After watching a short video by Annie Fetter, math educator at Drexel University, called “The Hurrier I Go, The Behinder I Get,” our cohort was asked to look deeply at our unit rationale and TEKS. In addition, we looked through the vocabulary, worked through big ideas of student expectations, and essential questions. Throughout I jotted notes, reflecting on what I feel I should prioritize. With the Unit Title “Applying 2Digit Place Value Concepts and Descriptions.”
So what do I feel is most important? What I really feel is the goal of this unit is to continue the students’ journey to understanding numbers beyond its standard form, a symbol. We’re asking the students to understand to look at numbers as representing the idea of distance and quantity. Later we’ll add the ideas of time and speed. We’re helping the students to understand what the number represents. One part of this goal is the relationships between numbers in base 10 – individual units that can combine in a set pattern or proportion to groups or units of a number, unitizing. In looking at relationships, a student can compare, realizing a greater quantity or distance. In adding bars and graphs to the unit, the student is given a a real world application of using these concepts, as well as learning to reason through information, then finding an efficient method to problemsolve.
So given the 3 bold phrases which are my priorities for this unit, how do I get there?
1) The beginning of our math block will start with conversation about numbers in various ways. I plan to start small, allowing students to talk about smaller numbers/images/expressions so they can build the number sense to understand the concept of numbers. Our team has decided to have

at least 3 number talks a week
, asking students to look at computational fluency, then look at word problems twice a week using a number talk, which may or may not include computational fluency. Many of these will be problems they can work through mentally, though some may require some concrete manipulation. District instruction shows that this takes about 10 minutes.
2) In our core time, there will be approximately 40 minutes of time given to

exploration, collaboration, and discussion
.
3) After this, the students will be given time to review what they have learned through

games
. We’ve used a lot of Fundamental games in the past two years. This year we will add games from Developing Number Concepts by Kathy Richardson. The link will take you to her 3rd book which has a focus on place value.

*Spiral review may be included within a number talk, at the end of a number talk, during conversation in the core block, or during game review. It depends on where there’s a relevant fit to what is being planned.
This year I move back into an inclusion class. It was beneficial to listen to the video about focusing on the purpose of teaching math, rather than fitting standards into a calendar.