tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-80729381884385087212018-03-18T20:24:43.328-05:00The 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.comBlogger710125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-22508793677193965062018-03-17T11:23:00.003-05:002018-03-17T11:23:38.471-05:00Reading interventions, "Ready Freddy", and chapter book strategies!Fourth grade reading is tough. Many students have "unlocked" the key to reading...they can read most of the words and can track ever-increasing storylines. As teachers, we can provide countless texts for them, coach them, model for them, and know that they will continue to become more sophisticated as readers. Unfortunately, there are still some students who haven't made this jump. It hasn't happened naturally--and the texts we want and need them to read are simply out of reach.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ready-Freddy-A-Reading-Response-Resource-for-ANY-Ready-Freddy-Book-966465"><img alt="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zo413CwHkz8/Wq09VPg7veI/AAAAAAAAa5I/w7HXkmO-9_kchvKptog0qNZX8o83of2SgCLcBGAs/s640/helping%2Bstudents%2Bbridge%2Bto%2Bchapter%2Bbooks%2Bready%2Bfreddy%2Bpost%2Bheader.jpg" title="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" width="640" /></a></div><br /><a name='more'></a><h3>What makes reading chapter books challenging?</h3><br />I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on all the different components of reading--and all the barriers that can interfere with student success (more on THAT another day!), and today I wanted to focus on one that I think really holds back a lot of struggling readers.<br /><br />It goes without saying that when students begin to become readers, we present them with texts that have only a few characters and settings and tend to have one, clear storyline. This can be found in "readers" and even in some short chapter books. Students can usually read these texts in one or two sittings and the story is relatively easy to follow. I have noticed that there isn't much of a "bridge" between this type of text and chapter books--and that many of my most struggling readers had a hard time making the jump. I have noticed the following stumbling blocks (among many others, of course!)<br /><br /><br /><ul><li>Longer sentences in different formats</li><li>More inferential language (figures of speech, and so on)</li><li>More dialogue where important information is conveyed</li><li>More characters who are integral to the story</li><li>Setting changes (both time and place)</li><li>Often more than one storyline</li><li>More words per page--and more embedded vocabulary that cannot be deciphered through context</li><li>More pages which require readers to retain story information over multiple days</li><li>More descriptive language that makes visualization important</li><li>Failure to understand "how chapter books work"</li></ul><div>Again, there are MANY more stumbling blocks than these, but I have found some success with using this as my bank of lesson ideas for these strugglers.</div><div><br /></div><h3>Reading interventions for struggling readers</h3><div>This year, I have a small group who really has not been able to make the transition to simple chapters books, and I started digging in and realized that they really and truly do not understand how chapter books work. I decided to really dig in and tackle that using the "Ready Freddy" series. I liked that there is a clear format that each follows, that there are lots to choose from, and that there are topics that are appealing to a wide range of readers.</div><div><br /></div><div>As I started with this group, I wanted to make sure they understood a few key lessons...so I decided to tackle one per chapter. My lesson plans ended up looking a little like this!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><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: "KG What the Teacher Wants";">Chapter 1: </span><span style="font-family: "Shadows Into Light";">First chapters often teach us about characters, important settings, and problems. Read chapter 1 carefully and track what you have learned about these important parts of a book.</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: "Shadows Into Light";"><br /></span></div><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: "Shadows Into Light";"> </span><span style="font-family: "KG What the Teacher Wants";">Chapter 2: </span><span style="font-family: "Shadows Into Light";">“Events” are “happenings” in a book. Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between “events” and other cool information in a text. Try to imagine events as if you were watching them happen. As you read chapter 2, find FOUR </span><u><span style="font-family: "Shadows Into Light";">events</span></u><span style="font-family: "Shadows Into Light";"> that you think are important to the story.</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: "Shadows Into Light";"><br /></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: "Shadows Into Light";"> </span><span style="font-family: "KG What the Teacher Wants";">Chapter 3: </span><span style="font-family: "Shadows Into Light";">As you read chapters, you might notice that each one is like a little story within the big story! It can help you keep track of the events of the story in your mind if you always can retell the beginning, middle, and end of each chapter. Try it for chapter 3! You may need to reread it to help—and remember to explain in your own words!</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: "Shadows Into Light"; font-size: 14pt;"><br /></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;">As I moved through the book. I just kept adding one key lesson per chapter that I thought would help my readers not only understand the story--but see how there are things to know about reading chapter books that make them vastly different than shorter texts.</div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><br /></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;">My students had no idea how important chapter 1 is--that it sets the stage for the rest of the book and that we need to know the characters, setting, and other key information before we move on! We may even need to read it twice! They didn't "see" that each chapter is a story within a story--with a beginning, middle, and end. They didn't realize that before picking up the book each day, they should reflect back (and maybe even LOOK back) at what they had read the day before to keep that story flowing smoothly in their minds. </div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><br /></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;">By giving them these strategies and modeling with them, it was like the book was "unlocked". Here's essentially what I did for these students for 8 days (8 chapters in a Ready Freddy book!)</div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><br /></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;">1. I read the book quickly and identified some vocabulary and word patterns I thought they might struggle with. I jotted these down on post it notes and stuck them in my copy of the book.</div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ready-Freddy-A-Reading-Response-Resource-for-ANY-Ready-Freddy-Book-966465"><img alt="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FAooDyzY_Fs/Wq0sR7VzhUI/AAAAAAAAa4M/1IUNSG2aX5UfiH3khcHvbJ5vmJzNj_TSQCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BMar%2B16%252C%2B11%2B29%2B44%2BPM.jpg" title="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ready-Freddy-A-Reading-Response-Resource-for-ANY-Ready-Freddy-Book-966465"><img alt="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1580" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-x3hZuZqjI58/Wq0sSX2brTI/AAAAAAAAa4Q/o_zoqNY-i74YTN4EYKqO9m8zuc-5BWytQCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BMar%2B16%252C%2B11%2B30%2B08%2BPM.jpg" title="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" width="632" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">To start each intervention group meeting, we did a little bit of word work on white boards and I pretaught them any words I thought might trip them up. The goal here was to learn to read a chapter book, so I wanted to take that decoding part out as much as I could.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ready-Freddy-A-Reading-Response-Resource-for-ANY-Ready-Freddy-Book-966465"><img alt="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1362" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kCn9iomvvkw/Wq0sRiWnYrI/AAAAAAAAa4E/mzc_YxFs5GgIHXGDgulN2lYj-lPKEhMyACEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BMar%2B16%252C%2B11%2B29%2B14%2BPM.jpg" title="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" width="544" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">After that, I taught them the "lesson du jour" which I also printed on top of the page we were working on. I wanted them to SEE the lesson (like a learning target) and we revisited it at the end of our group time as I sent them off to work.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">We then read the first part of the chapter together practicing fluency and finding some of those pretaught words and word patterns. Then, we filled out part of the written response part together so that I could model my thinking for them. This lesson was about the idea of what an "event" is...we pretended we were there at Freddy's house and were trying to find things that happened that we could have taken video of...that seemed to help my students understand that events are things that HAPPEN.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ready-Freddy-A-Reading-Response-Resource-for-ANY-Ready-Freddy-Book-966465"><img alt="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RGebqrtk8kU/Wq0sR4C0bWI/AAAAAAAAa4I/hEkCDDgxzTwobDS71sXrbd56AcIsk2KNACEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BMar%2B16%252C%2B11%2B28%2B49%2BPM.jpg" title="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" width="640" /></a></div> As a part of this, I really wanted to stress that whole "text evidence" piece, so we kept our books handy and looked back to PROVE our ideas.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ready-Freddy-A-Reading-Response-Resource-for-ANY-Ready-Freddy-Book-966465"><img alt="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7n_04wEZGog/Wq0sSq-E7SI/AAAAAAAAa4U/cNd6dSSNtlkbUHpXFNTF29FlsOM8aDsywCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BMar%2B16%252C%2B11%2B30%2B36%2BPM.jpg" title="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" width="640" /></a></div><h3 style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Gradual Release of Responsibility</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So...we worked ourselves through all 8 chapters of the book following this format, and the students LOVED it. They learned a lot and felt so much success. We are set to tackle our next Ready Freddy book using the exact same format--but with me stepping back a little bit and putting more of the workload on them. I still plan to do the word work and read the first part of each chapter with them (It is helping me to see what other struggles they are having and helping me coach them better), but they are going to have to do more independent thinking and partner work rather than rely on me. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Now of course--this is a great reading INTERVENTION for my fourth graders...but these lessons are great universal instruction lessons for younger students! After all, if we can help our second and third graders understand how chapter books "work", we will need less reading intervention in the upper grades!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Anyhoo..I thought you might be interested in some of these strategies and perhaps I have given you something new to think about. This kind of work can be done with any easier chapter book, of course--but I love the fact that Ready Freddy lends itself perfectly to some of these lessons--and the lessons work for ANY of the books because they all follow the same format. The books are easy to find and reasonably priced. If you want to see how I put all the pieces together, you can click the cover image below to see more.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ready-Freddy-A-Reading-Response-Resource-for-ANY-Ready-Freddy-Book-966465"><img alt="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="960" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-a5m70-yGYFI/Wq08OQ08fwI/AAAAAAAAa5A/YcFG3wZql9clrqRmQGIs0IXEP6J7XQtlgCLcBGAs/s320/ready%2Bfreddy%2Bnew%2Bcover%2B.jpg" title="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Want to pin this post for later?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ready-Freddy-A-Reading-Response-Resource-for-ANY-Ready-Freddy-Book-966465"><img alt="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UC4RXEhkFl8/Wq0_7GppKkI/AAAAAAAAa5U/lpYw_PJHL64PDWHc_XjCcu6UGRQUKrVdACLcBGAs/s640/ready%2Bfreddy%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bpin%2Bmarch%2B2018.jpg" title="Reading chapter books can be a challenge for struggling readers. Using Ready Freddy books as a reading intervention tool has been so suuccessful for my below grade level readers! Reading interention lesson plans, reading intervention activities, second grade reading, third grade reading, fourth grade reading" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-10645552767435813822018-03-04T14:13:00.002-06:002018-03-04T14:13:28.623-06:00Tips and Ideas for Teaching Narrative WritingToday is my day to blog over at Upper Elementary Snapshots!<br /><br />Check out my ideas about teaching leads, reviewing other skills, a quick writing revision idea--and more! Here's a sneak peek at part of it...<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2018/02/writing-leads-planning-stories-and.html"><img alt="Helping students with narrative writing is so much fun! Using prewriting and planning strategies paired with teacher modeling and writing activites and lessons that stress description, writing dialogue, and story elements can help create great narratives. We also need to teach revision strategies to help writers improve their writing. Perfect for grade 3 writing, grade 4 writing, grade 5 writing, teaching narrative writing, writing lessons, writing anchor charts, third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing," border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1187" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xJJjQTt_GUI/WpxRDRcSiVI/AAAAAAAAa10/jbjo-uBlaPUPQnhFVfYUYhsuFfQv-rn8wCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BMar%2B04%252C%2B10%2B54%2B41%2BAM.jpg" title="Helping students with narrative writing is so much fun! Using prewriting and planning strategies paired with teacher modeling and writing activites and lessons that stress description, writing dialogue, and story elements can help create great narratives. We also need to teach revision strategies to help writers improve their writing. Perfect for grade 3 writing, grade 4 writing, grade 5 writing, teaching narrative writing, writing lessons, writing anchor charts, third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing," width="474" /></a></div><br />Stop by if you want to check out what I did with our second narrative writing unit of the year. This is really one of my favorite writing activities because it is SO accessible to all students and is a great review of previously taught narrative writing skills. If you want to read more--just click <a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2018/02/writing-leads-planning-stories-and.html">HERE</a> to take you to the post.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2018/02/writing-leads-planning-stories-and.html"><img alt="Helping students with narrative writing is so much fun! Using prewriting and planning strategies paired with teacher modeling and writing activites and lessons that stress description, writing dialogue, and story elements can help create great narratives. We also need to teach revision strategies to help writers improve their writing. Perfect for grade 3 writing, grade 4 writing, grade 5 writing, teaching narrative writing, writing lessons, writing anchor charts, third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing," border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-shrO7O8f2T4/WpxQXrlucKI/AAAAAAAAa1s/r0WioGPR1LE_rUrkX5K9t35GOemBOYBBQCLcBGAs/s640/narrative%2Bwriting%2Bpost%2BUES%2Bfebruary%2B2018%2Bpin%2B2.jpg" title="Helping students with narrative writing is so much fun! Using prewriting and planning strategies paired with teacher modeling and writing activites and lessons that stress description, writing dialogue, and story elements can help create great narratives. We also need to teach revision strategies to help writers improve their writing. Perfect for grade 3 writing, grade 4 writing, grade 5 writing, teaching narrative writing, writing lessons, writing anchor charts, third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing," width="320" /></a></div><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-22671954583444381482018-02-21T19:39:00.000-06:002018-03-03T16:19:22.967-06:00Grading Writing Made Easy. Really.<span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: large;">Because I know you do not have enough time to grade writing--or do everything else we need to do!</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Writing-Demand-Prompt-BUNDLE-1669124"><img alt="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nWgobDV3IXU/Wo4UV6ItWqI/AAAAAAAAaxs/yfIJbqGmKUQDR35HKL9IR--erZMgLxRzQCLcBGAs/s640/demand%2Bgreat%2Beight%2Bgrading%2Bwriting%2Bmade%2Beasy%2Bheader.jpg" title="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" width="640" /></a></div><br /><a name='more'></a><br /><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">My district requires us to use a pretty substantial rubric to go with our required writing assessments--and we are welcome to use it for others. Here's the problem. It's 2 1/2 pages long! Not only that, it makes a LOT of assumptions about what my students should be doing with their writing--those basic skills like writing using proper conventions, sufficient details, and more. The rubric doesn't "drill down" to that level of detail--and that's what I want to see in order to pull small groups and to plan my instruction. Because I wasn't getting down to that level of detail, I'm afraid I just wasn't collecting enough data.</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span> <span style="background-color: white; color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Now let's add the "real world" factor in here. Grading and assessing writing takes a LONG time. This is especially true if students are writing full essays and other large projects. I knew I could do some better "quick" assessing if I figured out a way to just capture a small amount of writing.</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span> <span style="background-color: white; color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">I knew I didn't want to add MORE to my plate (our literacy curriculum is daunting enough!)—but I knew I needed something. I decided to try a short (8 minutes!) writing prompt once a week or so. By making it short, I didn't take away from instructional time, I am able to quickly score it (seriously--I spend 2-3 minutes per students TOPS) and give feedback, and I can use it to pull strategy groups while I teach our district curriculum. I wanted the rubric right on the page as a reminder for students…much like my other writing prompt resources. The difference? This is meant to be a <u>quick snapshot</u>—almost like an entrance slip before a writing class. I figure I can give up 8 minutes once each a week if it will help me to help my students, right? </span></span><br /><h3><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: large;">Collecting Writing Data <u>Sensibly</u>!