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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Charmed Life!

June  8, 2016

I am saying the mantra, “Patience is a virtue, a virtue is a grace.  You add them altogether and you get a happy face.”  Just trying to get home….

Trip started last week on Memorial Day.  Flew to LAX and our daughter, Halley, picked me up.  We set up for a fun workshop in Burbank with the staffs of two schools.  Shout out to Liz and Sandra and their wonderful teachers!  Great day on number sense.  Halley and I then flew to Nashville on Wednesday.  Just love Tennessee.  Two-day class in Franklin!  Those teachers rock!  We sang, we danced and we did intensive math content.  My friend Sherry was our point guard!  The workshop ran so well because of her. 

Halley and I were able Friday night to go on a fun field trip!  The author, Ann Patchett, has the most amazing bookstore ever called Parnassus!  She has made a roaring success of this venture.   (Just finished her book, Truth and Beauty!  Started her book The Magician’s Assistant.)  I have been reading on my iPad and realized during this field trip how limiting my choice of books has been.  Done with that.  One of the most amazing booksellers, River showed me all around pointing out amazing reads.  I have been limiting myself on the iPad to authors I know.  Halley and I left with our arms full and our hearts happy!  We met one of the bookstore dogs…..love it!  If you ever are in Nashville, this bookstore is a must!  I jumped into a recommended read called A Hero of France by Alan Furst!  A reader comes alive just holding these amazing books……

Halley and I then drove from Nashville to Springfield, Missouri on Saturday and then on to Wichita on Sunday.  Drove many back roads through lots of corn patches…. set up with my friends Lynette Sharlow, who hosted the workshop for District 259 and Rhonda Shook.  I have known Rhonda since my days with Project AIMS and Math Festival at Fresno Pacific College.  Love them both!

Finished an amazing two days in Wichita for the Roadmap class.  Great teachers!  Halley and I got to airport only to find delay, delay, delay.  When flight took off out of Wichita for Denver, pilot announced a door was open and we would return to Wichita.  Had to circle for hour……then delay back to Denver…..Halley and I both missed all connections.  Everyone has a story and the stories are never that interesting.  Mine isn’t either.  Needless to say, it is a day later and still trying to get home.  Guess I am not in Kansas anymore…..but there is still “no place like home!”  I need my bed……

Mathematically yours,

Kim

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rental Car Blues in Salmon, Idaho!

April 26, 2016

Ok, here is a new one!  Had a super workshop yesterday in Missoula, Montana.  We had never been here and just loved the people and the town!  We were looking forward to a great drive from Missoula to Boise.  Rental car blew up and we limped into Salmon, Idaho.  Waiting for Alamo to drive a new rental car from Missoula to us as there are no rental car places here.  Lessons in patience!

After being in several classrooms recently and watching students in grades 3-5 struggle with concepts of rounding numbers, it seems important to talk about why this occurs and what can be done!  It often feels that the rules of rounding numbers are just procedures that are taught without recognition of the prerequisite skills required that are essential in the development of number sense.

I have long suggested a simple routine of practice that can be established in the classroom with students grades 1-5 that will ease the understanding of rounding.  It all begins after students have learned the multiples of ten.  I introduce the multiples of ten by playing a game called “The Roller Coaster” game.  Chairs are moved to create 4 rows of 2 chairs.  One student is asked to sit on the roller coaster.  Students are asked, “What do you want to do on a roller coaster?”  They will gleefully respond, “Whee,” and throw their hands in the air.  The mathematical question is one person on the roller coaster, how many fingers in the air?  This introduces the idea of _____ groups of _____ = _____ .  Many of you who have been at my workshops know that this is an important visual that is a part of all the mathematical content that we teach in elementary grades.

Once students have the practice behind multiples of ten, the teacher will have each child tear a piece of adding machine tape the length of their arms from fingertip to shoulder.  They will label the left with a mark for zero.  (The academic name for zero is point of origin.)  On the right they will make a mark and label that 100.  They will bring the two marks together and crease.  They will mark that with 50.  The students will then put in the multiples of ten between 0-50 and 50-100.  Now this tool is ready to be used with my Random Number CD 0-100.  The teacher will turn on track 2.  Students will hear a number and touch about where that number falls on the number line.  Two to three minutes of practice is important.  Students can also write the number on the number line! 

Look for more helpful hints on rounding readiness soon including a new game!

Mathematically yours,

Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 13, 2016

Had an opportunity to speak about math fact fluency at the NCSM Conference in Oakland held this week prior to NCTM Conference in San Francisco!  What a great conference!  It is getting to that time of year where our thoughts are centered on test scores and the limited time left in the school year.  It sure does fly.

It sure was fun creating a new class on proportional reasoning with fractions.  Packed it full of meaningful ways to supplement the “dry” chapters on fractions in the math textbooks.  One of my favorite lessons with upper grades is based on the book, If the World Were a Village by David Smith.  Makes percents easy to think about and understand as an extensions of fractions without calling them percents.  Every time I have done the lessons with classrooms of fifth graders the discussions are so meaningful!

Have you seen my new Bump It! book?  The games will change your classroom!  Watch the new game going up this week as a freebie!

