Teaching the Family of Facts

I thought I had this concept down pat, thought I knew how to teach it...


Well to be fair I did not do too bad, I really had them hooked in the concept.  But I'm jumping ahead of myself lets step back a little.

I was able to pick up four days work in the one class (teachers husband had taken sick and had been flown to hospital) but there was no planning what so ever as the teacher had her planning home but had not yet gotten around to it....

So I had four days of teaching a class of 6 year olds with no knowledge of where they were at what levels they were operating at or anything.

I was so excited :), it felt like I was actually going to be a teacher.

So day one I went in armed with heaps of stuff, several maths options and spent the first half hour before the day started going through everything I could find to let me in on just what they were doing.

Reading and writing no problems, knew the age group, knew what I could do (sort of).

Maths I decided on family of facts.

I knew no matter what the level it should work and those at the lower level I would give them additional support.

I introduced the concept, I started with 5, we went through all the ways of making 5 - they did good here including the reversing the addends ( 3+2 and 2+3)

I told them I was going to show them a maths magic trick.... but first I sent them off to go and grab 7 objects (their choosing) they were quite quick and this - they wanted to know the trick.

We worked together with 3 + 4 with everyone showing me with their items.  I loved watching the ones in the lower group get the answer and get it quick and their face light up with delight at getting it.   When I introduced the magic of how we know that 3 + 4 = 7 then we know that 7 - 3 = 4.

They were amazed
They could not believe it
They had to do it themselves
We had to repeat it again and again with different numbers
They were hooked!!!!!

I was able to do this for the week with different numbers,  those who needed extra help sat together (it was a mix of levels) and they had objects to count so they could physically see what we were doing.  They were getting it.  They were rocking it.   They were so impressed with themselves.  I patted myself on the back for good teaching

On day four we were going to do a craft to show our understanding.  I gave each child their own equation to work through (without my help) based on what I had observed through the week, I knew this would help form an assessment of their understanding.

They didn't get it, they were not rocking it,  I was not impressed with myself!

The advantage of subbing you get time to reflect on your teaching, analyze what you did great and what not so great.  What I realized is although I called it the family of facts I never showed them the numbers as a family.

I felt like such a twit, I have even made a pack with all the family of facts up to 20 (although I haven't printed it as yet) and with every card the family of facts is grouped together and the kiddo's are meant to work them into an equation.  Did I introduce it that way to the class - nope.  Will I remember in the future - sure will.  Made the point this school holidays to write up a quick lesson plan so I know what to do in the future - although I doubt I will forget again.

I just need to chalk it up to my inexperience and finding my feet.  While they did not learn it as well as they should they were well on their way and if I had had a few more days we would have gotten there.  But then again that's the role of a teacher, while we teach we learn and as we learn we teach and I have certainly learnt.  I just wish I could go back and start again - if only

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