</span></h3><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br style="background-color: white; background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; color: #222222; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222;">I figure by giving students a starting topic, we wouldn't waste time thinking of topics either—and each topic should be something that students really can write a decent “quick write” about. This isn't meant to be a full essay—just a quick write to check some important skills—and to help even my reluctant writers--to give me a good writing sample. Why eight minutes? Because even ten minutes seems like a long time to some writers--and eight is enough! To be honest...if my students are REALLLLY into a topic, I may extend that time a little. Right?</span><br style="background-color: white; background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; color: #222222; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /><br style="background-color: white; background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; color: #222222; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222;">Thus <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Writing-Demand-Prompt-BUNDLE-1669124">the “Great 8” </a>was born! Just 8 minutes to do…and seriously less than an hour to score…It's worth it! Not only is that initial 8 minutes worth it, but I have found all sorts of other ways to use these prompts. Check these out...</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span><br /><h2><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: large;">Revision practice</span></span></h2><div>Sometimes I find it's just what I need to ask students to do their eight-minute writing, I collect it, score it, and decide what to do next. Sometimes, I use that SAME piece of writing to work on revision skills with my students. In this example, students worked to reread their writing the next day and use their red pen to find places to make improvements. I often give them one or two specific things to look for--in this case, we looked at pronouns (something we have been talking about) and I asked them to decide if they had too many, not enough, or just the right amount. We also double checked for punctuation and capital letters. The whole revision experience? 12 minutes.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Writing-Demand-Prompt-BUNDLE-1669124"><img alt="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-f3T-Yn5jj3Q/Wo4MvddzlfI/AAAAAAAAaxE/jmSMMTpLPC85uq3-O8W81A_tsi4G8GjeQCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BFeb%2B21%252C%2B6%2B13%2B04%2BPM.jpg" title="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" width="640" /></a></span></div><br /><br /><h2><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: large;">Partner revising and editing</span></span></h2><div><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></div><div><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Much like the quick revision lesson above, the same type of writing experience can be done in partners. Sometimes I might ask students to focus on just one element--perhaps "descriptive details" where the partnership works to decide if each person added ENOUGH detail and if all those details were on topic. Sometimes we might look for a place to add more details...or find "everyday" words that could be replaced with something more vivid. Often, two minds can come up with some great ideas...it's very challenging for students to look critically at their own work and make sweeping changes.</span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Writing-Demand-Prompt-BUNDLE-1669124"><img alt="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tuhPGYwP8oE/Wo4Mxw13CFI/AAAAAAAAaxM/f1f0ApFzipUdO4BwO5vuRVnq9qv6fKB5QCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BFeb%2B21%252C%2B6%2B13%2B42%2BPM.jpg" title="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" width="640" /></a></span></div><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span><br /><h2><span style="color: #222222; font-size: large;"><span style="background-color: white;">Writing Self-Assessment</span></span></h2><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Writing-Demand-Prompt-BUNDLE-1669124"><img alt="Teaching writing is hard--but grading and assessing writing is even harder! Check out this blog post with ideas on how to get more writing instruction and assessment into your day--so you can use the data you collect to make sound instructional decisions. Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing, homeschool" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1546" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gHIAHeSrkL0/Wo4ovEPYT1I/AAAAAAAAayg/gUE78TjILUAOxR65F483y6pL3vlZFvxUwCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BFeb%2B21%252C%2B6%2B14%2B06%2BPM%2B%25281%2529.jpg" title="Teaching writing is hard--but grading and assessing writing is even harder! Check out this blog post with ideas on how to get more writing instruction and assessment into your day--so you can use the data you collect to make sound instructional decisions. Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing, homeschool" width="618" /></a></div><div><span style="color: #222222;"><span style="background-color: white;">Another use of these demand prompts is to get students reflecting on their own writng. I will often talk through the writing checklist, stressing what our current targets are--and ask students to self-assess before I grade their work. I often have them use a highlighter so I can see what they have picked, but my colored pen easily shows what the "real" score is. If I find a place where there is a huge discrepancy, it helps me confer with the student to help them understand where they may have a misunderstanding about what is expected.</span></span></div><h2><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: #222222; font-size: large;"><span style="background-color: white;">Shared/partner writing</span></span></span></h2><span style="color: #222222; font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 14px;">Another fun way to use these prompts is to actually have partners work together to write! Either one student can start the piece, then pass it off to another student OR you can have them work together to craft a single piece. This is especially valuable if you are working on something new (like adding transitions or quality "hooks"). They can work together on a practice piece--and then later you can ask them to try another one on a different topic. This can be especially valuable if you have some struggling writers who would benefit from hearing the "think aloud" of a more capable author.</span></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Writing-Demand-Prompt-BUNDLE-1669124"><img alt="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" border="0" data-original-height="1175" data-original-width="1600" height="468" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HbaKIXxSfyQ/Wo4MxqrrmgI/AAAAAAAAaxQ/9sVeTeWop5EWWiOWuQH62-aHFq6zRd3ngCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BFeb%2B21%252C%2B6%2B14%2B31%2BPM.jpg" title="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" width="640" /></a></span></div><span style="color: #222222; font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span></span><br /><h2><span style="color: #222222; font-family: inherit; font-size: large;"><span style="background-color: white;">Teacher modeling</span></span></h2><div><span style="color: #222222; font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 14px;">Another "lesson" I have learned from using these demand prompts--is that sometimes I notice that my students simply aren't doing something I want them to do. When I see this, I know it's time for me to back up and do some modeling. I can either write a piece ahead of time that I put under the document camera for us to study...I can write "in front" of the students where I model my thinking...or I could ask students to HELP me write by making suggestions that I then discuss with them and then record my final decision.</span></span></div><div><span style="color: #222222; font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span></span></div><div><span style="color: #222222; font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 14px;">One example is earlier this year when we were doing opinion writing. I was noticing that most students were writing very "formulaic" introductions or "hooks", and I wanted to show my thinking about some different ways to capture my reader's attention. I had one lead prepared to share, and we discussed it as a class. We then worked together to do several different hooks on the same topic--and then I looked specifically at leads the next time I asked them to write independently.</span></span></div><span style="color: #222222; font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Writing-Demand-Prompt-BUNDLE-1669124"><img alt="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kU8Ou_FQ3pI/Wo4WvT-RuoI/AAAAAAAAax4/rUK1QUcNj6MpdTOloketbghPhjrgVPrzwCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BFeb%2B21%252C%2B7%2B02%2B14%2BPM.jpg" title="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" width="640" /></a></div><span style="color: #222222; font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span></span> I hope you got some ideas for how these "quick writes" can be a really powerful way to impact writing instruction in your class--without having to do the HUGE projects that we so often tackle with our big units. I'd love to hear your success stories!<br /><br />If you are interested in these prompts, I have four sets and a <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Writing-Demand-Prompt-BUNDLE-1669124">bundled set</a>...I use all of them at different times in the year, and I have blank ones in each set so I can write my own when it makes sense. (You can see that I did that with my immigration prompt.) I have <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Demand-Writing-Seasonal-Prompts-1669105">seasonal prompts</a>, <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Demand-Writing-Opinion-Prompts-1669099">opinion prompts</a>, <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Demand-Writing-High-Interest-Prompts-1669095">high-interest prompts</a> (sleepovers, video games and more!), and "<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Demand-Writing-Curriculum-Prompts-1669114">content" prompts</a> which can be used to collect information about different topics you are teaching. Each set has 18 ready-to-print prompts. These would be GREAT for homeschoolers as well!<br /><br />Want to pin this for later?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Writing-Demand-Prompt-BUNDLE-1669124"><img alt="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pci8s7CKUDc/Wo4cp423KoI/AAAAAAAAayQ/Xm1AtITikIIAAo5RTUu0lb_7seYlM-R2gCLcBGAs/s640/demand%2Bgreat%2Beight%2Bpost%2Bfebruary%2B2018%2Bpin%2B1.jpg" title="Teaching writing is hard--but grading and assessing writing is even harder! Check out this blog post with ideas on how to get more writing instruction and assessment into your day--so you can use the data you collect to make sound instructional decisions. Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing, homeschool" width="320" /></a></div><br />Want to check out the prompts? Here is the link to the bundle--and all the other sets are linked within the description or are linked individually in the paragraph above.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Great-Eight-Quick-Score-Writing-Demand-Prompt-BUNDLE-1669124"><img alt="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="960" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e7uvYizJpGw/Wo4Yzm5uPcI/AAAAAAAAayE/_EoV_qm-ytQY42nC-6QUnC3qJ808Y8IEQCLcBGAs/s320/great%2Beight%2Bdemand%2Bprompt%2Bbundle%2Bnew%2Bcover.jpg" title="Third grade writing, fourth grade writing, fifth grade writing, writing assessment, writing prompts, writing activities, writing lessons, teaching writing, opinion writing, informational writing" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><span style="color: #222222; font-family: "proxima nova" , "helvetica neue" , "helvetica" , "arial" , sans-serif;"><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span></span>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-76106332011487335692018-01-28T22:12:00.001-06:002018-02-10T18:23:17.043-06:00A Balanced Approach to Fractions: Wholes, Sets, and MeasurementWelcome back! If you have been following this series of blog posts all about fractions and improving our <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571">fraction instruction</a> and learning, I welcome you to day 3! If you are new to the series, feel free to snoop around at <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2018/01/what-makes-teaching-fractions-so.html">POST 1</a> and <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2018/01/getting-students-ready-to-learn.html#more">POST 2</a> when you have time for more foundation information about teaching 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="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-plDKC3NhcUI/WlbTnrnWO0I/AAAAAAAAapw/kknCFdjCaOMwPUxEUPuqeZb5ky6surWPwCLcBGAs/s640/fraction%2Bpost%2Bheader%2Bbalance%2Bin%2Bour%2Binstruction.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="640" /></a></div><a name='more'></a><br />Today I want to focus on something I briefly touched upon in that first post--the fact that fractions can be so challenging because they appear in so many different formats and contexts. Whether you teach in a Common Core state or any other state/country with rigorous standards, we need to strive for a balanced approach to teaching fractions.<br /><br />When we learn whole numbers, three means three. You can have 3 dogs. You can eat 3 chocolates. You can read 3 books. We can count 3 on our fingers. We can pound a drum three times. This makes sense. We can see it and hear it.<br /><br /><a href="https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/325122?v=6" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="768" height="300" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4CK_JGTI2gA/Wl1lEGyPWdI/AAAAAAAAarw/5mv53aAiamYvF5c52aOfOkqMgvz34bzbQCLcBGAs/s320/want%2Bmore%2Bfraction%2Bhelp%2Bbutton%2Bto%2Benter%2Bfraction%2Bsequence.jpg" width="320" /></a>When we talk about fractional amounts, the game changes a little bit, especially for students who may struggle with math concepts. As I mentioned in the first post, consider the concept of "1/2". I love to start a math class by sitting back and patting my stomach and telling my students that I ate half a pizza for dinner last night. Inevitably, they laugh and make comments about how much I love pizza, and so on. I play it up a little bit and hope (usually it happens!) that someone finally says...<br /><br />"Wait...how big WAS that pizza?"<br /><br />And then we begin.<br /><br /><h3>Fractions of Wholes</h3><div>When students are younger, we place a lot of emphasis on fractions of wholes. We talk about whole pizzas. Whole candy bars. Whole pattern blocks. We then work to divide these "wholes" into evenly partitioned shapes that we call "fractions". We typically divide them into reasonable numbers of parts--often 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 12. We occasionally throw in fifths or other "odd" numbers but often steer clear as they are much harder to represent. (Probably not the best reason, right?)</div><div><br /></div><div>We typically ask students to identify a fraction divided into equal parts with a certain amount shaded...like this--which they quite quickly can learn is "1/4".</div><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="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="768" height="300" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YPox4oFmZD4/WlQWxs58hYI/AAAAAAAAan8/IeCtHDJdwkYJoWRKueAPhfacPmr3rUvaACLcBGAs/s320/Slide10.JPG" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div><br /></div><div>Even something as simple as moving the shaded area is important...this is ALSO 1/4. What about the unshaded area? We need to ask questions about that too. For example, if I always ask, "What fraction of this cake is frosted green?", we train our students to automatically label the shaded area. What if the question was, "How many more fourths need to be shaded to make 3/4 of the cake green?"...haven't we gotten our students thinking more deeply?<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, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="768" height="300" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KKq5NvopzDM/WlQW3X6jW0I/AAAAAAAAaoA/jQMmrJJ4INIHHJ1V8d1v6gTUlpRX_cGqgCLcBGAs/s320/Slide11.JPG" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div> Or what about this. "Here is 1/4 of a cake. What would the entire cake look like?"<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, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="768" height="300" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_3VkfwtIFJ4/WlQW3t7q88I/AAAAAAAAaoI/MFPECEfB8mEzGZxHHb98yG-JJxCrUnMewCLcBGAs/s320/Slide12.JPG" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div> Here is what we might expect to see (with the original fourth shaded)...<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, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="768" height="300" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YSSNPZICxcc/WlQW3ihMw2I/AAAAAAAAaoE/dbtY7rJxWb4KndEpTi66XP_OyhrAl3Z1ACLcBGAs/s320/Slide13.JPG" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div> But what about these? Wouldn't these "atypical" examples work as well?<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, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="768" height="300" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iFhdKNRP8V0/WlQW35JgevI/AAAAAAAAaoM/4jJawrarZ8EmMnLaC0v1-US8BJSWfkmkwCLcBGAs/s320/Slide14.JPG" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div><br /></div><div>So, a little food for thought!</div><div><br /></div><div>1. Make sure you consider presenting things in atypical ways.</div><div>2. Make sure you use non-standard shapes at times.</div><div>3. Make sure you ask students to represent "wholes" in different ways--not just identify them.</div><div>4. Make sure students see this as a real-world situation...not just pictures in a textbook.</div><h3>Fractions of Sets</h3><div>Many math series address "fractions of a set" in perhaps one or two lessons--and they often skip right to the computational part of the math. Asking students to find "1/4 of 12" or "2/3 of 24" is not nearly as challenging if they have had ample opportunity to make the connection between division and fractions. </div><div><br /></div><div>Knowing that 1/4 of 12 means that there are 12 objects (or even more abstract concept like minutes or correct answers!) and that we need to count ONE out of FOUR equal groups is much more manageable if they have first used 12 counters, made the fourths, and then physically SEE the groups. We can then even count the groups...1/4 of the twelve would be 3. 2/4 of the twelve would be 6...and so on. So often we teach algorithms that aren't rooted in understanding; tell students to divide 12 by 4 and multiply by one is far more meaningful when they have built it and seen it for themselves!<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, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="1250" data-original-width="1600" height="500" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JSgSouusnzw/Wm6EamD4e7I/AAAAAAAAaso/my8b4njbr6MrxgejhGFlrm82FDXAOKakgCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B28%252C%2B8%2B15%2B51%2BPM.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="640" /></a></div><br />Providing these constructivist experiences builds so much more understanding than merely teaching students the algorithm. Does the algorithm work? You bet--but it will make so much more sense after they have seen WHY it works. Eventually, we can tie those counters to more abstract things...1/4 of 12 counters could REPRESENT 1/4 of 12 math problems on a test.<br /><br />I love the Skittles activity I do with students that really gets them thinking about how fractions can be parts of sets. It's one of the activities in <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571">my fraction unit</a> if you are interested in checking that out.</div><div><br /></div><div>As I hinted at above--we can certainly grab math counters and model this type of math. I also feel it's critical to help students see how it's true in the real world. When WOULD we need to find fractions of a set? Can your students brainstorm examples? It's essential that we do everything we can to help our students understand that we teach fractions for a reason--not because it's the next unit in a textbook! If 1/3 of the oranges are moldy...or 3/4 of the class joined the band...you get the picture!</div><div><br /></div><div>One more point. We can certainly find fractions of sets of OBJECTS, but in the "real world", we also find fractions of sets of less "visible" things. We can talk about counting 2/3 of a crowd...about getting 9/10 of the problems right on a test...or "feeling 9/10 better". All of these are more abstract concepts that we can tie to fractions of sets.</div><div><br /></div><h3>Fractions with Units of Measure</h3><div>Another area of fraction instruction that is often overlooked--or taught briefly during measurement units--is the idea that we use fractions with measurement concepts as well. Again, this is a much more abstract concept for some...less tangible than half of a pizza, for sure.</div><div><br /></div><div>Because measurement is such an important real-life skill, it is important that we DO address fractions with respect to measurement. There are many ways to tackle this, but let's just consider a length model. What does a ruler look like? A number line! It's really a perfect tool to explore "wholes" and "parts". Helping students recognize that there are numbers between the whole inches (or cm) is a perfect tie to fraction studies. After all, there is no way everything in the world could be measured in whole inches, right? We need those fractional parts. Many students struggle to located fractions on a ruler, so it's a great time to tie in some fraction work. </div><div><br /></div><div>Consider putting a ruler under the document camera and studying it. Do some paper strip folding where you measure inches, fold halves, and so on. It's also a great way to do some equivalent fraction work...1/2 inch is the same as 2/4 which is the same length as 4/8. It isn't just length, however.</div><div><br /></div><div>What is a 1/2 hour? 1/4 hour? How about the 3 1/4 cups of flour you need for a recipe? Making these connections is a logical extension of fractional reasoning--and one that is often overlooked. Quality <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fraction-Common-Core-Word-Problem-Collection-Grade-4-5-679270">fraction word problems</a> can help make these real-world connections!</div><div><br /></div><div><h3>Students Need to "DO" Fractions!</h3></div><div>So...my final thought for today is that we need to have students DOING fractions...they need to be looking at rulers and folding paper and making connections to the real world. If we invest in that type of work, the computation will follow.<br /><br />I hope I've given you a little to think about as you do your fraction planning. We so often rely on what our math series provide us--but sometimes we need to think past what is given to us and make our students' math experience more diverse and rich.<br /><br />Interested in my fraction unit?<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, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="960" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EaxDmwdX5tE/Wm6dRzQUp1I/AAAAAAAAatA/LkXjA6gIqVQUQl7oEKV-MvOk9MuI0JW1ACLcBGAs/s320/fraction%2Bunit%2Bnew%2Bcover.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div>How about a bundle of 10 quality fraction resources at a discounted price? Here you go!</div><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hands-On-Fraction-Bundle-10-Hands-On-Fraction-Resources-for-Grades-3-5-3280070"><img alt="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="960" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-py4bCaDxf9U/Wm6dRzMnyMI/AAAAAAAAatE/TpDkS_r18-odFM3G3IfzmUltz449hz2KgCLcBGAs/s320/fraction%2Bbundle%2Btoolkit%2Bnew%2Bcover.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Rather 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/Hands-On-Fraction-Bundle-10-Hands-On-Fraction-Resources-for-Grades-3-5-3280070"><img alt="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GWkla6RxaPU/Wm6e1t-6NSI/AAAAAAAAatU/uLzCtl3vFlsStXsmuFhF6lLntZy0XnatQCLcBGAs/s640/fraction%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bnew%2Bseries%2Bpost%2B3%2Bsets%2Bwholes%2Bmeasurement%2Bpin.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-3439493067170684242018-01-15T13:10:00.000-06:002018-02-10T18:23:51.308-06:00Getting Students Ready to Learn Fractions: Gradual Release and MoreIn my earlier post, I talked about the many factors that make fractions challenging for students. If you missed it, you can read it by clicking <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2018/01/what-makes-teaching-fractions-so.html">RIGHT HERE</a>. Before my next few posts where I tackle some "in the trenches" ideas about fractions, I want to talk about an instructional strategy that is true in good math instruction across ALL topics.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hands-On-Fraction-Bundle-10-Hands-On-Fraction-Resources-for-Grades-3-5-3280070"><img alt="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7JGZCGdWDe8/Wlz0EZAcRsI/AAAAAAAAaqs/l8-3fiUErpMxYfUM1CtuMCCsxoMi8-I9gCLcBGAs/s640/gradual%2Brelease%2Bpost%2Bfraction%2Bheader.jpg" title="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" width="640" /></a></div><h3><a name='more'></a>What is "Gradual Release" of Instruction?</h3>So although I want to continue to address some of these foundation fraction concepts that can be so difficult, I want to stress something that is true in math instruction overall--not just for fractions. When we want to utilize a gradual release of instruction model, we often think of the following:<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>I show the students.</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>We do it together.</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>They try it alone.</b></div><br /><br />Now, I'm not going to lie. I feel this is a very over-simplified model of what a true gradual release of instruction plan should involve. A true gradual release is NOT linear; it is recursive and cycles around and around as we layer our instruction. That's for another day! But what I see happening oftentimes is that we teach, we practice, and then we assess--and the results of the assessment don't always make us so happy.<br /><br />I'm going to propose a SECOND type of gradual release that is particularly pertinent in math instruction. It looks a little something like this.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hands-On-Fraction-Bundle-10-Hands-On-Fraction-Resources-for-Grades-3-5-3280070"><img alt="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="1280" height="360" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TxjmTt6u2Bc/WlPNCxAyy6I/AAAAAAAAank/LPLQKww2R9om3JcOBDgwMZLf0Nv2IgyegCLcBGAs/s640/concrete%2Bto%2Babstract%2Barrow%2Bimage.jpg" title="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Now, what this arrow represents is that when we introduce a concept like fractions, it is absolutely critical that we provide our students with the opportunity to spend time--lots of time--in the world of the concrete. Whether this means paper folding, using pre-made fraction manipulatives, base ten blocks, actual pans of brownies, paper pizzas--WHATEVER--we must immerse students in experiences where they see, feel, and move objects to make discoveries.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">As we do this, it is important that we help students start to make connections between these "objects" and the real world. This is where stories, real-world examples, and meaningful problem solving come in to play.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Here's an example. A student with very little fractional understanding or experience can perhaps start to make connections when we present a problem like this.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b>"Sue walked into a bakery to buy some cookies for her family. She noticed that each tray held 24 cookies. If half of the cookies on one of the trays had sprinkles, how many would that be? What if half of the cookies with sprinkles also had chocolate chips--how many would that be?"</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">The problem we have shared is essentially this: "What is 1/4 of 24?", a problem that surfaces in most fraction units later on...and usually with a page full of similar problems. By telling the story in context, helping students visualize ("Can you imagine what that tray of cookies might look like?"), perhaps even sketch or model it--this more advanced skill is very accessible to even the most beginning student. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Only after spending time building, folding, exploring, playing, and "seeing" how fractions make sense in the world should we move to these "bare number" tasks...tasks like:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b>3/4 + 4/4 = ?</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b>5 x 3/8 = ?</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b>Generate a list of 3 fractions equivalent to 4/5.</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">These are all the types of questions that we find rampant in our textbooks and teaching resources--and they DO have value. The question is WHEN. WHEN does it make sense to do these? In my view, the correct timing is when the understanding is there and students need simply to work on the fluency and accuracy of the tasks. Students do not learn best by doing tasks like this; they learn to get more fluent and adept at tasks like this if the foundations have been clearly set.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hands-On-Fraction-Bundle-10-Hands-On-Fraction-Resources-for-Grades-3-5-3280070"><img alt="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="1280" height="360" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QvKgRQ0l8rc/WlPNC9u_q7I/AAAAAAAAano/H4RMtsIGE_og53x-1TQGaDCnXteFkdLWgCLcBGAs/s640/concrete%2Bto%2Babstract%2Barrow%2Bwith%2Bdescription.jpg" title="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><h3>I really thought they were understanding...</h3><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/325122?v=6" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="768" height="300" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZQPh8jgT0Y4/Wl0zcrxZjZI/AAAAAAAAarg/FtMfKaJHLpwv-5NeNok-JQUH5t2XIDKjQCEwYBhgL/s320/want%2Bmore%2Bfraction%2Bhelp%2Bbutton%2Bto%2Benter%2Bfraction%2Bsequence.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>One thing I have found--especially for the more beginning levels of fractions, is that students may seem to be understanding. They fill in the answers correctly on their practice sheets. They can identify a given fraction. They may even be able to do the bare number tasks listed above...but do any of these show a TRUE understanding of fractions and their real-world application? That takes us, as teachers, getting in trenches with them watching, listening, and asking questions.</div><div><br /></div><div>Provide students with open-ended tasks and challenges that give them time to explore, discuss, and for YOU to observe. If your math series is full of computation--that's fine! Just WAIT to do that work until students have demonstrated readiness. Unfortunately, many series don't give us enough of these experiences, which is what led to the unit I created to use with my own students and many of the other fraction resources in my store. I simply didn't feel as though we spent enough time on the left side of the arrow. If you want to see more, here are the links to a few resources. See you soon for more fraction thinking!<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">Want to check out the fraction unit I use?</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="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="960" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yitsFxRWLH8/Wlz6IxHXrPI/AAAAAAAAarQ/N_MtQm9o1JYvxk2LKT2ABZrTfLz1odOkgCEwYBhgL/s320/fraction%2Bunit%2Bnew%2Bcover.jpg" title="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="text-align: center;">How about a bundled set of TEN fraction resources that support best practices?</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hands-On-Fraction-Bundle-10-Hands-On-Fraction-Resources-for-Grades-3-5-3280070"><img alt="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="960" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-w4ZCNTcOyCE/Wlz6IoxAmdI/AAAAAAAAarM/PNaLSbPAKPwkH51el2xwY9V0KMTU_0JVQCLcBGAs/s320/fraction%2Bbundle%2Btoolkit%2Bnew%2Bcover.jpg" title="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Do you want to pin this for later? </div></div><div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hands-On-Fraction-Bundle-10-Hands-On-Fraction-Resources-for-Grades-3-5-3280070"><img alt="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-J1XYlMoqxmg/Wlz3XWCWzGI/AAAAAAAAaq4/oe2KArSDX78n8yPVpftNz7NzU1kkFljhgCLcBGAs/s640/fraction%2Bpost%2Bgradual%2Brelease%2Bpin%2Bimage.jpg" title="Teaching fractions is challenging--but if we use a gradual release of instruction method we have the best chance of deep fraction understanding. Perfect for third grade fractions, fourth grade fractions, fifth grade fractions, fraction unit, fraction lessons, fraction activities" width="320" /></a></div><br /></div></div><script src="https://assets.convertkit.com/assets/CKJS4.js?v=21"></script> <br /><div class="ck_form_container ck_modal ck_form_v6" data-ck-version="6" id="ck_modal"><div class="ck_form ck_vertical_subscription_form"><div class="ck_form_content"><h3 class="ck_form_title">More fractions? YES!</h3><div class="ck_description"><span class="ck_image"> <img alt="Smaller new logo" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/convertkit/subscription_forms/images/005/136/657/standard/smaller_new_logo.png?1516032079" /> </span> <br />Let me send you a freebie and more ideas to try in YOUR classroom!</div></div><div class="ck_form_fields"><div id="ck_success_msg" style="display: none;">You got it! Check your email for your first fraction freebie...give it a try in YOUR classroom and see what you think! 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border-color: #ffffff; color: #000000; opacity: 1; -webkit-transition: all 200ms ease; transition: all 200ms ease; } .ck_modal_open { overflow: hidden; } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_form { margin-left: -180px; width: 360px; } } @media all and (min-width: 500px) { .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_close_link { position: fixed; } } @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_form { left: 0; margin-left: 0; width: 100%; } .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_close_link { border: 0; color: #000000; font-size: 18px; height: 30px; line-height: 30px; right: 10px; top: 35px; width: 30px; } } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_form { margin: 0; } .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_close_link { right: 5px; top: 5px; } } </style> The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-91314280809200480272018-01-09T18:33:00.000-06:002018-02-20T09:25:15.868-06:00What makes teaching fractions so challenging?If you have followed me or seen any of my webinars, you know that I wholeheartedly believe that all students can learn math at a high level--and we, as teachers, need to constantly strive to refine our teaching strategies and methods so that we reach ALL students...no matter their starting point. This is especially true for fractions which can be one of the most challenging things we teach. This post begins a series about fraction instruction that I hope you find helpful and meaningful.<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, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-S4W8gwqr3nc/WlVX-JxfiKI/AAAAAAAAapE/Eaj8A01cIrwF15rVWcTktSDVZc0ZhgqtgCLcBGAs/s640/what%2Bmakes%2Bfractions%2Bchallenging%2Bheader%2B.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="640" /></a></div><a name='more'></a><br />To begin, I don't think it would be surprising if I told you that a majority of intermediate grade teachers declare that fractions are one of (or THE) most challenging concept for them to teach--and for their students to learn. So why is this? And more importantly--what can we do about it?! These questions will be the foundation for this series of blog posts. We CAN make a difference in how we reach our students and deepen their fraction knowledge.<br /><h2>What makes fractions so challenging to teach?</h2>I have done some research (formal and informal) by looking at what the experts have said and by asking countless teachers in the trenches, and I think I have some answers as to what makes this topic so overwhelming for many. Why is this important? If we can identify the stumbling blocks, then we can start to chip away at them and begin to learn more about what WILL work and how we can overcome these obstacles. I am constantly on a quest to find ways to "make sense" of fractions for my students (which is what led to me creating a <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571">full fraction unit</a> to use with my students!)<br /><h3> Fractions are not always "concrete".</h3><div>Although we may start our fraction instruction with objects--perhaps paper folding or plastic fraction pieces--we too often move very quickly past these real-world models to paper and pencil computation. I'm going to argue that even <b>drawings</b> of fractions fail to be concrete enough for some students with limited fraction sense. To many, this is just a circle with lines. The physical act of cutting, folding, and manipulating is so important for many.</div><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yxaXolrP2cc/WlOz-ffiKAI/AAAAAAAAam4/Bse5yQ-0YbgAj4fA8MkiFSGKsOVTv00jQCLcBGAs/s1600/Colorful%2BFractions%2BCircle1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="824" data-original-width="824" height="200" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yxaXolrP2cc/WlOz-ffiKAI/AAAAAAAAam4/Bse5yQ-0YbgAj4fA8MkiFSGKsOVTv00jQCLcBGAs/s200/Colorful%2BFractions%2BCircle1.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div>To make matters more complicated--this is just the beginning! When we multiply whole numbers, we can make "groups of" objects, right? 3 times 6 can be represented by 3 piles of 6 objects. Do we take the time to really make our more advanced fraction concepts such as multiplying and dividing concrete? Do students really "see" what happens when we multiply fractions (HINT: We can still model 3 groups of 1/4 or 6 groups of 2/3...and it can make a huge difference!). When we move too quickly to "bare numbers", we make a lot of assumptions about what our students truly understand.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><h3>Fractions are numbers--really!</h3><div>Here's another statement that seems a little obvious, right? Of course, fractions are numbers! But wait...try to get yourself into the mindset of a struggling student. We show them pictures of pizzas and candy bars cut into little pieces. We talk about the pictures in different ways...and we help students learn to "label" them as representing 1/5 or 3/8 or whatever the picture represents. Do we really help them understand that fractions allow us to represent real numbers--and even parts of numbers? That when we have a drawing of 3/8, it means that we have LESS than a whole object or amount? That fractions allow us to show amounts BETWEEN whole numbers? This is a critical part of fractional understanding; the drawings we use to show fractions are merely representations of numbers from a number line. More to come in upcoming posts.<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://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zwTKkWb7_og/WlVQQbU6F7I/AAAAAAAAaow/jYTmMVmu3IEnTNW5IPjTLX3-hmgaTGpLwCEwYBhgL/s1600/possible%2Bnumber%2Bline%2Bfraction%2Bad.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="816" height="564" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zwTKkWb7_og/WlVQQbU6F7I/AAAAAAAAaow/jYTmMVmu3IEnTNW5IPjTLX3-hmgaTGpLwCEwYBhgL/s640/possible%2Bnumber%2Bline%2Bfraction%2Bad.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">(These number lines are a part of my fraction number line resource--also part of my 10 resource fraction toolkit)</td></tr></tbody></table></div><h3>The understanding of "unit fraction" is missing</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zlj6H_J9vb0/WlVZC3vrd-I/AAAAAAAAapQ/QjhZHlcl8fMaiGEdXmq1J2wr81WVgtDBQCLcBGAs/s1600/Photo%2BJan%2B09%252C%2B6%2B05%2B15%2BPM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="1421" data-original-width="1600" height="568" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zlj6H_J9vb0/WlVZC3vrd-I/AAAAAAAAapQ/QjhZHlcl8fMaiGEdXmq1J2wr81WVgtDBQCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BJan%2B09%252C%2B6%2B05%2B15%2BPM.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="640" /></a></div><div>This leads me directly to this concept. The term "unit fraction" refers to a fraction with a </div><div>"1" in the numerator...such as 1/4, 1/7, or even 1/500. Understanding that this is "unit" of measure or amount is so critical. I like to interchange the terms "unit fraction" and "counting fraction" with my students because I really want them to understand that, just like whole numbers, unit fractions can be counted, added, subtracted, composed and decomposed--and more.</div><div><br /></div><div>In the primary years, a great deal of time is spent counting whole numbers in different ways--by ones. By 5's. By 10's. We even practice counting backward which helps develop subtraction understanding. The same is true for fractions--and we really cannot make assumptions that all our students can do this automatically.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/325122?v=6" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="768" height="300" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1niFQG4vDQM/Wow9jIpDYFI/AAAAAAAAawg/JxMFoQMgeLUHX5BoUf_3nfQv2HsAEZdewCLcBGAs/s320/want%2Bmore%2Bfraction%2Bhelp%2Bbutton%2Bto%2Benter%2Bfraction%2Bsequence.jpg" width="320" /></a></div></div><div>When we count fractional parts ("unit fractions") using manipulatives, on number lines, and even orally, it helps build that understanding that fractions are numbers. It helps students begin to develop their sense of the relative size of fractions. It helps lead to a greater understanding of what happens when we count and get the same numerator and denominator (a new "whole") and then count past that to make improper fractions and mixed numbers. When we can count fractions we start to see the additive nature of them...I have 2/5 and I count up one more fifth and get 3/5--and this is something that can often be missing in student understanding if time isn't spent working on this. It really forms the foundation for addition and subtraction of fractions--and is truly an essential skill.</div><div><br /></div><div>In fact, this is one of the first interventions I do with students who are struggling. I get out a manipulative of some type (I linked to some of my favorites...note, these are affiliate links) and we practice counting. We notice what happens when we reach a "whole" and then beyond. We essentially "play" with these counting fractions and then begin to record our findings on paper and pencil. I will often pull these back out when reteaching is needed.<br /><br />Also, consider when you look for manipulatives that some have the fractional part written on them and others are blank--both are great, but make your decisions based on what you want to accomplish. Similarly, if you ONLY use circles or ONLY use fraction bars, students may struggle to generalize the learning. Even using tools like pattern blocks can be really helpful as you study basic fraction concepts.</div><div><br /></div><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=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theteastu0e-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B0017D9NJI&asins=B0017D9NJI&linkId=152803a49b4861369d4e4db5571411a3&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></iframe> <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=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theteastu0e-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B001604R1G&asins=B001604R1G&linkId=ff0e114960289576c651fc9fc2e0be61&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></iframe> <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=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theteastu0e-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00009XNTF&asins=B00009XNTF&linkId=67a643f76caa0011697ffa176b795216&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></iframe> <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=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theteastu0e-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B002JF26PQ&asins=B002JF26PQ&linkId=174687a7552be79a324bea06f882ef42&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></iframe><br /><h3>Fraction notation and terminology can be challenging</h3><div>So, when talking about playing with unit fractions and counting fractions, I mentioned that I work to connect the physical fractions (fraction circles, folded paper, etc) to the written symbols--and this leads me to yet another challenge associated with fractions--notation and terminology. We throw around words like "numerator" and "denominator" and sometimes forget that students may not have internalized those terms and have most likely never heard them. Words like "equivalence" and "improper" and "reduce" can also add to the confusion. If you see my other posts from the past (or other lessons from <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Improving-Deep-Fraction-Understanding-A-Fraction-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-625571">my fraction unit</a>)<br /><br />To make it worse? We can write fractions in different ways! Check out the image below--and then think through the lens of a struggling mathematician. Both of the green fractions represent the same thing--but they are written in two different ways. One, if written carelessly, could end up looking like 2,110--the other is easy to read but difficult to make using technology. How about the purple ones? Students need to understand that both of those are the same value--written in two different ways. Even understanding that the "1" is a "whole" and the 7/8 represents part of another whole can be confusing for many. We need to be constantly assessing for this type of misunderstanding. Finally, with a tie back to unit fractions, students need to understand that one "whole" is the same as when it is notated with the same numerator and denominator. We cannot make assumptions that this understanding is in place. Dig in and find out--and fix any misconceptions along the way.<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, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="768" height="375" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4uXc7Xq7lEs/WlPCio6BwCI/AAAAAAAAanM/_MErLJ8jKScLTztZedRIWwYShsKikqlXACLcBGAs/s400/what%2Bmakes%2Bfractions%2Bso%2Bchallenging%2Bimage%2Bconfusing%2Bnotation.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="400" /></a></div></div><h3>Fractions appear in multiple contexts</h3><div>I'm almost finished--I promise! I know so many of these things seem trivial--but if we don't catch them in our strugglers, we just keep moving them forward with an unstable foundation--and we KNOW that really understanding fractions is the key to success in algebra and other upper math classes. We can't fail our students!<br /><br />Another frustration for students is that fractions appear in so many contexts. We can divide a pizza in fourths. We can divide SETS of things (like bags of jelly beans or baseballs) into groups. We need to learn how to use fractions of more abstract things like units of measure--like fractions of an inch or a pound. It's no wonder students get confused--1/2 can mean so many different things! Even thinking about 1/2 of a pizza...is it a 7 inch pizza? A 16 inch pizza? Are those halves the same? What about 1/2 of the pizzas in the restaurant? Or half of a slice?<br /><br />Because 1/2 can VARY, this is extremely confusing to many students. In fact, this challenge forms the foundation of a great deal of the fraction work I do in my class--to really help students grasp how fluid fractions are. You can see lots of examples of this in my complete fraction unit that has been such a game changer for me and literally thousands of teachers who have used it.</div><div><br /></div><h3>A <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181">growth mindset</a> is missing!</h3><div>This is perhaps the hardest to overcome. Students aren't born thinking fractions are hard--somewhere along the way, they have gotten this message. Whether it be from their families ("I was terrible at fractions, too!") or the way we, as teachers, present the information--somehow we are sending messages that fractions are our nemesis, something only to be understood by the lucky ones. We have to think about our own biases and make sure we are NOT sending those fixed mindset messages to our students. Fractions ARE accessible to everyone...but we do need to make sure that we build and nurture a strong foundation of understanding and a <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181">mindset of growth and perseverance</a>.</div><div><br /></div><div>I hope I gave you some things to think about today--and stay tuned for more fractions posts coming soon!</div><div><br /></div><div>Want to check out the unit I was referring to?<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, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="960" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t8spajaFKX8/WlVXirVjF7I/AAAAAAAAao8/anHwHaq15xAuSY2gcWJ-4UwzoVienGOCACLcBGAs/s320/fraction%2Bunit%2Bnew%2Bcover.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div></div><div>Want to check out a bundle of 10 fraction resources I use to help build this understanding?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hands-On-Fraction-Bundle-10-Hands-On-Fraction-Resources-for-Grades-3-5-3280070"><img alt="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="960" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eAyIcLfcz4Y/WlVXmhuwBlI/AAAAAAAAapA/vBgwxNrtxaoPx73WF_0Z5cy8KGXojeUKwCLcBGAs/s320/fraction%2Bbundle%2Btoolkit%2Bnew%2Bcover.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div><br /></div><div><script src="https://assets.convertkit.com/assets/CKJS4.js?v=21"></script> <br /><div class="ck_form_container ck_modal ck_form_v6" data-ck-version="6" id="ck_modal"><div class="ck_form ck_vertical_subscription_form"><div class="ck_form_content"><h3 class="ck_form_title">More fractions? 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border-color: #ffffff; color: #000000; opacity: 1; -webkit-transition: all 200ms ease; transition: all 200ms ease; } .ck_modal_open { overflow: hidden; } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_form { margin-left: -180px; width: 360px; } } @media all and (min-width: 500px) { .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_close_link { position: fixed; } } @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_form { left: 0; margin-left: 0; width: 100%; } .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_close_link { border: 0; color: #000000; font-size: 18px; height: 30px; line-height: 30px; right: 10px; top: 35px; width: 30px; } } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_form { margin: 0; } .ck_modal.ck_form_v6 .ck_close_link { right: 5px; top: 5px; } } </style> Want to pin this for later?<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, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BqyUr7OLz2k/WlVbDM4W0kI/AAAAAAAAapc/xjz43O9iZdYR_5h2NDK5t40lgnS7RoM1QCLcBGAs/s640/why%2Bare%2Bfractions%2Bso%2Bchallenging%2Bpost%2Bimage%2B.jpg" title="Teaching fractions, fraction lessons, fraction lesson plans, fraction activities, common core fractions, common core math, third grade common core, fourth grade common core, equivalent fractions, fraction unit, fraction resources grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, fifth grade, fourth grade, third grade, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div><br /></div><h3></h3>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-56080484629933385642017-12-31T18:05:00.000-06:002017-12-31T18:05:02.822-06:00Teaching Comparison Problems It's my day to blog over at Upper Elementary Snapshots! Check out today's post all about teaching COMPARISON PROBLEMS...and how important it is to help students really dig deeply into their problem solving. I hope you get some helpful tips! Whether you call them comparison problems, tape diagrams, or strip diagrams--these problems can really helps students "make sense" of problems.<br /><br /> Just click the image to take you there...<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2017/12/comparison-problems-using-tape-diagrams.html"><img alt="comparison problems, word problems, tape diagrams, strip diagrams, problem solving, teaching comparison problems, grade 3 math, grade 4 math, grade 5 math, comparison word problems" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IEOSFkZ14Y8/Wkl6R8nLkWI/AAAAAAAAah4/9eR6aWPfdIM1rIgihWM1NUQk6sjlpSq1QCLcBGAs/s640/comparison%2BUES%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bheader.jpg" title="comparison problems, word problems, tape diagrams, strip diagrams, problem solving, teaching comparison problems, grade 3 math, grade 4 math, grade 5 math, comparison word problems" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qJvJKpTFPAo/Wkl6h3i0qMI/AAAAAAAAaiA/5H8-bml-x9kyQKeNevst6jloC_oPdZuDQCLcBGAs/s1600/convert%2Bkit%2Bsignature.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="288" data-original-width="672" height="85" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qJvJKpTFPAo/Wkl6h3i0qMI/AAAAAAAAaiA/5H8-bml-x9kyQKeNevst6jloC_oPdZuDQCLcBGAs/s200/convert%2Bkit%2Bsignature.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-614987338143097212017-12-29T15:25:00.000-06:002018-02-10T18:24:47.213-06:0010 Tips for test prep--without sacrificing teaching time<div style="text-align: center;">It's coming for many of our upper elementary teachers and students. They have thought about it. Worried about it. </div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-large;">The. Test.</span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pausing-Points-Test-Taking-Strategies-1738271?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=blog%20post%20test%20prep%20test%20prep%20resource"><img alt="test prep, test taking, test preparation, standardized test prep, preparing students for standardized tests, test taking strategies, test taking tips, best practices, test prep resources, critical reading" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--AZfhI0BQ8I/Wkav3eCIGzI/AAAAAAAAaf0/CN28MmnG6jI9unzLatSHCQWmoLHPLff8gCLcBGAs/s640/improved%2Btest%2Bprep%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bheader.jpg" title="test prep, test taking, test preparation, standardized test prep, preparing students for standardized tests, test taking strategies, test taking tips, best practices, test prep resources, critical reading" width="640" /></a></div>This is something that I have thought about a great deal. I hear so many stories about teachers, schools and districts who set aside real teaching and learning to prepare for tests that are simply supposed to be a "dipstick" to measure the state of affairs in our classrooms. I am a believer (to a degree) in some forms of standardized testing. Districts need to get some feedback on how their students and programs are performing. That being said, the evolution of testing into high stakes, pressure-riddled experiences for teachers and students about sends me over the edge. Because I think this is so important, I have revisited a post I wrote last year about this time to make sure that we continue to think about what is important about testing--and the number one thing we need to remember is our students and what best practices in education really are.<br /><a name='more'></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Teachers around the country are worried about if they are preparing their students well enough. If they have given them enough practice opportunities. If they have spent their instructional minutes providing them with EXACTLY the right amount of exposure to what they will see on the test.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">I don't.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">I don't make pages of practice questions. I don't do a "real" test preparation unit. I don't provide ongoing practice on key skills I know will be on the test. It's not worth my time. I'm not preparing a group of students to be test takers. I am teaching them how to think and how to learn and how to tackle ANY problem they encounter--with energy, with perseverance, and with an "I can do this!" attitude.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that students who can read, who can think, who are willing to try will do as well or BETTER than students who are given hours of fill in the blank practice. I want students to learn how to do well on these tests without me telling them what to do and spending hours of their precious time drilling. I want them to DISCOVER how to be successful by putting them in situations where they can learn this genre in a meaningful way. Now--before you accuse me of doing my students a disservice, let me tell you what I DO do! Hopefully you might find a little morsel of information or inspiration below!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">1. I do teach my students about multiple choice questions. In fact, I try to get them in the minds of a test writer by teaching them about distractors and even having them try writing questions with a right answer, a distractor, and two other relevant answers. We even talk about the art of "coloring the bubble".</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">2. I do teach my students about healthy testing behaviors like getting sleep, eating well, and relaxing for best performance.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pausing-Points-Test-Taking-Strategies-1738271"><img alt="test prep, test taking, test preparation, standardized test prep, preparing students for standardized tests, test taking strategies, test taking tips, best practices, test prep resources, critical reading" border="0" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wGnrPsnNOKI/VttjYItkImI/AAAAAAAAP1Y/k3prne9MGng/s640/Photo%2BMar%2B05%252C%2B4%2B51%2B35%2BPM.jpg" title="test prep, test taking, test preparation, standardized test prep, preparing students for standardized tests, test taking strategies, test taking tips, best practices, test prep resources, critical reading" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">3. I do teach my students about reading critically, about going back into texts to find answers, about thinking about what authors are trying to tell us.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">4. I do teach my students about staying focused and checking over their work.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">5. I do teach my students about answering questions fully and providing evidence found in the texts.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">6. I do teach my students about what to do when they encounter a challenging problem. We learn all sorts of strategies that gives us POWER...how to reread directions. How to find key words. How to "give it a try" on scratch paper. Even how to SKIP it if it is interfering--and then we come back later. I use resources like my <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Problem-Solving-Teaching-Perseverance-and-Math-Practices-997255?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=test%20prep%20blog%20post%20perseverance">perseverance problems</a> and <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Problem-Solving-BUNDLE-2222043">open ended challenges</a> for this. Students love the tasks--and don't have any clue that they are really "readying" themselves to do test taking.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Differentiated-Pattern-Task-Cards-Grades-3-5-2172358?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=test%20taking%20blog%20post"><img alt="test prep, test taking, test preparation, standardized test prep, preparing students for standardized tests, test taking strategies, test taking tips, best practices, test prep resources, critical reading" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YVrjPQnZ_LQ/VtthklRUVZI/AAAAAAAAP1Q/o3P6EDgXmv8/s640/Photo%2BMar%2B05%252C%2B4%2B44%2B31%2BPM.jpg" title="test prep, test taking, test preparation, standardized test prep, preparing students for standardized tests, test taking strategies, test taking tips, best practices, test prep resources, critical reading, patterns, teaching patterns" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">7. I teach my students about problem solving and <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Differentiated-Pattern-Task-Cards-Grades-3-5-2172358?