Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Slice of Life Day 12- Greg Tang Author Visit
My mom teaches in another school district and yesterday I spent part of the day at her school. As part of Right to Read Week, they had author and mathematician Greg Tang speaking to the students and later to parents at their Parent Night.
I have to say, I am a fan of Greg Tang. He makes math seem so easy for the students (and adults!). What he was able to have them do after a short time was just amazing. I was able to see him working with K/1st, 4th/5th, and the parents. Unfortunately, I missed the 2nd/3rd session due to a meeting I had to be at in my district.
In the K/1st session Mr. Tang really focused on two things: knowing combinations to make 10 and when counting objects group them together rather than count individually. He told the students that each night, for two minutes, they should practice making 10. When counting, a lot of times we count individual objects that can result in slow counting, which is very inefficient. Students should be grouping the objects together to skip count. He referred to his website quite a bit, specifically his books, which you can find HERE.
In the 4th/5th presentation he really worked with decomposing numbers to solve problems. Mr. Tang said that after 1st grade students shouldn't be using their fingers to solve facts. He said we typically go straight to algorithms when solving problems with larger numbers but don't really think about the numbers. For example, when multiplying by 5s, such as 5 x 88, we should multiply by 10 and then halve that number. So, 10 x 88 = 880, half of 880 is 440, which is the product of 5 x 88. Much simpler! He showed the students the game Kakooma on his website, which I HIGHLY recommend playing! Great game for students and adults!
Greg Tang's parent session really reviewed what he talked about with the students.
If your school is looking for an author who will integrate reading and math I would certainly look into have Greg Tang come visit! Well worth the money!