tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-80729381884385087212017-01-19T20:36:57.488-06:00The Teacher Studio: Learning, Thinking, CreatingLooking for information about teaching in intermediate grades? Math workshop? Problem solving? Best practice? Quality reading and writing lessons and ideas? Google Classroom and other 1:1 ideas and resources? Teaching tips and educational resources? With rigorous standards and new information about brain research and learning being released all the time, The Teacher Studio is a great place to come to for great teaching ideas, lessons,and products to help you be the best teacher you can be.The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.comBlogger675125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-74769021682304230182017-01-19T20:36:00.003-06:002017-01-19T20:36:57.519-06:005 Tips for Helping Students Make Sense of Word Problems<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Problem-Solving-A-Resource-to-Teach-Perseverance-997255"><img alt="teaching word problems" border="0" height="332" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2ps40JOSuMo/WIFzPXjG3xI/AAAAAAAAYyo/CNX6e26S_ssSZoHBN1aD-uE9Mffx3sRcgCLcB/s640/making%2Bsense%2Bof%2Bproblems%2Bdigging%2Bin%2Bpost%2Bimage.jpg" title="problem solving" width="640" /></a></div>How many of you have ever given your students a challenging problem and within SECONDS heard something like...<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><b>"I don't get it." </b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: center;">or</div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>"What are we supposed to do?</b></div><br />This is the point where every teacher sighs and wonders where they went wrong as teachers--or where the students have been during the last months of teaching! I think part of the problem comes from the fact that we too often make assumptions about what our students know about "tackling" problems. Whether they struggle with reading--or maybe with motivation--looking at a problem can often lead to shut down from some students. I have a few tips that I have found to be successful. See what you think!<br /><br />1. Sometimes it's ok to read the problem to the class (or to a small group or individual). Yes, part of math is being able to make sense of a problem independently, but we also need to remember that separating the reading from the math provides equal access for all students. Let's not make all our struggling readers math deficient as well! Reading problems aloud can get students' brains working, focused and ready. Think about your goal--if your goal is "Students will independently be able to read and make sense of a problem", then this tip is not useful. If your goal is more math oriented--like "Students will work to solve multi-step problems." or "Students will use estimation strategies to check their work.", reading certainly can be taken out of the equation (pun totally intended).<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Problem-Solving-A-Resource-to-Teach-Perseverance-997255"><img alt="problem solving" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fKAF2qAheeM/WIAKHtbp1xI/AAAAAAAAYx8/frBRo-DRagUL_C73NDr7bfYjo6ZLjjPigCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B18%252C%2B6%2B33%2B36%2BPM.jpg" title="helping students with word problems" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">2. Encourage students to take "Think Time" before putting pencil to paper or before working in groups. Ask them to reread the problem. Ask them to imagine or "visualize" what is happening. This could be a great time to ask students to find the question or think about what they need to do or what operations they might need to use. After some think time, ask them to work a bit independently--even if you DO plan on having them work together. By each getting started on their own, they bring something to the table for their group to discuss. This really helps minimize having one partner or team member completely take over--because everyone has SOME sort of start to talk about.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Problem-Solving-A-Resource-to-Teach-Perseverance-997255"><img alt="cooperative problem solving" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-h0WdOYo_Li0/WIAKGlUverI/AAAAAAAAYx0/Lob-i9aPa2slvCa9CmiWRc1vYPwc4P1EwCEw/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B18%252C%2B6%2B33%2B21%2BPM.jpg" title="problem solving" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">3. Remind students that sketches, drawings, and charts can help them get key ideas or details down on their paper so they can start making sense of them. Simply rewriting key information or labels can help too--it can help students get started processing the information. ALL students can do this--they can all start looking for key information to record.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Problem-Solving-A-Resource-to-Teach-Perseverance-997255"><img alt="problem solving" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cQ2_gmhlc14/WIAKGjxC1tI/AAAAAAAAYx4/n1yfI2kj5_0-1l2xTw3_uA5xgBjqSa-8wCEw/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B18%252C%2B6%2B33%2B03%2BPM.jpg" title="word problems" width="640" /></a></div> 4. Two heads are better than one! Cooperative problem solving can be SUCH a game changer for students who tend to sit back passively. That being said, it does take some work up front with students to learn the art of partnering. I have a blog post from this fall about it if you are interested. Just <a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2016/09/making-partner-work-perfect.html">CLICK HERE</a> to read it! Some students navigate this seamlessly with minimal coaching and others need help. Put your observation "lens" on and watch to see how students work together--and giving reminders about what is expected in partnerships is a great idea. Creating an anchor chart together about how partnerships work gives you a visual to refer to all year long.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Problem-Solving-A-Resource-to-Teach-Perseverance-997255"><img alt="problem solving" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-L-iIlqWqmVE/WIAKGkx4uHI/AAAAAAAAYxw/iuXIKNq3qVQ7L53CdhAzJI-NndvMp0rFwCEw/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B18%252C%2B6%2B31%2B36%2BPM.jpg" title="perseverance in math" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">5. Finally, sharing ideas and talking about problems AFTER students finish can give new insight as to ways to organize work, alternative strategies, and more. If students are already in pair, match two pairs together to share out their strategies and solutions. Hear something interesting as you circulate? Bring it back to the entire class so everyone can benefit.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>So...we really need to put our students in positions where they can take some ownership and dig in without us "'spoonfeeding" them and coaching too much! Coming soon--a blog post about how to do just that! Want to see another blog post about helping students makes sense of problems? Just click the image below to take you there!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2016/10/helping-students-make-sense-of-problems.html"><img alt="" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N5P1qSGqMdg/WIFvktkxuhI/AAAAAAAAYyY/Nd-2YAXfsbIz5yw3sxCGdZqBMUPctJVqgCLcB/s640/making%2Bsense%2Bof%2Bproblems%2Bpost.jpg" title="problem solving" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">The problem pictured in this post is from the following resource if you are interested in checking it out!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Problem-Solving-A-Resource-to-Teach-Perseverance-997255"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-u8MDXiGPdpw/WIFvS6Ev3EI/AAAAAAAAYyU/8do1Mmmj6bwzNMh4KY4dNfZWEKM3sa21ACLcB/s320/perseverance%2Bproblem%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Would you like to pin this post for later? Here you go!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Problem-Solving-A-Resource-to-Teach-Perseverance-997255"><img alt="math strategies for word problems" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-A5VNoczYpts/WIF129Q_2AI/AAAAAAAAYy0/_5cpeBW_bcQGL-Gkx7LwPYaXd-Wf-SdbACLcB/s640/making%2Bsense%2Bof%2Bproblems%2Bpost%2B2%2Bperseverance%2Bpin.jpg" title="problem solving" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-10940935963176472322017-01-08T07:00:00.000-06:002017-01-08T07:00:08.262-06:00Angle Studies Part 2<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="Geometry ideas" border="0" height="332" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EhiTYCI2Dq8/WHFyNGLRqzI/AAAAAAAAYwE/JqH1J2a8t0weuWnp4mReoR3Z5AVxR2HeACLcB/s640/angle%2Bpost%2B2%2Bimage.jpg" title="Angle lesson ideas" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">So, yesterday I showed you how I got my angle studies kicked off with my students--how I solidified understanding of "right angle". We had lots left to accomplish--so I'll try to share some of the different lessons and activities we did over the next days!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Tip 1: If you can get your hands on thin drinking straws....like the kind you might get in a school cafeteria...taking 2 of them and threading a twist tie between them. (I forgot to snap a picture at school so I did a mock up at home--but these are big straws. The skinny ones are WAY better.) These "magic angle makers" are great for showing students different angles, how they can "get smaller" and bigger. Students often don't realize that a "big" angle means it is open more--not that they rays are longer. These little buggers are great for helping show that.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="teaching geometry" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dCni1CI49Wg/WHF_DPgmcDI/AAAAAAAAYwk/d7U2dkOdynIRfUhnA62YZN0jS0lgQm_ywCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B07%252C%2B5%2B50%2B41%2BPM.jpg" title="Angle lesson ideas" width="578" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">So we worked on building acute, right, and obtuse angles...went hunting around the room for them...sketched them...made our bodies into them...you get the picture. We also worked to develop our mathematical rules for them--that acute angles are less than 90 degrees, and so on.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Because we had done our folded circles earlier (Missed it? <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2017/01/teaching-angles-part-1.html">CLICK HERE</a> for that post), my students were ready to do a little more estimation practice. We had done the right angle concept sort yesterday, but today I wanted them to use their "reasoning" to estimate the relative size of different angles. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Angle-Activities-3-Activities-to-Deepen-Understanding-1611117"><img alt="Angle lesson ideas" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2rjMll7Z4G4/WHFPnyUlceI/AAAAAAAAYuc/B_j-4bYOYtkytM-kOFP4uMiBk1KP3ac9QCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B17%2B17%2BPM.jpg" title="Fourth grade geometry lessons" width="640" /></a></div> I loved walking around and hearing the math talk! I did quite a bit of prompting and cuing to help them use their prior knowledge to explain their thinking--but overall it was GREAT to see that they were able to handle this task!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Angle-Activities-3-Activities-to-Deepen-Understanding-1611117"><img alt="Angle lesson ideas" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-r4V_cCmziGs/WHFkhMCl2aI/AAAAAAAAYvM/IEFX9jUNxxE2lmDv3BKFkn-UPMTzSE_SwCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B13%2B39%2BPM.jpg" title="Teaching fourth grade geometry" width="640" /></a></div> I wanted to give my students something concrete to continue their work with acute, right, obtuse, and straight angles, so it was time for some angle art! (Both of these activities are a part of my Amazing Angle Activities resource available <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Angle-Activities-3-Activities-to-Deepen-Understanding-1611117">HERE</a>.)<br /><br />I wanted students to show their understanding by folding paper strips into the different angle types. They spent some time arranging them on their page, had to "prove" to a classmate that they had all four angle times, then glued them down and made a key.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Angle-Activities-3-Activities-to-Deepen-Understanding-1611117"><img alt="Fourth grade geometry lessons" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-66q3Mp_Za6I/WHFwE3H83lI/AAAAAAAAYvs/Op_nELgHDtAhLV1foqVebbDZyqkwpMiKQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B07%252C%2B4%2B43%2B58%2BPM.jpg" title="Angle lesson ideas" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="Fourth grade angle lessons" border="0" height="482" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-da3tBNnCS0M/WHFwE7oU-OI/AAAAAAAAYvw/S_VAhop_-l0OH5Pr1vGgBOI1i8LWrTFEgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B07%252C%2B4%2B45%2B26%2BPM.jpg" title="Angle lesson ideas" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">We think they look pretty cool!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="Geometry projects" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xrZk7ZA74aw/WHFkhOzEveI/AAAAAAAAYvI/tf6rGUK5igUX-sm6iXEvjku-SDXBXHV7QCEw/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B13%2B12%2BPM.jpg" title="Angle lesson ideas" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">The next step in our journey was to actually break out the protractors and learn how to use them. If you have ever taught this skill, you know it can be really tricky for some students. Here are a few of my tips in case this is on your agenda for this year!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">1. Work with students in small groups. I worked with 4 at a time and it makes such a difference. In 15 minutes, a group of 4 can master it pretty quickly...and if they can't, you sure can tell who is struggling to work with more later!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">2. Stress the importance of estimating. With most protractors, the two sets of numbers can be very confusing. If students always ask themselves, "Is it smaller or larger than 90?", it can be really helpful.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">3. I try to keep my directions very simple--a phrase you here in my classroom a lot is "Dot on the dot, line on the line" which means, "Line up the vertex on the center dot and make sure the ray is on the protractor line pointing to 0.". </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">4. Make sure you explicitly teach students how to measure angles facing in different directions, angles that are part of shapes like triangles and quadrilaterals (MUCH harder than just two rays), and that you have students DRAW and correctly label angles as well. Some students struggle with the drawing part--so spending some time on that is certainly valuable.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">5. Working in partners is SUCH a meaningful way to work with angles. Having students draw angles for each other, measure them, and try to get within 2 degrees is a great way to tackle precision and get tons of practice in! If they don't get within 2 degrees, have them work together to figure out why. I love to hear the coaching they do with each other!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="Angle lesson ideas" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Rw7_4TVLpME/WHFkhYtuSOI/AAAAAAAAYvQ/ktE1MGNfh6MLwxDyiueoL7sHMIzLJDPxgCEw/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B13%2B56%2BPM.jpg" title="Teaching protractor skills" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="Teaching protractor skills" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-u0OQS0ib8YQ/WHFkiXAAGwI/AAAAAAAAYvY/iCqHsDCuc2I9zkOxM6JRqzdwFhZa7Xg4wCEw/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B14%2B12%2BPM.jpg" title="Angle lesson ideas" width="640" /></a></div> 6. Provide lots of different opportunities for practice. I love these big cards printed on bright cardstock. They are easy for students to use and can also be used as an assessment tool. I use the sheet that is included to help practice estimation as well (This is also a part of my angle resource mentioned above).<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="Using a protractor" border="0" height="540" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lFQUWRSGg0s/WHFkgN_pLrI/AAAAAAAAYvE/Dv6cx_JBQK0pP3b2KRxcePqEPSsRzRAAACEw/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B09%2B20%2BPM.jpg" title="Angle lesson ideas" width="640" /></a></div> Along the way, I did some formative assessment to check on student progress. (I made this into a freebie in my store if you want to grab it--just click the picture below!)<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Angle-Studies-Using-a-Protractor-Formative-Assessment-Freebie-2950274"><img alt="Angle lesson ideas" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FXHUCmxT_4I/WHFkfmwJ2rI/AAAAAAAAYvA/-I8egikLFtsXA6VIcRm4Ui_8sX0hGxDaACEw/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B08%2B58%2BPM.jpg" title="Protractor skills" width="640" /></a></div> The next steps of our angle studies involved composing and decomposing angles. We started to tackle this that first day when we divided our circle...students started to see from the beginning that angles can be divided into other angles. Each day, we "played" with this idea a little bit more. <br /><br />"If I divide a right angle into two angles and one angle is 34 degrees, how much is the other one?"<br /><br />"If I divide a 180 degree angle into three equal angles, how big will each be?"<br /><br />"What are three different ways to divide a 360 degree circle into 4 different angles?"<br /><br />My students were loving these problems so I decided to come up with something more for our Angle Art wall...I simply told the students one fact. I told them that the small angle on a tan pattern block is exactly 30 degrees. From that point, I asked them to spend some time playing with pattern blocks and making discoveries. Students quickly began to make connections....the green pattern block had 3 equal angles of 60 degrees. The blue pattern block had two 60 degree angles and two 120 degree angles. Light bulbs were going off like crazy!<br /><br />So I decided to push them a little bit. We have an Ellison machine with the die cuts for pattern blocks so I went and cut a bunch. I told the students to take 10-15 shapes and build a design of their choosing. When they finished, we went on a "hunt" for angles--by combining angles and looking for ways to "compose" 360 degree circles! They had so much fun--and now our hallway has even more math art for our friends to check out!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="Angle lesson ideas" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nuoxgajeA40/WHFkfIH9B3I/AAAAAAAAYu4/O1PfOM0afFUbUG5ubSavBhA6frwVDWdbwCEw/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B08%2B31%2BPM.jpg" title="Geometry problem solving" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="Geometry problem solving" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OUHB9PnXiRA/WHFkfXH9iYI/AAAAAAAAYu8/fhdMgKNxs_oXHePKnoH19qJox1XL_x9UgCEw/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B08%2B00%2BPM.jpg" title="Angle lesson ideas" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">After our in depth work, I think they are ready for our summative assesssment next week! We will revisit these concepts again later this year when we work more with 2D shapes, but I think for now we are in great shape! Want to see more angle ideas? Just click below.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OjfWb0XKxQ0/WHF2yHAtNtI/AAAAAAAAYwU/1aaMiud8p7Icgja-Iik_i0zyu2JUQgG8gCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ewQf2rMWfAo/WHFxjxWaeRI/AAAAAAAAYv8/qJQIYQuSooAqyI2BbgcnCpHMyc1L67GrACLcB/s640/angle%2Bstudies%2Bpart%2B2%2Bpin.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-9236442999860277022017-01-07T11:28:00.000-06:002017-01-07T11:28:19.817-06:00Teaching Angles: Part 1<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="geometry angles" border="0" height="332" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-u_99e6Z1mV8/WHEh7PSSelI/AAAAAAAAYt8/mWBGxhEfeoATcvwFtOOCPb5nchtACZSfACLcB/s640/angle%2Bpost%2B1%2Bimage.jpg" title="teaching angles" width="640" /></a></div>This week was "Angle Week" in my classroom...a week of intense work with angles to help us prepare for later work with geometry! I love this unit for a bunch of reasons--one, many students who struggle with computation-based concepts shine with more "spatial" concepts. I love it!<br /><br />Another reason I find angle studies to be so much fun is that I LOVE watching students start to make connections between all the other work we have done and a brand new topic. Composing and decomposing? CHECK! Estimating? CHECK! Connecting to fractions? CHECK!<br /><br />So the first thing I did to kick of this unit is to make sure that students understood the third grade concept of "right angles". You see, in the past, I have found a number of misconceptions related to this and this year was no exception. Many textbooks and worksheets present right angles looking the same way...something like this:<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="angle misconceptions" border="0" height="332" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6nHHeHrsv9c/WHEGYkebGCI/AAAAAAAAYtU/Is4In2_Ujv84clwMdwVIX9GivlC208UAgCLcB/s640/right%2Bangle%2Bimage%2B1.jpg" title="teaching angles" width="640" /></a></div>Which is fine--it certainly is a right angle. But what I have found is that students don't always generalize....so when they see THESE images, I get some of the following comments!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="angle lesson plans" border="0" height="332" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sfPPomUY8XU/WHEGsykEqVI/AAAAAAAAYtY/-U1B5LIVxggFNV937NROXjjpQnWx1nmzgCLcB/s640/right%2Bangle%2Bimage%2B2.jpg" title="teaching angles" width="640" /></a></div>So you can see--there is a huge danger in creating misconceptions if we don't dig in. Here was our first activity. I gave each student a circle of paper and, under the document camera, modeled the following. I'm giving you the abbreviated version...hopefully you can visualize how this unfolded (literally AND figuratively!)<br /><br />We first wrote "360 degrees" on the back to remind us of our "whole" circle.<br /><br />Then we folded in half, traced that fold line, colored one half, and labeled it with "180 degrees". We talked about the concept of "straight angles" and noted that a full circle is comprised of two 180 semicircles. I had them fold again, trace the fold line on half of it, color a new color, and asked how many degrees it must be (they easily knew 90). Again, we tied it back to the full circle...being 1/4...1/2 of a 1/2...and so on. We then folded the circle into it's fourths so only the right angle was exposed and we went on a "hunt" around the room to find examples of right angles. We found them everywhere--the corner of the whiteboard, the lights, the door, their name tags...students were turning their "right angle finder" at all sorts of angles to find them! We then came back and folded our circle in half AGAIN to find a 45 degree angle and went back on a hunt!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="teaching angles" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jcyOxcg0CeY/WHBRKysQToI/AAAAAAAAYso/-OdqnkdaY5oaBJkyL-svybEP6s_nA-b1QCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B16%2B38%2BPM.jpg" title="geometry lessons" width="640" /></a></div> Students found angles in letters, in the angle our easel was set at, and in dozens of other places! I loved watching them really start to "see" how big these different angles are--a huge help in our ability to estimate relative sizes and to check for reasonableness.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="angle lesson plans" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IYlNapmkEiM/WHBRKljE5iI/AAAAAAAAYss/EotKuGjzSQ4shcHAZSQTr0WNajyUbOdtgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B14%2B39%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching geometry" width="640" /></a></div> So after I was pretty sure we were in good shape with right angles, I knew I wanted to test it with a concept sort. If you aren't familiar with concept sorts, I have a bunch of blog posts about them so I won't bore you here with the details. Just search in the right side bar for "concept sorts" if you want to find more posts.<br /><br />This one was simply geared toward getting students talking about right angles and defending their thinking based on the foundation we had gotten with our folding activity.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="geometry lessons fourth grade" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sOKMHOXPp1k/WHBRNPWCU1I/AAAAAAAAYtA/yFds62VzQgY4yUKC58akANIamd3qPHV3QCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B19%2B31%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching right angles" width="480" /></a></div> One of my rules for concept sorts is that nobody can place a card in a category without the team agreeing...it is super easy for students to grab cards and start sorting quickly--meaning that the assertive, confident students get the work! <br />No thank you!<br /><br />Groups are required to go one card at a time and take turns leading the discussion. I circulate and ask probing questions, ask them to "prove" it to me, and so on.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="teaching angles" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IyL52252eY8/WHBRL7PtO6I/AAAAAAAAYs0/KLv7Lm5r_FoBa62ke1EAivbcIvfgkfd0QCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B18%2B02%2BPM.jpg" title="fourth grade geometry" width="640" /></a></div> For this sort, some students asked if they could use "tools". I shrugged and told them that I didn't care how they did it--as long as they all agreed!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="angle lesson plans" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jj7xFG1qweM/WHBRNZEw4rI/AAAAAAAAYtE/PhvCz8SYGng2jzfitWvBk2SRoz35qiVfACLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B19%2B55%2BPM.jpg" title="fourth grade geometry" width="640" /></a></div> After about 10 minutes of sorting, I passed out a different colored crayon to each group. I gave them about 5 minutes to do a gallery walk to see what others did--and then mark an "x" on any cards that they disagreed with. Those were the ones that we then projected under the document camera and discussed.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="angle lesson ideas" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TpNSqY0YrRw/WHBRMbLiX2I/AAAAAAAAYs8/1JVLnfkYDZwW7f0WqmBKtCcge16kaLk8QCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B18%2B41%2BPM.jpg" title="fourth grade geometry" width="640" /></a></div> As we talked about the tricky ones, students had to work on using their specific math language (a big part of "precision") until we could all come to an agreement about whether or not the angle was truly a 90 degree angle.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img alt="angle lesson ideas" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-L9yrNb8WOsQ/WHBRMdguoYI/AAAAAAAAYs4/KwNjeO0bgpktXWZPOlLFCieig2lXmizwQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B06%252C%2B7%2B19%2B10%2BPM.jpg" title="fourth grade geometry" width="640" /></a></div>Next steps? Acute, obtuse, and reflex angles....protractor use...and composing/decomposing angles. Stay tuned for that post coming soon!<br /><br />Looking for angle help in your classroom? Check out this teaching tandem and see what you think!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Tandems-Angle-Studies-2284366"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EgAaQv3vGjc/WHEQPpFr8lI/AAAAAAAAYts/8v3ixseimqEX6oGdmWjh7uTIu3fLOs1PgCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Want to pin it later? Here's a pin for you!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-N6odlf7Fo6Q/WHElA10AzNI/AAAAAAAAYuI/As1NvHFK_es47WQcdxPxVkKIs5tc6OufgCLcB/s1600/angle%2Bstudies%2Bpart%2B1%2Bpin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-N6odlf7Fo6Q/WHElA10AzNI/AAAAAAAAYuI/As1NvHFK_es47WQcdxPxVkKIs5tc6OufgCLcB/s640/angle%2Bstudies%2Bpart%2B1%2Bpin.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-37796126524433531432016-12-31T06:00:00.000-06:002016-12-31T06:00:21.569-06:00Chilling With a Good Book <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chilling-with-a-great-book-Winter-Bulletin-Board-Project-1011827"><img alt="snowman bulletin board" border="0" height="332" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Wi1Ji3X0jS8/WGb2QOE24gI/AAAAAAAAYqs/YHafQ9MfqKASjFWIThhhH0G4y4sRSKKsgCLcB/s640/chilling%2Bwith%2Ba%2Bgood%2Bbook%2Bpost%2Bcover%2Bimage%2B2016.jpg" title="book report" width="640" /></a></div>Teaching minutes are precious, so being able to teach real content while still engaging our students' creativity is key! Check out this book review project that reinforces opinion writing, reading, revising and editing--and creates a beautiful bulletin board as well! I asked my students to think hard about one of the BEST books they have ever read (or heard)--because I wanted them to be ready to write about it. I gave them a few days to think and talk about it so they all had an idea ready.<br /><br />As a class, we talked about what we remembered about OPINION writing--and how good opinion has a clearly stated thesis statement, so students worked to craft quality first sentences that would state their opinion about their book. We did our drafting in our writer's notebooks and then did some peer revising and teacher editing. I had asked students to only write 3-5 sentences which kept them on topic AND made it easy for me to get to everyone for editing!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chilling-with-a-great-book-Winter-Bulletin-Board-Project-1011827"><img alt="winter bulletin board" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sYBvfb0WJ1Q/WGbqki4gj7I/AAAAAAAAYqA/h-wZb5dijpEiYVVQ99ZY6B58uYjLu5VxQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B30%252C%2B5%2B09%2B58%2BPM.jpg" title="winter book report" width="640" /></a></div> After they finished writing, self-revising, and peer revision, they put their names on the "teacher time" list on the white board and got ready to "build" their snowman! I had a variety of circle tracers set out as well as colored paper. I explained that they could create their snowman while they waited for their edits--and then they could do their final copy to add to their project. It was fun to see so many students design their snowman to "match" the book they chose!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chilling-with-a-great-book-Winter-Bulletin-Board-Project-1011827"><img alt="winter bulletin board" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dbvh56EkOms/WGbqlVF7eLI/AAAAAAAAYqI/lQEh0Y4IgAEHFpThS_b45kENKe0PAQelgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B30%252C%2B5%2B10%2B51%2BPM.jpg" title="snowman book report" width="640" /></a></div> When their snowman was built and their final copy done, it was time to finish the project!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chilling-with-a-great-book-Winter-Bulletin-Board-Project-1011827"><img alt="book report project" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6C9CznpqBNs/WGbqmUA7ZGI/AAAAAAAAYqM/VXCua1LBnJ87Whs_bqAOC4j6rUtrKhXNQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B30%252C%2B5%2B11%2B13%2BPM.jpg" title="winter bulletin board" width="480" /></a></div> How stinkin' cute is this one? She worked SO hard and was so proud of it!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chilling-with-a-great-book-Winter-Bulletin-Board-Project-1011827"><img alt="snowman project" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Oo0GTfGEXdQ/WGbqm90mOvI/AAAAAAAAYqQ/c2vosY8eMi0HaQj-1V2p15T450nOkNQ6ACLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B30%252C%2B5%2B12%2B24%2BPM.jpg" title="winter bulletin board" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">After they were all finished, I tore a paper snowhill out of bulletin board paper and hung our new friends above our lockers. The students had a blast...got some great writing practice...and I have a beautiful new display that can be up for a VERY long time! </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chilling-with-a-great-book-Winter-Bulletin-Board-Project-1011827"><img alt="snowman book report" border="0" height="348" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-I_O8q3nWP0I/WGbqkjL8ngI/AAAAAAAAYp8/I4J-nbBfmr8NnsM7Oe8mvNO_RQar26XDwCEw/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B29%252C%2B5%2B28%2B27%2BPM.jpg" title="winter bulletin board" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Interested in the letters and the template? Here you go!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chilling-with-a-great-book-Winter-Bulletin-Board-Project-1011827"><img border="0" height="240" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F2nSOk_vDII/WGbq1ThhGVI/AAAAAAAAYqU/xGnx16Y63vsWF643szYoScqSPlzyJggcgCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Want to pin it for later?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chilling-with-a-great-book-Winter-Bulletin-Board-Project-1011827"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dzCLOs3LslQ/WGb3xVqI22I/AAAAAAAAYq4/J62vqTGTiXwFMfbTmz4HwKkPLlG0uFrfACLcB/s640/chilling%2Bwith%2Ba%2Bgood%2Bbook%2Bpin%2B2016.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-67177532536603749222016-12-30T13:09:00.000-06:002016-12-30T13:21:29.634-06:00Pioneer Research! Learning Collaboratively <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pioneer-Research-Lap-Book-or-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-2304191"><img alt="fourth grade social studies" border="0" height="332" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YPuv1JrRucw/WGWs_puHIRI/AAAAAAAAYos/GKMrFnHPGg4jOTbCWYF5YU_DPwXFfNk4gCLcB/s640/pioneer%2Bresearch%2Bpost%2Bimage.jpg" title="pioneer westward expansion activities" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">One thing that I love to do is immerse my students in resources on a topic we have in our curriculum--with a specific task to accomplish. If your school is like mine, social studies and science time are getting reduced more and more, so we need to be constantly searching for meaningful ways for students to incorporate this real world learning into our language arts curriculum. Informational research "mini projects" are a great way to combine the two!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">This book by Christopher Lehman is a really great way to think about research in a little different way...it's FULL of strategies that are super helpful in getting students to master key elements of research. For this little project, I focused on a strategy he calls, "Slow and Steady Wins the Race" where he stresses the importance of helping students pause before writing notes to make sure they read, stop, cover the information, and then jot notes. This really helps reduce the direct copying. I add one more layer to the process by having students read, cover, then explain to a partner where the two together decide if the information is important enough to write down. If you are interested in more of his strategies, I put an affiliate link to his book at the bottom of this post. It's short and easy to read--and I have it FULL of sticky notes with ideas!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">So here is what we are doing...I went to our library and got all the books possible on pioneer life and westward expansion--the next step in our social studies curriculum. The textbook is another option, and I will be using it as well--but I really want my students to understand that true research uses multiple sources. True research also involves students generating their research questions--and this project is too small for that. What I really want is for students to practice their paraphrasing skills and to refine their ability to find facts that are most important. To keep the project small in nature, I gave the students categories to "collect" facts about...and to record in this research guide. We used the textbook, the library books, and even some ebooks that our library has (if you haven't looked at TrueFlix, check it out!). I gave the students two work times to work together to gather facts, practice paraphrasing orally and then in writing, and then we prepared to select the most important information to display.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pioneer-Research-Lap-Book-or-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-2304191"><img alt="pioneers" border="0" height="426" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sN-nIGiH8Oc/WGWwth4NN1I/AAAAAAAAYpA/SCNJ6YIoy_sf4kDSb_luAf7gqtvTDGSvACLcB/s640/Slide11.JPG" title="fourth grade research" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I then show my students a sample of how the lap book can be arranged--and tell them that it is their job (with the input of their partners) as to what is the most important information to include on each flap. Students take their notes, explain in their own words, and then get creative!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pioneer-Research-Lap-Book-or-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-2304191"><img alt="fourth grade history" border="0" height="426" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DbWBJUUz_-c/WGWwtr6lRRI/AAAAAAAAYpE/bmy7Q5xkRoghNyskqq2STwJFMZIO-UEEgCEw/s640/Slide9.JPG" title="pioneers" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pioneer-Research-Lap-Book-or-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-2304191"><img alt="interactive notebook lapbook" border="0" height="426" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2toXOei92nE/WGWwthGWmkI/AAAAAAAAYo4/ZmBSv--4MeUo1LaqdPxdVZ3jvPwOVNpPQCEw/s640/Slide12.JPG" title="pioneers" width="640" /></a></div>It's fun to watch students take on this project and get creative...and the best part is I know that they are learning the content, working together, and learning more about informational reading and writing. I love watching them share their "lap books" in small groups and compliment each other on how they did things!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pioneer-Research-Lap-Book-or-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-2304191"><img alt="interactive notebook lap book" border="0" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zGxHkCE3bqM/WGWwtvE-bzI/AAAAAAAAYo8/2Tc7vFELHR0wkyrCrfJcb9_oAH0Q8s0pgCEw/s640/Slide10.JPG" title="pioneers" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Interested in the lap book (or you can use as a part of an interactive notebook) resource? Here it is!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pioneer-Research-Lap-Book-or-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-2304191"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Bc3JtI29GOM/WGZ_IdL7X2I/AAAAAAAAYpc/wYunqPSBEZ4x8SvZ4gL7BPZ1Z_mnfGCxgCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="240" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Here is the Christopher Lehman book that I love!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theteastu0e-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0325043574&asins=0325043574&linkId=d936b171f8f12c4983500993bff86758&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> </iframe></div><div style="text-align: center;">Thanks for stopping by!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Want to pin this for later?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pioneer-Research-Lap-Book-or-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-2304191"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4cxB_wlHKfY/WGau5lKoluI/AAAAAAAAYps/BZU_NTXFBbUIwI5maJXb8UDlaMWkSsZDwCLcB/s640/pioneer%2Bresearch%2Bpost%2Bpin.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-19091204821151044452016-12-27T14:36:00.000-06:002016-12-27T14:36:00.395-06:005 Teaching Resolutions for the New Year!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img border="0" height="332" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pp8lkj9MAbI/WGLMBENWrGI/AAAAAAAAYnw/0CVYlWuINpgWN2lcg0XfVPAWNlbjZqxeQCLcB/s640/resolution%2Bpost%2Bimage.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">As 2016 wraps up, I--like many others--start to think about things I want to do better in 2017. I have tons of personal goals (get healthy, get more organized, etc), but today's post has a few musings about some classroom goals I have to better meet the needs of my students in the new year. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b>Ready for five of them?</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-33XaWN3hgok/WGKi22lTGdI/AAAAAAAAYlo/d6sahbzFgNc-xyZuDsbQMpuFfOf8qUCswCLcB/s1600/Slide1.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-33XaWN3hgok/WGKi22lTGdI/AAAAAAAAYlo/d6sahbzFgNc-xyZuDsbQMpuFfOf8qUCswCLcB/s200/Slide1.JPG" width="200" /></a></div> My first "resolution" is to incorporate more deliberate instruction on how to write about math. My students have really struggled with this...they seem to be conditioned to "write the algorithm" and instead of explaining their THINKING, they simply tell me what they did. They might write:<br /><br />I put the 483 under the 820. I crossed out the 8 to get more ones... (you get my drift)<br /><br />What I WANT them to do is explain WHY they did what they did...and to look for patterns...and to make connections. I made this anchor charts a few weeks ago but haven't done nearly enough with it. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bxzE7MrlEKo/WGKxEhQPzVI/AAAAAAAAYmM/we_DwfrVlyoYDmmGBHEhsU0Ads4a_kbfgCLcB/s1600/Photo%2BDec%2B27%252C%2B11%2B33%2B49%2BAM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bxzE7MrlEKo/WGKxEhQPzVI/AAAAAAAAYmM/we_DwfrVlyoYDmmGBHEhsU0Ads4a_kbfgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B27%252C%2B11%2B33%2B49%2BAM.jpg" width="592" /></a></div>I am going to use the problems in this resource to help--because each problem is available in three formats--one of which requires students to explain their thinking!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hY7-qyUzu18/WGKyZe2crgI/AAAAAAAAYmg/2qY6Jj6YY_odx50DsibY0vUNq-c3KYo1ACLcB/s1600/grade%2B4-5%2Bword%2Bproblem%2Bcover.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hY7-qyUzu18/WGKyZe2crgI/AAAAAAAAYmg/2qY6Jj6YY_odx50DsibY0vUNq-c3KYo1ACLcB/s400/grade%2B4-5%2Bword%2Bproblem%2Bcover.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NNHjTKXpr7Q/WGKi3FLPWQI/AAAAAAAAYlw/fc_3THteg90U1KQUwEQtXtRV8C6t03zvACLcB/s1600/Slide2.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NNHjTKXpr7Q/WGKi3FLPWQI/AAAAAAAAYlw/fc_3THteg90U1KQUwEQtXtRV8C6t03zvACLcB/s200/Slide2.JPG" width="200" /></a></div> Another big goal for me is to spend more time conferring with students about their reading. I have so many strugglers--and I find myself scrambling to pull together intervention groups and lessons. I need to make sure to not ignore my top readers, so I am really going to make a concerted effort to keep up with my status of the class and anecdotal records. It's such a nice time with students--even a few minutes a week helps keep me really connected to what they are reading and how they are doing. Here is a blog post with more details about what I do...just <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2015/12/refocusing-on-reading-behaviors.html">CLICK HERE</a>!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-Status-and-Anecdotal-Records-Calendars-2016-2017-for-Readers-Workshop-444716"><img border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UfamdwZAhwU/WGK7jbu8hKI/AAAAAAAAYnA/Xmsbi8nCBWMPCO0iNVzu85t9gCF2X8iCACLcB/s640/Slide3.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-Status-and-Anecdotal-Records-Calendars-2016-2017-for-Readers-Workshop-444716"><img border="0" height="300" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qUaSE9leKvg/WGKxUg5OiVI/AAAAAAAAYmQ/mv1g60a6LIQs9P9qWxpNkNBGcUsOPUrmgCLcB/s400/Reading%2BStatus%2BCalendar%2B2016%2B-%2B2017%2Bcover.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bR8D3yStzwU/WGKi3MnSwNI/AAAAAAAAYls/b8fTwFISDcQJcStWOnjUcS5IGavwAClUwCLcB/s1600/Slide3.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bR8D3yStzwU/WGKi3MnSwNI/AAAAAAAAYls/b8fTwFISDcQJcStWOnjUcS5IGavwAClUwCLcB/s200/Slide3.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Another goal I have is to do a better job giving students feedback on their writing. I feel I do a pretty decent job TEACHING writing...but I know I have a long way to go in giving them timely feedback on what they do. Each student is, of course, at an entirely different place with their writing, so simply doing great whole-class lessons isn't enough. I need to do more quick collections of work with a fast turnaround time. Even ONE piece of specific feedback can make such a difference. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Writing-Demand-Prompt-Assessments-Bundled-Set-1669124"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Zeia7A6IZyA/WGLBFStochI/AAAAAAAAYng/nIR3UKmwlAcKL-3C-dZOxlOFzu3NDGVmgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B27%252C%2B1%2B27%2B16%2BPM.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Writing-Demand-Prompt-Assessments-Bundled-Set-1669124"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kU2sr1Nmcwg/WGKxePeQHiI/AAAAAAAAYmU/GO1DF7MP1cE_ml6q_D-5NXFkme24-gIuQCLcB/s400/Great%2BEight%2BBundle%2BInformation%2BCOVER.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NDrRkrWTr5w/WGKi3Efl5OI/AAAAAAAAYl0/Kczu2Ko2GIcblGRySeG1yQzR3OoVO4CfQCLcB/s1600/Slide4.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NDrRkrWTr5w/WGKi3Efl5OI/AAAAAAAAYl0/Kczu2Ko2GIcblGRySeG1yQzR3OoVO4CfQCLcB/s200/Slide4.JPG" width="200" /></a></div> A fourth resolution for me is to build in more time for creative thinking activities. Before break, we did a few different things in class and my students were SO engaged and had some AMAZING discussions. It doesn't take long--and the benefit of thinking outside the box carries forward into other learning. I also love these exercises because it allows some students who are less confident with our academic content to really shine and be actively engaged in what we are doing. It was great for community building AND to get those neurons firing in new ways!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinking-Outside-the-Box-Exercising-Creative-Minds-Bundled-Set-1217847"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-E8g-KBElFtE/WGK9uuaJ3DI/AAAAAAAAYnU/SJBySHOvtuE9l0QqUBxyazxJAzWqDr4xQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B23%252C%2B5%2B45%2B42%2BAM.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinking-Outside-the-Box-Exercising-Creative-Minds-Bundled-Set-1217847"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-U96YCOKX2Q8/WGKy0aDlhpI/AAAAAAAAYmo/UN4DxEXghHkNp2rlzqr_1Qzmw9FFcp-VACLcB/s320/creativity%2Bbundle%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-C6rTJWQvreQ/WGKi3PhoSII/AAAAAAAAYl4/lpOjb8jFlOAODs34t51VAs8_hWfnF_EfQCLcB/s1600/Slide5.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-C6rTJWQvreQ/WGKi3PhoSII/AAAAAAAAYl4/lpOjb8jFlOAODs34t51VAs8_hWfnF_EfQCLcB/s200/Slide5.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Finally, I am going to rework my math workshop time to find more minutes for EXPLICIT fact strategy instruction for my students who need it--and it's QUITE a few of them. I started off in the fall pretty strong working with those students who needed review on doubles, tens, and fives but then things kind of fell apart. I NEED them to be more fluent with their facts before we get into big multiplying, so I am really going to be diligent about working with them. They love the activities...it's matter of ME doing a better job scheduling my time!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Multiplication-Facts-Instruction-and-Intervention-Resource-Kit-2623243"><img border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CYTHSc19vfs/WGK73nfnilI/AAAAAAAAYnE/6Loe3xazHmck_ZzFpy-JiRxk6Urq49SWgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B28%252C%2B8%2B14%2B37%2BPM%2B%25281%2529.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Multiplication-Facts-Instruction-and-Intervention-Resource-Kit-2623243"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xn1YKsnQdTw/WGKy5V1fpZI/AAAAAAAAYms/WbHC5m1rnBUdPiU30650LO7Si7Csq-FCACLcB/s320/math%2Bfact%2Bintervention%2Bresource%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">So...in case YOU want to set any of the same resolutions as me, I am marking these five products on sale until January 1! Grab them and make a difference in your teaching for 2017!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Want to pin it for later?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uhCW1IShoNc/WGLQP_NkyXI/AAAAAAAAYn8/LAcohklsZrQSpWaqNU2qctHidbXvTwCvwCLcB/s640/resolution%2Bpost%2B2016.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-8013939535558944192016-12-18T08:29:00.003-06:002016-12-18T08:55:05.840-06:00More work with fractional reasoning!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2016/12/critiquing-fractional-reasoning.html"><img alt="fraction lessons" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xVRnQ1G-Iyo/WFaal8xsrgI/AAAAAAAAYkw/P2o8ikBctpcIAZBrqhkEtCuIjl6JxK2lwCLcB/s640/UES%2Bfraction%2Breasoning%2Bpost.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Today is my day to blog over at Upper Elementary Snapshots--so I hope you will stop by and check out this fun lesson we did last week...and REALLY showed me where my students were with their math thinking! Just click the image above to check out the details.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Missed any of my other fraction posts last week? Click <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2016/12/examples-counterexamples-and-more-with.html">HERE</a> and <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2016/12/using-our-fractional-reasoning.html">HERE</a> to check out a few more!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Also...don't forget that I have a few holiday resources on sale for the next week for those of you who are still teaching--like me!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IIxf02E9jp0/WFabVidfBII/AAAAAAAAYk4/yZXYXAwSBg82HCIWIC1k1xEttu9nx8ZnwCLcB/s1600/christmas%2Bsale%2Bitems.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IIxf02E9jp0/WFabVidfBII/AAAAAAAAYk4/yZXYXAwSBg82HCIWIC1k1xEttu9nx8ZnwCLcB/s320/christmas%2Bsale%2Bitems.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Tasks-Holiday-Feast-Math-Project-Grades-3-4-1531237">Holiday Cookie Task</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seasonal-Word-Problem-Collection-Christmas-Grade-3-5-1012901">Christmas Word Problems</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Word-Problems-Algebra-Thinking-454583">Winter Algebra Thinking Task Cards</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>If you are still teaching....hang in there! It's all we can do...keep joy in your heart as best you can!<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-13784714101858354592016-12-14T19:26:00.001-06:002016-12-14T19:26:17.314-06:00Examples, Counterexamples, and More with Equivalent Fractions<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BX8rAFnvtQQ/WFHvYqCTu5I/AAAAAAAAYi8/llhj-CXe630G4kRiu8cjQLh3n3M3D2qjACLcB/s640/fraction%2Bpost%2Bequivalent%2Bexample%2Bcounterexample.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="320" /></a></div>As I have been working to build my students' understanding of key fraction concepts, I wanted students to really work to deepen their understanding that fractions can have more than one name--and can be represented in more than one way.<br /><br />Today's "warm up" was geared toward reminding students that they can represent fractions in many ways...so I gave them 5 minutes to make a "mini poster" (literally 4 inches by 4 inches!) to show as many ways to show 1/2 as possible. After they worked, we did a little gallery walk. We came back together and had a discussion about what we saw...different shapes...number lines...fractions of sets...equivalent fractions...<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pihoUK_n1Pc/WFHYy_p6O7I/AAAAAAAAYiY/XVPu4WH50vA4CNXekXuUN74HfyhH6iQBgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B14%252C%2B5%2B32%2B11%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-O7l-WBVmqQk/WFHYz1gNtOI/AAAAAAAAYik/bzV6uTrEZ74nqm-m0vCZvDXI-LtNbzgrQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B14%252C%2B5%2B34%2B08%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: start;">It was a good warm up to our main lesson which worked to help students derive the "computation" method for finding equivalent fractions. (If you missed my post yesterday about building that understanding, </span><a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2016/12/using-our-fractional-reasoning.html" style="text-align: start;">CLICK HERE</a><span style="text-align: start;"> to read that one!). After our explorations, it wasn't that big of a stretch for students to recognize that multiplying or dividing the numerator and denominator by the same number generated new fractions that are equivalent. We proved it with some drawings, some manipulatives, and then moved to bare numbers.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: start;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: start;">So after working with equivalent fractions for a while, I wanted to put my students to the test to see how WELL they understood the concept! So often we give students a quick exit slip or something like that--a "fill in the blank" worksheet that follows whatever computation rule we have taught. If they fill in the blanks correctly, we assume understanding. It just isn't that simple.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: start;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: start;">To really get students talking, I asked them to do an activity in my big fraction unit....an activity where they need to first generate equivalent fractions (sometimes I do this activity where they can write fractions, draw fractions, etc like the warm up) but today I simply wanted them to use their new algorithm to make a set of 5-7 equivalent fractions for the "unit fraction" I assigned them. The group below was working to generate a list of fractions equivalent to 1/8.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KrnwWIod_Ls/WFHYzNrZlUI/AAAAAAAAYic/tarpB4GyymwkM5zX4SP5UKbfAE4g5ssUQCEw/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B14%252C%2B5%2B32%2B59%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="640" /></a></div> Here's where the fun (and really deep understanding) kicks in. The next task is to create ONE more fraction for their poster--that does NOT fit their "team"...in other words, that is NOT equivalent. I explained that they would be then traveling from team to team to try to find the "mystery" fraction. I had them write their "counterexample" on the back so students could check their work...and encouraged them to try to be as sneaky as possible when making their "outsider" so other students would really have to work! Some groups did an AMAZING job...and I heard some great math talk! This really immersed them in this idea of equivalent fractions and having to think hard about number patterns and the true meaning of equivalence. We came back together after their gallery walk and discussed their findings--and talked about some of the trickier ones. It was a ton of fun and a great use of time. The paper and pencil practice work we did after this was done in a snap--almost all students were really getting it, and those who weren't met with me for a little extra practice.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--afEnDzAXzY/WFHYzHnvYeI/AAAAAAAAYig/YESl29a37UAA4dtvM3w_AffGrDxJ6hCBgCEw/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B14%252C%2B5%2B33%2B27%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>I wrote about this a few years back with a slightly different twist if you want another idea. Just <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2013/02/fractions-day-4-example-counterexample.html">CLICK HERE</a> for that post! These ideas are a part of my full fraction unit which you can check out by clicking the image below. If you are looking for ways to deepen your students' understanding--plus have fun teaching, you might want to check it out!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zpCzn_fLOE8/WFHsc3FQLNI/AAAAAAAAYi0/S2Kq3OydfNA772EZ4nSEQ02N0v9_YWoMACLcB/s320/fraction%2Bunit%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-83735084447906267622016-12-13T22:50:00.000-06:002016-12-14T06:13:38.892-06:00Using Our Fractional Reasoning!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Fraction-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1036755"><img alt="fractions" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-E6G-MMQq4Ho/WFDLgrICdsI/AAAAAAAAYh0/IOVkUZx1JpEGlFtcqfdHrL_A3XC5d71ggCLcB/s640/fractional%2Breasoning%2Bpost%2Bconcept%2Bsort.jpg" title="concept sort" width="320" /></a></div>We had a great concept sort today...and I just wanted to share a little about what we did!<br /><br />We are working on the concept of equivalent fractions...we have drawn pictures, told stories (If I had half a pizza but cut the half into two pieces, what fraction would I have?), and generated lists of equivalent fractions. What we DIDN'T do is what most math programs do right away--teach students to multiply the numerator and denominator by the same number. We'll get there-but first I really want students to use their reasoning to really show their understanding of some key fraction concepts.<br /><br />One of the Standards for Mathematical Practice involves the ability to "reason"--to create strong understanding of key concepts without merely computing. It states:<br /><br /><span style="color: #202020; font-family: "lato light"; font-size: 16.8px;"><b>"Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects."</b></span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px;"><br /></span><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px;">By helping students learn to reason about fractions, they become better at understanding without relying on tricks and computation--which helps them with estimating and checking for reasonableness as the math gets more challenging. I love trying to help students VISUALIZE math and make sense of it before teaching them--so that's what today was all about!</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px;"><br /></span><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px;">Most students have a pretty decent understanding of the concept of "one half", so I wanted to experiment with a sort and see what my students could do. We've already talked about the concept of "unit fractions"--and how they can by used to "count" fractions...1/4, 2/4, 3/4 and so on. We also have used our reasoning to picture the relative size of these unit fractions...that even though "seven" is a bigger number than "three", sevenths are smaller than thirds because more parts must mean smaller parts!</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px;"><br /></span><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px;">This was really enough information for us to begin this sort--where students used what they know about fractions to sort them into three categories--greater than 1/2, exactly 1/2, and less than 1/2.</span></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Fraction-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1036755"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UXbOl7xSd7Q/WFC4wsgNnMI/AAAAAAAAYhU/kATthHZFj00TYljJz_p_qSzdY71knN7NQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B13%252C%2B9%2B09%2B06%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="640" /></a></div> One of our rules about concept sorts is that students work in small groups (usually trios) and must go one card at a time where they discuss together and make a decision about which category the cards fall in. If they have any debate, they set it aside for later.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Fraction-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1036755"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ue8TLcxtV4g/WFC40HY5H9I/AAAAAAAAYhk/JP-kJP53spgkJwzpLrTjVR6IiDfgQP1XACLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B13%252C%2B9%2B09%2B55%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="640" /></a></div> While students are working, I'm circulating, asking questions, listening--and looking for misconceptions. Anything "interesting" gets thrown under the document camera at the end!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Fraction-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1036755"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hN6KFP4qzpg/WFC4wQsP5kI/AAAAAAAAYhQ/nhW0KL6YA1grMuQREiVvdQ8YCbxj2OLewCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B13%252C%2B9%2B10%2B18%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">For groups finishing early, I ask them to write their OWN examples for each category...</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Fraction-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1036755"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--tMXb5Tk_ao/WFC4zoC5EBI/AAAAAAAAYhg/CVg7mL1xuoksK4kXXiNnNwKL_p-boW4kgCEw/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B13%252C%2B9%2B08%2B18%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="640" /></a></div> I LOVED hearing the discussion this group had--they write the example and then couldn't come to an agreement about which category! One of the students was trying SO hard to explain that HALF of 310 would be 155...so 149/310 HAD to be less than one half. The other two were NOT understanding her reasoning!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Fraction-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1036755"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8fqX5lcrxAU/WFC4zgCTPpI/AAAAAAAAYhc/jZsL8nCxCAgmdfLUc77fH0kIwjGZGNLLwCEw/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B13%252C%2B9%2B07%2B55%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">After we worked for a while, I picked THIS fraction to discuss...and with NO computation about finding fractions equivalent to 1/2, we had two very justifiable explanations for why 7/15 is less than one half. One student came up and explained how it HAD to be less than one half because 7/14 would be one half...and fifteens are smaller than fourteenths--so 7/15 had to be smaller than 7/14. Pretty slick!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">The other argument explained that the "halfway" point of fifteenths would have to be "seven and a half" of them...so 7 of them ha to be less than one half. Such GREAT math discussions...with no computation. This is a perfect example of why I love concept sorts...so much discourse. So much math. So much engagement. Tomorrow--we learn the algorithm for generating equivalent fractions...and I think they are more than ready for it!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Fraction-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1036755"><img alt="equivalent fractions" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3lnQL3XqS1A/WFC4zbfjJkI/AAAAAAAAYhY/-QmQve0gVZkSZanFvTmiUGghpD3fA3SSwCEw/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B13%252C%2B9%2B07%2B29%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">This sort is one of the five sorts in this resource. Check it out if you are curious!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Fraction-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1036755"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6FDdle-Krhw/WFDODy4QOpI/AAAAAAAAYiA/WhcOP8NHVZocstVSmpv7XqTmXqcc6J8EQCLcB/s320/concept%2Bsort%2Bfraction%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="text-align: center;">Looking for just a single sort to address equivalent fractions? Check out this one!</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Single-Sort-Resource-for-Equivalent-Fractions-1601711"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VIocu33MMKU/WFDOHCGZ-qI/AAAAAAAAYiE/Chfs1t6ivL8MggSI_o5UeYd4VPrs5KsXgCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="240" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-54223363885980454242016-12-10T15:39:00.000-06:002016-12-10T15:39:11.048-06:00Coming Up with a Math Plan, Teamwork, and Perseverance!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Tasks-Holiday-Cookie-Math-Project-Grades-3-5-1597440"><img alt="standards for mathematical practice" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wobDYJoenTI/WExwUo8cD6I/AAAAAAAAYgw/O8ARTKZGF-4E-NsGptVwcuHUvNRWi5megCLcB/s640/thinker%2Btask%2Bcookie%2Bpost.jpg" title="problem solving" width="320" /></a></div>I just wanted to share a quick blog post about what I am doing in math workshop over the next two weeks because my students are SO excited! We are digging into the next series of fraction lessons, and I know that some of my fourth graders are going to handle the material easily. To make sure they have plenty of meaningful work to do when they finish their learning, I introduced the holiday cookie task to them! They were thrilled! One even said, "Is this one going to challenge us even more than the Thanksgiving feast one?" and I just smiled and reminded him that different tasks provide different challenges for different people because we all bring different background to it. I was going to introduce it Friday and get started on Monday, but we had extra time and they begged and I was tired. So I caved.<br /><br />I told them that the main part of this project that I wanted them to focus on (always good to keep a simple focus on complicated tasks, I have found) was that with their partner(s), they needed to come up with a plan. This task has many solutions...but the key direction is to "make as many cookies as possible"...so I wanted my students to really be thinking about what they could do to "test" if they could possibly make more cookies than their first attempt showed them. I also told them that they would really have to remember all they know about basic fractions AND solving problems with more than one step--and they were ready.<br /><br />So they looked...<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Tasks-Holiday-Cookie-Math-Project-Grades-3-5-1597440"><img alt="problem solving" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h5pLqhHsC6Q/WEtFOp5gJcI/AAAAAAAAYgE/spbdDLBwt5MydbJZHCn0BW-U_kJiZ4oRgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B09%252C%2B5%2B13%2B08%2BPM.jpg" title="word problems" width="640" /></a></div> And they read...<br /><br />I really like my students to read these complicated tasks on their own to try to "make sense" of problems without me spoon-feeding. Depending on the student, I may restate the task, ask THEM to restate the task, or let them proceed and then adjust along the way with questions like, "Hmmm...does it SAY that you can do that?" Great opportunities for teaching mathematical thinking sometimes require students to make mistakes and adjust--and they learn quickly to dig in deeply to find information. It's too easy when the teacher tells them everything they need to know! This is also a great way to push students toward better perseverance; when everything is "coached", they don't learn those critical skills needed to push themselves, ask good questions, and have great "math talk" with each other. I heard some of the GREATEST "arguments" as they were working to make sense of this problem--and THAT is exciting math!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Tasks-Holiday-Cookie-Math-Project-Grades-3-5-1597440"><img alt="preseverance" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BxBzLWcYDtI/WEtFOsDJ6lI/AAAAAAAAYgI/7uHNt38SJDoIZYtLvaE6GUbYHlOPj_RYgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B09%252C%2B5%2B13%2B29%2BPM.jpg" title="standards for mathematical practice" width="640" /></a></div> And they started to record their ideas<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Tasks-Holiday-Cookie-Math-Project-Grades-3-5-1597440"><img alt="fraction problem solving" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yWBvNtcCaWc/WEtFOU-8exI/AAAAAAAAYgA/tVb3ODNVpgElfYYqOrm_l4iZ0sjJfj5jwCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B09%252C%2B5%2B13%2B47%2BPM.jpg" title="math problem solving" width="640" /></a></div> I love that some immediately went to abbreviations ("SC" for sugar cookie, etc), others drew pictures, some made tables...and they were off and running. As I circulated, I kept asking students to remember to have a plan to see if they are REALLY maximizing how many cookies they could make. I love the hum of collaborative math work...seriously. I sometimes just stand back for a few minutes and watch them ENJOYING math.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Tasks-Holiday-Cookie-Math-Project-Grades-3-5-1597440"><img alt="holiday word problems" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lJDMFOXV3n4/WEtFO1LFEZI/AAAAAAAAYgM/yYKIdtownk8V6OEu0S_TGZotBJZwjJC2QCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B09%252C%2B5%2B14%2B21%2BPM.jpg" title="fraction problem solving" width="480" /></a></div>As they worked to get going, I got some of the BEST questions...so I am super excited to see how the next few days unfold! "Can we cut recipes in half? What about fourths?" and "Is this a problem where we can work backwards?" Love it! I think when we finish, students who are interested will report back to the class how their strategies and plans changed and evolved throughout the process. Like my other Thinker Tasks, I know some students will get a lot farther into the project than others--but those discussions about planning and modifying and adapting are so important as students begin to realize that problem solving is about FAR more than the answer! Stay tuned!<br /><br />Interested in seeing more about this project?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Tasks-Holiday-Cookie-Math-Project-Grades-3-5-1597440"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_oCgdSN5Z-A/WExtfNA_RUI/AAAAAAAAYgc/JG-w0CIQkvAntJ614b69jBXbTBldP95xgCLcB/s320/holiday%2Bcookie%2Bthinker%2Btask%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br />Here is the discounted bundle of all my Thinker Tasks!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Task-Bundle-Differentiated-Open-Ended-Math-Tasks-1843282"><img border="0" height="240" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mPxt6ZXn7Cg/WExtkdKcDwI/AAAAAAAAYgg/gfi7cWtBmRU9_OMlXF9PaPnf11UZIfvUACLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-38796670389884606532016-12-02T22:58:00.001-06:002016-12-02T22:58:19.213-06:00Getting students ready to divide and tackle remainders!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Division-Concepts-Grades-3-and-4-1214093"><img alt="division fact games" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ksWZ3XTkOt0/WEJLyZBVHZI/AAAAAAAAYe8/fwe2lsHB4Vwzt_6mUBwpk0soyGksu6M-ACLcB/s640/division%2Bherding%2Bgame%2Bpost%2Bpin.jpg" title="Teaching division" width="320" /></a></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 21.3333px;">It's division time--and I am always shocked at how students freak out about division...and how much "harder" it is than multiplication. I always promise them that I can make it easier for them! I posted a picture on Instagram the other day and I had a bunch of requests for more details on the "Herding Game"!</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">To begin, I wanted students to really understand the idea that multiplication and division are so linked that we can almost use them interchangeably in our minds—but that our math language needed to reflect what we are doing. What do I mean? We often teach students what many call “turn around” facts. We tell them that 4 x 3 is the same as 3 x 4. But is it? Is four boxes of 3 pies the same as 3 boxes of 4 pies? No it isn’t. They both represent 12 pies—but the situation is totally different. To help students see this, I made up a game a few years ago...and it has proven to be super effective--and FUN!</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">I told the students that they were going to be a “herd” of animals today and that I had researched a whole bunch of animals that traveled in herds. I also let them know that when animals who travel in herds are threatened, they sometimes break into smaller groups to protect each other. I told them that I was going to break them into smaller groups today and then we would write the mathematical equations that we discovered in the process. We counted our “herd” and found that we had 22 animals this day.</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">I taped off an area of one of our empty classrooms (this would have been fun to do outside as well with a chalked off area) to have as our “holding pen” for extra animals that couldn’t find a group. I also put some animal “tokens” in the pen so that each child who ended up there took a token—and the token was a “get out of the pen free” card so the same students didn’t always up there. For some reason, some students WANT to land in the holding pen so they don't actively participate in the herding...so once is enough!</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Here's how we play.</span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Division-Concepts-Grades-3-and-4-1214093"><img alt="teaching remainders" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xrtqiujiQsE/WEJIoiaSUwI/AAAAAAAAYec/lCuen5LKN7o6qpFC7l1r6_8Ry_GERe94QCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B02%252C%2B6%2B24%2B48%2BAM.jpg" title="teaching division" width="640" /></a></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">First of all, I called out a type of animal (buffalo, giraffes, zebras, wild boars, cows, bison, elephants…) and the size of the group I wanted them to form. For example…</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">“Elephants—form groups of 5!”</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">The students scampered to make their groups, and I asked for help writing the equation on the board. I had to help a bit, but with coaching, we got it. I asked,</span></span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">“So I just formed four groups of 5?"</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">I wrote 4 x 5 = 20. "What about the leftovers?" I wrote (4 x 5) + 2 = 22</span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">We tried again. “Giraffes—form </span></span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">groups of 2!” </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">Students quickly paired up and we wrote the equations.</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; language: en-US; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; mso-line-break-override: none; punctuation-wrap: hanging; text-align: center; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;">22 </span><span style="font-size: 16pt;">÷ </span><span style="font-size: 16pt;">2 </span><span style="font-size: 16pt;">= </span><span style="font-size: 16pt;">11</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; language: en-US; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; mso-line-break-override: none; punctuation-wrap: hanging; text-align: center; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">11 x 2 = 22</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; language: en-US; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; mso-line-break-override: none; punctuation-wrap: hanging; text-align: center; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; language: en-US; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; mso-line-break-override: none; punctuation-wrap: hanging; text-align: center; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">No remainders this time!</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; language: en-US; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; mso-line-break-override: none; punctuation-wrap: hanging; text-align: center; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">The students were getting the hang of the game so I decided to move to the next steps. “Buffalo—form groups of 7.”</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">The students struggled a bit to make their groups—but eventually the leftover buffalo found its way to the holding pen. </span></span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;"> </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">We worked</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">to write the equations this time. </span></span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">22 </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">÷ </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">7 </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">= </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">3 groups with 1 remaining</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"> </div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;">(3 </span><span style="font-size: 16pt;">x </span><span style="font-size: 16pt;">7) + 1 </span><span style="font-size: 16pt;">= 22. We tried again..."Make 3 herds of antelope!" (Different than herds of 3, right?)</span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Division-Concepts-Grades-3-and-4-1214093"><img alt="teaching about remainders" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8Y6Vj-lC3wc/WEJI2DwOhaI/AAAAAAAAYek/X7g2mFLeFvYkWd8QMRqYm1qgT2afOgZYQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B02%252C%2B10%2B20%2B40%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching division" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Division-Concepts-Grades-3-and-4-1214093"><img alt="teaching remainders" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-80LuQ2RIb40/WEJI1HlOxfI/AAAAAAAAYeg/sLygXgfvpckLQ-hClEimvPU5DshMJBhFgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B02%252C%2B10%2B21%2B43%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching division" width="640" /></a></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;">Everything was going beautifully--until one of our specialist teachers showed up...so we had to redo the game a few times with 23 animals!</span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Division-Concepts-Grades-3-and-4-1214093"><img alt="division and multiplication" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fvV6BueuTYY/WEJF1zHqXlI/AAAAAAAAYeI/PU9kUbwxOWwZbOvXLTTgMLOtRCCcL0SEwCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B02%252C%2B10%2B09%2B12%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching division" width="640" /></a></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">We continued with several more rounds until I could see that the students were getting the hang of it! We wrote down some of our rounds on the board (when I remembered!) and then I asked them to try to do some mental math to determine what would happen if I asked them to make groups of 9…then groups of 6. They did a great job! I knew that I had given my entire class enough to go on—and </span></span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">I was ready to continue the </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">work with my more struggling </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">students back in the classroom.</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">While my other students were working on some multi-step problem solving, I pulled some of my struggling students to try our “herding” activities in a smaller group. I made some cute little animal tokens to use as counters and we started working to tell herding stories. I</span></span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;"> wanted to see if they could apply the skills of the game a little more independently and could make the shift to recording their math equations on their own.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Division-Concepts-Grades-3-and-4-1214093"><img alt="teaching remainders" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yV8WabKCML4/WEJOFYct8CI/AAAAAAAAYfI/3TNFnGLP4RUYI66Vpf1o7qzAFnrMJz_bgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B02%252C%2B10%2B45%2B03%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching multiplication and division" width="640" /></a></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">Much like the game, I told herding stories but this time gave each student a baggies of animals—and I was able to change the number of animals in the herd at will.</span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;"> </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">So the questions began…</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">“You have a herd of 12 animals. Divide them into 3 groups—what do you get?” </span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">“You have a herd of 16 animals. Divide them into 8 groups—what do you get?”</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="color: #0070c0; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">“You have a herd of 20 elephants. Divide them into 5 groups—what do you get?”</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">We did several rounds where </span></span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">the groups worked out with </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">no remainders, but after a few minutes, I moved to working with remainders.</span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;"> Students </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">started really seeing the </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">connection between their </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">multiplication facts and the division </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">problems! We kept track on the </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">recording sheet to make sure </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">that we were getting the </span><span style="font-size: 16pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">practice with the math </span></span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">language and grouping </span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">concepts. I really started seeing light bulbs go off!</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;"><br /></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">As a follow up, I introduced "The Pretzel Game"...perfect for practicing these division with remainders situations. See what you think and give it a try! I probably should make more copies of this...I only have two right now and my students are clamoring for it!</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dollar-Deals-The-Pretzel-Game-A-Game-for-Basic-Division-and-Remainders-1596260"><img alt="math game remainders" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Tn1dfsyEEZU/WEJI_vbgdMI/AAAAAAAAYeo/pBRZ3rdzMnMEbva_qesHMl9YyQt1cyzRACLcB/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B02%252C%2B10%2B07%2B16%2BPM.jpg" title="division game" width="640" /></a></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16pt;">If you want to see more, here are the two resources I used to get this division unit going!</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dollar-Deals-The-Pretzel-Game-A-Game-for-Basic-Division-and-Remainders-1596260"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8_hKnkoip3Y/WEJJOSTT0DI/AAAAAAAAYes/aeUIZovJ2PkRQlKbMyuXPrN1DqV1G72GgCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="240" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Division-Concepts-Grades-3-and-4-1214093"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-a97T7P03Gk8/WEJJT-WRU9I/AAAAAAAAYew/U53ueSCb9SYqE7vHNqP_jgjTzGHpVD5LwCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="240" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-19693150252902767242016-11-21T21:46:00.001-06:002016-11-21T21:48:44.044-06:00Team Challenge: Subtraction with Regrouping...and FUN!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Precision-Practice-Addition-and-Subtraction-Activities-to-Build-Understanding-1477782"><img alt="computation practice" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6Xeyce9BiLQ/WDO6Q0jNdBI/AAAAAAAAYck/FkEajOJgA0gNXyNgO6-RG_042KsCc9PNwCLcB/s640/subtraction%2Bchallenge%2Bpost%2Bpin.jpg" title="subtraction with regrouping" width="320" /></a></div>Just a quick "photojournalistic" post today to show you what fun we had with a class warm up today! Our goals? To continue working on our subtraction with regrouping fluency and accuracy--and to be able to look for errors and fix them.<br /><br />Here's what we did. You could easily do this with a set of cards you make...but I used the cards from my Precision Practice resource (this activity is listed at the beginning as one of the extra activities) because we had just used the cards a few weeks ago and, in typical fashion, they were not yet put away! I have probably used them 8-10 times since the start of the school year in different ways--but this was a new one for us!<br /><br />The directions were simple: Students worked in pairs to draw two cards (I used 3 different levels of cards and students picked their own level of challenge--3 digit, 4 digit, or 5 digit). Each child found the difference between the two cards, and then compared answers.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Precision-Practice-Addition-and-Subtraction-Activities-to-Build-Understanding-1477782"><img alt="collaborative work" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nBCsM8ILCyE/WDOevLt4chI/AAAAAAAAYcQ/yDdwfaDg-okt3vaD9d795d0yg0WFVXSogCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B21%252C%2B5%2B48%2B30%2BPM.jpg" title="subtraction with regrouping" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Precision-Practice-Addition-and-Subtraction-Activities-to-Build-Understanding-1477782"><img alt="accountable math talk" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_tSJLRNiDe4/WDOeuAC6A_I/AAAAAAAAYcI/vC5rkB6o10gMtVyZ_41e4E-l856MWqfpACLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B21%252C%2B5%2B48%2B06%2BPM.jpg" title="subtraction with regrouping" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If they both got the problem right, one teammate went to the smartboard and added two tallies to our "class challenge". If they did NOT both get it right but were able to work together to figure out where the error was, they got to put up ONE tally. I really stress how important it is to be able to make mistakes--and to be willing to hunt out how to fix them so this activity was PERFECT for that!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Precision-Practice-Addition-and-Subtraction-Activities-to-Build-Understanding-1477782"><img alt="cooperative learning" border="0" height="532" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VX4nlciGw80/WDOet9jEL1I/AAAAAAAAYcE/xFtKs9ZYQkMDH9b3U3No-8bWSuGjvWcPwCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B21%252C%2B5%2B47%2B25%2BPM.jpg" title="subtraction with regrouping" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I set the timer for 15 minutes and the teams worked to earn as many tallies as they could in 15 minutes. When they finished we looked at the tallies, estimated how many there were, and then made groups of 10 to get the grand total.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Precision-Practice-Addition-and-Subtraction-Activities-to-Build-Understanding-1477782"><img alt="cooperative learning" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-V6b0k3j7vjI/WDOeua68_3I/AAAAAAAAYcM/uuLUAzPkFF8DIa3BH9mNnr4COg80P758wCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B21%252C%2B5%2B47%2B42%2BPM.jpg" title="subtraction with regrouping" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">We could have done a subtraction practice sheet--but WHY? Students got a ton of practice...and the added benefit of troubleshooting mistakes. It was a great kick off to get our brains ready for our lesson today--subtracting across multiple zeroes. Give it a try and see what you think! My students asked when we could do it again!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Looking for the Precision Practice resource that I used? It includes this and many other activities to practice addition and subtraction in challenging and unusual ways. Just click the image below to see more. (Also available in multiplication)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Precision-Practice-Addition-and-Subtraction-Activities-to-Build-Understanding-1477782"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wMfOp8hgVcI/WDO9J2maYaI/AAAAAAAAYcs/tly8KgcKoYEfJ4sPwWXhqqw0e8RHxxlcwCLcB/s320/precision%2Bpractice%2Baddition%2Bsubtraction%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-10955946963671167702016-11-19T19:44:00.000-06:002016-11-19T19:44:10.091-06:00Subtraction Observations...the power of working one-on-one with students<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Addition-and-Subtraction-Grades-2-4-1446312"><img alt="math assessment" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xZfpyXQbXCw/WDD4RjjrD1I/AAAAAAAAYbg/KAMuZHscm2sSWkZyWWAUSRfQ-4V3aaRHgCLcB/s640/math%2Bobservation%2Bsubtraction%2Bpost.jpg" title="teaching subtraction with regrouping" width="320" /></a></div>As you know, formative assessment is a critical part of the teaching/learning cycle. Without knowing what our students know and can do, it is very hard to make sound instructional decisions. I use exit slips (and entrance slips) ALL the time to try to keep a clear vision of what my students can do--and what more we need to work on.<br /><br />There are, however, times that I believe a paper and pencil assessment can only give us part of the information we need. Giving students a few subtraction problems to do can tell us if they CAN get the right answer...but it doesn't always show us HOW they do it or where they may be getting off track.<br /><br />For something important like the standard subtraction algorithm, it is critical to see where students who are struggling are going wrong. This is what I wanted to do on Friday before we move into bigger numbers and lots of 0's! Although you can do this with only students you are worried about, I truly wanted to watch each of my students solve two problems so I could look for the following things:<br /><b><br /></b><b>1. Accuracy </b><br /><b>2. Fluency</b><br /><b>3. Efficiency</b><br /><b>4. Confidence</b><br /><br />I kept a recording sheet right next to me and as they worked, I watched every step they took, asked questions if I couldn't tell what they were doing, and then jotted down what I noticed. Did they get it right? Could they do the algorithm AND use correct subtraction facts to get the right answer? After all, we DO want students to get the right answer, don't we?<br /><br />But getting the right answer is only part of the deal--if this was all I was concerned about, I would just give them a paper and pencil assessment (which I will be doing often over the next week or so!). I really want to get a sense for students' fluency (speed at which they work) and efficiency (are they using notation and strategies that make sense and contribute to fluency?). I also wanted to know if they could EXPLAIN what they were doing...not just do it. All of these things work together to show me their overall CONFIDENCE with the skill. I have to say--it was time well spent!<br /><br />Throughout the day, I pulled students one or two at a time (two if I was 100% confident in their skill level) and watched them work the two problems. I watched them like a hawk to see if they were REALLY having to think through the steps or whether it was smooth and natural. I jotted down my observations, used the time as a coaching session for any mistakes that were made, and noticed something really important in about 1/3 of my students--how one sentence I had said during a lesson might have gotten them confused! <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Addition-and-Subtraction-Grades-2-4-1446312"><img alt="math assessment" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--dyT3CMyuSY/WDC9fi5n_CI/AAAAAAAAYbI/Q6hUSpOUOMwOyQ4ZuE5Xe86eeoTEzNQPwCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B19%252C%2B2%2B58%2B38%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching subtraction with regrouping" width="468" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">So here's what I learned about how important MY language is with students! The other day during my mini lesson, I mentioned to students that it "can be a good idea to look at ALL the numbers you are subtracting from to see if trading will be needed." Harmless, right?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Well...something I discovered in my assessment interviews was that I had a number of students who started this problem by doing just THIS--looking at EVERY place and crossing off everything needing a trade right off the bat! I was confused...in all of the modeling I had done, I carefully and methodically went place by place--if we needed "ones", we traded for a ten. If we needed "tens", we traded for a hundred--one step at a time.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Because seeing this "crazy crossing out" got me curious, I started asking questions...and students all came back to that line--that I had mentioned to look at ALL the numbers to see if they would need to"regroup"--and if they did, they got them ready to trade! Although some could do this "cross off" and keep their brains organized--most of them went WAY over to the thousands and started working from there--with obviously unsuccessful results! So, despite my careful (and repeated!) modeling (even with manipulatives), they took hold of that one sentence and went down a dangerous path.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Addition-and-Subtraction-Grades-2-4-1446312"><img alt="assessment" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6GKg-lUOQrg/WDC9fvDllTI/AAAAAAAAYbE/1Mbnj0BbTHAEgKOyzLKhHof8hLT3IZ4OwCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B19%252C%2B2%2B58%2B06%2BPM.jpg" title="subtraction misconceptions" width="500" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">When I saw what these students were doing, I realized how they misinterpreted my suggestion--and I NEVER would have seen it if I wouldn't have been working with them one-on-one and making those careful observations. I also would not have seen it on an exit slip--I would have seen the wrong answer but would not have seen the order of steps they took.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">So what were MY next steps? I went back to those other students who had been doing the multiple cross outs and we worked together to correct the misconception. By the end of the day, I knew which students were extremely fluent and confident and ready to move at a faster speed, which students understood the concept and just needed fluency work, and which students needed a variety of different misconceptions corrected--whether due to MY miscommunication or other errors they might have been making! I know now exactly where each student is in their learning--and I know how to group them next week. As we continue, I will do more observations with students who are struggling so I can continue to guide them with "just right" instruction. We will also be doing frequent exit slips to check for accuracy and fluency as the problems we do get more and more complicated. Thanks for stopping by!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Addition-and-Subtraction-Grades-2-4-1446312"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dl_DhTmswVk/WDC9wkGcg7I/AAAAAAAAYbM/8Me_BmbB5NsarAfB4VLcT4RfqZs6TtZqwCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="240" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" height="155" width="200" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-56420849650409122162016-11-17T19:00:00.000-06:002016-11-30T17:59:23.787-06:00Sharing Our Blessings<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-V2tofjAiJgw/WC0k0cPy2LI/AAAAAAAAYaw/KbrtlyO4rcQ8Qkwrbv-tKWL8u6YYHAlvwCLcB/s1600/sharing%2Bblessings%2Bpinable%2Bimage.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-V2tofjAiJgw/WC0k0cPy2LI/AAAAAAAAYaw/KbrtlyO4rcQ8Qkwrbv-tKWL8u6YYHAlvwCLcB/s640/sharing%2Bblessings%2Bpinable%2Bimage.jpg" width="418" /></a></div>If you followed me last year, you might remember that a group of bloggers and I hosted a fun Thanksgiving giveaway to say "thanks" to our followers...and we have decided to do it all over again this year!<br /><br />At this time of year, I think many of us are reflective about all that we have. I know I am thankful for so many things...and no matter how difficult life can get, this is the perfect time of year to reflect on all that we have that we are grateful for. I am so blessed to have TWO jobs I love--teaching by day, and creating resources and blogging by night! I have a wonderful family and great friends...I have a more-than-ample roof over my head and go to bed with a more-than-full belly every night.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Today I am joining together with some other wonderful bloggers in a special link up to celebrate all our blessings--and to show our gratitude to YOU by offering some special gifts to make your lives easier at this busy time of year. We have a couple of fun things planned for you.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">First of all, each one of us is offering up a gift for you--we are taking one of our products and making it free for you, our loyal readers! Just stop by my store on Sunday, November 20 or Monday, November 21 and grab this for free--and check out the other 7 versions as well! This offer is only good for those two days, so mark your calendars!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seasonal-Word-Problem-Collection-Winter-Grade-3-5-1018948"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3rst4o9PbnM/WC0kv-cUC8I/AAAAAAAAYas/PYcEEIwAd4QkkOH3NHmVgrEoY4ynCTZzwCLcB/s640/seasonal%2Bproblems%2Bwinter%2Bcover.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">When I use word problems (which is nearly every day), I like having a variety of formats to choose from--and this (as well as many of my other sets) has three different "looks" to choose from. This is one of 8 different seasonal sets --so check out the others if you like what you see! Just stop by <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio">my store</a> and search for "Seasonal Word Problems" or click the image above to see more!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Also, we would love to give a little more, so each blogger in this "hop" is also giving away a $25 gift cards to Teachers Pay Teachers so you can load up with even more great resources for your classroom. Because there are FOURTEEN bloggers involved, you have 14 chances to win! See below for details. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Yb6WO5S4W-0/VkjRIxIccKI/AAAAAAAAPGg/H5IIw3u-U_c/s1600/gift%2Bcard%2Bimage.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Yb6WO5S4W-0/VkjRIxIccKI/AAAAAAAAPGg/H5IIw3u-U_c/s320/gift%2Bcard%2Bimage.png" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">We wanted to keep our giveaway in the spirit of the season as well, so entering is easy...you have three chances<span style="font-family: inherit;"> to enter mine. The first is asking YOU to share a picture or comment about YOUR blessings on social media...your Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter. Use the hashtag <span style="background-color: white; line-height: 18px; z-index: 1;"><b>#sharingourblessingsTpT . </b>I'll do my best to visit and check them all out!</span></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-color: white; line-height: 18px; z-index: 1;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-color: white; line-height: 18px; z-index: 1;">A second way to enter is to subscribe to my newsletter--which you can do by checking out the top right corner of my blog. If you already DO subscribe, just leave your email address and let me know that you already subscribe. Finally, you can subscribe by following me...on TpT, on FB, on Bloglovin'-or all of them if you wish! Just let me know your follower name and where you followed me.</span></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="5a23627548" data-template="" data-theme="classic" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5a23627548/" id="rcwidget_k6modscl" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></div><div style="text-align: center;">So...sound like fun? Then don't forget to check out all these other AMAZING bloggers who are participating as well. Think of all the chances to win and all the wonderful "gifts" you can receive. Don't forget to come back on Sunday to pick up your copy of my Winter Word Problems, completely free! <!-- start InLinkz script --><br /><div class="InLinkzContainer" id="678283"><a href="http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=678283" rel="nofollow" title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up</a></div><script src="https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js" type="text/javascript"></script><!-- end InLinkz script --><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div><br /><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-35862322065495246982016-11-16T20:12:00.000-06:002016-11-16T20:12:16.503-06:00Math Workshop Thanksgiving Style<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Addition-and-Subtraction-Grades-2-4-1446312"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dhlpLgiaQJk/WC0MEKvj6mI/AAAAAAAAYZw/tpz4O6LYD-wLXI3uPWJ2alCZgSfmowcOQCLcB/s640/a%2Bweek%2Bin%2Bmath%2Bworkshop%2Bthanksgiving%2Bpost.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>So often, I get questions like, "What does math workshop look like in your classroom?" and it's always such a tough question to answer--because it changes all the time. So I thought I'd tell you about my plans for the next week or so leading up until Thanksgiving--and see if you can picture what I'll be doing! Maybe in a month or so I'll do another post and show another "twist" on math workshop organization!<br /><br />For the next week or so, our curriculum has me scheduled to work on subtraction with regrouping. As you can imagine, I have students at ALL levels of sophistication with that skill--so there is no real way I can teach for a week or more whole class! My goal is always to maximize the amount of time students spend on "just right" instruction, so here's what the next week will look like.<br /><h2></h2><h2>1. Pretesting and regular formative assessments</h2>Although I don't do them every day, doing quick progress checks are SO important to me. Based o what I find, I can group students in different ways on different days to make sure that everyone gets as much "just right" instruction as possible. Everyone leans at different rates--and waiting until the end of unit is simply not an ok time for students to get feedback on their performance. These quick checks literally take minutes and can help me see who is getting it--and what types of mistakes students are making. This error analysis is so important in helping us streamline instruction.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Addition-and-Subtraction-Grades-2-4-1446312"><img alt="addition and subtraction exit slips" border="0" height="477" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rb5xl_ADlPM/WCz_gr6abbI/AAAAAAAAYY4/lLOK9UHywxA32TY9mza8IaA6dbaiHYlDgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B16%252C%2B6%2B52%2B11%2BPM.jpg" title="addition and subtraction formative assessment" width="640" /></a></div><h2></h2><h2>2. Full class and partner warm ups</h2>To warm up our brains each day, I make a choice of a warm up activity. Some days it might be a number talk, other days it may be a review problem or two--but one of my favorite warm ups is a challenging word problem! I LOVE using word problems to warm up because it sets the stage for thinking all day! I often have them try a problem alone first where they try to implement all the strategies I have taught to "dig in". After a bit of work time, I offer up the option to pair up to continue. Some choose to keep working on their own, others like the collaborative part. I circulate and check for understanding, encourage organization and precision, and hunt for interesting work to share under the document camera. What problems am I using? Thanksgiving problems, of course! I love these because they are filled with cool facts--and each has two levels of challenge. I use several as warm ups, and then the rest of them get put on the wall in a pocket chart for students to do when they have time--or as a rotation in math workshop. I try to have other problems available that might be more "accessible" as well--so that those "wall problems" are not seen as something for only my top students. ALL students can easily access word problems to do during their math choice times.<br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seasonal-Word-Problem-Collection-Thanksgiving-Grade-3-5-956001" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Thanksgiving problem solving" border="0" height="477" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hjJGct0gOOE/WCz89nrvpVI/AAAAAAAAYYs/uIQtdCr6nj0LNy_c-Ooz8sjxsrVsEjy0gCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B16%252C%2B6%2B36%2B21%2BPM.jpg" title="Thanksgiving word problems" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">These Thanksgiving problems are fun because students LOVE some of the cool facts they include--and each has an "extra" part to allow those students who are ready to add a level more challenge!</td></tr></tbody></table><h2>3. Small group, targeted instruction</h2> For these weeks, the lessons focus on subtraction...starting small (even with base 10 blocks for some) and then eventually moving through subtraction across zeros with increasingly large numbers and money problems. I definitely will need to be grouping over the next week or so--and I am planning on two different approaches to this. Some days I will be splitting my class in half and teaching the concept at two levels. This allows me to spend more time with my struggling students and to use more hands on teaching methods to help build their conceptual understanding. When I do this, I do NOT meet with my two groups for equal amounts of time...my mini lesson for my "on track" students might be 10-12 minutes followed by some supported practice while my strugglers might get my full attention for 25-30 minutes.<br /><br />Other days I might teach the lesson to the entire class (I did this today) and then I either assess or have students self-assess and I follow up the lesson with a second "reinforcing" lesson. I often call this "coaching time" where I invite (or mandate!) students who might have struggled during the minilesson to come do some additional work with me. Students who are ready to roll can do some independent practice, make sure they are on track, and then move to some differentiated activities that are a good match for them.<br /><br /><h2>4. Differentiated activities during workshop time</h2><div>So...if I am only working with a part of my class at a time, I need some quality independent or cooperative work for them to do. I have a HUGE problem with doing math "fillers", so I am always looking to find engaging work that my students love and ask them to really apply math skills--or to practice fluency on skills they need. Here are some of the options we will be using during that workshop time. Some things may be required (like my top students are required to work on this Thanksgiving Feast Thinker Task and some of my students needing fact fluency are required to do some of the fluency games), and other activities are offered as choices. Here they are!</div><div><br /></div><div>First, this is an differentiated problem solving task that has many parts--so students who solve the first part can continue on. Almost all students choose to work together and I just LOVE the conversations they have. They truly "teach" and coach each other as well as any adult can...and they really are pretty independent so I can focus my attention on specific students or groups.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Tasks-Holiday-Feast-Math-Project-Grades-3-4-1531237"><img alt="problem based learning" border="0" height="477" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q0z8SMyAwl0/WCz_y2SXLEI/AAAAAAAAYZA/qYPwSsJQHQoIcYgwJxSypqKeYYrN0OS6ACLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B16%252C%2B6%2B36%2B42%2BPM.jpg" title="Thanksgiving problem solving" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Tasks-Holiday-Feast-Math-Project-Grades-3-4-1531237"><img alt="Thanksgiving math problems" border="0" height="477" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MdAKg3fH3fE/WCz_y_UNpkI/AAAAAAAAYY8/rX4IF_6XksMBUOuZDKpV-SEOMetGlARjwCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B16%252C%2B6%2B37%2B45%2BPM.jpg" title="Thanksgiving problem based learning" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">The next option that I have ready for my students is a set of Thanksgiving games...it comes in both addition and multiplication--and each of THOSE has two levels of challenge. My students LOVE this game (We started it last week) and they get tons of fact fluency practice. It's also a super easy one to copy and send home...just a few dice and markers (even pennies or paper scraps) and they are ready to roll! I have had students begging to stay in for recess to play!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dollar-Deals-Thanksgiving-Addition-Challenge-A-Game-to-Build-Fluency-1573567"><img alt="Thanksgiving addition game" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xbX3uGiNlRE/WC0H12lBsMI/AAAAAAAAYZY/9Vzt6vgthbMMKVyETkxht6DJsw57NUQSgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B16%252C%2B7%2B23%2B18%2BPM.jpg" title="addition fact game" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dollar-Deals-Thanksgiving-Multiplication-Challenge-A-Game-to-Build-Fluency-1573584"><img alt="Thanksgiving math game" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-R83hLVzAP0E/WC0H12S76aI/AAAAAAAAYZc/oHrzERI1J2MoV1WF9iVVQccEJcX66TTCgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B16%252C%2B7%2B24%2B41%2BPM.jpg" title="multiplication math game" width="520" /></a></div>One third choice is another fluency practice activity I call "Toss and Solve". Students have laminated cards that look like this--from two digit on up to 4 digit. They roll dice to make the bottom number and then work to solve. They can either check their work on a calculator or two students can each solve it, compare answers, and then work to solve any discrepancies. I LOVE having students hunt for errors...and brain research says this is a great way to build those brain connections!