Friday, August 9, 2013

Throwback Thursday!

I'm linking up with Cara at the First Grade Parade! And I haven't been at this blogging thing long, sooo...I'm using a post from just last week! This post was all about Math Sprints...stressful little things! I'd love to hear some feedback from some of you on whether or not your schools are doing sprints and how you manage them, what you think of them, etc....

Have you heard about sprints?? I hadn't until late last school year. Sprints are a timed math fluency test. I'm still not so sure I love them...they bring back horrible memories of the mad minute for me! One whole minute of awfulness where I got to struggle with the likes of multiplication and division! And the red circles all over my paper when it came back...shudder! Clearly, I have some math baggage people!

Anyway, to give a sprint you time your students for 1 minute. They get as much as they can completed and when they hear the timer, they put their pencils down. Then you get them up and moving for some fun math counting and movement. This can be as simple as doing a few exercises and counting while you do them, or putting on a math youtube video and letting them jump around and dance. Below are some that my class really loved last year. They can all be found on youtube!





Anyway, after your break you will set the timer again for students to finish. Apparently, a good sprint is supposed to be just hard enough that no one in your class will finish it completely. I always had a couple of those smarties finish though! If they finished within the first minute, I just had them turn it over on the back and write their numbers as high as they could go. 

One of my issues with sprints is that kindergarteners aren't so happy with the idea of stopping something when they're not done. You will hear lots of cries, "But I'm not done!!" I do have to say that once they got used to it, they did do much better with that. You just tell them that it is practice for them and them alone and that not finishing is ok. I also had issues with students starting before I said to start. I just started taking papers away and telling them they couldn't "play the game" because they weren't being fair to others or themselves. This only happened a few times and then they knew I meant business!

This year, I plan to do a "Tortoise and the Hare" theme to introduce sprints. I would much rather the students go at their own pace and get more correct, than to be so concerned about finishing first! I definitely want them to strive for accuracy above speed. Although maybe that is in direct contrast to the overall purpose of the sprint! Whatever! ;)

And furthermore, I will NOT be marking their sprints with red circles! In fact, you don't even have to grade them yourself! After finishing a sprint, you go through it together as a class. Students mark smileys next to the ones they got correct. Then apparently, you are supposed to have students stand up for getting 1 correct, 2 correct...blah, blah, blah until the few are left standing. I always skip that part though! I feel it is enough for them to know how many they got right themselves. And I really don't want to spread a competitive spirit amongst my munchkins. Soo...yeah, I don't do it! My own math issues surface again apparently! 

I have created a packet of sprints for kindergarteners in the beginning of the year. This packet only goes up to number five. I intend to created numbers 1-10 soon! If you would like to purchase it, it can be found at my TPT store,  

If you just want to get your feet wet with sprints, I also posted a freebie,

Happy sprinting!

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