Slice of Life and Minds on Mathematics Chapter 2

Teacher's Write has opened my eyes to an amazing group of teacher, author bloggers that I had never read before.  Whomever says that teachers don't do Professional Development in the summer should get two shakes with a wet pool noodle.  There are amazing things going on in Bloggyland!
Today I'm going to link my post to Slice of Life.  This is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.   If you would like to learn more about it go {HERE}

Minds on Mathematics.... hmmmmm  my mind has been all over mathematics the last few days.  Not only because of this book, but also because it seems I have been doing a lot of bank account subtraction this week! Doesn't that always seem to happen in the summer time when you DON'T have a paycheck!
After blog stalking yesterday through what everyone is reading and making I should just have donated my summer cash to Amazon and Hobby Lobby!
I'm glad I had Minds on Mathematics to keep me at least a little occupied!  Today's main focus in our book study is Chapter 2.  Head over to see Sherrie at Middle School Math Rules.

This chapter is titled Tools.  The Problem of the Day is:  How do you teach students to understand information and solve problems themselves? 
I think one of the biggest things that hit home for me in this chapter is the idea of problem solving through error anaylsis. Wendy Ward Hoffer is big on integrating Twenty-First Century Skills into the math classroom.  This is right up the Common Core Standards alley.  I know one way that I really emphasized this concept last year were problems where students were given the wrong answers.  As a class we would take a look at this type of problem and try to analyze what the sixth grade student had done wrong.  I taught my Smarties that these were typical mistakes that a sixth grader may make and that our state assessment department (whom we call SIMON.....I have no idea why I started calling it that.. maybe because SIMON is always SAYING to do this... and SIMON is always SAYING to do that!) loved putting questions on the state test that would lead non thinking smarties down the path to Errorville.  Usually I put at least 2 questions on an assessment that were also error analysis style.  It really took their thinking to a higher level.

The second part that I really zeroed in on in Chapter 2,  were the use of Seven Thinking Strategies:
Thank you Gingersnaps for this font!
... and honestly, I went DUH!  I teach ELA.  I have a Masters Degree in Reading and am certified to teach Remedial Reading K-12.  Why had I forgotten the importance of using these thinking strategies in my math class.  AND.. what a fabulous way to INTEGRATE  Common Core Standards into content areas!

I am really looking forward to the practice and integration of strategy suggestions in the next few chapters!  Blaze the path my blogging friends...

 It may just be my teaching mantra for the year!


  1. Welcome to Slice of Life! I was excited to see the Middle School Blog log (new to me) button and to learn that you teach sixth grade too! I love this community. We're reading Notice and Note for our summer book study.

  2. Integrating ELA strategies into math lessons! Definitely getting rid of the box!

  3. Love your excitement for the writing community and the challenge to look at math with different eyes,

  4. Hi Michele,
    This year our district is training literacy coaches in each content area. I am really excited to see what methods and ideas they come up with for implementing this. I'm really going to think of a plan for being more purposeful to using the thinking strategies in my math class. Can't wait to see what ideas you come up with. Make sure you share them on your blog.

  5. Michele,

    I went "duh", too! Glad to see I'm not the only one, because I honestly thought "that makes so much sense, I really feel like I should have known that"! It'll be so seamless with what they are doing in their ELA classes that I can't wait to see the results!

    Until next time...Melanie


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