Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rooster's Off to See the World

We've been doing an Eric Carle unit of study in class lately.  I am not crafty, nor artistic so I've been a little in awe of my teammate who finds these beautiful and creative art projects on Pinterest and recreates them with her students.  I try to duplicate, but fall short in so many ways.  Don't get me wrong, we're doing lots of really cute things and writing some amazing pieces to go with our artwork.  But I am just not an artist!  But, leave it to me to find a math connection that I can get excited about!  A few days ago we read Rooster's Off to See the World.  When we read the book we wrote down the number sentences to go with the story and looked for patterns in the sum and in the addends.  Then we colored a cute rooster and added some tail feathers and wrote about a place we want to go and see. Then today I gave the students a word problem: Rooster sees 4 cats, 5 dogs, and 6 pigs.  How many animals did he see all together?  I had the students illustrate that and we talked about how to solve this problem.  Because of all our work with 10, I thought a few students might see an easy way to add the numbers by making 10 with the 4 and the 6.  Unfortunately, that wasn't really the case... most students just counted all to get the answer and were kind of confused about what the number sentence would be.  Disappointed teacher :-(  So, in an effort to salvage my math lesson I decided to adapt a lesson I found when I was google searching common core math.  It's from Georgia.  They have these  pretty amazing units that go with the Common Core Standards for math.  Click here to find them.  Anyway, the lesson is about a trip to a farm.  Basically, you tell the students that you saw a certain number of farm animals' legs and you ask them to figure out what combination of animals they could have seen.  I adapted that to the book Rooster's Off to See the World.  We made a list of some animals that rooster saw- frogs, cats, turtles, and fireflies and added roosters (to give a 2 legged animal).  Then I told the students that Rooster saw 10 legs and asked the students to think about a combination of animals that Rooster could have seen.  We talked with our elbow partners about our combinations and then shared with the group and wrote the number sentence to go with our thinking.  Here are some of their ideas- 1 frog, 1 cat, and 1 rooster (4+4+2); 1 firefly, 2 roosters (6+2+2) and the list went on from there.  Then I told them that Rooster saw 12 legs- we continued in this way for a little while.  This was a pretty cool- it just sort of hit me in the moment math lesson!  We will definitely revisit this idea again!
On a funny note, and kind of connected to the elbow partner conversation, we had an inservice about the Common Core yesterday.  It was one of those really boring meetings where I knew we weren't going to learn anything we didn't already know.  But they showed this really funny video in support of Common Core and writing across the curriculum.  It's called I Choose C.  Click here to see it.

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