Fair isn’t always equal.
- Help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work.
- Help teachers recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately.
Click HERE to visit our TpT store with over 1400 printable resources, including 140+ free products.
1. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication or Division Fact Charts
Math fact charts are especially useful when you are checking student understanding of more advanced skills or concepts.
While we agree that memorizing math facts is an essential skill, a delay in this skill should not become a barrier to learning more advanced math concepts. Some students who struggle with basic memorization may actually be amazing mathematicians able to do higher order problem solving. However, you may never find out if they get stuck in the curriculum learning the facts.
Use math fact charts (as a scaffold) to ensure all students have the same opportunities for higher order thinking. For example, a student may have a secure understanding of multi-step word problems; however, he/she is unable to demonstrate this due to a deficit in memorizing facts.
2. Graph Paper
Graph paper works well for many concepts in math. It is difficult to complete a problem when you are unable to line up the numbers. Are students making errors because they don’t understand the process or is it an alignment issue? Clear and organized visuals are essential in math. Graph paper may be just the thing to get the job done. We suggest replacing math notebooks with graph notebooks. Please note: this is a helpful strategy for students of all ages, including younger students. Graph paper comes in many different sizes with different sized squares. (Some students prefer graph paper over notebook paper for note taking in all subject areas.)
Graph paper helps organize and draw many math concepts, including:
- five and ten frames
- part-part-whole models
- area models for multiplication and division
- lining up numbers for all operations
- skip counting
- even/odd numbers
- factors and multiples
- displaying data
- and more!
The number line provides a model for explaining the four basic operations for all rational numbers. It is by nature a spatial object: a set of points one can pass through as a journey along a path (Ryan, 2007). Use of the number line allows the student to “situate themselves bodily and spatially in the mathematics in a powerful way” (Lakoff and Nunez in Ryan, 2007).
Number lines are also a great strategy to help students visualize fraction concepts. On the number line, the whole is the unit interval, that is, the interval from 0 to 1, measured by length. Iterating this whole to the right, marks off the whole numbers, so that the intervals between consecutive whole numbers, from 0 to 1, 1 to 2, 2 to 3, etc., are all of the same length, as shown. Students might think of the number line as an infinite ruler.
Why use anchor charts in the classroom?
Anchor charts are ongoing documents that make concepts visual by showing content, strategies, processes and guidelines. They work well to build on previous concepts and allow students to make connections. They are a great scaffolding tool that may be gradually removed as the process or concepts become anchored. Anchor charts may be used for whole groups, small groups or for individualize instructions.
Click HERE to see our other blog post about anchor charts, which includes a discussion about pre-made charts.
Place Value Anchor Charts
Place value is an essential beginning math concept; yet it can be very difficult for students to master. The value of each digit in a number depends on its place or position.
Place value charts and counters are used to represent numbers and to develop and extend an understanding of the place value system. Place value charts, where it is the position of the counters on the chart that determines their values, are a transition step from base ten blocks, where placement is helpful to interpreting the number but does not affect the value.
- Are they easy to follow?
- Too busy?
- What is the size of the font?
- Are there too many questions on one page?
Shelly has been in education for over 25 years. As a special education teacher, her style was highly individualized. A motto Shelly adopted from the very beginning of her career summarizes her philosophy, “If a child cannot learn the way we teach, we must teach in a way the child can learn.” She believes TpT supports this philosophy by providing a place for teachers to find a huge variety of strategies and resources in order to meet the individual needs of each and every student. She strives to provide quality resources and ideas to help promote teacher and student success in the classroom. Click HERE to view our Teachers Pay Teachers Promoting Success store. Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter for SECRET SALES and FREE printables. Click HERE to follow us on Instagram. Click HERE to follow us on Pinterest.