Last Tuesday, I made another visit to the kindergarten classrooms at General Currie Elementary. During each visit I introduce a new mathematical “routine” to the students and teachers and then extend the routine with some related learning experiences.
I introduced the “clothesline” introduced to me via Twitter by Andrew Stadel last year. There is a website dedicated to sharing information about clothesline math HERE. Most of the work I have seen done with the clothesline is at the middle school level and I can see great uses for it in exploring equivalent fractions, decimal fractions and percentages with our intermediate students. In looking at the kindergarten mathematics curriculum for BC, sequencing and representing numbers from 0-10 is an important learning standard and connects to the use of the clothesline, a form of interactive numberline.
We began with just the numeral cards and the students came up on a a time (in random order) to place their cards on the clothesline. They were asked to state their reasoning for why they put their cards where they did.
After the 0-10 cards were in place, we took them off and then I shuffled them with the ten frame and tally cards and handed one card out to each student. Again, the students came up one or two or three at a time and placed their cards, explaining their reasoning. When there was an equivalent representation already in place, they just placed the card on top of the other.
The tent cards I created can be downloaded here:
When I asked the first class of kindergarten students one way of showing “seven”, one little guy held up seven fingers. I hope to take some photos of the students finger combinations next week when I visit to include these on a set of cards.
I can also see great potential for the clothesline to look at multiple representations of numbers in grades 2-5 to help students think about place value.
After each class worked with the clothesline, the students could choose from several related learning experiences, all that focused on sequencing numbers or representing quantities to 10.
The students were highly engaged with the materials and were able to share their thinking about why it was important to know how to order numbers – “to count, to be organized”. In one of the kindergarten classes we looked around the classroom for ways that numbers in order or sequence were used. The students found the 100-chart, the calendar and the clock.
Next week, we are going to do some number talks with dot cards and ten frame cards and investigate the idea of parts-whole relationships in numbers by decomposing and composing quantities.