Sunday, October 7, 2012

 We are implementing the common core standards for math this year AND have a new math program. We are having to take math one lesson at a time as we watch this unroll and try to figure out how everything is going to work together.  It's a little unsettling.  In the past, we've had our math units and lessons mapped out for the year, and have had a pretty good idea of how much time we will need to spend on each.  Of course, we made adjustments as each unit progressed, in order to provide the instructional and practice time that students needed. 
  I was dismayed to see that the new math program taught rounding to nearest ten and hundred in lesson 2 of chapter 1.  I'm convinced that people who write text books don't teach children.  Really?  They think kids who have never heard of rounded numbers can master rounding to tens and hundreds in one lesson? And the second lesson, no less?   Laughable! Needless to say, that one lesson stretched over a couple of weeks!
  I've tried many different approaches to teaching rounding over the years.  No matter how you approach it, it takes some time for kids to master.  It seems that once they get it, they get it.  But until they do, you go through it over and over.  In desperation, during that first week of school, I turned to something I started last year, and then I expanded on it.  The Rounding Robot were born! I introduced my kids to two of my creations--the Strong Man and the Wimpy Guy of rounding.  Using two different power points, classroom posters, and a set of practice worksheets, I finally got through to those kiddos who just didn't get it. 
  My Rounding Robots powerpoints and printables are available here: