Adding and subtracting decimals

Most recently, I finished the sections on adding and subtracting decimals. This is for my book, How to Help Your Child with Fifth Grade Mathematics. That chapter on computing with decimals just keeps getting larger and larger.

I have already finished the section on multiplying decimals. Before the month is done, as part of Camp NaNoWriMo, I’d like to review what I wrote for multiplying decimals as a way to write the section on dividing decimals.

I also want to write a section for adding decimals that makes connections to adding fractions. And then I’ll do the same for subtracting decimals.

It has been my experience as a teacher that many students in fifth grade struggle with computing with decimals. Then we move on to other concepts in mathematics, like geometry, and then we come around to fractions. As we come back to decimals again, as I do to see how students have progressed, I find that the work we do with fractions influences and informs the work and studying we did previously in the year with decimals. But not every student makes those connections on their own. As a teacher, I encourage those students who have made those connections to share them with their classmates. I also make it explicit, looking at parallel problems in decimals and fractions at the same time, for those students who are still having a hard time making those connections. I want to reflect this in my book as well, because it is a strategy that will help children and parents. I’ve seen it firsthand myself dozens of times, and it’s an idea worth sharing.

Advertisements

Adding decimals

I’m working on the computing with decimals chapter. I’ve already written the section on multiplying decimals. Now, I’m working on adding decimals.

It’s April, time for Camp NaNoWriMo again. I’m hoping to get this book mostly done this month.

An Introduction to the Mathematical Practice Standards

Release 1.7.1

For the past two weeks, I have been working on Chapter 0 An Introduction to the Mathematical Practice Standards.

Please look for the next release on Friday, September 13, 2013 or Saturday, September 14, 2013.

I didn’t write as much this past two weeks as I had hoped. First, I am now back at work full-time teaching. While that can serve as an inspiration, as it did in what chapter I decided to work on, it also uses up a lot of my energy, creative and otherwise. Also, my district has decided to focus on rolling out the Common Core State Standards for Language Arts first, not the standards for Mathematics.

I am puzzled by this, because my principal asked me to go to some professional development sessions sponsored by our district at the beginning of last year. I was trained on the new Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, and have since done some professional development with my colleagues at our school. It certainly seemed to me that the district was going to start with Mathematics first.

It’s only going to slow me down, not stop me. I am going to finish this book; I complete things that I start. However, I have to be honest in saying I was hoping I’d have more of a support system in my work as a teacher as I did the work of writing. Now, I have the challenge of teaching to the Common Core State Standards for Language Arts, while Mathematics is still in transition. And I’m attempting to write a book designed to help parents with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. More challenging than I thought it was going to be, but not impossible. A good percentage of the book is complete.

While my current students will not be graded using the new Common Core State Standards, I have already introduced the Mathematical Practice Standards in the classroom. While we have begun our first unit of study on prime factorization, we are simultaneously working on problem solving and mathematical reasoning. I have already referred to modeling with mathematics several times in class. I like these Mathematical Practice Standards. This year, for my current students and myself, it will be a blend of these new standards from the Common Core with the Mathematical Reasoning standards from the State of California’s standards.

Solve Problems by Multiplying Fractions and Mixed Numbers

Release Notes: 1.6.1

Chapter 18 Solve Problems by Multiplying Fractions and Mixed Numbers is now complete.

There are also some minor edits to chapter 14.

I estimate that How to Help Your Child with Fifth Grade Mathematics is now 63% complete.

Please look for the next release in two weeks, on August 30, 2013.

Multiplying fractions and multiplying decimals (Release 1.5.1)

Release Notes: 1.5.1

Chapter 16 Multiply Fractions is now complete.

The section in Chapter 11 Compute with Decimals titled Multiply with Decimals is nearly complete.

There are also some minor additions to the introduction.

I estimate that How to Help Your Child with Fifth Grade Mathematics is now 57% complete.

Please look for the next release in two weeks, on August 16, 2013.

Release 1.4.1

Release Notes: 1.4.1

Chapter 17 Interpret Multiplication as Scaling is now complete. It was partially complete in release 1.3.1.

Chapter 9 Multiply Whole Numbers and Chapter 23 Volume of Solid Figures are now complete.

I did some online research regarding the various state additions to the Common Core State Standards. Accordingly, I have updated those chapters.

Chapter 4 is partially done. It does address Algebraic Patterning, a topic addressed by Kansas in their standards. It does not yet address the standard added by California.

I also updated Chapter 26, adding some discussion of Probability & Statistics, also from Kansas.

Chapters 12 and 20 are still reserved. There are no state additions to those domains that I am yet aware of.

I have also added to the Introduction, some paragraphs on the the development of this book and some background information on the Common Core State Standards.

I have calculated that How to Help Your Child with Fifth Grade Mathematics is now 53% complete.

Please look for the next release in two weeks.

Two Positive Articles about the Common Core Standards

I just had to share these articles that I’ve read over the past few days.

The first is “Not Your Typical Summer School: A Summer Camp Fights Learning Loss Using the Common Core”.

The second is “Why our nation needs common standards”.

As I started writing How to Help Your Child with Fifth Grade Mathematics in April, I started doing some online research. I was specifically trying to find out how many states had added to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. I teach in California, and I knew California had added to the standards. If I was going to write a book based on the Common Core Standards for Mathematics, I had to know what other states had added to the standards and what those additions were.

However, I was finding a lot of articles that were critical of the Common Core State Standards. I was finding that there was a lot of misinformation about the Common Core State Standards. There was also just a lot of missing information. People were not informed about the standards and were making statements that showed their lack of information. It was disheartening.

So, moving forward, I think I will do the occasional post, like this one, sharing some good, positive news about the Common Core State Standards.