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Toss-and-Solve-Addition-and-Subtraction-Task-Cards-1113487"><img border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ja7MhGrz5c0/WC0Hv6y5I4I/AAAAAAAAYZU/laiLMAcRfJ8pr4gRwhtahlPjWiGiwbjmwCLcB/s640/Slide117.JPG" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I have a recording sheet that students use--or they can simply do their work on the cards or in a math spiral. Although this is a more traditional computation practice activity, it's far more fun than a worksheet--and when you involve partners and error analysis, it's WAY more than a worksheet!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Toss-and-Solve-Addition-and-Subtraction-Task-Cards-1113487"><img alt="addition and subtraction activities" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ndW6W7yykFk/WC0I13NDEiI/AAAAAAAAYZk/bg25ZtHq2qAJB6AIdI2PZz3udgclOk2rgCLcB/s640/toss%2Band%2Bsolve%2B2.jpg" title="subtraction practice" width="480" /></a></div>Remember, too, that there are always word problems available as well, so students really have several choices during this short unit. I work hard to help my students make just right choices, but there are times when gentle reminders are needed!<br /><br />When I am not teaching my small groups, I am circulating and coaching as students do these different activities--and my goal is also to pull a few intervention groups along the way as well. I still have a number of students FAR below grade level who need work on basic number sense and fact strategy work, so while students are busy during math workshop, I have time to pull them and work on their varying needs.<br /><br />Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek at my next week and a half or so of math workshop as we dig into our subtraction with regrouping review. If today was a sign, I know I am going to have a pretty sizable group needing enrichment during this time--not a bad problem to have, right?<br /><br />Interested in any of the resources mentioned above? Just click the photos above or these images below. Thanks for stopping by!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Addition-and-Subtraction-Grades-2-4-1446312"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--HkVga-h2qI/WC0PQ9T2qQI/AAAAAAAAYaY/BBcffIZmccsj8Q4TkHbR5EMfWMICct8EwCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="240" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinker-Tasks-Holiday-Feast-Math-Project-Grades-3-4-1531237"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IMcVwrWJQ-Q/WC0NqV9VIbI/AAAAAAAAYZ8/m28StoHTnDo4YJ-Utk_KjdwJP99HD3b9wCLcB/s320/thinker%2Btask%2Bholiday%2Bfeast%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seasonal-Word-Problem-Collection-Thanksgiving-Grade-3-5-956001"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TQnCJpVqTq4/WC0N2BCqFhI/AAAAAAAAYaI/txKmE3-Fjr87MnP8-umn6kFBuJBuPMpqwCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="240" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-56XZS0cNWHs/WC0NtcSDpuI/AAAAAAAAYaA/LGbBEIwUrOkDuxFaiLiK6CMaC_VUJbHDQCLcB/s1600/Slide1.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-56XZS0cNWHs/WC0NtcSDpuI/AAAAAAAAYaA/LGbBEIwUrOkDuxFaiLiK6CMaC_VUJbHDQCLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dollar-Deals-Thanksgiving-Multiplication-Challenge-A-Game-to-Build-Fluency-1573584"><img border="0" height="240" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WFQyz3hTMYY/WC0Nvt1oGnI/AAAAAAAAYaE/QZ8YaK1CUMEUUODY3Ugp0vXlLNoGs5ZYACLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Toss-and-Solve-Addition-and-Subtraction-Task-Cards-1113487"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nxCuhsK3LsI/WC0N6JjldPI/AAAAAAAAYaM/jTL-DZbIcg4rCB_WWuSw3lJj5VHfUFJRgCLcB/s320/toss%2Band%2Bsolve%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-29516908932953115742016-11-10T19:45:00.001-06:002016-11-10T19:45:50.406-06:00Google Drawing Tools and Scientific Drawings!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Electricity-Unit-and-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-Grades-3-5-1291700"><img alt="Google drawing tools" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2ZES9bDIpXA/WCUhM3zDT2I/AAAAAAAAYXs/4B8x1sHvrt4VR_yGBQBrHZzlws2xzAcQQCLcB/s640/electricity%2Bscientific%2Bdrawing%2Bpost.jpg" title="teaching electricity" width="321" /></a></div>One thing I like to do every year when I study electricity with my class is to take the time to teach them how to use drawing tools on a Google slide. Most have had very limited experience with this--but take to it quickly and use it often throughout the year.<br /><br />As we have worked our way through our lessons on safety, how light bulbs work, conductors and insulators, and different types of circuits, we have been reading books and articles, taking notes in our interactive notebook, building circuits and testing out hypotheses--and I wanted to give them a technology connection to let them show some of what they have learned.<br /><br />We reviewed the different types of circuits--and the point of "scientific drawings"--to convey information graphically with pictures, symbols, and labels. I showed students the following Google tools:<br /><br /><ul><li><b>Drawing shapes, changing color, changing line color and thickness</b></li><li><b>Drawing different types of lines</b></li><li><b>Creating and resizing and moving text boxes</b></li><li><b>Selecting shapes and changing their size and rotating them</b></li></ul><div>For a few students, I showed them about "ordering" their shapes as well--so they could "hide" their wires and so on. I showed them these skills on the projector and then sent them off to get creative! I encouraged them to coach each other and to think of different ways to use the shapes and lines to create a drawing that would clearly show either a series or a parallel circuit--and off they went!</div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Electricity-Unit-and-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-Grades-3-5-1291700"><img alt="electric circuits" border="0" height="477" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mErDXruADHo/WCUZm8Z002I/AAAAAAAAYXM/9MuN9qfomBUobvQzcemrqUmrkqfqM71bQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B10%252C%2B6%2B21%2B55%2BPM.jpg" title="Google drawing tools" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Electricity-Unit-and-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-Grades-3-5-1291700"><img alt="Google slide lesson" border="0" height="505" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0fNb3k47H9c/WCUZm_NhQ4I/AAAAAAAAYXI/_JmFJFuRMGQMkzvpWjEJeCSBPUUm_jZKgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B10%252C%2B6%2B23%2B46%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching electricity" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I loved watching the students dig in and help each other! I walked around coaching, asking questions, and trouble shooting but overall I was SO pleased to see how much initiative students took to "try" on their own and to ask desk group neighbors before asking me. Each student found their own way to show their circuits--some very simple, some more complicated--and not all 100% accurate...but they learned a ton, talked about science and technology, and were VERY proud of their work!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Electricity-Unit-and-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-Grades-3-5-1291700"><img alt="scientific drawing" border="0" height="511" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cHDw9karvaU/WCUZm7bwvfI/AAAAAAAAYXE/QVa4gTHD3EojlR0xofxw4A0ie5wnrRbSQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B10%252C%2B6%2B25%2B17%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching electric circuits" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">We think they turned out pretty cool!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Electricity-Unit-and-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-Grades-3-5-1291700"><img alt="electricity project" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Dn5KdkeGGPY/WCUZo6dCdeI/AAAAAAAAYXQ/Q0JaaXiaMS8XXVUP-pX-ODk_v8oeY6BFgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B10%252C%2B6%2B21%2B36%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching electricity unit" width="477" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">You could certainly do this lesson with pretty much any science content...drawings of plants...simple machines...the water cycle. Get creative! If you are teaching electricity and want to see more of what I do with my class, just check out my resource that can supplement a textbook or a hands-on kit. See what you think!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Electricity-Unit-and-Interactive-Notebook-Resource-Grades-3-5-1291700"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cIe5VDsSeUc/WCUe9ibHOcI/AAAAAAAAYXg/hI8q183pEIwjkuVtS_YckSQF5oIkmZ1PQCLcB/s400/electricity%2Bunit%2Binteractive%2Bnotebook%2Bcover.jpg" width="398" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-85321500840139151902016-11-08T19:56:00.001-06:002016-11-08T19:58:59.175-06:00Getting Students Thinking about Fractions<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="fraction unit" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PABYzf6qvUQ/WCJ9oNXuwII/AAAAAAAAYWg/5PBbSw-fSp0XJVENj0mQzuTB_JfLg5z3QCLcB/s640/deep%2Bfraction%2Bthinking%2Bpost%2BNEW%2Bposts.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="321" /></a></div><br />Just wanted to share some fraction fun from our first day of fraction review! I like to dig in by really getting students thinking--no fill in the blanks for THIS review! Check out what we did today to kick off our fraction studies.<br /><br />One thing I love to do is to start off lessons with discussions... we start in discussion pairs and then share out key ideas with the entire class. These "Discussion Starters" are simply true statements that might be interpreted in different ways and can get students talking about what they might mean and to think of examples. We practice our math talk too--adding on to what others say, asking or clarification, and so on. We had some GREAT ideas shared!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="teaching fractions" border="0" height="477" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eROyskdO0J4/WCJxw09JgpI/AAAAAAAAYWM/ibUb9Y0-IvIP_s4FftLwrMELZNlcdi_kQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B08%252C%2B6%2B36%2B05%2BPM.jpg" title="critique reasoning" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">After we got our brains warmed up with key ideas--like that fractions have equal parts, can be shown in different ways (on a number line, with shapes, with collections of objects, etc), I sent my students off with small groups to find different ways to "make" representations of different fractions--halves through eights. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="fourth grade fractions" border="0" height="477" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ueSdXHRtWuc/WCJxv5kfx7I/AAAAAAAAYWA/gAWTHQwpr9czgyA5khnF7bhqrfHi0ebzwCEw/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B08%252C%2B6%2B35%2B33%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">As students were working, I put out a stack of post it "flags" for students to use to mark contributions they want to talk about...for whatever reason. LOTS of discussions going on at this time! Love it! </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="fraction activities" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uEMaD7uOqR8/WCJxwZnBCKI/AAAAAAAAYWI/BNHM8166HqM6ugiNa4oA7pSfVcWpMrdIACEw/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B08%252C%2B6%2B35%2B16%2BPM.jpg" title="fractional thinking" width="477" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So...as students marked certain "samples", I picked a few to redraw and share under the projector--and the debates began!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="fraction unit" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rCH4US-MLGY/WCJxxM_oecI/AAAAAAAAYWQ/DzXoCCBGD2MV3qDaPRNHybiw3ErTuc7cwCEw/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B08%252C%2B6%2B36%2B58%2BPM.jpg" title="fraction misconceptions" width="477" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I just love inviting students to come up and try to use their reasoning and math language to explain their ideas in front of the class...and have their classmates agree, add on, ask for clarity, or respectfully disagree. The fun part? We didn't come to any FINAL conclusions...math class doesn't have to end when the bell rings! Let them think and stew on things overnight. Seriously.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="fraction reasoning and thinking" border="0" height="477" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aN5iwlZS6cI/WCJxwN34UlI/AAAAAAAAYWE/zEdIbpNAj1sHQDnAOOmFwGL0KoBiGMx_ACEw/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B08%252C%2B6%2B34%2B56%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching fractions" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">If you like this lesson, you might enjoy my fraction unit--16 lessons that promote deep thinking. It includes tons of activities, assessments, discussion topics, and more! Check it out and see what you think--teaching fractions can be fun!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571"><img alt="constructivist fractions" border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GXFBCe4ej0E/WCJ-PYLninI/AAAAAAAAYWk/qFNSPmkm3TAfb6Vprd34QcwyTcl__E2KACLcB/s320/fraction%2Bunit%2Bcover.jpg" title="fourth grade fraction unit" width="319" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-92023796514479077832016-10-30T07:00:00.000-05:002016-10-30T07:00:11.964-05:00Interacting Deeply With Texts<div style="text-align: center;">Today is my day to post over at Upper Elementary Snapshots, so I hope you'll click over and read today's post--with THREE ways to interact with texts that you might not have tried!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2016/10/interacting-with-text-3-ideas-to-help.html"><img alt="close reading strategies" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NOL5WE0W-9M/WBVK_BArBKI/AAAAAAAAYVU/BIq3FqG1v8A39FBvYo6Ctbuvl7GikDTlQCLcB/s640/interacting%2Bwith%2Btexts%2Bmy%2Bblog%2Bteaser%2Bpost%2Bfor%2BUES.jpg" title="teaching reading comprehension" width="321" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">I hope everyone is doing well...hoping to get a few more blog posts done this week--so much fun going on in our classroom these days! </div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-40562502132350998072016-10-26T20:43:00.000-05:002016-10-26T20:43:45.033-05:00The importance of concrete models: Multiplication Arrays<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Arrays-Factors-and-Prime-Numbers-932226"><img alt="concrete models multiplication" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QnDAzbyUbVs/WBFaE1Lny-I/AAAAAAAAYSI/y_3bZYymZAs4zSVTjBppHdKWOkg1OwsoACLcB/s640/concrete%2Bmodels%2Bmultiplication%2Barrays%2Bpost%2Bpin.png" title="teaching math" width="320" /></a></div>We are moving into our mini-unit on factors, multiples, prime numbers, and factoring--SO much vocabulary and such complicated ideas for students who may or may not be secure with their multiplication facts. To really try to help students "SEE" the concepts, I believe super strongly in using concrete models.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><b>OK.</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>Chocolate models--let's be honest. </b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div>Seriously though...I really want my students to deeply understand the concept of arrays and how they relate to multiplication, factors, products--and eventually prime and composite numbers.<br /><br />So the other day I asked my students to tell me what they knew about arrays--and they shared out their ideas. They DID have a bit of a hard time using precise mathematical language so I flipped on the projector and document camera, whipped this Dove monster out of my school bag, dramatically wafted the smell toward them, and threw it under the camera asking, "Will THIS help you describe what an array is?" After a few moments of whining about how it wasn't fair that I had one and they didn't, we got to work using clear math language to describe this array. We used the words factor and product and array. We talked about directionality (Is 6 rows of 3 the same as 3 rows of 6? Is 6 bags of 3 apples the same as 6 bags of 3 apples?)<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Arrays-Factors-and-Prime-Numbers-932226"><img alt="multiplication arrays" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gB5RCg0mgSM/WA_2bI9vlBI/AAAAAAAAYRE/cRQPZ8TPx0g62BVLHc5ZrOuwYYXdMQiEACLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B25%252C%2B6%2B50%2B18%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching arrays" width="640" /></a></div> I then pulled out a bag of these to a roar of delight from the crowd and asked to practice that mathematical language to describe THIS array. The results were much more clear!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Arrays-Factors-and-Prime-Numbers-932226"><img alt="teaching multiplication" border="0" height="436" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q6FDlvEieKo/WBFIuE8qOPI/AAAAAAAAYRo/8W5uiSV8AMYZ_m3wyTBKYJvQuba6_lQ0ACLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B26%252C%2B7%2B07%2B43%2BPM.jpg" title="multiplication arrays" width="640" /></a><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Arrays-Factors-and-Prime-Numbers-932226"><img alt="multiplication" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aZWODxWppB4/WA_2bA2okqI/AAAAAAAAYRA/_FRPHUx3Bj8vgV0zI_bx28bpYDj5YS_7wCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B25%252C%2B6%2B51%2B02%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching arrays" width="640" /></a></div> After consuming a little "Brain Food", we got to work on one of my favorite hands-on lessons of the year--the Candy Factory! In this project, we arrange candy "tiles" in all the possible arrays trying to look for patterns...we uncover the "double/half" strategy, started to notice some thing about arrays with odd numbers, and more!<br /><br />As students moved forward from making "boxes" of one candy...then two candies...then three, you could feel their confidence growing--and their willingness to model with the tiles diminishing. I continued to encourage them to use them...but some were insistent that they could do it in their head. I was noticing everyone getting the "one by..." arrays (1 x 12... 1 x 13...and so on) but were starting to miss some of the "short, chubby" rectangles. Some students had even made a claim that "All odd products only have 2 factors." Hmmmmmm<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Arrays-Factors-and-Prime-Numbers-932226"><img alt="multiplication arrays" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FYvM-qFixa8/WA_2bnATw4I/AAAAAAAAYRM/WaNxDSv67rMIG9sNEw0VVVmq71G9-N3nACLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B25%252C%2B6%2B51%2B26%2BPM.jpg" title="factors products multiples" width="480" /></a></div> But it was when I came upon this example that I knew we had problems. <br /><br />Big. Problems.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Arrays-Factors-and-Prime-Numbers-932226"><img alt="multiplication arrays" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kyki2GIpRrM/WA_2c5Qpw9I/AAAAAAAAYRc/atV4nWrxcfguLbsBeIEknZLR-9UWR-JJwCEw/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B25%252C%2B6%2B53%2B30%2BPM.jpg" title="math misconceptions" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div> So at this point, I INSISTED that he break out the tiles and SHOW me the array he had drawn. As you can imagine, he wasn't able to do so and a little light bulb went off. I asked him how he thought he COULD arrange the 9 tiles and, after some experimenting, figured out that, in addition to the 1 x 9 array, he could also build a 3 x 3. He could NOT do it in his head...he needed that tangible tool--FOR NOW. I asked him if I could share his story with the class so we could all learn from it and he agreed.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Arrays-Factors-and-Prime-Numbers-932226"><img alt="multiplication arrays" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-73ddLSDzvnk/WA_2cjp98yI/AAAAAAAAYRU/MfrF7DIhPOINj9FWWkkmODK-9IpvMS0qACLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B25%252C%2B6%2B52%2B15%2BPM.jpg" title="factors and arrays" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">All in all, we have been really building some solid conceptual understanding of factors, products, and arrays--and we are ready to dig into the second part of the activity--determining the difference between prime and composite numbers! We are on our way! If you are interested in seeing more, just click the image below to see more about this resource. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Scoop-Lesson-Introducing-Arrays-Factors-and-Prime-Numbers-932226"><img alt="teaching factors" border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oWqy4wdnsMo/WBFK86fCd6I/AAAAAAAAYR4/eoZqN92nc8s6Vi3N1H2IEqIdhtD7CP6pwCLcB/s320/double%2Bscoop%2Bprime%2Bnumber%2Bcover.jpg" title="prime and composite numbers" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Thanks for stopping by!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-82728393743928596892016-10-23T20:04:00.000-05:002016-10-23T20:04:31.168-05:00Helping Students "Make Sense" of Problems<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Problem-Solving-BUNDLE-2222043"><img alt="math practice standards" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-pryUmMos-RI/WA1dKpCuR7I/AAAAAAAAYQc/7S4nx9GLZAY7ACcZMOrXkWsEAcqKoJxHgCLcB/s640/making%2Bsense%2Bof%2Bproblems%2Bpost.jpg" title="problem solving" width="320" /></a></div>Teaching math is a complicated venture--to say the least. Between figuring out how to meet the needs of all our students, balance a jam-packed curriculum, worry about interventions and enrichment--and then throw in fire drills, strep throat epidemics, students gone on vacations, meetings...it's a wonder we get anything done!