More in a few.  Off to watch my Golden State Warriors go for the record number of wins tonight, making history!!!  Steph Curry for President!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring Update!

Had an opportunity to speak about math fact fluency at the NCSM Conference in Oakland held this week prior to NCTM Conference in San Francisco! What a great conference! It is getting to that time of year where our thoughts are centered on test scores and the limited time left in the school year. It sure does fly.

It sure was fun creating a new class on proportional reasoning with fractions. Packed it full of meaningful ways to supplement the “dry” chapters on fractions in the math textbooks. One of my favorite lessons with upper grades is based on the book, If the World Were a Village by David Smith. Makes percents easy to think about and understand as an extensions of fractions without calling them percents. Every time I have done the lessons with classrooms of fifth graders the discussions are so meaningful!

Have you seen my new Bump It! book? The games will change your classroom! Watch the new game going up this week as a freebie!

More in a few. Off to watch my Golden State Warriors go for the record number of wins tonight, making history!!!  Steph Curry for President!

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016

Ok 2016!  Here we go, ready or not!  January is such a good month to start fresh with high expectations!  Why not kick Kim’s Number Line into action with a three-minute “Number Line Chat” three times a week!  Use the questions I wrote that are posted in the Free PDFs and Conference Files section (www.creativemathematics.com).  Those questions will make your life easy to have a intensive and meaningful conversation with your class about number sense!

Here I am in Franklin, Tennessee ready for two workshops tomorrow!  One for K-4 and one for 5-8.  I love the topic-“Classroom Management of a Balanced Mathematics Program.”  This topic is something I think about every day.  How can we maximize the time we have for mathematics and not waste a moment while including reinforcement of skills, drill and practice, teaching of content and small groups for a RTI model.  Watch for some future blogs taking apart this model of balance!

Excited to be previewing my new class locally (Fun with Fractions!) in February and then on the road in March!!!  I have taken the theme of proportional reasoning that accommodates all the standards of fractions starting in first grade and going through fifth grade!  Lots of new tools and games coming.

Holidays were so great with our daughter, Halley, home for almost two weeks!  Our world was right!  Finally had a month of much-needed rain!  Christmas was sweet!

Mathematically yours,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Blessings to Count! What a Great Math Activitiy!

At Hyde Park with the Roosevelts!
Happy Thanksgiving!  Counting blessings right now! Today we had a real rainstorm!  The trees are soaking it up!  Our daughter, Halley is home from graduate school for a break!  So happy to have her home!  

What a great trip Jeff and I just finished.  Started with a great day in Albany, New York on Friday the 13th.  Super fun group of teachers spending the day exploring math fact fluency.  

Jeff and I are on a mission to accomplish visits to all the Presidential homes and libraries.  On this trip we were able to visit FDR’s home and library in Hyde Park, New York.  Loved it and learned so many details about his four terms.  What a first lady Eleanor Roosevelt was!  Also visited the Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde Park.

The next day we took a city tour of Salem, Massachusetts.  What a darling town with an amazing history!  At one time, Salem was the third richest city in U.S.  We then visited the JFK library!  The view is so beautiful.  Disappointed that the Cuban missile exhibit was closed.  Still need to learn more about that time that was my childhood.

Math Fact Fluency class in Hartford!
Monday was the Math Fact Fluency class in Boston and Tuesday in Hartford.  Loved both groups.  I have really missed being in both those cities.  Used to spend more time there and it has been hard to get them in!  Loved the professionalism that I see with the teachers!  So wanting to do right by children.

The last part of the trip was the NCTM Regional in Nashville, Tennessee.  Wow!  What a conference!  It was so fun!  Got to spend an evening with Erin who is a friend of our daughter.  She is a Acquisitions Editor for Corwin Publications.  Had such fun connecting with Catherine Beals who started as a teacher in our area and now lives and works in Boise area in Idaho.  She delivered her research from her dissertation.  It was such a helpful session!  I had so much fun with both my groups!!!

Well, time to think about what we are having for Thanksgiving!  Love being home…….


Happy holiday!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer is here!

Just finished the third week of summer travel!  Started in Stillwater and Moore, Oklahoma.  Then on to Burbank, California.  Just finished Sublette and Wichita, Kansas!  Every workshop has been filled with happy, wonderful teachers giving up their precious summer days for staff development!  How blessed to spend time with such dedicated professionals!

Wrapping up my new book called Bump It!  The book is filled with Bump It games for every skill in mathematics.   I am so excited because children just love these games!  So many exciting things happen when you play the games!  Children become highly motivated to play which then improves their fluency with the skill!  Look for the book in time for the new school year in August!  If you have not played Bump It with your students, you will be blown away!  If you have attended my games class taught by me or one of my amazing Kim Sutton Associates then you have met this motivating game!

What summer plans do you have?  Hope that there is lots of rest and relaxation.  Make sure you set aside a half hour to make a class concentration board for the new year!  Concentration is another powerful class activity because it works on working memory, coordinate graphing on a Cartesian Plan and whatever skill you put on the cards!

These concentration boards can be purchased at Creative Mathematics CLICK HERE!

 

Mathematically yours,
 

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