There are books that provide great classroom activities, and there are books that help teachers build their own mathematical understanding. And then there are those that do both. The books in the It Makes Sense series, written by Melissa Conklin and Stephanie Sheffield and published by Math Solutions, fall into the latter category.
It Makes Sense! Using the Hundreds Chart to Build Number Sense is the second book in the series. Be sure to check out their ten-frames book, too. A hundreds chart is a must-have classroom resource, however, it is often underutilized. The great thing about this book is that it contains 10 lessons and 10 games that provide a progression of skill-building activities from basic recognition of patterns through using the hundreds chart for multi-digit addition and subtraction.
The authors have seriously thought of everything a teacher needs from preparation to lesson delivery to extensions and differentiation. Want technology suggestions? They have that as well.
A great example of all this book offers is Lesson 5, One More or One Less. The lesson includes instructions for using this activity in both whole- and small-group settings. The materials list clearly indicates which reproducibles are used for each setting. I love the key questions included with each lesson. They specifically address the CCSS Mathematical Practices by having students describe how they arrived at their answers. Two technology tips explain how to adapt the lesson for use with an interactive whiteboard to maximize student learning. Teaching tips offer guidance on how to address incorrect responses, alternatives to the spinner that’s provided, instructions for addressing numbers that are already on the chart, and suggestions for pacing. This lesson also includes two of my favorite features of this book–Teacher Reflection and Assessment: Teacher Checklists. The Teacher Reflection provides a narrative of the lesson being used in an actual classroom. There’s just no substitute for “hearing” how the lesson played out with an actual teacher and students. Several lessons in the book, including Lesson 5, include reproducible teacher checklists for documenting student progress. The checklists are provided as blank reproducibles, but a completed teacher checklist is provided in the lesson to show how it can be used. Formative assessment is the key to effectively addressing students’ differing needs, so I’m thrilled that the authors included not only the checklists, but suggestions for using them.
As you can probably tell, I LOVE this book and the series. The authors have come up with a winning format that provides teachers everything they need to fully utilize must-have mathematical tools in the classroom. I look forward to seeing what they come up with next!