<br /><br />The one thing I always use to "center" myself is the Standards for Mathematical Practice--or "Math Behaviors", if you prefer. These "ways of being" in math class are the glue that holds my math class together...whether my students are above or below grade level--and no matter if we are doing addition or fractions or measurement. <br /><br />One of these standards is often called the "perseverance" standard...and people do a GREAT job of teaching students that word and stressing that "I can" spirit in their classrooms. That being said--"perseverance" is only a small part of that standard and we cannot forget the rest. This standard talks about sticking with problems--but perhaps more importantly talks about MAKING SENSE of problems...using a thoughtful, logical, and organize process to dig in to the information presented and to tackle it. It's hard to persevere on a problem until you have "decoded" it!<br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><span style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kid-Friendly-Math-Practice-Standards-Posters-Classic-Black-2004662"><img alt="perseverance" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hq3RqCr68Yc/WA1U3bv6jQI/AAAAAAAAYPs/Go4zSciyGNYOw2a5oe-AND48j2WGgQgIACLcB/s640/Slide4.JPG" title="standards for mathematical practice" width="640" /></a></span></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kid-Friendly-Math-Practice-Standards-Posters-Classic-Black-2004662">This is one of the posters in my "kid friendly" math standards posters resources.</a></td></tr></tbody></table>So the other day I decided to give my students one of my open ended challenges--with NO preliminary work. I didn't read it to them. I didn't give them any hints or talk them through it. I told them--your goal today is to figure out WHAT this problem is asking, think about how to get started, and how you will organize your work. I told them I would read them any word they struggled on (not reading class!) but it would be up to them to try to "decode" the problem. I built up the energy...told them I KNEW they could do it and explained we would start tackling it alone but then would move into partnerships to compare notes and to get started.<br /><br />So off they went! I walked around and circulated...asked a few questions here and there--mostly things like, "What have you figured out so far?" and "Tell me what you notice." to try to get a sense for what they were gleaning from the problem.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Set-1-Problem-Solving-Grades-3-5-467242"><img alt="math challenges" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OSVXmZsxNvQ/WA1Y0pw1LpI/AAAAAAAAYP8/cMA41-v3xq0TPTQmx0ecClS3IEEHMEPQQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B23%252C%2B7%2B41%2B13%2BPM.jpg" title="problem solving" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">After five minutes or so, I then partnered students up to compare notes. I started to see some great stuff...highlighters came out. Students were pointing out information and underlining it. I heard things like "OHHHH...now I get it!" and "I totally missed that part!". After a while longer, we came back as a class and talked about our findings--and also talked about the power of partners! It was pretty evident to students that two heads were definitely better than one in this case!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Set-1-Problem-Solving-Grades-3-5-467242"><img alt="math workshop" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QXxz9cVBzIM/WA1Y8mvOQjI/AAAAAAAAYQA/fYnJbVbLnFYJ1IuSX0pZPBdy_CqS9QMtgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B23%252C%2B5%2B57%2B41%2BPM.jpg" title="problem solving" width="640" /></a></div>At that point, I put a copy of the problem under the document camera and we shared out our findings. I used highlighters and my pen to showcase what students told me they had found in the problem and what they were noticing about getting it started. After a few more minutes of processing, I was pretty sure that partnerships were ready to go tackle it! They were chomping at the bit to get going, and I am pretty sure that taking the time to process on this problem was just as valuable as actually working the problem itself! I quickly reminded them about working precisely and in an organized fashion (our recent goal) and sent them off on their way.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Set-1-Problem-Solving-Grades-3-5-467242"><img alt="math practices" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NBN_-pM0VKg/WA1BaziT4wI/AAAAAAAAYPY/8NxqsMus3EgP2p_Mn7MJHYKzy1arhguTgCEw/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B23%252C%2B5%2B57%2B22%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching problem solving" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">From beginning to end, my students worked for 45 minutes on this problem this day--and could have done another 15. We finished up the next day and had a ton of fun sharing our different solutions. I love hearing the students' logic about which solution made the most sense for them. I think I have some entrepreneurs in training in my class!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Set-1-Problem-Solving-Grades-3-5-467242"><img alt="math challenges" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-js5tml0UTq8/WA1BZpY6b-I/AAAAAAAAYPQ/dauX-gXTwtwHB5l9FuxmfaS6_waCD62EgCEw/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B20%252C%2B9%2B53%2B16%2BAM.jpg" title="math problem solving" width="554" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">So today's food for thought? Think about how much work YOU are doing for your students by helping them get started...and consider how many opportunities you are giving them to try to learn how to make sense of tricky problems on their own. Want to try </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">the Marco Problem with YOUR class? It's one of the three challenges in Set 1 of my "Open Ended Challenges" resource.. Click the image below if you want to see more!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Set-1-Problem-Solving-Grades-3-5-467242"><img alt="math word problems" border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nu5kzf5L8vQ/WA1bc24rDTI/AAAAAAAAYQM/UahNPsBzkBAigTRXHp7-JhhzPRPS1e2wQCLcB/s320/open%2Bended%2Bchallenges%2Bset%2B1%2Bcover.jpg" title="problem solving" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"> Also available in this bundled set of 9 challenges!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Problem-Solving-BUNDLE-2222043"><img alt="open ended problems" border="0" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OTI395pcNiw/WA1bfn_ljfI/AAAAAAAAYQQ/XErZ968MJz8t6gjMxVd5AIeeYZCq_2qlwCLcB/s320/open%2Bended%2Bmath%2Bchallenge%2Bbundle%2Bcover.jpg" title="math problem solving" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Thanks for stopping by!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-29393443271686011362016-10-13T19:55:00.000-05:002016-10-13T19:55:06.910-05:00The importance of watching students work...helping with place value misconceptions<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Expanded-and-Standard-Form-Task-Cards-Grades-3-5-2826314"><img alt="expanded and standard form" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iaoxQ1_GT8o/WAAma492f2I/AAAAAAAAYOQ/9mhYOJ9-9V8cEbeBZvA7M1YyqSXC8eC1QCLcB/s640/expanded%2Bform%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bpin.jpg" title="teaching place value" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>We recently finished our unit on place value and I KNEW that not all students were solid. As I usually do, I continued to give occasional entrance slips to try to keep my finger on the pulse of the class. When I do this, I try to work in time to meet with strugglers--and I try to do it in groups of no more than 3 so I can WATCH them.<br /><br />Here's what I mean...I gave my students an entrance slip on Wednesday as class started. As they turned them in, I did a quick check of them and sorted them into two piles--"no problem" and "better check it out".<br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><span style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Place-Value-Grades-3-5-2771134"><img alt="formative assessment" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qCtgtB8A_5s/WAAbaiPn5jI/AAAAAAAAYNY/n_3AMbLQ218fZEW_i7l9G5vLQVPYCJ9QwCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B13%252C%2B5%2B43%2B05%2BPM.jpg" title="place value assessment" width="640" /></a></span></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Place-Value-Grades-3-5-2771134">These assessments are from my "Formative Assessment Toolbox: Place Value Edition" resource. CLICK HERE to see it!</a></td></tr></tbody></table>Looking at student work can tell you certain things...but I firmly believe we need to take things a step further and WATCH students to see HOW they are making their mistakes. For example, I was looking at some addition with regrouping work a student had done--and time after time there was an error in the "regrouping". I could NOT for the life of me figure out what she was doing so I called her over and asked her to do a problem. Within ten seconds I figured it out--she was starting on the left and regrouping to the right--showing a HUGE misunderstanding. Turns out she had been pretty solid with partial sums (which can be done left to right or right to left) and was overgeneralizing that algorithm. Without sitting right next to her and watching, I wouldn't have figured it out and I wouldn't have known to pull out the base ten blocks and model with her.<br /><br />The same was true with a few of my kiddos who were making some mistakes with expanded and standard form. I need to sit right with them and watch them work--and ask their thinking. <br />I worked with a few students at a time with my expanded form task cards (actually, to make it more fun, I put the cards in piles and the students took turns picking cards--it's AMAZING how something as simple as letting students flip a card can keep them more engaged!)--and I watched them work on their white boards, asked them questions, and asked them to explain their thinking.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Expanded-and-Standard-Form-Task-Cards-Grades-3-5-2826314"><img alt="place value" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2y-xPVusPAo/WAAdUE1o8_I/AAAAAAAAYNk/caHHwgo3SaEbXbBBnFm8D3QfCVw7ymLVACLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B10%252C%2B7%2B01%2B03%2BPM.jpg" title="task cards" width="640" /></a></div>As I was reassured that misconceptions were being fixed, I would send students away and fill their spot with new ones. Other students were busy working on their math workshop options and I had a glorious 40 minutes to work up close and personal with these students. The light bulbs kept going off-and I know the WATCHING was a huge part of it...putting myself in their shoes and trying to be a scientist figuring out where their thinking was going wrong. It is SO validating for a child to hear, "I can TOTALLY see what you did it that way! Let me show you something..." instead of only seeing problems marked wrong or sitting back in a large group discussion feeling confused and lost.<br /><br />Watching students can help you see exactly what misconceptions students have--and for these place value concepts, several things come to the forefront and need coaching:<br /><br /><ul><li>A lack of understanding of our base 10 system (especially once students get past 1,000 numbers get much harder to visualize)</li><li>A misunderstanding of "0" and how having "no" thousands gets represented</li><li>An inability to understand the organization of our number system...that we need three "places" before a comma, then three more and a comma, and so on--and that each of those "groups" or "periods" has a name and follows the pattern of one, ten, hundred.</li><li>The inability to recognize expanded form terms out of order (they might write 50 + 3 + 600 as 536)</li><li>Difficulties reading and writing big numbers and "hearing" the parts. For example, if I say "four hundred thirty-two thousand", students should hear that "432" and know it will come in front of the thousand comma. If I say, "four hundred thirty-two thousand, seven", they should know that they need to write a 0 in the hundreds and tens spots because there are no hundreds or tens. Asking students to read and write big numbers is a great way to check for understanding.</li></ul><div>So much of this is tricky whole class--you can present information this way, but when you see how many different ways place value understanding can break down, it becomes more and more clear how our interventions need to be much more personalized.</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Expanded-and-Standard-Form-Task-Cards-Grades-3-5-2826314"><img alt="standard form expanded form" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4B5MpnKiWrA/WAAeGRnsFBI/AAAAAAAAYNo/ORmuU_oujkodHDRBafB8lMRu6znH3sJHgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B10%252C%2B7%2B01%2B49%2BPM.jpg" title="math intervention" width="640" /></a></div>An added bonus of working next to small groups is the ability to "coach" them through some partner work. After solving a card, I would ask students to compare work and try to reconcile any differences. Learning how to check over their work, look for errors, and explain thinking is such a key part of the standards for mathematical practice. As they got better at catching each other's errors, my role became much more of an observer than a teacher--and the power got turned over to them. Hearing things like, "Wait--you wrote 50,000 but that 5 is in the one thousands place" or "Remember that if there aren't any tens you need to write a 0." is enough to make THIS math teacher melt. Seriously.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Expanded-and-Standard-Form-Task-Cards-Grades-3-5-2826314"><img alt="teaching place value and expanded form" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QBc2ELKzKMk/WAAffTCnREI/AAAAAAAAYN0/jhRCQmoNObA5zxJaTObJdiuHoB5m0yDGgCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B10%252C%2B7%2B01%2B25%2BPM.jpg" title="math misconceptions" width="640" /></a></div>Interested in checking out the task cards I used with my groups? Just check them out below! There are 36 cards with three different types of questions. Each one has a "bonus" question too--so I used them with my entire class and then pulled my intervention kiddos and used them again. See what you think!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Expanded-and-Standard-Form-Task-Cards-Grades-3-5-2826314"><img alt="expanded standard form task cards" border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pEeKm5I8C4I/WAApucfFx8I/AAAAAAAAYOc/dYTG0iNMT4Y-YbOVsu176v7v14Uu82VyQCLcB/s320/expanded%2Bform%2Btask%2Bcard%2Bcover.jpg" title="place value task cards" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I have a ton of place value activities in my store so check them out if you are looking for games, lessons, and more. Just type "place value" into the search bar of <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio">my store</a>!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-48240701374659296042016-10-09T21:18:00.001-05:002016-10-09T22:18:24.466-05:00Why do we estimate?<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Single-Sort-Resource-for-Estimating-with-Addition-2820571"><img alt="learning to estimate" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/--lk--cieuyI/V_r3qSlJsCI/AAAAAAAAYMo/O5tTYQqngI0DGz8c2tY4Bx9_6fCzPZLngCLcB/s640/estimation%2Bpost%2Bpin.jpg" title="estimation skills" width="320" /></a></div>With our current unit in math, students are working on addition with regrouping and estimating. Over the years, I have found that students really see estimating as a task that is a "fill in the blank" activity--not a meaningful math "thinking" experience.<br /><br />For example, we have pages in our practice book where students are supposed to estimate and then find the exact sum. Reasonable, right? After watching a few students working on a page this week asking them to estimate, then add and instead solved the addition problem and then wrote an "estimate" for the exact sum they had found (rather than estimate the two numbers before adding), they shrugged and said that "it was faster". It was pretty clear that they weren't understanding the purpose of estimating at all...<br /><br />So--time to back up.<br /><br />It was time to come back as a whole class and talk about the "why" we estimate--because we DO estimate for different reasons--and I really want my students to NOT think they estimate just because there was an answer blank on a textbook page!<br /><br />First of all, I asked my students to tell me how many people went to the last Packer game. They had a few guesses...maybe 70,000. Maybe 80,000. I asked them if it was important to know exactly how many, and they thought probably not. We talked about the food vendors...and the ushers...and the other employees--and that they prepare for a game for "about" how many people will be there..<br /><br />We then came up with a whole bunch of other times when an "exact" number isn't necessary. However, this still doesn't really address WHY our textbooks ask students to estimate at seemingly random times.<br /><br />The simple fact is, one of the BEST uses for estimating involves "checking for reasonableness"--and it's something we should be training our students to do constantly--no matter the content area.<br /><br />In fact, the Standards for Mathematical Process explicitly state the following as a part of the "Uses Appropriate Tools Strategically" standard. <br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><span style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kid-Friendly-Math-Practice-Standards-Posters-Classic-Black-2004662"><img alt="use appropriate tools" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ze5BWemhOVg/V_rqcBhK6YI/AAAAAAAAYMI/D8y3nE0OJREFegM03qAJTTKm1ukiIHChgCLcB/s640/Slide8.JPG" title="standards for mathematical practice" width="640" /></a></span></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kid-Friendly-Math-Practice-Standards-Posters-Classic-Black-2004662">This is a poster from one of my Kid-Friendly Standards for Mathematical Practice posters...available in a number of different designs! </a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><span style="color: #202020; font-family: inherit; font-size: x-large;"><b>"They detect possible errors by strategically using estimation and other mathematical knowledge."</b></span><br /><span style="color: #202020; font-family: "lato light"; font-size: 16.8px;"><br /></span>This standard is far more than using rulers and calculators...it's all about making smart mathematical decisions--and estimation is one such way to evaluate those decisions. Being able to ask the question, "Does this make sense?" is such a critical question we want our students to be able to have in their minds constantly--no matter what unit we are studying! We can really build upon the Standards for Mathematical Practice by asking students to talk about their estimates and to explain their thinking. This is a huge part of the standard "Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others" as stated below:<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kid-Friendly-Math-Practice-Standards-Posters-Rainbow-Dots-993071"><img alt="constructs reasoning and critiques reasoning" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9NILi-KUCvI/V_rqs67Pj4I/AAAAAAAAYMM/RH0Z8yoVxGMpKWvqVwXeqWr9lmyjnDNuQCLcB/s640/Slide6.JPG" title="standards for mathematical practice" width="640" /></a></div><br /><b><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: x-large;"><span style="color: #202020; font-family: inherit; font-size: 16.8px;">"They justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others."</span></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: x-large;"><span style="color: #202020; font-family: "lato light"; font-size: 16.8px;"><br /></span></span></b>That being said, being able to quickly and reasonable estimate with the four operations is critical and provides a great opportunity for students to practice this important skill. Helping students understand the difference between estimating and rounding (rounding means that you take an exact number and make it "less precise"--by changing to to be the "nearest ten" (or nearest hundred, thousand, etc). Rounding is a way to estimate--but it isn't the ONLY way to estimate a number! Rounding can be tricky for students...but it really helps if they understand that it is a way to make a number easier to work with--and that it totally relates to skip counting by a certain place...which "10" is it closest to...or what "100", and so on. Number lines are the BEST way to show this process, in my opinion! After teaching it this year, we practiced with these cards in pairs where they had to really work on that math talk where they explained their thinking and had to defend their ideas to their partners. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Rounding-2127899"><img alt="rounding task cards" border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hHvBmHFHbbQ/V_ronlcJSPI/AAAAAAAAYL8/TWpgkfDXqJolGSpMYdRqQI1amAHXDHjEACLcB/s320/rounding%2Btask%2Bcards%2Bcover.jpg" title="teaching rounding" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>So because I want to continue to refine my students' ability to estimate numbers and explain their thinking, I wanted students to have a different type of estimating experience--not based on rounding, but purely based on place value understanding and this sense of "reasonableness". If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know that concept sorts are a huge part of my math program--for the higher level thinking they require AND for the math talk they generate. These cards are designed to promote talk--because there are often multiple categories that cards can fit it--and it's up to the students to engage in the discourse that will allow them to make decisions about sorting the cards. I put it together in a resource in case you want to try it with your students...all directions are included. Just click the image below if you want to check it out.