Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.
I have a great story for you tonight! This morning a 2nd grade teacher burst into my room to tell me what one of her amazing mathematicians had come up with all on his own. Sean was counting coins and doing exactly what he had been taught–he grouped like coins together and began by counting the quarters. The counting part just wasn’t working out for him, though. He was having a hard time switching from skip-counting by quarters to dimes to nickels, etc. Who could blame him? That’s a tough skill. The teacher wandered off to help another student, and when she came back she was amazed and delighted by what she saw. Sean had pulled out his hundred chart and placed the first quarter on the number 25, the second quarter on the number 50, the first dime on 60, etc. until he had counted the collection of coins. As he explained his strategy to her, another kiddo nearby, who was also having a hard time counting money, was listening in. Guess what? Sean’s strategy made sense to him, too!!Funny thing is, I had seen this strategy at a workshop, but Sean came up with it himself. I wanted to hear the strategy from Sean, so I pulled him out in the hall and he walked me through it with all the confidence of an old pro. Like, “Duh, what part of this don’t you get?” You can see just a hint of it in the picture, but he is grinning from ear to ear.
Think your kiddos don’t have their own strategies? Think again! Give them the tools and the opportunity and you WILL be amazed by what they come up with.
So here is your job–I want Sean to be a mathematical rock star in cyberspace. If you love this story (and how could you not?), please leave a comment below and then pin it to your board. Let’s show Sean some love!
Math fever…catch it!! 🙂
I created a little winter-themed 120 chart for your kiddos who want to try out Sean’s strategy! Click here to grab yours. 🙂