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=test%20taking%20blog%20post">looking for patterns</a>.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">8. I teach my students to read all sorts of materials...stories...poems...articles...graphs...infographics. I have really increased the amount of informational reading that I do throughout the year, and I have been more deliberate about asking students to read the directions and other information BEFORE I explain it so that they are learning to be more proactive and not wait for me to help them understand what to do.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">9. I teach my students how to work with stamina so they can sit and complete a task that might take them an hour or so--without losing focus. We talk about this almost daily.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">10. I teach my students how to be ok with doing their best and having an "I can do it!" attitude. I want them to treat everything they do with that spirit...and to walk away knowing that they did their best--and that's all they can do. I want my students to walk out after the test feeling great--that they did their job...even when the questions were tough. A growth mindset is key--and we start that from the very first day of school. Want to read a post with more information about that? Just <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2017/07/teaching-growth-mindset.html#more">CLICK HERE</a>.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Do I do this with packets? Nope. Do I do this for 3 weeks straight? Nope. I do this all year long, when it's relevant...and BECAUSE it's relevant. </div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Now--don't get me wrong--we DO a practice test or two. In fact, we take it, study it, and break it apart. I have my students hunt for terms they think are tricky like "passage" or "synonym". We make anchor charts and lists of "things to know" about taking tests. We practice this in a quiet room to mimic testing situations. We talk about filling in the bubbles neatly and checking over our work so we don't miss questions. If I taught third grade, I would have to do even more of this because the test is so new. That being said, if we can teach our students to have a great attitude about trying, if they can stay focused and apply what they know, and if they can be successful at whatever task they are handed!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">How are my test scores, you might ask? My principal called me in several years ago to ask what I do...because my scores were SO much higher than the average. It was hard for me to explain. I told her, "I teach students how to learn, how to work, and how to try." </div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">One resource that has been super helpful to me is the book "Test Talk" by Amy Greene and Glennon Melton. It gives some GREAT suggestions for how to incorporate test taking strategies into your reading workshop. Check out the link below for more details. </div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></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=1571104615&asins=1571104615&linkId=UUG62VY6IQ45LWGF&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> </iframe></div><div style="text-align: center;">One final thing I do is ask my students to talk and write about all the ideas mentioned above. It needs to be more than me TELLING them these things...they need to be able to process them and construct their own meaning. I have put a lot of this together in an unusual test prep resource--in case you are interested! Thanks for stopping by--and good luck on the tests. Make sure you keep it positive and give your students the power to do well AND feel good about it!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pausing-Points-Test-Taking-Strategies-1738271?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=blog%20post%20test%20prep%20test%20prep%20resource"><img alt="test prep, test taking, test preparation, standardized test prep, preparing students for standardized tests, test taking strategies, test taking tips, best practices, test prep resources, critical reading" border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Lgus0ovDKsU/VPKPrHSzZZI/AAAAAAAANF8/jVYBKeUdKcc/s1600/Slide1.JPG" title="test prep, test taking, test preparation, standardized test prep, preparing students for standardized tests, test taking strategies, test taking tips, best practices, test prep resources, critical reading" width="240" /></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 this for later?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pausing-Points-Test-Taking-Strategies-1738271?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=blog%20post%20test%20prep%20test%20prep%20resource"><img alt="test prep, test taking, test preparation, standardized test prep, preparing students for standardized tests, test taking strategies, test taking tips, best practices, test prep resources, critical reading" border="0" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9Zink5UOJ38/VttgbgXsNUI/AAAAAAAAP1A/_TZPFcQ-I0g/s640/test%2Bprep%2Bfor%2Bprimary%2Bchalkboard.jpg" title="test prep, test taking, test preparation, standardized test prep, preparing students for standardized tests, test taking strategies, test taking tips, best practices, test prep resources, critical reading" width="394" /></a></div><center> </center>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-23819999640430128332017-12-14T19:08:00.000-06:002018-03-17T11:24:21.027-05:00Writing about mathWriting about math thinking is REALLY challenging. Students in the intermediate grades aren't used to taking their ideas and transferring them to paper when it comes to complex ideas! If you have asked students to "explain their thinking" about a solution, you may have noticed them writing things like:<br /><br />"First I took the 64 and the 49 and I added them. Then I took the rest away." or<br /><br />"I could tell it looked like about a half so I wrote that." OR my personal favorite...<br /><br />"I just knew it in my head." (You've heard this, right? It's not just me?)<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?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=december%2014%20blog%20post%20writing%20about%20fractions%20fraction%20unit"><img alt="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-H48H0UHX96Q/WjMd35UNc6I/AAAAAAAAadY/Uxe1oIFRenk303xyaSlUCPUdtAFgDwi5ACLcBGAs/s640/writing%2Babout%2Bmath%2Bcover%2Bimage%2Bdecember%2B14%2B2017.jpg" title="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" width="640" /></a></div><br /><h3>What do the Standards for Mathematical Practice Say?</h3>The Standards for Mathematical Practice and other rigorous math standards have made it clear that we need our students to get better at explaining their thinking and critiquing the reasoning of others (and themselves!). The standards mention things like, "make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements" and "justify their conclusions" and "communicate them to others" and more. So how do we get our students to dig deeper and explain their thinking more clearly? (Want to see how I help my students understand these standards? Just <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Math-Practice-Standards-Self-Assessment-Checklists-3224089?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=writingabout%20math%20post%20math%20practice%20resource">CLICK HERE</a>.)<br /><a name='more'></a><br /><br />Today I presented my students with one of the fraction challenges in my fraction unit to see a few things--one, if they had internalized an important fraction concept we had been working on and, two, how they were doing with their "explaining their thinking".<br /><br />I learned a few things! First of all--almost ALL students got the right answer! #boom<br /><br />Secondly, our written explanations were in dire need of some work!<br /><br />I thought I'd share with you my next steps--because I REALLY want to see my students make gains in this area...and stay tuned over the next weeks for an update!<br /><br /><h3>Coaching Students Toward Better Math Explanations</h3><div>As I was "walking the room" as students were working, I noticed that very few students were writing what I considered to be a quality explanation. I began to wonder if they REALLY knew what I meant when I said, "Write a clear explanation." </div><div><br /></div><div>I have noticed that students tend to write procedures rather than thinking. Instead of writing, "I read that I needed to find the difference between the two amounts so I needed to subtract.", students write, "I subtracted 53 from 82." I try to tell them to let their math computation speak for itself and let their explanations explain the WHY...but it's hard!</div><div><br /></div><div>I started by having students work in trios to share their explanations. They needed to read it aloud and listen to see if they heard WHY and HOW in the explanations. After a few minutes, I asked if any groups had heard any explanations that they thought did a good job. As students nominated other students, I asked their permission to share under the document camera. I reminded them that we weren't looking for perfection--just for ideas on how to improve our work. I got six samples that we then looked at together. We collected words and phrases like "proved" and math words like "equivalent" as we went, talking about how important it is to be specific with our explanations.</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?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=december%2014%20blog%20post%20writing%20about%20fractions%20fraction%20unit"><img alt="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1406" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Qgk28YURGxU/WjMTJxSiEUI/AAAAAAAAacU/zKJXrwDyZU0QgLC0QjXk15L3hGYc70FvQCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B14%252C%2B6%2B07%2B53%2BPM.jpg" title="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" width="562" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div>So...we generated a list of fraction words we might expect in this problem...and made it clear that each type of problem will have math vocabulary specific to it that a reader would expect to see.</div><div><br /></div><div>I also shared with them an anchor chart I whipped up quickly with some sentence stems...phrases to get them "unstuck" when writing about math. There are so many more--but I wanted them to see that there are different types of writing about math, and you have to choose what makes sense. We tested these with our fraction problem and realized that the third one might be really useful. "I knew that the larger shapes would divide the rectangle into fourths so..." or something like that. </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?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=december%2014%20blog%20post%20writing%20about%20fractions%20fraction%20unit"><img alt="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" border="0" data-original-height="1229" data-original-width="1600" height="490" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OTJx3N6L4HM/WjMVFjtji-I/AAAAAAAAacg/pXoAgMEETDYWv_55RjzpgE4NEtfyi2o1gCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B14%252C%2B6%2B07%2B18%2BPM.jpg" title="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" width="640" /></a></div><h3>Revising Their Thinking</h3><div>So the real learning comes in when students take in these student models, the vocabulary list we generated, and these writing stems to set out to revise and improve their own work. It's not enough to see other people do it--students need a chance to "give it a go" on their own--so off they went to make improvements. When they finished, the met back with their original trio to see if the group agreed with the improvements! Mission accomplished!</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?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=december%2014%20blog%20post%20writing%20about%20fractions%20fraction%20unit"><img alt="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fIHFfWwynEU/WjMVn72ByoI/AAAAAAAAaco/gJ3NGvG7so0GZtj93hOMo5asDNfoDQ9qgCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B14%252C%2B6%2B07%2B30%2BPM.jpg" title="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" width="640" /></a></div><div>We will continue to refine our anchor chart by adding new phrases we find as we work on different problems and will continue our discussions about how to improve our math writing.</div><div><br /></div><div>Coming up next?</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?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=december%2014%20blog%20post%20writing%20about%20fractions%20fraction%20unit"><img alt="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-s5tykJ-MehU/WjMW93HHmMI/AAAAAAAAac0/95BGq6b8vsk_-yFjIo9_LxveJrbPrz1xgCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B14%252C%2B6%2B26%2B23%2BPM.jpg" title="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" width="640" /></a></div><div>If you are interested in seeing more of the fraction work we do in our class, just click the image below.</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?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=december%2014%20blog%20post%20writing%20about%20fractions%20fraction%20unit"><img alt="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-E0O3HDi4jLc/WjMY5IT45iI/AAAAAAAAadE/Kg-LbObBUHgxNgv1lG6sqJrU2A8KzDwKgCLcBGAs/s320/fraction%2Bunit%2Bcover.jpg" title="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" width="320" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div>Want to pin this for later?</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?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=december%2014%20blog%20post%20writing%20about%20fractions%20fraction%20unit"><img alt="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QW1eBEdMaHA/WjMcomm5P5I/AAAAAAAAadQ/BIAJ7WihnQ0EfH-PmqjxqEnbEpwQt92twCLcBGAs/s640/improving%2Bwriting%2Babout%2Bmath%2Bpost%2Bpin%2Bdecember%2B14%2B2017.jpg" title="third grade, fourth grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, grade three math, grade 4 math, fractions, teaching fractions, standards for mathematical practice, fourth grade fraction lessons, fraction activities, fraction unit, fraction resources, teaching fractions, writing about math, critique the reasoning of others" width="320" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-24821197408166086682017-12-10T19:47:00.000-06:002018-03-03T16:21:18.912-06:00Differentiated Problem Solving: A New Approach<span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">I know so many of you have been looking for a way to build deep math thinking with your intermediate students--I know this because I get questions about it all the time! </span></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Triple-Threat-Differentiated-Problem-Solving-Addition-and-Subtraction-Edition-3512457?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Triple%20Threat%20blog%20post"><img alt="problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-s801nhn29yg/Wi3hHxtFp_I/AAAAAAAAabc/LUvDcBKgD_AZInUL3lpSIUhA8EjTLEiCQCLcBGAs/s640/differentiated%2Bproblem%2Bsolving%2Bpost%2Bdecember%2B2017.jpg" title="problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources" width="640" /></a></div><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-size: 14px;"> You want your students to be challenged in new and interesting ways—and be easily able to differentiate so that ALL your students can benefit, right?<a name='more'></a></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: inherit; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: inherit; font-size: 14px;">Here's the problem...what's challenging for some is way too tricky for others, right? Or you want to give a task--and you do--and then 1/3 of your class is finished in minutes and asking for more while others have barely gotten started. (Tell me that I'm not the only one this happens to!)</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: inherit; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-size: 14px;">I set out a quest to try to find a way to get GOOD tasks into all my students' hands...but with room to expand and extend for those who are ready. I'm hoping you find this idea as appealing as I did. It took me nearly a year of mulling it over, but I think I have something to help. I have been excited to see that my students have gotten better at thinking outside the box...better at talking to each other about math...and better at organizing their work. It looks like this!</span><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" id="vp1Bsf22" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/embed.animoto.com/play.html?w=swf/production/vp1&e=1511818575&f=Bsf22iGBLl05CjaoYDF0Wg&d=0&m=p&r=360p+480p+720p&volume=100&start_res=720p&i=m&asset_domain=s3-p.animoto.com&animoto_domain=animoto.com&options=" style="font-family: inherit;" title="Video Player" width="640"></iframe></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="UserGeneratedContent" data-reactid="624" style="background-color: white; background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; color: #222222; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.3; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><span style="background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; color: black; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-weight: 600; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">My problem solving goal: </span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br style="background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;">The first thing I wanted to do was to provide teachers and students with <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Triple-Threat-Differentiated-Problem-Solving-Addition-and-Subtraction-Edition-3512457?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Triple%20Threat%20blog%20post">sets of quality math problems</a> that not only get students thinking deeply and “doing” math—but talking about it as well. I wanted it geared for grades 3-5--knowing full well that different students in that age range have different skill sets. Because of this, I wanted to find something that would be perfect for differentiation as well—so for this, not all students need to do all three parts! In fact--for some of the challenges, we only do the first part. For other tasks, SOME students move on to other challenges.</span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br style="background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;">Similarly, I wanted problems that could be done as a whole class warm up or with a smaller group, and because our curriculum is plenty full, I wanted something that would maybe last from 10-30 minutes but could be extended even more if the students are encouraged to talk and push their thinking. It's always interesting to me how the timing of problems works out...sometimes what I think will be a quick task takes so much longer, but if the discussion is good and the students are engaged--it's pretty hard to shut down the math, right?</span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br style="background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /></span><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; color: black; font-size: inherit; font-weight: 600; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">How can I incorporate this type of problem solving into my math class?</span> </span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Triple-Threat-Differentiated-Problem-Solving-Addition-and-Subtraction-Edition-3512457?