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Single-Sort-Resource-for-Estimating-with-Addition-2820571"><img alt="estimation lessons" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TLZxkarDxrg/V_ruPRBjEfI/AAAAAAAAYMY/HamRhll-eDMaD4GK39NGeETANemHNA-6QCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B09%252C%2B8%2B20%2B38%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching estimation" width="480" /></a></div><br />So my challenge to you is this...ask your students some of the following questions:<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>Why do we estimate?</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>What is the difference between rounding and esimating?</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>How do you explain how to estimate?</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>When do we estimate?</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>How can estimating help me as a mathematician?</b></div><br />Let's see if we can't get our students really incorporating estimating and checking for reasonableness into their mathematical habits--not just when they are assigned to do it. I'd love to hear your thoughts!<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-5664228410175613822016-10-01T19:45:00.001-05:002016-10-01T19:45:36.578-05:00LOVING our narrative writing unit!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Toolkit-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810222"><img alt="narrative writing unit" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zA_FPPI5s40/V_BW3WnsjeI/AAAAAAAAYLE/MN1-owwde8kOnEn5dLlUs8pb3B8cIJmPwCLcB/s640/narrative%2Bwriting%2Bpost%2Bpin.jpg" title="teaching narrative writing" width="320" /></a></div><br />Teaching narrative writing isn't easy...writing a story from start to finish can seem like a pretty overwhelming task--and it is! I've been working for years on how to make it more accessible and meaningful to my students because, let's face it, writing stories for a living isn't what 99% of them will be doing. That being said, the PROCESS of writing a story and the creative energy of planning one is super valuable--and, of course, there are many writing skills that cross genres. I thought I'd share what we did this year...and I'm trying to consolidate it without losing too much of the detail. Hope this all makes sense!<br /><br />For the last few years I have used a planning tool that I turned into a resource which helps kick off the unit of narrative writing. It has been SUPER helpful for me as I try to set the tone for a writing community--and to get them started planning their stories. I still use it and it really helps my students with their planning.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fKkflcoANFk/V-_iGcvQb-I/AAAAAAAAYI4/vL2uYdVP880_14UTEOYidJM3DKd7im8yACLcB/s1600/Slide1.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fKkflcoANFk/V-_iGcvQb-I/AAAAAAAAYI4/vL2uYdVP880_14UTEOYidJM3DKd7im8yACLcB/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="240" /></a></div><br />As our curriculum has evolved a bit, I started looking for ways to really get my students digging in to character development so that their narratives were richer and more thoughtful. We worked hard to try to get students to really think about a main character...who this person would be. What they would be like as people. What they enjoy--and what they don't. What their strengths are--and their weaknesses. As I started to jot down these ideas, I used our read aloud to try to see if we could see how a "real" author developed those characters.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Toolkit-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810222"><img alt="graphic organizers for writing" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xQSNBH3Im3s/V-_pSpNBRhI/AAAAAAAAYJQ/hwsWn7PQClYeVu6RYrIAQ1Jrwbl6fKbugCLcB/s640/slide%2Bfor%2Bnarrative%2Bpost.jpg" title="narrative writing" width="640" /></a></div><br />Because we are reading <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fish-in-a-Tree-Novel-Study-1989573">Fish in a Tree</a>, there are PLENTY of opportunities to talk about characters--both Ally as a main character and the several other important secondary characters. I started tracking what we knew about two of the characters (Ally and Shay) in terms of their "external" characteristics and their internal traits, interests, strengths, and more. We tracked the characters on these forms and learned some things...we learned that authors do NOT spend much time describing what characters look like (I was thrilled when my students said, "That doesn't really matter!") and most of the clues that are given are HINTED at (ah, "inferring"!). This led to some pretty interesting discussions about what WE needed to do as writers--that we really needed to focus on creating characters that we could describe by giving our readers clues.<br /><br />I decided that the best way to help show my students how to start creating such a character would be for us to work together to create one...I made new copies of these forms and, together we worked to "invent" a character under the document camera. This is really one of my favorite things to do--to write WITH my students. It's a great way to get ALL students involved in the writing process...it takes the pressure of the actual WRITING away and lets even struggling writers be active participants. We did lots of "turn and talk" and then I let students share ideas and then I made final decisions and recorded our thinking.<br /><br />After spending about half a class period "creating" this character, I had my students work to talk with small groups about the types of characters THEY wanted to create. I am kind of a stickler--I tell students that writers write about what they are experts in--so their characters need to be similar in age to them...they simply don't know what it is like to be a teenager and deal with teenager problems. This keeps the stories much more realistic and saves a lot of tough discussions!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Toolkit-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810222"><img alt="writing graphic organizers" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cKMpXyFM8xs/V_AyPmBPrnI/AAAAAAAAYJw/qrc6QA3gEY4eSmfkxHaNjaxmmDR-TVH2wCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B01%252C%2B4%2B59%2B32%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching narrative writing" width="480" /></a></div><br />After this, it was time to get to work. I broke this up into two days--where we worked through exterior "looks" of our characters and the trait list. It is always amazing to me how many students don't know many of these vocabulary words...words like "conceited" and "compassionate"--so we work on those. I then tell them to pick ONE key trait that they will work to build...and one or two others that might show up in the story. We looked back at our study of Ally and realize that although the author paints her as a bit defiant and difficult, she also has her creative and compassionate side...so that was good food for thought as they picked.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Toolkit-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810222"><img alt="teaching prewriting" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JkNgsmocTzw/V_Ayglb-FcI/AAAAAAAAYJ4/cwat0qZpW3MD7g9sOV-TUNIQoEPf0i_TQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B01%252C%2B4%2B59%2B49%2BPM.jpg" title="how to teach narrative writing" width="480" /></a></div>The next day, we continued "getting to know" our new characters (I told my class that they should "know" their character so well that they would recognize them if they walked through the door!) and expanded our planning. We got back to work inventing "Danny", my character by coming up with his likes and dislikes as well as special items or treasures he might have. We talked about characters we know and love--and went back to Ally to talk about her likes, dislikes, and special objects. I could really see that my students were starting to "get it" and they were itching to get to work on their own characters...so off they went to get creative. I kept this a pretty relaxed time...some worked alone, some brainstormed together, and then we came together at the end to talk about what we had accomplished. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Toolkit-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810222"><img alt="teaching writing" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-meTmPax9404/V_AyVdlE7FI/AAAAAAAAYJ0/ppoUsjoiAVUe0Ab8SbeBgbs1bb-SpZYqwCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B01%252C%2B4%2B59%2B49%2BPM.jpg" title="narrative writing" width="480" /></a></div>The next step of our journey started to get us deeper into story planning--stories don't tend to have just ONE character, so we talked at length about some of the secondary characters in Fish in a Tree and how Ally interacts with them. We talked about their traits, likes, and dislikes, and how they were important to the story. Then what? That's right--time to invent some secondary characters for Danny!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Toolkit-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810222"><img alt="planning writing" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9yPpxh46_2U/V_A2ffc9tdI/AAAAAAAAYKY/hUiXhd0-nkosmRGtuzEy-Eca4IMH-x5uQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B01%252C%2B5%2B18%2B07%2BPM.jpg" title="teaching narrative writing" width="480" /></a></div><br />I love the idea of having students think about characters who can HELP the main characters, and those who make life difficult...as you know, this is what stories are made of! We had TONS of ideas for who might make life difficult for Danny...but we kept it simple. These are meant to be short stories, not novels after all! It was time for students to get to work...and I asked them to work with a partner to make sure their new characters seemed to "fit" with what they had already invented about their main character.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Toolkit-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810222"><img alt="narrative writing unit" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VPCjBv-xA_s/V_A1A92aAFI/AAAAAAAAYKI/6SzH1oqu4UItcbYwekd5wqxngZ76cljoQCLcB/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B01%252C%2B5%2B12%2B13%2BPM.jpg" title="planning for narrative writing" width="480" /></a></div><br />Next, it was time to decide what types of problems our character could have...all the while making sure that these problems fit in with what we already had created. We pulled Fish in a Tree back into the mix and talked about how Ally and her problems were directly related to other characters (Shay), and her own dislikes and traits (her unwillingness to ask for help). We created a few situations for Danny, then students went off to work on designing some perfect problems for their characters and secondary characters.<br /><br />As our stories began to take shape, I knew I wanted to get a little bit more background information for the students so we dug into a few books we had read looking for setting clues. I wanted them to continue thinking of this idea that authors "give hints" without just TELLING the reader...and then we started creating a chart to brainstorm ideas for the setting of "the ballpark"--and how to come up with descriptive words and phrases that could help a reader know we are there without really telling them.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Toolkit-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810222"><img alt="writing setting details" border="0" height="360" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vtcp5BuF3Wc/V_A1iEKyu8I/AAAAAAAAYKM/1ezmaQzaWPwtox6W3pE0jgKYdSRWJMQoACLcB/s640/slide%2Bfor%2Bnarrative%2Bpost%2B2.jpg" title="teaching about setting" width="640" /></a></div><br />They had SO much fun...and got better and better as our sharing continued. When we were finished? Off to our writer's notebook to start creating our settings!<br /><br />The two other elements of writing that we tackled before we started writing were working on writing dialogue and planning a narrative with a story map. I won't bore you with all the details...but if you are interested, I do have an old blog post that you can find <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2015/10/teaching-dialogue.html">HERE</a> all about what I do! <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2015/10/teaching-dialogue.html"><img alt="writing dialogue" border="0" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_-_Un9uLcBM/V_Aug-TE9cI/AAAAAAAAYJk/RGPA7FTrTboCxoKGsnr1saiOjReiWQV8wCLcB/s640/teaching%2Babout%2Bdialogue.jpg" title="teaching dialogue" width="394" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">So anyhoo...hope this helps you see how I tried to raise the level of writing AND the level of excitement about writing...my students loved it! The fun part is, you don't really even have to write complete stories...you could just write short "scenes" that their characters might encounter...it might be more fun to write several shorter scenes than one big story--and all great ways to get to be better writers! I did ask my students to do a lot of self-assessing as we went...</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Toolkit-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810222"><img alt="teaching narrative writing" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nJ60jyJ43KA/V_A29M2IuUI/AAAAAAAAYKg/9LU6RnepAzwcgu9aE4L5lmB8Pd2j6GDHwCLcB/s640/Slide14.JPG" title="narrative writing checklist" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">These lessons are all super easy to do...you can do them in their writer's notebook or, if you are like me, I wanted the students to do their creative work outside their notebook and then use their notebooks for crafting their scenes. I put all the brainstorming sheets together in a little resource that might be helpful for you...and also made a bundle with a few other narrative writing products as well! Hope you find them valuable...and have fun writing! Want to check out this Narrative Writing Toolkit or the bundle? Just click the images below!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Toolkit-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810222"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YNQcaiMBpY4/V_BUmv6GRLI/AAAAAAAAYK4/oFgHudXG36gYlVnaHO4-CL0i4eGobydoQCLcB/s320/narrative%2Bwriting%2Btoolkit%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-BUNDLE-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810248"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hnlhCG9ioww/V_BUmmNgljI/AAAAAAAAYK0/fFqw0WmGN4UDvyf2-AJcFD0xOXlaRE8wACLcB/s320/narrative%2Bwriting%2Bbundle%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-86179784139562868262016-09-27T21:31:00.000-05:002016-09-28T06:34:26.798-05:00Rethinking Problem Solving: More Than a Word Problem<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Enrichment-Mind-Boggling-Math-Addition-With-Regrouping-Edition-854509"><img alt="addition and subtraction activities" border="0" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UECUBZBFQ0Y/V-sKz6JA0uI/AAAAAAAAYIQ/MVUaTzABy3Ipc16b3_n6CixC7A1YhEPmACLcB/s640/mind%2Bboggling%2Bmath%2Bpin%2Bfor%2Bpost%2Bseptember%2B2016.jpg" title="math enrichment" width="320" /></a></div>For years I have used the phrase "problem solving does not equal word problems", but I love it when I have a real world "math experience" that helps prove this point. Today was one of those days--so I thought I'd share!<br /><br />If you have followed me for any length of time, you may have seen me post about "Mind Boggling Math", a resource I created about three years ago to help provide me students with a challenging way to practice their addition, subtraction, estimation, and perseverance skills. I have used it in different ways--sometimes as an activity for fast finishers, sometimes I have done it cooperatively, and sometimes I introduce it to the entire class and just see what happens! <br /><br />That's what happened this year. I explained the tasks to my class...explained that the goal was to improve their math organization, to work on their addition with regrouping fluency and accuracy, and to persevere with challenging tasks. I was kind of anticipating using it as a part of math workshop...where students could be working on something meaningful while I pull small intervention groups. That's how it started.<br /><br />Until today.<br /><br />I had a group of four girls working together when one of them came up to me and said, "Mrs. A, we have been working really hard on this page--but we have four different answers."<br /><br />Yikes, right?<br /><br />I asked them what they thought they could do to try to find their mistakes...and one suggested the start with one column and see if they could get agreement on that one. I thought that sounded like a great idea--and let them get back to work.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Enrichment-Mind-Boggling-Math-Addition-With-Regrouping-Edition-854509"><img alt="math workshop" border="0" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-G0X_oqOI4wU/V-sBaybUawI/AAAAAAAAYH4/0OZSGAMpCkg4LfYMaAvZbKXL8o865UhoACLcB/s640/Slide1.JPG" title="fast finishers" width="640" /></a></div>I walked past another student who told me, "I keep getting screwed up on what numbers I have used."<br /><br />I sat down next to him and asked what he thought he could to to organize his thinking. He thought for a minute and then said, "Maybe I should cross off numbers I use so I can easily see them." I thought that seemed like a great strategy--and let him get back to work.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Enrichment-Mind-Boggling-Math-Addition-With-Regrouping-Edition-854509"><img alt="problem solving" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ol9vdoOdFdo/V-sBa3YQnYI/AAAAAAAAYH0/aUx4haDIc2csjk05jtx0QeHHSbIrEkqDwCLcB/s640/Slide2.JPG" title="math workshop" width="640" /></a></div>So as I was circulating around the room getting ready to pull my next intervention group, I saw a group of three boys huddled up--one with his arms crossed and a pretty sour look on his face. The other two had a packet on a clipboard and were pointing and looking at their own sheets...so I asked what they were doing. (First thought--can't like--they were copying off each other). <br /><br />One replied, "---- has a different answer than we have so we are trying to help him find where he went wrong." <br /><br />The "victim" chimed in with "I think THEY are wrong and I am right!". I asked how they planned to figure out the correct answer...and they thought for a bit. One said, "Let's try adding them up in a different order and see what we get." I smiled and asked them to let me know what they found out.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Enrichment-Mind-Boggling-Math-Addition-With-Regrouping-Edition-854509"><img alt="math workshop" border="0" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xd7nyPOw9qE/V-sBa5B3uPI/AAAAAAAAYH8/iNQ885IhfdcXXpis6ajExnQm_HHd9ETZACLcB/s640/Slide3.JPG" title="problem solving" width="640" /></a></div>So...despite the fact that I am a HUGE believer in word problems, I think it's important for us to remember that "solving problems" is more than solving word problems...it's about solving "problems" that occur when processing math. These three examples literally happened within 15 minutes of each other...and within 20 feet of classroom space! I shared with the students what I had noticed--and how that type of thinking is TRULY what builds mathematical minds. This is way more than solving these addition tasks--it's about developing strategies (like solving a problem a different way...or marking off numbers to keep organized...) that can apply to MANY other math situations. This is why the Standards for Mathematical Practice are so critical--it's more than the content.<br /><br />I watched the students start to understand this...and to be proud of the struggles they had. This is why I teach. I. Love. These. Moments. I reminded my students what we had learned about the brain and how it grows from mistakes--and how proud I was that they were sticking with the task despite it being challenging and frustrating--and that their hard work truly was paying off...even if they NEVER find the correct answer. #teachablemoment<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Enrichment-Mind-Boggling-Math-Addition-With-Regrouping-Edition-854509"><img alt="addition and subtraction problem solving" border="0" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Sj0d0ZSEVVs/V-sBbF8gx2I/AAAAAAAAYIA/0f6mJsq6huwTVqTgy5GFLpuS1j2iOsumwCLcB/s640/Slide4.JPG" title="math enrichment" width="640" /></a></div>If you are interested, I have this resource in the version I have pictured (The "original" <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Enrichment-Mind-Boggling-Math-Addition-With-Regrouping-Edition-854509">Mind Boggling Math</a>) and also a <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mind-Boggling-Math-Adding-with-Regrouping-Money-Edition-872576">"Money" edition</a> to add decimals and also a <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mind-Boggling-Math-Grades-23-Two-Digit-Addition-Edition-863129">2 digit version</a>...I may replace this one with the two digit version for some of my struggling students. I may also have a few use a calculator to check their work as they go so they don't get too frustrated...the activities are so valuable and I want all my students to have access. See what you think!<br /><br /><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-67558911349134759012016-09-25T08:09:00.000-05:002017-01-19T19:18:57.371-06:00Making Partnerships Work!<div style="text-align: center;">Today is my day to blog over at Upper Elementary Snapshots, and I'm chatting a bit about the importance of teaching students how to work in partners. Want to read more? Check it out by clicking the image below! Thanks--and have a great day!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2016/09/making-partner-work-perfect.html"><img alt="classroom culture" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eg4YqQ1sXWM/V-fMEkyKCXI/AAAAAAAAYHM/mG8Cuyth7HUsmGF4_QaHvcA6JYcv-3UcwCLcB/s640/working%2Bin%2Bpartners%2Bpost%2BUES.jpg" title="Working cooperatively" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0