Sunday, June 30, 2013

Building Mathematical Comprehension Book Study Chapter 4

I have been reading up a storm this summer!
Today, I wanted to take a moment to share my reflections on the book
Building Mathematical Comprehsion: Using Literacy Strategies to Make Meaning

With the shift to using metacognitive skills to develop meaning and importance in reading, I was really excited to think that these skills can be integrated in math as well! I  am all about using common language and thought processes throughout the day to make connections in learning amongst all concept areas!
Chapter 4 discusses increasing comprehension by asking questions.
The last two years, my campus was departmentalized. I have been an ELA and Reading teacher and have really worked on using metacognitive skills and comprehension connections to help students create a deeper meaning of what they are reading. During these two years, the quality of my questioning as changed. I am aware of the types of questions I use and the timing of my questions (before, during and after a lesson).The significance of tying their schema, what they have experienced in a reading environment and what is happening in the worked around them is essential for clear and deep understanding.
The same is true in math. I know....I was like...WHAT!?! Are you serious!?!
But it is!
Using the ideas of text connections, you can model and encourage students to make the following connections to the mathematical concepts to encourage a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts:
Math to Self
(Connections between personal life experiences and math)
Math to Math
(Connections that a student make other concepts and skills that they have learned along the way)
Math to World
(Connections made to the real world)
In addition to this little jewel, is the idea the just like readers, mathematicians have to be able to ask questions. This is done for many reasons, just like in reading and students must understand this to be able to actively think about math.
Students should understand (and the teacher must model) that: 
1. Questions should be asked before, during and after working with mathematical concepts.
2. Mathematicians ask questions for many reasons such as clarifying meaning, increasing engagement in the concept,  monitoring understanding, finding important information to solve the problem and even the simple curiosity and interest in the concept.
3. Mathematicians have to understand that their may be more than one answer and don't stop thinking about the question after finding one right answer.
4. They also understand that many questions will lead to looking deeper at the question for understanding.
5. Good mathematicians learn from the questions of others and understand that it inspires further thinking.
This can be modeled through think alouds- a must in every reading AND math class!
By this point in the chapter I was sold! So true and relevant and seemed perfect with the way that I teach reading. I am thinking....I can totally handle 4th grade math now! Lol...kinda.
So I read on.
There are several different types of questions that can be taught to...but guess what?!? You probably already have...NO JOKE!
Questioning strategies such as  QAR where students classify questions as right there, think and search or on my own, Thick and Thin questions and Thinking Stems can also be used, modeled and adapted for mathematical thinking!
It seems so simple...why didn't I think of that....LOL!

Make sure to take a moment and check out my cohost Leaping into Teaching and her fabulous post and find out her thoughts on chapter 4!

Building Mathematical Comprehension is a great read and I would love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment or join our linky to share your thoughts on chapter 4
(make sure to grab our button too)!
Make sure to check back in a couple of weeks as well! I will be hosting chapter 7 which all about determining importance when reading mathematical text!

But will you love me tomorrow?

Today is June 30th. You know what that means....
Google Readers last day!!
If you have been following me these last couple of years, THANK YOU! This little blog as to be one of the best things I have ever done to expand my horizon as a teacher. I have meet some amazing people along the way and I have LOVED sharing ideas, thoughts and reflections with all of you!
Now, we are moving on to a new chapter for Curls and a Smile! I am super excited about following all my favorite blogs on Blog Lovin'! There is a great app that makes reading my favorite blogs so easy and I love the daily email that I can read through to stay caught up.
There is nothing more that I would love than for you to continue this awesome journey with me!
Creating an account on Blog Lovin' is super easy and I promise you will love it!
Want to follow me?
Just click on the super cute graphic from my friends Shuna (Pocketful of Kinders) , Anna (Crazy For First Grade)  or Stacy (Mrs. Johnson's First Grade)!
They were all so cute, I couldn't decide!
I can't wait to share my giveaway for over 1000 Facebook followers and hopefully we can celebrate everyone coming over to Blog Lovin too! I am getting very, very close to hit a milestone there too!
 I just love you guys!
Now, GO! Hurry and import all your favorite blogs into Blog Lovin' today!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A little Blog Lovin'.....

As most of you know by now, google reader has left us (I am so very sad!) so many bloggers have been looking for new ways to stay in touch with all of you in blogland. I have tried a few different sites but the one that I have had the most luck, and is pretty user friendly is

Blog Lovin'

It has some pretty cool features that I have come to enjoy!

1. I get a daily email with all the posts for the day so I can easily skim thtough and not miss a thing!

2.It has an iPhone and iPad app! Makes for easy reading on the go!

3. It's got a great look that is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate for your bloggy needs!

I would love, love, love if you would come follow me on Blog Lovin'!
Just click on the link below:

Since my last post, I also created this little resource that I know will be super helpful! I am always loooking for cute (and yes, sometimes quick) thank you notes for my sweeties and their treats! The best part? You can use these for your use or your kids can use them to thank all those that help them each and everyday! From parents to volunteers, teachers to community helpers, your students can use these as well to write notes of thanks!
I will be making this into a series of Thank You note resources so make sure to follow me on TpT, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out more!
Thank you!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Top Teacher Mom? OMG!


I am taking a quick break from working on my current little resource and reading all my fabulous books to share the great news! Curls and a Smile has been nominated for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Teacher Mom Blogs and I am beyond thrilled! If you enjoy my blog and want to show me a little love, just a couple of clicks could make me a very happy little blogging momma! You can vote once every 24 hours and every single vote counts! It's just so exciting!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sizzling Summer is off to a great start!

Well! I must say that the summer has started off with  a bang! I have a ton to share!
I have taught primary grades for my whole career. All 14 years.
Next year will be a whole new adventure because I have been asked to teach
4th grade self contained! I am very excited (and a little nervous) and am looking forward to the new adventures that come with teaching the big kids. It will be so different from primary but should be bring new challenges that will help me to stretch and grow as a teacher.
I will be working with a great team who are my dear friends and that I have known for years. They have taught my daughter and and are amazing teachers that I know will be taking me under their wing as I learn all about 4th grade and teaching intermediate age kiddos.
I will DESPERATELY miss my second grade team whom I love and adore! They are fabulous teachers that make me laugh and enjoy coming to school every single day. They are always willing to listen and share their thoughts with me! I'll miss seeing my partner in crime and one of my best teaching buddies {we are know as PB&J- yes, like the sandwich...LOL} and sharing a few stolen moments to chit chat before the bell rings. Love you PB!
I am a reading fool! This summer I will be hosting and linking up with several different book studies! I am super excited and I can't wait to share in conversation over these great summer reads!
Curious what those books might be?
Here area few of the books I will be highlighting and reading this summer:

I hope you will grab your copy and join me as I read in the sun this summer!
These are some really AMAZING books that I think you will love!
I am so super connected now!
There are all sorts of ways for us to stay connected and have fun this summer!
Here are a few ways to keep in touch:
and of course, you can always find me here!
Last, but not least....
I will be having a giveaway very, very soon to celebrate 1000 Facebook followers!
Make sure to stay tuned and check in often these next few days!
This is going to be a great summer with blogging, reading, creating and planning....oh and please don't worry, I will definitely make sure to get lots of sun and fun in there too!!