I also found another handy resources that most of my class love to use. It is called SuperSpeedMath2.0
by Chris Biffle. It is great for those students who enjoy such practice and it is based on self-challenge. It includes more than multiplication with addition facts, subtraction facts, division facts and fraction facts. You can download an explanation pack too. This helps you understand how to use it, but once you get your head around it, its two minutes of practice and fun for each child per day.
When asked to explain inquiry, this is how I make sense of the different inquiry cycles available.
I have made a table with the cycles or processes I use and aligned them with Kath Murdoch’s model. We use the cycle that best supports the student's inquiry and leads to ACTION.
Many cycles or processes have elements that are key to a quality inquiry, such as, the traits for writing, or, the elements of music for composition. I find these equally useful.
As inquiry is an active present verb, it is also important to plan for inquiry where students are actively connecting and thinking within the discipline(s). For example, students should not only study scientists and their discoveries, but also experience BEING a scientist to make his or her own discoveries.
In addition there are skills and key questions, even attitudes, that can be used at different stages to support the inquiry. For example, you can use the questions within Problem Solving Talk and Problem Solving Steps for the Math Problem Solving Process. Alternatively, you can use the Question Frames for the Reading Comprehension Cycle.
These individual posters printed large and displayed, assist students in the problem solving process in Math. Specific questions are selected to support each stage. I reworked them from my original post Math Is How We Organise Ourselves to use in my classroom during problem solving situations mainly in Math but I can see their potential to be useful beyond Math, possibly in social interactions in the playground.
I've been trying find ways in which to approach even the smallest of curriculum aims, through inquiry. Instead of turning to a text or a series of hands-on activities I could prepare and set up for my class, I thought about the type of learning that was most engaging for my students this year. It has always been when there has been a structure, organizer, process or schema to support their learning but at the same time keeping it open for them to explore freely and learn within it. Processes always delivered an appropriate balance between independence and support. I turned to my students prior knowledge and thought of using parts of the Scientific Method they had learned about and successfully used in a previous Unit of Inquiry. My aim was for them to use our thinking skill of application: making use of previously acquired knowledge in practical or new ways. After a brief discussion, note taking and a walk-through example, each student was able to work out the probability of a single event of their choosing.
Once students understand the concept of multiplication, for example they have mastered arrays and grouping, many would agree that their future studies in Math will be a lot easier if they have at least some recall of the multiplication tables. There are so many fun ways to practice the multiplication tables, from numerous websites and various tips and tricks. Even so, keeping students motivated to practice at home or at any given opportunity can be difficult.
Therefore, I have resorted to blatant bribery. I got this idea from Tina Clark, a dear friend and colleague who used this in her Grade 3 classroom.
Students can go for a scoop either orally or in written form. They recite or write a decided upon table. I let them decide which one they would like to attempt. Differentiation can be achieved by how many hints you give to those who hesitate on their answers and how many tries you let them have before you tell them they need to practice a bit more. If they display their knowledge of a table to your satisfaction, award them a scoop to be pasted on their cone. Once a student gets 1 to 10, I award them with an ice cream cone. If the entire class gets it, I promise an ice cream party.
I try to set aside about 15 minutes once or twice a week for students to attempt a scoop. Or I add it in as a centre when I have no conferences or assessments that need immediate attention. So far, the students are very excited about it and have maintained their desire to practice their multiplication tables throughout the school year.
ProDivas is a simple sharing approach, teacher to teacher, for our professional development. We collect and share bite-sized practical ideas. Once you take a bite, you may be self-motivated to eat the whole meal! We aim to find ideas supported by research to then apply for “best practice” but some ideas are too good to miss and are just simple “teacher tips”.