What do I love about the green holiday other than the color? Storytelling. My favorite story to tell (in an atrocious accent, mind you) is about the leprechaun that tricks the farmer by tying ribbons to all the shrubs so he can’t find the pot of gold. Even more, I love when the students get into the storytelling. They love making up stories about leprechauns, pots of gold and rainbows. This is a great day for the author's chair. Everyone can participate whether they are emerging or established writers. What a natural next step … to create addition and subtraction story problems.
can use “gold pieces” they cut out or yellow counters. Have them draw a pot on
a whiteboard or use a familiar classroom tool like part-part-whole mats. Each
partner takes a turn telling the other a story problem. For some, it is as
simple as Put 5 pieces in the pot. Take 2 out. How
many are left?
put the story in
story problem. The partner showing the problem then tells the addition or
subtraction number sentence.
fun game with the pieces is to have 1 partner put out a handful of coins. (They
can choose the problem, roll a die to get the starting number or rely on the
size of their hands.) They count the coins. Then the other partner closes
his/her eyes. The first partner (leprechaun) hides a few pieces. The second
partner solves to find out how many were taken. What strategies will they use?
If there are only a few coins to start with, do they use their fingers to count
down? There were 5. There are 3 left. I fold
down three and the leprechaun took two. Do
they hold the number left in their heads and count up?
There were ten so I have to count up to ten. There are 7 left. 7 in my head. 7,
8, 9, 10. The leprechaun took 3. Do
they visualize the pieces in their heads? Do they use math tools? Do they
persevere in solving?
With all this fun, do they even know how many mathematical practices they have
engaged in? It is a piece of gold in itself.