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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What is math?

Have you ever had a student who said, "When are we going to do math?" while you were actually teaching the math lesson?  This year, in particular, I have had several students ask this question.  So, I had to think...  What am I going to do so that the children know we are doing math?  My students need to know what math is.  My students need to know what a mathematician is.  I mean, we do this for reading all the time.  We teach our students how to read books, what a reader looks like, and strategies for reading so that they are prepared and successful when it comes time for the reading block.

Then, the thinking and brainstorming started.  I have developed and created a WHAM Math pack for my kindergarten students.  This should probably be taught at the beginning of the school year, but I just completed it last week.

This packet took 2 weeks to teach to my kinders.  I began with the WHAM posters.  WHAM stands for Whole Group, Hands-on, At Your Seat, and Meeting for Review.  I wanted my students to know that everyday we will start math in a whole group.  Next, do some type of hands-on activity.  Then, return at their seats to complete the work.  This usually involves pencil and paper work.  Last, meet together on the rug for revisiting the topic and review of skills.

Here is the first sheet my students completed in class.

I have included words to use on an anchor chart in the WHAM Math pack.  Here are some more photos from this lesson.  The picture on the right is what the anchor chart would look like when creating it whole group.
Here is the learning target poster that I use in my classroom.  I say, "Where do we aim?"  The children reply, "At the target!" and point to the target.  The picture is an excellent visual that my students can look at when doing math.

As you can tell, this unit is in a super hero theme.  I have stressed to my students how important it is do understand math.  I want them to be interested in the topic.  What better way than using super heroes?

This unit also includes a mathematician bubble map, mathematician headbands, and much much more.

There is also an emergent reader text integrating math to literacy.  The story is called, "Who Does Math?".  My kindergartners enjoyed reading the book.  Look below for the preview of the mathematician bubble map.


Just like this past weekend, I am going to give away three of these packets to 3 lucky followers.  Just comment below and be sure to leave your email address and the name you follow us with in the comment.  Let me know how you could use this in your classroom.  If you blog about this post, let me know in the comment and I will send you this pack for free!!

Good luck!!

Endless Possibilities,


  1. Love the idea of this...and it really helps cement what math thinkers do! FOllowing as Suzy Q.

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

  2. Very creative!

  3. I love the idea of using it in the beginning of the year or when introducing a new concept.
    Math is my favorite subject to teach!!!

    My Second Sense

  4. What an awesome idea!

  5. Love it!
    Lisa F

  6. Great resource

  7. i would use it at the beginning of the year, and also as a tool for my strugglers. i am ronnie @

  8. I am fairly new to your blog and being a recently graduated primary school teacher, the resources here are invaluable to me. I love your WHAM! concept along with the visual cues. I would love this package for my class!! Thankyou for sharing your creativity - you are helping me more than you'll ever know! I am

  9. I have been a follower of your blog for a while and this packet is such a great idea ! Especially for those beginning of the year routines, introductions, and transitions into the subject areas :)

    Lindsey -

  10. I am a first year teacher, and I teach the lowest kinders in the school. They constantly ask when we are doing math, and this would help them understand and learn to love math! I would be so excited to get this packet.

    Carly -

  11. What a fun way to get students excited about doing math! I would so use this (even now, as opposed to the beginning of the year) to help everybody focus. Thank you for sharing :) I follow as katrina calleiro


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