Saturday, August 1, 2015

Welcome to #mtgr1

#mtgr1 (math talks grade 1) community welcomes you and your students to participate in a weekly math slow chat. Here is how it works.
  1. Every Sunday night starting September 6, I will Tweet an open-ended math problem of the week. Please follow me at @lekadegroot
  2. Please retweet to share the question with your PLN.
  3. Your students will share their thinking during the following week through Monday to Friday. Make sure their Tweets include the hashtag #mtgr1 so that everyone in the #mtgr1 community can view your students' responses.
  4. I encourage you to visit Tweets from other classes to discuss different ways to solve a problem or view math.
  5. Respond or leave a comment to other classes' ideas. 
  6. Follow classes that are participating to build your students' learning community.
Pretty simple, right? You can just make it fit into your schedule, but here is my #mtgr1 routine.
  • On Mondays during our math instruction time, we read a question of the week.
  • I give my students to moments to think/observe (if there is an image) by themselves.
  • Then I prompt them to "turn & talk" with their classmates. 
  • After the turn & talk, we talk about what we saw and thought as a large group.
  • We then brainstorm how to show their thinking. Do you need tools such as number cubes or connecting cubes? Are you going to draw on a white board? Do you choose to draw on a piece of paper or on the iPad?  Here are the examples of different tools my students used for the same question.




  • I typically let my students choose whether to work alone or with friends, but they usually wanted to work alone to share their own idea.
  • Once students have their idea down, they use an iPad or iPod to get their Tweets ready.
  • Before they click "Tweet" they need to show it to me for an approval.
While students work on the problem, my job is to go around and listen to their explanation. If a student gets stuck, I let him/her ask a friend to help. There are times when a student makes mistakes. Do I let him/her know that the answer is wrong? No. I encourage them to look over the answer, but if they are confident I go ahead and give a permission to share. Why? It will give other classes a great learning opportunity! See?


#mtgr1 takes up most of our math instruction time on Monday. During the week, I check other classes' Tweets.  I am mindful when I pick a few Tweets to share with my students on Friday (I take only 10-15 minutes). Will my students learn something new from this Tweet? Would this Tweet reinforce what they already know? Would this Tweet challenge my students to extend their math knowledge?  Here are some examples of what I did with my students.
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I loved these three tweets. They gave us a perfect opportunity to talk about multiplication. No, multiplication is not in our CCSS, but why not?
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How about this one for subitizing? We talked about where we thought Gabriella saw 10 eggs and 8 eggs in the image.
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We also talked about patterning being a big part of math. Math is not just numbers!
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What I love about open-ended questions is differentiated opportunities they would bring to the students. Students can showcase their BEST work. For some students they may show below grade level expectations and for others above and beyond. However, no matter what their academic level was, every week I saw my students pushing their math knowledge a little bit further to challenge themselves. I believe that they wanted to show their best work to their global audience. 

I would like to thank all the classes who participated in #mtgr1 last year for giving my students such great learning experiences. 

So, are you ready to join this great learning opportunity? There is no sign up needed, however, I would love to see where you are from. Let me know by leaving your name and location HERE.

If you teach second grade/grade 2, my friend Terry Stoufer @FirstAtBat will be hosting #mtgr2. You can visit her blog post HERE