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Triple%20Threat%20blog%20post"><img alt="problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1277" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IJ2GkmSF3YQ/Wi3IETHlqAI/AAAAAAAAabA/kMnNkFAsqK4Jrjfbf5RJALWEZF-F1XVEwCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B10%252C%2B5%2B41%2B00%2BPM.jpg" title="problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources" width="510" /></a></div><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;">I often get people asking me what a "typical" math class looks like in my room--and I have to be honest. THere is no such thing. I feel like I operate on a menu system...I have all these "tasty" things and I serve them up when I think it makes the most sense! That being said, here are a few suggestions for working <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Triple-Threat-Differentiated-Problem-Solving-Addition-and-Subtraction-Edition-3512457?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Triple%20Threat%20blog%20post">these quality tasks</a> into your day.</span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br style="background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;">*Use as a “bell ringer” or warm up task. The goal of this should not be getting a correct answer, but the actual WORK of doing the problem solving! Each question has a starting point which can be used whole-class (you choose how much modeling/help) and then parts 2 and 3 can be used for everyone—or just for students who are ready! The colored slides are perfect to project from your computer…you can click to the next slides to show parts 2 and 3…but if students aren’t ready, no big deal! The original problem appears on every slide!</span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br style="background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;">*Print and laminate and use as task cards at a problem solving station. These half-page cards are low ink and are perfect for math rotations, math workshop, guided math, or for fast finishers. Whether you do rotations or organize your stations differently, having quality problems ready to go really saves your time.</span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br style="background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;">*Use as a reproducible problem-solving journal. I typed these problems up in a journal format with a full page of work space for the first part of the problem--with parts 2 and 3 copied on the next page. Copying the entire journal only takes 12 pieces of paper (without the cover) and is full of the 36 tasks. These can be used in so many ways—and even flexibly within a given classroom. I have some students who only do part of the collections--and others who might have the time and motivation to do much, much more.</span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br style="background-repeat: no-repeat; border-style: solid; border-width: 0px; box-sizing: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;">*Consider using open-ended tasks as enrichment opportunities for students needing just a bit more. This is perfect--whether you have one student or a handful. They can work together, practice that accountable math talk, and push each other.</span><br /><br /><h3>Problem solving is not easy!</h3><span style="font-family: inherit;">Like many of my resources, this set of problems is certainly not meant to be a time filler! It is meant to be a rich and meaningful problem solving experience for you to use with your students. HOW you use it is up to you! I know we are all busy...but the time we invest in modeling some of the thinking and strategies needed with this type of problem REALLY pays off in the long run as students become more and more independent. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;">When I use tasks like this with MY students, there are a few things I like to make very clear and I think really contribute to building a culture for problem solving. One of the most important things that I think teachers need to keep in mind is that we often "overteach". We TELL too much. We push our own strategies and ideas onto them--even if they aren't quite ready for them. Before I used this problem with my students, I thought about how I would solve this as an adult--and then thought about what might get students off track. In this case...I did NOT want to show students my "boxes" (although for a few students I did coach them in this direction after they had worked awhile), but I DID want to make sure students understood the task--and the terms (like digits) so that they didn't waste time. I didn't TELL them what the task was...but students worked in pairs to make sense of it, then we came back as a whole group to discuss it and get on the same page.</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Triple-Threat-Differentiated-Problem-Solving-Addition-and-Subtraction-Edition-3512457?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Triple%20Threat%20blog%20post"><img alt="problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YgCpigozILU/Wi3IXghzp2I/AAAAAAAAabE/IGTX5Ga1cBs1GVodQegqp7tG7mOJbpvhgCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BDec%2B10%252C%2B5%2B40%2B23%2BPM.jpg" title="problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources" width="640" /></a></div><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span><br /><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt;">1. </span><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;">Explain to students that there may be multiple answers—and they may not even actually GET an answer—the process is far more important than the solution. A child can work diligently on these tasks and truly work their brain even if they don’t come up with a viable solution. This is a big shift for many students (and teachers!). </span><u><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt; font-weight: bold;">For this reason, I don't even make solutions available to students</span></u><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;">. Organizing work, working with precision, and explaining thinking are other key components that students need to see acknowledged and recognized. Remember, too, that this type of problem solving can take time—and students may need more than one class time to really dig in. </span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><!--[endif]--></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt;">2. </span><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;">The process of problem solving is challenging and is not black and white. For this reason, I like students to familiarize themselves with self-reflection and assessment. (The resource I have showcased has a student self-assessment checklist that can be used as a part of the reproducible journal (if used) or to use separately to help students understand how important some of these math “behaviors” are to the learning process.) </span></span><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit; font-size: 11pt; text-indent: -0.38in;"> You will also see “prove it” as a part of many of these tasks. We want students to be developing their critical reasoning and learn to defend their thinking.</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Triple-Threat-Differentiated-Problem-Solving-Addition-and-Subtraction-Edition-3512457?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Triple%20Threat%20blog%20post"><img alt="Teaching differentiated problem solving tips and ideas, problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources, assessment" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="240" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8uO2j4_gyEs/Wi3kIarhmqI/AAAAAAAAabw/w6O_Vd6wVd0rxjYHJTv6-dPubXWlBON8gCLcBGAs/s320/Slide10.JPG" title="Teaching differentiated problem solving tips and ideas, problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources, assessment" width="320" /></a></div></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /><!--[endif]--></span></div><span style="font-family: inherit;"> </span><br /><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt;">3. </span><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;">You will notice a variety of different problem “types”—from find the “misfit” to “What are ALL the ways…” to “What is the smallest…”. These problem types are meant to get students thinking outside the box and to really have to make SENSE of the problem and not fill in an answer blank. If this type of problem solving is new for your students, you may need to do more scaffolded instruction and modeling. As students try more and more, you can take a less structured role as the teacher.</span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></span></div><h3 style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;">Push Yourself!</span></span></h3><div><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></span></div><div><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;">For real. If you want to feel what students feel, try some challenging problems yourself! This can help you find areas where students might struggle--and can help you prepare to coach them better. Before I give students tasks, I spend a little time experimenting myself. I really feel this helps me get in that best teaching zone--and I challenge you to do the same!</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;">Interested in checking out this set of problems? Just click <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Triple-Threat-Differentiated-Problem-Solving-Addition-and-Subtraction-Edition-3512457?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Triple%20Threat%20blog%20post">HERE </a>or the image below.</span></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Triple-Threat-Differentiated-Problem-Solving-Addition-and-Subtraction-Edition-3512457?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Triple%20Threat%20blog%20post"><img alt="problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources" border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-n7Ubgy9TNBQ/Wi3iIKwhmVI/AAAAAAAAabk/Ipl35n_hmUEmRonwB0BBwlSHammiDzKqQCLcBGAs/s320/triple%2Bthreat%2Bproblem%2Bsolving%2Baddition%2Bsub%2Bcover.jpg" title="problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources" width="320" /></a></div><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;">Want to pin this for later? Here you go!</span></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Triple-Threat-Differentiated-Problem-Solving-Addition-and-Subtraction-Edition-3512457?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Triple%20Threat%20blog%20post"><img alt="problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wEh5Z7nj3yQ/Wi3f9Bulf9I/AAAAAAAAabU/02vCtsKJ4YspW2TNNUgLJycHo3pFva_RwCLcBGAs/s640/triple%2Bthreat%2Bpost%2Bpin%2Bdecember%2B10%2B2017.jpg" title="problem solving, differentiation, addition, subtraction, word problems, math enrichment, math workshop, math stations, guided math, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, tiered math, tiered problem solving, teaching resources" width="320" /></a></div><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: black; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></span></div></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-87482862238279471772017-11-25T11:21:00.001-06:002018-03-03T16:21:53.589-06:00Area and Perimeter: Getting Students Talking about MathResearch shows that students learn best when they are collaborating and talking about math. My 25+ years in the classroom tells me that this is, indeed, true--but I'll go a step farther and make the claim that math discourse can raise the level of engagement, motivation, and excitement as well. I thought I'd share some details about some recent area and perimeter work in my classroom to see if I can show you what I mean. The resources used in these photos are my <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=area%20and%20perimeter%20blog%20post%202017%20area%20and%20perimeter%20activities">Area and Perimeter Activities</a> and my <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Task-Cards-2441353?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=area%20and%20perimeter%20blog%20post%202017%20task%20cards">Area and Perimeter Task Cards</a>.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=area%20and%20perimeter%20blog%20post%202017%20area%20and%20perimeter%20activities"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning, assessment, task cards" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Kh3wCmjB-LE/WhmpGzms4UI/AAAAAAAAaYs/fOH2_uRu9OwU9-4B7hJDztKQyFTi6u2ZgCLcBGAs/s640/november%2B2017%2Barea%2Band%2Bperimeter%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bheader.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning, assessment, task cards" width="640" /></a></div><h3><a name='more'></a>Working in Pairs with Split Responsibilities</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=area%20and%20perimeter%20blog%20post%202017%20area%20and%20perimeter%20activities"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2GSuS7a2Vs4/WhmQowwF9ZI/AAAAAAAAaXM/_iBXKL-WXtEqjEZTg617N9EKdZG7rAgeACLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B25%252C%2B9%2B23%2B51%2BAM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="640" /></a></div> One of the first area and perimeter tasks I do is in pairs as I want to set the stage for a couple of things. One, during this unit we work almost ENTIRELY collaboratively. Two, I want students to realize the power of having a second set of eyes! We worked hard on this challenge and I gave each partner a different task--one was in charge of "building" the rectangles and one was in charge of recording. I pulled my "recording" group to help them become experts on the difference between inches and square inches and told them they were responsible for making sure that correct language was used throughout the lesson. I pulled the "builders" to tell them that their job was to ASK their partner for suggestions and to then follow through. It was a ton of fun to walk around and eavesdrop as they worked to fulfill their jobs!<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><b>(Side note: I am often asked where I get these tiles. I use them for SO MANY things...they are foam and they are inexpensive and they are quiet! My affiliate link is below if you want to see them...)</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></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=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theteastu0e-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B016DUZWYO&asins=B016DUZWYO&linkId=8e5ead1b942acd7f3b88feee7a617112&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></iframe></div><h3>The Challenge of Working in Larger Groups</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Area%20and%20Perimeter%20Post%202017%20art%20"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pLkhNTvFEq4/WhmQqTXcGKI/AAAAAAAAaXU/hLriyglr4BwC0pgoTYx3LACWpEWlChjkgCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B25%252C%2B9%2B24%2B35%2BAM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Let's be honest. Working in pairs is hard enough for elementary students. That being said, I DO like to occasionally push them to work with larger groups so we can have discussions about the challenges with it. For this area and perimeter challenge, students worked in teams of SIX (I know!). The rules? They had to follow the challenge (which involved designing a shape with an area of 24 square inches that would fit on a certain grid) AND no two members of the team could have the same area. It meant they needed to talk. It meant they needed to ask questions. It meant they may need to give and take. They were only given their grid paper to record their solution AFTER they had all worked together to make sure every member of the team met the challenge. It took some coaching to be sure...but we had a great discussion when we finished about the challenges of working in larger teams, the "give and take" needed to make sure everyone's voice was heard, and so on. I don't do it often--but this was a great forum to explore large group work!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Area%20and%20Perimeter%20Post%202017%20art%20"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hWubnBdApmY/WhmQoAJefoI/AAAAAAAAaXA/PiOTgo3JS1MJLUAoOxTmO3gizJ9BdS5RQCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B25%252C%2B9%2B22%2B29%2BAM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><h3 style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Restating Directions to Improve Focus</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Area%20and%20Perimeter%20Post%202017%20art%20"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XTeJ90zvPD4/WhmQm1eKbBI/AAAAAAAAaW0/KUDomSvvZMIXIBGykH8rOYv8SRS8CvE3wCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B25%252C%2B9%2B20%2B42%2BAM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Another way to get students talking about math is to ask them to restate directions before a task. Because so many of our area and perimeter projects had multiple steps, I would have partners take a minute to talk before we got started to make sure they understood the task, the expectations, and how to get started. It was great to be able to clarify these things BEFORE they started working! These students were talking about how to tackle the challenge shown in the next section.</div><h3 style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Meeting Different Learning Styles</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Area%20and%20Perimeter%20Post%202017%20art%20"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-u33bZpA6fEc/WhmQoYW0C1I/AAAAAAAAaXE/3RzTTmxy1PoVGaD-oeQxYPjvYFRnKd4jACEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B25%252C%2B9%2B22%2B59%2BAM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="640" /></a></div> This project is one of my favorites. Much of the work I do with area and perimeter is very "hands on", but this one, in particular, requires students to "build" rectangles--and then to create an artistic representation. Students who "see" math differently often are very successful at this--and the fact that they "build" rectangles by measuring side length and then assembling the rectangle really helps with cementing that concept of perimeter.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Area%20and%20Perimeter%20Post%202017%20art%20"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kwYbXvSRa4k/WhmaQhxO6dI/AAAAAAAAaXw/kg8dfR6bUNMuFRVnSmPB7zcDkDYzlX2kACLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B25%252C%2B10%2B23%2B40%2BAM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="640" /></a></div>I also love how much dialogue happens among students...from giving feedback on solving the math challenge and clarifying the directions, to helping with the physical formation of the rectangles. It is definitely a collaborative effort--and I love watching how engaged they are. It really frees me up to TEACH and coach when they are so actively engaged in the math.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Area%20and%20Perimeter%20Post%202017%20art%20"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lpuQfjFn0Fs/WhmQogVsKbI/AAAAAAAAaXI/Q7ji7PYGovQUJVZXXOo0sC8GpH5N1x5DACEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B25%252C%2B9%2B23%2B23%2BAM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="480" /></a></div><h3 style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Task Cards, Proving Thinking, and More</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Task-Cards-2441353?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=area%20and%20perimeter%20blog%20post%202017%20task%20cards"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lghOJvSWgn0/Whmaw3sNqnI/AAAAAAAAaX4/k23qrH_h110X_DMLDTC53VPx_nt0UlKhQCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B15%252C%2B8%2B38%2B23%2BPM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="480" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Task-Cards-2441353?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=area%20and%20perimeter%20blog%20post%202017%20task%20cards"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eogBHxEBs7U/WhmQnUdQISI/AAAAAAAAaW4/7Ac_xH6GL7A7-aUB1kaSNF4smT1nLJWngCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B15%252C%2B8%2B37%2B02%2BPM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">As our studies of area and perimeter moved forward, it was time to use my <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Task-Cards-2441353?