Monday, May 18, 2015

Incorporating Math

Whenever possible I’ve tried to incorporate simple math concepts (e.g., counting or skip counting by 2s) into the Animated Step-by-Step lessons. These opportunities are usually signaled by the presence of star …  indicating that multiple hits are required to count out the number of items requested.  Addition and subtraction can also be easily incorporated  (e.g.,  “We’ve already added 3 tablespoons of  cocoa. How many more do we need to add to make 6?  Let’s see …  6 - 3 = ?" ). The pen tools can be used to write simple math equations on the interactive whiteboard. In a mixed ability classroom this 'layered math' can provide a wonderful way to incorporate much needed practice with basic math concepts.

Here’s a not-so-obvious application … doubling the batch!

 You are using an Animated Step-by-Step to make Hot Chocolate. The recipe makes 5-6 servings. There are 12 children in your class so you obviously need to double that recipe.

In a younger class this can be achieved using addition.

“Our Hot Chocolate recipe calls for 6 tablespoons of cocoa. If we double the recipe we need to add another 6 tablespoons. Let’s write that out  …. 6 + 6 = ___. " 

(rendering the equation either horizontally or vertically on the interactive whiteboard).

In an older class this can involve multiplication.

“Our recipe says we need 2 tablespoons of water. Remember we are doubling the batch. How can we write that equation?  2 (tablespoons) X 2 (batches) = 4 . Yes, we need 4 tablespoons of water."

When you think of how many times in life we find ourselves having to double a recipe, the Animated Step-by-Steps can provide a great forum for teaching this valuable life skill.

… ‘til the next post …

© 2015  Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.