Increasing Math Literacy with iPads

Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty.-Deepak Chopra

Math and I don’t get along.  While we are civil out of necessity, I make it a practice not to do math in public.  It just never turns out well. I think our disharmony can be traced back to the early beginnings of our relationship when my second grade teacher would smack our knuckles with a ruler if we used our fingers when adding.  I was terrified of her and I soon became terrified of math.  It’s been a rocky road ever since.

So how ironic that my 100th blog post (insert big fanfare here!) is about math.  I don’t want my students to be afraid of math, nor do I want them to share the same ambivalent feelings I have.

ella tens and onesOur common core math standard this week is “I can break numbers in to tens and ones.”  We’ve unpacked that standard all week.  We’ve practiced and practiced and today was the day they demonstrated their proficiency.  First, we chose four teen numbers.  They drew their tens frame in Doodle Buddy and showed the ones outside the frame.  After the drawing was saved, they imported it into Pic Collage and typed out their breakdown of the number into tens and ones.  This one to the left is Ella’s.  She has extended our valentines theme in her tens frame.

I’ve mentioned before how we are focusing on workflow fluency. As my students save their Pic Collage to their camera roll, I can transfer it to my laptop with Simple Transfer.  This allows me to keep electronic work portfolios.  You could also add this Pic Collage to Explain Everything and the children could tell all about their thinking.  Wells Tens and OnesIn Wells’ example to the right, he chose to draw some of his and use the stickers in Pic Collage for others.

Mathematical thinking supports science, technology and mathematical literacy.  Having students demonstrate and be able to explain how they came to their conclusions is not only important in math, but any problem solving activity.

As we have recently celebrated and counted up to the 100th day of school, we are exposing our students to greater numbers.  Having spent the week on tens and ones, they are already asking me about what the “1” in 100 means if their are zero tens and zero ones.  Time to move the bar up a notch and explore hundreds.

My students loved this activity and it is definitely one you can “count” on me using again!

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