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=area%20and%20perimeter%20blog%20post%202017%20task%20cards">area and perimeter task cards</a> to see if students were really internalizing the math. Again, we started with partners working and talking about the math--but I let them choose their level of challenge. These task cards have some rectangular shape...some with the squares visible...some "open" shapes...and some irregular shapes for students to try their hand at dividing into workable rectangles. The discussion was AMAZING and we then came together to talk about some of the strategies students used. When it was time to assess, I simply started pulling some of my <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Area-and-Perimeter-Grades-4-5-1188310?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=area%20and%20perimeter%20assessments%20blog%20post">area and perimeter exit slips</a> to see what students could do independently--and I gave a different slip at the start of each class time for about 5 days. This really helped me know who to focus my teaching time on.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><h3 style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Displaying Math Work to Build Pride and Discussion</h3><div>I think it goes without saying that when students see their work displayed, it shows that we value what they have done. There is an added benefit as well--that students use it like a gallery walk...every time we walk by, they are pointing out things they notice or explaining why they did things a certain way. And another thing? Students from OTHER classes are looking as well! It's one reason I like to hang a sign up by the work explaining what the challenge was so that other students can see what we did--and can work to make sense of the task as well.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Area%20and%20Perimeter%20Post%202017%20art%20"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mbUEWMXOFu8/WhmQqfs-l5I/AAAAAAAAaXY/TmvZdNWcTGsGkDmCJo-XcdTVogs6DTiZQCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B25%252C%2B9%2B25%2B17%2BAM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Area%20and%20Perimeter%20Post%202017%20art%20"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NA60rf6kIqA/WhmQnUfkdhI/AAAAAAAAaW8/EKix5-rYhlcwu1u0HOQDcpMEXxgTACF1wCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BNov%2B25%252C%2B9%2B21%2B53%2BAM.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I hope you see how providing students with opportunities to TALK about math can lead to some amazing things! If you are interested in any of the resources I used, you can find them by clicking on the images below.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Activities-1761804?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=Area%20and%20Perimeter%20Post%202017%20art%20"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="200" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-d_SRkbho8B0/WhmfqA349vI/AAAAAAAAaYI/-CPAwKe7UrEXwAz6SBplOrpChI2vC3d5gCLcBGAs/s200/area%2Band%2Bperimeter%2Bactivities%2Bcover.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="200" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Perimeter-Task-Cards-2441353?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=area%20and%20perimeter%20blog%20post%202017%20task%20cards"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="200" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yjFO1ZCfqmc/WhmftGsyQJI/AAAAAAAAaYM/u_Q3LWQcolgtU0IN3mJna1PmEO1keQyygCLcBGAs/s200/area%2Band%2Bperimeter%2Btask%2Bcard%2Bcover.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="200" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Formative-Assessment-Toolbox-Area-and-Perimeter-Grades-4-5-1188310?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=area%20and%20perimeter%20assessments%20blog%20post"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning, assessment" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="720" height="200" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hS6HIvtiKUQ/WhmfzKwTefI/AAAAAAAAaYQ/6cxz_GjyXYEOReBGw3-Ldd5B3fNC9hqrwCLcBGAs/s200/Formative%2BAssessment%2BToolbox%2BPerimeter%2Band%2BArea.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning" width="150" /></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 this for later?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hrrKOIlweG8/WhmmLhi-eiI/AAAAAAAAaYg/4xrvxbeBhT4Ukj0gVZTHqFWIgsQYAMwpgCLcBGAs/s1600/november%2Barea%2Band%2Bperimeter%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bpin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning, assessment, task cards" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hrrKOIlweG8/WhmmLhi-eiI/AAAAAAAAaYg/4xrvxbeBhT4Ukj0gVZTHqFWIgsQYAMwpgCLcBGAs/s640/november%2Barea%2Band%2Bperimeter%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bpin.jpg" title="area and perimeter, area, perimeter, problem solving, hands on learning, math discourse, fourth grade, third grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade, geometry, measurement, cooperative learning, constructivist learning, assessment, 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;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-87152244821274646532017-11-12T21:01:00.005-06:002017-11-25T13:19:44.911-06:00Project Based Learning Math Tasks: The Benefits of the ChallengeSo many times I am asked questions about why many students seem so disengaged in math. I ask these teachers to flip through their resources and see how many of them truly help students see the real life application of math--and solve rigorous, engaging problems that students can relate to. PBL (project based learning) can help make the connections between the math skills and the real world, and my students are always BEGGING for more! It's always fun to tie this work to the seasons, so I have tried to make a number of <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Project-Based-Learning-Math-Problem-Solving-Holiday-Feast-Project-PBL-1531237?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=feast%20blog%20post">these projects</a> that are the perfect break from routine to do at those special times of the year. This one? A "feast" project that is perfect for Thanksgiving!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Project-Based-Learning-Math-Problem-Solving-Holiday-Feast-Project-PBL-1531237?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=feast%20blog%20post"><img alt="Project based learning, PBL, Thanksgiving, math projects, problem solving, elapsed time, Thanksgiving math, fourth grade, fifth grade, math workshop" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Zdw3xuIwOYU/WgkDWTYSXJI/AAAAAAAAaVc/8auhCL4r-Ac07P2EoTQTMoZJC_C9TDlGwCLcBGAs/s640/feast%2Bproject%2Bbased%2Blearning%2Bpost%2Bheader.jpg" title="Project based learning, PBL, Thanksgiving, math projects, problem solving, elapsed time, Thanksgiving math, fourth grade, fifth grade, math workshop" width="640" /></a></div><br /><h3>Benefits of Project Based Learning</h3><div>It would be hard to list all the benefits of having students dig into real-world math challenges and other project-based learning opportunities. Let me just leave you with a few.<br /><ul><li>They are engaging!</li><li>They nurture collaboration and math communication.</li><li>There are often many solutions.</li><li>These experiences provide students with a chance to struggle (and this is so valuable!).</li><li>Connections to the real world help students realize WHY we do math!</li><li>Students who learn in different ways can shine.</li><li>They allow time for teachers to coach.</li><li>They are perfect for differentiating!</li></ul></div><h3>How to Differentiate</h3><div>It may seem contrary to what one might thing--how can a challenging, rigorous task be easy to differentiate? Aren't they best for our top students or fast finishers?<br /><br />Not at all. I love using these tasks in a number of ways--and I DEFINITELY want ALL my students to have exposure to and experience with quality, real world tasks. How can we help them succeed?<br /><br /><br /><ul><li>Strategically partner/group them with a supportive team.</li><li>Allow use of "tools" such as calculators and manipulatives (remember--we want them to be problem solvers so don't let the computation get in their way!)</li><li>Spend more time scaffolding directions or simplifying directions if needed.</li><li>Reduce the amount of writing or allow them to use technology.</li><li>Use the tiered problems included so they can do the same work at a slightly more simplified level.</li><li>Provide more frequent coaching opportunities.</li><li>And so many more ways! </li><li>Provide the emotional encouragement and support to keep them hungry to solve the task.</li></ul><div>And don't forget our super capable students! A list of additional challenges and extensions are included as well so they can take this project as far as they want!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Project-Based-Learning-Math-Problem-Solving-Holiday-Feast-Project-PBL-1531237?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=feast%20blog%20post"><img alt="Project based learning, PBL, Thanksgiving, math projects, problem solving, elapsed time, Thanksgiving math, fourth grade, fifth grade, math workshop" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="720" height="400" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sCnyMip3EQ0/WgkJmbXPv0I/AAAAAAAAaVs/R8k0Lsq51ggGTvHbLWi35k4iNnBsVQd_gCLcBGAs/s400/Slide30.JPG" title="Project based learning, PBL, Thanksgiving, math projects, problem solving, elapsed time, Thanksgiving math, fourth grade, fifth grade, math workshop" width="300" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div>Remember, self-esteem and mathematical mindsets are elevated by tackling challenging work--not by be given simple tasks! </div></div><div><br /></div><h3>How Can I work <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Project-Based-Learning-Math-Problem-Solving-Holiday-Feast-Project-PBL-1531237?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=feast%20blog%20post">These Tasks</a> Into My Math Schedule?</h3><div>I just wanted to share a few ideas on how to work this type of problem solving into your schedule--which I'm sure is already packed!<br /><br /><b>Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking...</b><br /><br />1. Consider introducing this as a whole-class activity where you give students/groups some time to get started and get clarity on the project. After that, it becomes something they work on when they have extra time.<br /><br />2. Dedicate a few days to the task and let students get as far as they can. There are logical stopping points in each task--so some students might only solve the main challenge, others may tackle some of the computation work, and still others may try some of the extensions. You can let students choose their path or you can steer them the way you wish!<br /><br />3. Use this as an enrichment activity for students who are "fast finishers" or who may need compacting out of their current unit. This is a perfect, meaningful independent math task for students to do if they already have mastery of the current math topic.<br /><br />4..Give students a small chunk of time each day to work on this--either in a center, as a warm up, or at the end of class. Over time, students can get as far as their initiative and math will take them!<br /><br /><h3>So what does this really look like?</h3></div><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZhfYiVNdqqA?ecver=1" width="560"></iframe><br /><br />I hope these ideas get you intrigued enough to dabble in some high level math--for ALL your students! This task focuses on a feast...but there are SO many other options out there!<br /><br />Want to pin this for later?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Project-Based-Learning-Math-Problem-Solving-Holiday-Feast-Project-PBL-1531237?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=feast%20blog%20post"><img alt="Project based learning, PBL, Thanksgiving, math projects, problem solving, elapsed time, Thanksgiving math, fourth grade, fifth grade, math workshop" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dtQarXjHaRk/WgkBo950v4I/AAAAAAAAaVM/hScReN-MncAtzBN7a5h1IZGxyCm9sIS7QCLcBGAs/s640/feast%2Bthinker%2Btask%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bpin.jpg" title="Project based learning, PBL, Thanksgiving, math projects, problem solving, elapsed time, Thanksgiving math, fourth grade, fifth grade, math workshop" 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 check out other Project Based Learning Tasks?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Project-Based-Learning-Math-Problem-Solving-Holiday-Feast-Project-PBL-1531237?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=feast%20blog%20post"><img alt="Project based learning, PBL, Thanksgiving, math projects, problem solving, elapsed time, Thanksgiving math, fourth grade, fifth grade, math workshop" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="300" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HCpqS-AGuNI/WgkKOp5NsZI/AAAAAAAAaV0/MuWpJYnxuew2ywiWACsBdVqzTET4Ih0TQCLcBGAs/s400/Slide1.JPG" title="Project based learning, PBL, Thanksgiving, math projects, problem solving, elapsed time, Thanksgiving math, fourth grade, fifth grade, math workshop" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-67209271113824779772017-10-15T10:57:00.000-05:002017-12-14T19:08:43.085-06:00Narrative Writing and Reading: Using Dialogue and More!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: start;">One thing I really like to do with my literacy instruction is to make sure that I weave reading and writing together whenever possible. This is especially true when working with narrative writing--in our independent reading workshop and our narrative writing unit. One of our phrases this year is "Read like a writer and write like a reader!" and we are working to dig into what that really means.</span></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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img alt="lesson ideas narrative" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6UQsGvkleFs/WeODrJlAsCI/AAAAAAAAaRY/f8Erxt1HroQ41G4ez8dH_krRxumljW3aQCLcBGAs/s640/narrative%2Bwriting%2Bpost%2Bimage.jpg" title="teaching dialogue narrative lessons activities" width="640" /></a></div><br /><h3>Studying Characters in Narratives</h3>As we started our narrative unit several weeks ago, we spent a great deal of time studying our main read aloud, Fish in a Tree, along with other picture books I selected. We studied the characters, their traits, their actions, and then--finally--their words. We actually then worked to create our own characters that we would later insert into some "mini" narratives that we wrote. The students were SO engaged and I truly saw them thinking more deeply about the characters in their own books. (Note: This student had a bad experience with a pigeon...I guess my "hint" that authors often work their real life into their books paid off!)<br /><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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img alt="invent a character" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yBgqyAe3nEc/WeN4Pap1McI/AAAAAAAAaQ4/RH1ETEDSRUsS0Z589xyN6X2jzqh_Sgr7QCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B15%252C%2B9%2B59%2B21%2BAM.jpg" title="teaching dialogue narrative lessons activities" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><h3 style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Creating a Story Arc or "Story Map"</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">From story arc to detailed plan...this TRULY helps the students plan ahead, make sure they have a clear ending, and gives a place for them to add quality sensory details.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="720" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-F-bXFEX_vM0/WeN49_Z1jaI/AAAAAAAAaQ8/we6wv--TlJsX4YUZu9J8wZpi39Yv3DVkACLcBGAs/s320/Slide11.JPG" width="240" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img alt="prewriting strategies narrative writing" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3TIPilKGMUM/WeN4PZjxFeI/AAAAAAAAaQ0/tg8utl7vi-ozl5k2rjfOhVPh0ESPF4XewCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B15%252C%2B9%2B58%2B43%2BAM.jpg" title="teaching dialogue narrative lessons activities" width="640" /></a></div><br /><h3>Learning how to write dialogue</h3>As we started to realize all the ways writers help us get to know characters, I told my students we were going to work hard to do this with our own narratives--we were going to write so our reader can really get to know our characters. We went back to our own books (great because no matter WHAT level a child reads at, this activity can be done) and searched for dialogue "tags". We jotted them on sticky notes and then came back to the large group to do some sharing. I recorded their findings on a chart and then we talked about the messages writers can send by carefully choosing tags. What does "mumbled" show about a character instead of "shouted"? If a characters "demands" something, what does it say about them?<br /><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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img alt="writing lessons" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TGqwuYaMR-A/WeNxE-niGII/AAAAAAAAaQU/yBMW_r_-8AIxmO31qZ_yY1p_U-K-pTvGwCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B15%252C%2B9%2B15%2B05%2BAM.jpg" title="teaching dialogue narrative lessons activities" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If you have taught writing dialogue before, you know how challenging it can be to get students punctuating it correctly. There is a LOT to remember! I decided to go back into our read aloud, "<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fish-in-a-Tree-Novel-Study-1989573?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20post%20Fish%20in%20a%20Tree">Fish in a Tree</a>", and do some practice with this sentence frames...I gave them permission to change the "tag" to match the characters, but I really wanted them to think about what these characters might say--and to use the guides to punctuate these made-up sentences. They worked in pairs for a while and then shared with others--they had a GREAT time imagining they were these characters and came up with some great dialogue examples!</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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img alt="teaching writing lessons" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dlP2qSBjDi4/WeNxEHbiiKI/AAAAAAAAaQM/WjV6fwmNIxUtmTX_sEwKbo6rtyq8380yACEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B15%252C%2B9%2B13%2B52%2BAM.jpg" title="teaching dialogue narrative lessons activities" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I then wanted to give them some more practice, so I used this "sort" activity where they had to manipulate the parts of the sentences and mindfully add the punctuation. It was challenging for some, but I saw many of them referring back to the pink strips from the lesson before!</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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img alt="writing lessons dialogue" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xX1oGebLPz8/WeNxEwSx8sI/AAAAAAAAaQY/dz-6lXTvGzIevBwP0U0pngwvKLiw5Ep7gCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B15%252C%2B9%2B15%2B19%2BAM.jpg" title="teaching dialogue narrative lessons activities" width="640" /></a></div><br /><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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img alt="punctuating dialogue" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FM6clvsh79E/WeNxFBHDLnI/AAAAAAAAaQc/2ADuRyeCHgMkNyHQ1hGHPiKqDSqLQ3EYgCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B15%252C%2B9%2B15%2B44%2BAM.jpg" title="teaching dialogue narrative lessons activities" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Finally, I talked to the students about how a true dialogue involves characters speaking back and forth--and how their discussion helps move the story forward. It often reveals character feelings or plans and should have a purpose. We worked in partners to try writing some dialogue scenarios based on my dialogue task cards and we had a blast. It was a great chance for me to walk around and do some coaching on the punctuation, remind about indenting for new speakers, and so on.