In my math class, I have used math labs which incorporate easily into the new Elementary Math Curriculum. Doris Morrow, an elementary principal at Frobisher School, and I worked together to set up activity cards. We set up the number of cards pertaining to each strand by the time allotments listed in the curriculum. The distribution was as follows.
Data Management - 2 cards
Numbers and Operations - 7 cards
Geometry - 2 cards
Measurement - 3 cards
Doris and I spent time looking through various resources to find activities that were applicable to our objectives, or we developed our own. We collected as many activities as possible, then met to decide which ones we would use for our math labs. It was important that manipulatives be incorporated into the math lab in some way. We also compiled a math booklet for our students so that they had some drill and practice but which also provided a review of concepts.
The finished product included: 17 math labs, 1 math booklet, 2 sets of answer sheets.
We would introduce a few labs at a time through brief mini-lessons. Then the students would work in groups of two or three on completing them. Some were done individually.
Setting up the labs was time-consuming, but was well worth the effort. Students enjoyed the variety of activities as well as the challenge these labs gave them.
For Doris and I, it gave us the opportunity to share our resources and now we have math labs which can be used throughout the whole year.
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