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When I was getting trained in this procedure, I really fell in love the the key statements--I guess I'm just cool like that....
The key statements we use are designed to both explain math content to students and build content vocabulary. For example, this was a key statement I liked: Starting with tens, then switching to ones is an efficient counting strategy. I loved the use of the word efficient in this statement. The students get lots of repeated exposure to the key statement over the course of 2 weeks, so we talk quite a bit about what the word efficient meant, and then we started to use the word at other times of day as well. We talked about the efficient way to put away materials, line up, run a morning meeting...it came up quite a bit.
I try to make the key statements more meaningful for students by adding actions. Right now we're using the key statement: Mathematicians use symbols that have meaning. When we say, 'mathematicians,' we point to ourselves. When we say symbols, we use our arms to make a greater than symbol. When we say, 'meaning,' we bring our hands together and downward. When we say, "The equals sign means the same on both sides," I have the kids make an = with their index fingers, then hold their hands out like two objects on a balance scale.
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I am pretty excited about this set of focus statements based on the CCSS Number and Operations in Base 10 Standards for first grade. It is currently on sale in my TPT and TN stores. What do you do to help your students learn key vocabulary?