Monday, September 2, 2013


This summer I was very fortunate to receive training in AMSTI (Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative) for Math and Science. It has only been two weeks but I am really loving how my kiddos are soaking up all the hands on math and science goodness! Even my most challenging students are more attentive during math and science.

For math we are using Terc Investigations math series. This series is not AMSTI but does embody AMSTI's teaching methods. Both are hands on and student centered. The past two weeks we have been exploring our math manipulatives and learning how to compare attributes. We have also introduced our Daily Data (DD). For DD we use a counting jar, pan balances, and many different graphs. Right now we are doing a graph a week. I am focusing on teaching procedures for the different types of graphs and how we can interpret the data.

Single Loop Venn Graph
"Have You Ever Built a Sandcastle?"
This was our first graph. Each student wrote their name on a sticky note and then chose their answer. Using Math Talk Moves, we had a very involved discussion about how we could determine how many people have built a sandcastle and how many have not. We counted the sticky notes and then to double check we created a live graph and counted the actual students. A lot of great conversation and counting!

 Pan Balance
"Do you like to play inside or outside?"
I had 20 bears in the basket (1 for each student on roll). Students came up and placed a bear on either the "outside" or "inside" pan. As we began discussing how to "interpret the data" (yes, I use this vocabulary with them) one child realized there was still a bear in the basket. So along with the great discussion on how we could determine which choice received the most "votes", we also had a great discussion on why we had a left over bear. 

Double Loop Venn
"Do You Have Any Siblings?"
This is our graph for next week. We will use sticky notes again. I will introduce the graph and show them how to post if they have a sister, a brother, or both. I will not mention what to do if they are an only child. I want to see how they think and try to figure out where to put their sticky note. 
(I have parents give me this information on my Kindergarten Questionnaire.)

I am so pumped about AMSTI science this year!!! AMSTI science is a two year training. This summer I learned how to implement two of the four AMSTI units. 

Our first unit is weather. We have spent the past two weeks learning how to be a scientist. We have talked about our 5 Senses and how we can use them to investigate and collect data. Over the next 6 weeks or so, we will be studying weather, how to read a thermometer, how to gauge wind speed, how to identify the  different types of clouds and contrails. We will create a weather calendar to record temperature, cloud cover, and precipitation. We will also be collecting data for G.L.O.B.E.. "GLOBE's vision is of worldwide community of students, teachers, scientists and citizens working together to better understand, sustain and improve Earth's environment at local, regional and global scales." Our class will be imputing types of clouds, amount of cloud coverage, and amount of contrails we see in our sky. We will also adopt a class tree for our Trees unit that will begin in January. 

 Our First Anchor Chart for Science!
I told them we were going to get to be all kinds of scientist this year! I asked them what they thought a scientist was? What do scientist do? These are the ideas they came up with. Thank you to The First Grade Parade for the supper cute anchor chart! I laminated the poster and then used dry erase markers to write the responses so I can reuse the poster every year!

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