This year I’ve been using number sense routines* with my 3rd-5th grade classes. The routines have specifically been put into place to help students strengthen their place value and estimation skills. The routines last around 5-10 minutes and generally occur during the first part of class The routines is the first thing on the board as students enter. Students use a template, complete the routine independently and we discuss the results and process as a class.
Two of the more productive routines this year have been Estimation180 (3rd grade) and Who am I (4th). Both ask students to use hints or models and then use those visualizations to solve problems. Students document their thinking on an individual page and then we discuss it as a class through a debrief session. While working with students this year I noticed that not all students participated to the extend that I’d like. The conversations were decent and students were engaged, but the reflection piece wasn’t as thorough. So this year I’ve decided to add an individual reflection component for these specific tasks. The reasoning actually came from a book that I read back in April that emphasized how sentence stems can be used to help students reflect on their mathematical thinking.
I put these sentence stems into practice and added them to a reflection sheet. I added extra space after the “because” to help encourage students to write more about their own thinking process.
Students complete each one of these around 2-3 times a month. Students complete the reflection sheet, discuss the writing with partners and eventually put them in their folders. The sheets are revisited throughout the year to see the growth over time.
* The images from this post are from a math routines presentation on 5/3. Feel free to check out the entire presentation here.