Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What I'm reading Wednesday! Why Before How: Singapore Math Computation Strategies

        I’m currently reading Why Before the How Singapore Math Computation Strategies by Jana Hazkamp. I have been trying to focus more on math lately since I’m always focused on reading instruction. In my school district we use the Go Math (Common Core) textbook. So, Jana Hazkamp’s book has help put a lot into perspective for me. Even as the teacher I sometimes wonder why are they teaching the students to do it like this?  I like how Hazkamp starts off by telling the readers how to use the book. She really wants you and your students to get the full benefit of the knowledge shared in the book.

       The first strategies discussed are regarding addition. She explains the benefit of using number bonds in instruction and how decomposing numbers encourage students to think about place value. Then, she moves on to subtraction. On page 41 she introduces Place Value Disk. The disk are good for students who need to physically manipulate the trading of tens for ones to support students understanding of regrouping.

       A few of my students will regroup in an addition problem, but will not count the regrouped ten. After reading how to use the Place Value Disk I was so excited. I ran to Party City and bought a box of poker chips, then grabbed a magic marker and made a set for my students. I cannot wait to try the chips in small group. Hazkamp believes Place Value disk are a good manipulative to teach decomposing numbers as well.

        As I try the different activities with my students in small group and centers I will let you guys know what I think. If you want to join in reading a great book about math instruction I recommend you get your hands on this book and join the me.


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