Sunday, January 12, 2014

Math Menus

Last week, I began Math Menus with my students.  Here's a sneak peek into what we are beginning:

I am always looking for ways to do things "just a little bit better" in my classroom.  I guess that's the life-long-learner in me.  I'm among friends here, I know.  We are all looking for ways to improve our instruction, aren't we?

Have you heard about using Menus? I started doing some research earlier this year about how to use menus in math and found this great book:

After reading/researching math menus, I knew it was the perfect way to differentiate my math rotations even more than I do now.

Menus provide students the opportunity to choose what activities they would like to complete.

How do menus work?

*Students "choose" menu items that add up to an amount that the teacher determines.  (For my menu, my students will choose items that add up to $10.)
*The menus are created with differentiation in mind.  For example, the level of difficulty varies by activity.
*Students work at their own pace to complete the activities on the menu.
*Some activities can be completed with a partner or in small groups.

We are currently knee-deep in our unit on fractions.  So, I created a "Fractions Menu" that my students will work on for three weeks.  During this first implementation, I am only "grading" for completion of the work.  However, on our next menu, I will be grading on the quality of work and will provide my students with a rubric before the menu begins.

We will work on the menus during our "Math Facts" rotation during Math Workshop.

You can read more about math workshop {here} or {here}.

Stay tuned for more information about menus as the weeks progress.  I'll be adding highlights about what's working and what's not.  Because as we all know, whenever implementing something new, there will be hits and misses along the way :)

7 comments :

  1. I love this idea! Do you use a math program? We use Envisions and although I have a 90 minute math block, after doing the required part of the program, I'm not sure I would have the time for this, but I would love to try it. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. What a neat idea! You've given me another book to check out as well. I am always looking for more ways to differentiate in my room but I have not seen this one. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to hearing more about how this goes for you.
    ♬Kay
    On the Trail of Learning

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  3. Hi Elizabeth,

    What a GREAT idea! I have never thought to do Math Menus. We do Language Arts Menus and I love those so I am so excited to try this! Thank you for sharing how you are using them in your classroom. :) I am still trying to finish up division and then I will be jumping into fractions too! That differentiation book looks good- I haven't read that one! Thanks for the ideas! Have a great week!
    -Stacia
    Collaboration Cuties

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  4. I love the sound of this. It sounds like it would be great for differentiation and student choice - two big areas of focus in our district. I think you must be way more organized then me to set up all the possible activities - no last minute planning on the drive to work (luckily I have 40 minutes). I can't wait to see the finished product and hear how it works in your classroom.

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  5. I love this idea! I give them a menu for ELA vocab, but I've never heard it done like this for math. I like how you're also having them do it with money! I would add it with cents too to challenge some students who are ready to add with decimals :) Thanks for sharing :)

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  6. I LOVE this idea--everything about it (I realize I just told you this, but I'm very excited about it!). My students just love when they have options and I love the effort that results from their interest. I cannot wait to read more!!

    And yes, you are so right about the life-long-learner bit...I think it's what keeps us going in this field :) :)

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  7. Because of my addiction to teacher resources (read: hoarder) ... I already have those books - for 3-5 and 6-8 in both Math and Language Arts. ;) However ... I am MOST interested in those fantastic looking math menus ... can't wait to see them and hear how much your students are loving them!!!

    Jen
    Runde's Room

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