Saturday, October 7, 2017

To Infinity and Beyond - Differentiating in Math

One of the first things we study in Math and one of my favorite things to teach is place value. It's foundational to many aspects of math and  once a student gets it, they can go "to infinity and beyond," as Buzz Lightyear says.

Perfect for differentiation, a hallmark of Seabury School

The foundation: base 10
Playing "Race to a Flat" using Base 10 blocks

Directions: Roll a die and add that number of units.
Trade units for longs (10), longs for a flat (100) and win!

Next level:
Play "Race to Zero," starting with a flat
(Same game except practicing subtraction.)

Once there is this basic understanding that each place has a value of ten times the value to the right, the student can move on to using different bases.

Next level, do the same thing using other bases.
Base 7 uses only the digits 0-6 so trading happens when there are 6 units or 6 longs.
Each place has a value of seven times the value to the right.

This student discovered he needed two place value mats
to keep track of all the trades he was making using base 2.
The computer geeks among us loved this one.

Several students were able to record their answers in a variety of  bases.

We're looking forward to participating in Global Math Week next week.