchor chart with everything from ten more, a hundred more, expanded form, three digit number sentence, write a story problem, and much more.  After just a few weeks, the kids are experts at it!

We usually do at least one tough math task a week.  We start off with a quick review of the task, but I don't give them any extra information than what is displayed on the screen.  Then, they work for 10 minutes that we call private work time.  During this time they analyze the task and write their own ideas and solutions in their math journals.  I don't talk to them or answer questions, I want them to think about the problem and solve it.  The next step is group time.  We work anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour.  They share journals, ideas, and come up with the best solution path.  I walk around and talk with the groups and ask them advancing and assessing questions.  The last step is whole group.  We talk through the problem and have different groups come up and draw/write their ideas.

The kids really seem to enjoy the tasks and the conversations they are having during the group time is amazing.  I see an increase in their ability to problem solve already.  Using these tasks have really built a sense of community in the classroom!

Finding the perfect task is somewhat difficult.  Even more difficult is finding a source to tell you exactly how to structure your task.  I've found searching online works sometimes, but often I end up writing my own.  Here is a sample of some of the tasks I wrote for this year.  It also includes two pages of detailed instructions on making a task work for you.  You can take a good look at them by clicking the link that will take you to my TPT store.