Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Two weeks in

Well we are two weeks into our formal Number Agency.  I have to say because the time was taken at the beginning of term to really hook children in and build belief that this years Number Agency seems already so much more settled.

It is incredible to see how well the children have settled into the flow of agency and the Professor (in puppet form) and Cowgirl Calculation have been excellent additions.

Children are already showing an early understanding of subtraction and addition and can identify the villain responsible for any havoc cause...knowing if things are being added or taken away.  I am also noticing their number knowledge and number sense going from strength to strength.

A basic sequence looks like this at the moment:

1. Warm up (usually a song or materials based game)
2. Professional development with the the moment our focus is understanding what the written number actually means (number sense) using patterns and materials
3. Alarm goes off and client speaks to us.
4. Villain makes an appearance and poses the problem (The children have identified a sound that marks the villains entry, waves for subtraction shark and galloping hooves for the Knight Adder)
5. Agents get into problem solving teams ....get their materials and try to solve the problem...
6. Cowgirl Calculation comes in to talk through how we solved the problem
7. Present answer to the villain and touch base with the client to ensure everything is back to rights.

At the moment it is taking about 50 mins to run this.

The excitement at doing 'maths' is contagious and I love the mathematical mindset this approach is giving my children.  I wouldn't teach maths any other way!

What is even better is that if fits so well within my play-based environment... their imaginations, creativity and visual awareness and understanding are incredible thanks to our lovely fluid play-based environment!

The make the tower warm up today.  Roll the dice and get that many joining blocks.  Roll the dice again, think about how many you will have now, get that amount.  This lasts for three minutes.  We then count the tower, write the number, split the tower into groups of tens and explore what that number we have written actually looks like :)

Then the professor had us using dice today for professional development.  First with one dice.  Roll the dice, count and then write the number.  As an extension some agents then paired up, rolled both dice, added them together and wrote the number.  Love the way these activities can be differentiated.  

Problem time....Subtraction shark was playing havoc with the baker today.  He took six cakes away from the 12 the baker had many left?

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