Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Math the new way

   From my very first day of teaching I have always taught math using manipulatives. It has always made sense to me to teach via hands on learning.  I use a book, don't get me wrong, but the book is just for practice.  So this year when our district chose to get rid of all the math books I was not nearly as apprehensive as some of my collegues. 
   One thing I have found is that with no book at all to pull practice problems from We go through a lot more copy paper and ink.  It has been a challenge for some of our parents to help their children with homework as well.  If there is no book or example for parents to reference they often get frustrated and spend hours on homework that should only take a matter of minutes.
    The loss of text books is actually what led me to  My fellow 2nd grade teachers and I began relying on center games to help teach our students for math.  We also use math exemplars to ensure that students are learning by doing.  I can say with certainty that while we love teaching without a book, we are frustrated by the lack of materials and the extra amount of time the lessons take.
     What is the solution?  I'm sure that if they brought back text books some teachers would revert to using the book alone.  However, most of those teachers who used to do so are just using board work and worksheets now.  I truly feel that if they would bring back a book, but require that we teach the majority of our lessons hands-on, the district would see an improvement in math scores and parental happiness.  Until that happens I will continue to buy and make resources for myself.

    What are your thoughts?
     I have included a link to my teachers pay teachers store where you can get one of my math resources for free.  This is a money concentration/matching game.  It can be used in a center, in small group or as an assessment tool.  I hope you enjoy it!


  1. I wish we didn't have textbooks. I get tired by being tied to only teaching the textbook.

  2. Sarah, It is so refreshing to hear a teacher say that! I encourage you to branch out one unit at a time using just manipulatives. You could still use the book for practice, morning work or homework. If you do it please let me know how it goes!