</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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img alt="writing dialogue" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jX27f9wCBsA/WeNxDiGfJhI/AAAAAAAAaQk/xyRFMddDLRYLOR-XqbTl8bYICUYBRFh4QCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B15%252C%2B9%2B14%2B31%2BAM.jpg" title="teaching dialogue narrative lessons activities" 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/Narrative-Writing-BUNDLE-Helping-Students-Write-Quality-Narratives-Grades-3-5-2810248?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img alt="punctuating dialogue" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oeJbFbpjZrw/WeNxDp1T9OI/AAAAAAAAaQE/i2DSs0H5W1AhQ0N6OpkFU_4868J9bFsaACEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B15%252C%2B9%2B14%2B11%2BAM.jpg" title="teaching dialogue narrative lessons activities" width="640" /></a></div> It was so much fun to see how creative they got--and how their dialogues REALLY started to show their understanding of how characters can be revealed.<br /><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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img alt="dialogue lessons" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Dkj9J2GjuAk/WeNxEY8KktI/AAAAAAAAaQQ/cChH_S_MNGgrWE9p1MqOp3T8oBR2x2AaQCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BOct%2B15%252C%2B9%2B14%2B48%2BAM.jpg" title="teaching dialogue narrative lessons activities" width="640" /></a></div><h3>Using "Fish in a Tree" and other books to put all the pieces together!</h3> With all the pieces in place, we were ready to write our narratives! It's funny...we spent 2 weeks prepping for them and three days writing them--and it was amazing to see how all the "quick writes" we did paid off--and the students REALLY saw how the planning made it so their story essentially wrote itself. When I asked how many of them felt it was the best thing they had ever written, it was almost unanimous! Also, if you are working on narratives, I can't recommend "<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fish-in-a-Tree-Novel-Study-1989573?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20post%20Fish%20in%20a%20Tree">Fish in a Tree</a>" highly enough to really look at character development, character change, and more.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">Want to see the resources I used?</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?utm_source=theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20blog%20post%20bundle%20resource"><img border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TNBRtVJvEn4/WeNx3xXWAaI/AAAAAAAAaQg/kgLQGEBLJZcS-qN56Ot0rmlhtdbw6-sugCLcBGAs/s320/narrative%2Bwriting%2Bbundle%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">My novel study for Fish in a Tree...</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fish-in-a-Tree-Novel-Study-1989573?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=narrative%20writing%20post%20Fish%20in%20a%20Tree"><img alt="Teaching Fish in a Tree" border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LqOXylLWggw/WeOEvW58N3I/AAAAAAAAaRc/jZ10kCshKH88UauvEjSTDgb-FhE99Ri2QCLcBGAs/s320/fish%2Bin%2Ba%2Btree%2Bcover.jpg" title="Fish in a Tree Novel Study" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Want to pin this post for later?</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 alt="teaching narrative writing, teaching dialogue, writer's workshop, story map, writing process, quotation marks, teaching character development, fourth grade writing, common core narrative writing, writing process, Fish in a Tree, punctuating dialogue" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-girLqctc9m4/WeOCqHsn6PI/AAAAAAAAaRQ/gII28h2o4GQns0H6U9OqgiuGjXLfG2udwCLcBGAs/s640/narrative%2Bwriting%2Bpost%2Boctover%2B2017%2Bpin.jpg" title="teaching narrative writing, teaching dialogue, writer's workshop, story map, writing process, quotation marks, teaching character development, fourth grade writing, common core narrative writing, writing process, Fish in a Tree, punctuating dialogue" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-62443302714378504792017-09-23T16:47:00.000-05:002018-01-28T22:13:42.017-06:00Math Culture--It's more than a right answer!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: start;">One thing that I have noticed over the years as I have done more "kid watching" as I teach...is that we have most definitely conditioned our students to "fill in the blank". Whether we use workbooks, do worksheets with cute graphics, or encourage students to track their scores--we definitely convey to them that there is a "right way" to do things. Of course, in math, we usually DO want a correct answer...but in elementary school, I really believe our focus should be on the PROCESS and thinking involved in learning math rather than a stress on the correct answer. That will come.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20growth%20mindset"><img alt="math instruction" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FSfLo5dqbOk/WcbSkfjOucI/AAAAAAAAaNI/FCNs62p-fK8FnbXpaaw4DXiRuE-ifJhnQCLcBGAs/s640/math%2Bculture%2Bpost%2Bseptember%2B23%2B2017.jpg" title="math culture math practices teaching math problem solving" width="640" /></a></div><br /><h3>But don't students need to work accurately and with precision?</h3>Now don't get me wrong--I'm not talking about accuracy and precision problems! Do I think students should know their facts and compute precisely? Yep. But I also truly believe that many students tend to equate THOSE math activities as the most important.<br /><br />One of the first discussions I have each fall is that math is complicated. Much like reading is more than "saying the words", math is more than getting the right answer. We talk about <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20growth%20mindset">growth mindset</a>...about the mathematical practices...about persevering...about how math doesn't always happen quickly...about asking for help when needed...and all sorts of other "math behaviors" that lead to success in math. It is SO important for students to understand what I believe--and that research supports this! Once they realize what I value, it's time to provide opportunities for students to practice these behaviors and to provide me the chance to observe and see how students handle this climate for learning. For me, helping coach students in THIS is just as important as teaching them how to add and subtract.<br /><br /><h3>Math with a growth mindset</h3>Throughout the year, I use discussion starters to get students talking and thinking about the role mindset has in learning. By exposing students to this type of conversation, it reinforces the values I have and also gives them the language to talk about their own strengths and goals. The other day, we had a GREAT discussion about this one...and were able to give tons of examples of what this might look like and what types of situations might be impacted by this. (Note: These are a part of my <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20growth%20mindset">growth mindset resource</a> if you are interested in seeing more.)<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20growth%20mindset"><img alt="math culture math practices teaching math problem solving" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bp_pJBzZbSE/Wca_bTrKtII/AAAAAAAAaMs/Wf5GuiTozbg_WKN0nYv1XSlohicHp2OjQCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BSep%2B23%252C%2B3%2B06%2B54%2BPM.jpg" title="growth mindset " width="640" /></a></div><br /><h3>Collaboration and questioning in math</h3>Another way I work to build this culture throughout the year is by helping students learn how to work collaboratively in a productive way. Learning how to ask questions, ask for help, offer help, take feedback graciously, and be willing to share ideas are all skills that not only contribute to math success--but "life" success as well! Check out these students talking about their<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Number-Sense-with-Number-Lines-Place-Value-Understanding-to-120-3297033?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20number%20lines%20to%20120"> number line work</a>!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Number-Sense-with-Number-Lines-Place-Value-Understanding-to-120-3297033?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20number%20lines%20to%20120"><img alt="math discourse math talk" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5eO2CBiFn24/Wca_byNRlZI/AAAAAAAAaM4/eFtber4803QkBrqK3MTkOF4T_Ad4vo4RQCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BSep%2B23%252C%2B3%2B07%2B26%2BPM.jpg" title="math culture math practices teaching math problem solving" width="640" /></a></div><br />One great way to do this is to have students play games and be an outsider where you coach not just the math, but the interactions as well. This group was struggling with being patient with a student who processed more slowly so I sat behind them and coached. Not only did it help the student who was working slowly to realize that it was ok to work slowly, but I was able to work with the others to learn how to manage that situation with grace while making the other player feel valued. This <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dollar-Deals-Target-Number-A-Game-to-Build-Addition-Fact-Fluency-1572969?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20target%20game">Target Number Toss game</a> is great because there is more than one way to complete each turn--and great discussions can arise!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dollar-Deals-Target-Number-A-Game-to-Build-Addition-Fact-Fluency-1572969?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20target%20game"><img alt="math culture math practices teaching math problem solving" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-adAowKUjuWI/Wca_ZhlZElI/AAAAAAAAaM0/qNqszIA-ad4cmPOe6m4MPpi4BH0UjYD9QCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BSep%2B23%252C%2B3%2B05%2B23%2BPM.jpg" title="math games fact fluency math collaboration" width="640" /></a></div>Another thing I do to help students realize that math is more than an answer blank is to make sure we are constantly doing "work" where we NEVER even address the answer! That may seem counterproductive...after all, how will we know if they can DO the math? This is the power of shifting our focus. When I do activities such as "Thinker Tasks", I do not always even collect them--and I certainly never share what the correct answer is. Why? Because there ISN'T one right answer! The process students use to solve the challenges is the key...and, again, the "kid watching" is where I learn the most--far more than if I simply checked the answer.<br /><br /><br /><h3>The importance of differentiation in math</h3>I can see who struggles with the math concepts. I can see how students work together--or don't. I love using my <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Project-Based-Learning-Math-Problem-Solving-BUNDLE-PBL-1843282?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20thinker%20task%20bundle">Thinker Task project based learning tasks (PBL)</a> to help with this. I can see which students seem to relish a challenge and which steer away. I can see if students work with care or if they rush. I can see if students are independently able to dig in or if they need guidance. I can see how long they are willing to persevere or if they struggle to maintain focus. It allows me to start to notice which students gravitate toward each other to collaborate and which students tend to work alone. I also love that there are so many components--so I can differentiate as needed. In a few short work sessions, I was able to learn SO much about my students as mathematicians!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Project-Based-Learning-Math-Problem-Solving-BUNDLE-PBL-1843282?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20thinker%20task%20bundle"><img alt="math culture math practices teaching math problem solving" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NSL6zypQE84/Wca_amuNPVI/AAAAAAAAaM0/ZS-SKnSc9ogwvqbPMRMjeNn6Hj7hXyMMwCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BSep%2B23%252C%2B3%2B04%2B45%2BPM.jpg" title="problem solving" width="480" /></a></div>Finally, I want my students to recognize how--like reading--math is multidimensional. In reading we need to sound fluent when we read, need to be able to decode new words, summarize, write about our reading, discuss a text--and countless other things. The same is true for math! We need to be able to add and subtract--but also to recognize patterns, solve problems, make connections, explain our thinking, organize our work, and so on.<br /><br />I use<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Enrichment-Mind-Boggling-Math-Addition-With-Regrouping-Edition-854509?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20mind%20boggling"> Mind Boggling Math</a> to help with this...because students have the skills to do the addition required--but it's the perfect way to help students realize that there is so much more to it! Students share organization ideas, share strategies, check each other's work, troubleshoot problems and more--certainly way more valuable than simply doing a page of addition problems! Most importantly, it is yet another activity that helps students realize what I value in our math community--the answer is only part of the game.<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?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20mind%20boggling"><img alt="problem solving addition computation" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LZC9QMw7lso/Wca7cpNTvkI/AAAAAAAAaMI/Z34zFYW-Go4wTyvjE9G10kHOuSl6jze6gCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BSep%2B23%252C%2B2%2B45%2B05%2BPM.jpg" title="math culture math practices teaching math problem solving" width="640" /></a></div><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?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=math%20culture%20post%20mind%20boggling"><img alt="math culture math practices teaching math problem solving" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NOr-8oljiSw/Wca7c78OV9I/AAAAAAAAaMM/H9Nkjf7wR9gKtK26BoOTaHaA1yrtCr07wCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BSep%2B23%252C%2B2%2B45%2B34%2BPM.jpg" title="addition practice" width="640" /></a></div> I hope you have had a smooth start to your year and realize that there are many ways to build community in your math class. Watch for more blog posts coming soon that will help share more ideas for moving your students to a deeper understanding of what math truly is!<br /><br />Interested in any of the resources mentioned? Just click the pictures for more information.<br /><br />Want to pin this post for later? Here you go!<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="teaching math, fourth grade math, math mindset, problem solving, growth mindset, standards for mathematical process, perseverance, accountable math talk, cooperative problem solving, collaboration, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Bc5KuLthcXI/WcbUA5SkHbI/AAAAAAAAaNU/Wv3Uqs3ZEy8wWiM5U1do7ikDBqGVeYObgCLcBGAs/s640/math%2Bculture%2Bpost%2Bseptember%2B2017.jpg" title="teaching math, fourth grade math, math mindset, problem solving, growth mindset, standards for mathematical process, perseverance, accountable math talk, cooperative problem solving, collaboration, third grade math, fourth grade math, fifth grade math" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-88189208103484120032017-08-20T14:13:00.001-05:002017-11-11T11:04:12.317-06:00Some of my classroom "must haves"!<div style="text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">If you are a teacher, you may be obsessed with office supplies, storage, or classroom gadgets. Just a hunch. Want to check out a few of my favorites? Read on!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XB-mIbvZEOM/WZneQpchDeI/AAAAAAAAaFg/524GHVinXOAssBIy5krsN63o9JiTDj3YwCLcBGAs/s640/favorite%2Bthings%2Bheader%2Baugust%2B19%2B2017.jpg" width="640" /></a></div>I spent some more time in my disaster of a classroom #justkeepingthingsreal today, and I started unpacking different boxes to begin the process of "reassembly". I thought it might be fun to share with you a few of my classroom "must haves"! Note, there are affiliate links in this post.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><h3>Math workshop storage ideas</h3></div><div style="text-align: center;">The first thing I unpacked (because it required no thinking!) was my mobile math cart! I love being able to move this around my room--from my large group area to ALL the places I meet with small groups. It has a bin of white boards, a tub of Expo markers and erasers, and then other "stuff" on the bottom shelf that varies depending on what we are studying...could be number lines, manipulatives, calculators, graph paper--you name it! It keeps all those things at my fingertips and allows students to easily return these items to their proper spot.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7NNtL4wVKvU/WZdT67EJPzI/AAAAAAAAaCQ/Z6D5ZUcytTYQXlTXZcq_Pzd6nBOU3WsWgCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BAug%2B18%252C%2B3%2B40%2B38%2BPM.jpg" title="classroom organization" width="480" /></a></div><h3 style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Classroom library displays</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">The next thing I want to share was a new purchase two years ago--these collapsible book easels. I have them all around my reading area to showcase new books, books related to a genre we are studying, "forgotten" books (I love finding great books that students may not have heard of to showcase), books I share during a book talk, or even content area books. I bought a set of them and they are always full! I also love to have student helpers pick favorite books to highlight as well!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1600" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FvMYxMOmsKE/WZdT5g6QE6I/AAAAAAAAaCI/jvAhhkQVaLkkkq6TVVqQKMCy7Z6G2heowCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BAug%2B18%252C%2B3%2B39%2B53%2BPM.jpg" title="classroom library" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></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=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theteastu0e-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00NEDHM2E&asins=B00NEDHM2E&linkId=b52083ab08affc39b895965a83b61c2f&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></iframe> <br /><br /><h3>A teacher's best friend--the stapler</h3></div><div style="text-align: center;">As I unpacked a crate of office supplies, I couldn't help but pause over my prized stapler. If you are like me, you probably have 9 of them--none of which work well. This one has been A-MAZE-ING for me...it is like a power stapler that has a super easy "touch". I am thinking of splurging on a second one--and have given it as a gift to new teachers as well!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-K4gNcrXQe7k/WZdT771Yz2I/AAAAAAAAaCY/7uMCE6IyfwE0zxl1Xhke9zqnL0uCJe8RQCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BAug%2B18%252C%2B3%2B41%2B21%2BPM.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></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=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theteastu0e-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01KESNO2I&asins=B01KESNO2I&linkId=fa655c435e62a3721d60d34d2c5e7b7e&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></iframe> <br /><br /><h3>I don't have a pen addition. Really.</h3></div><div style="text-align: center;">OK...let's talk writing utensils. I have a bit of a problem--I can't lie. I may or may not have a little problem when it comes to my favorites. I thought I'd share a few--in case I can spread my love to at least one more teacher. Let's talk pens first. I am a bit of a pen snob--and this is my all time favorite! It comes in a few colors--but purple is my color...so I typically buy purple--until I saw the multipack I listed below! I love the smoothness of the ink and they last a really long time!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img border="0" data-original-height="1024" data-original-width="768" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KEGZN9D7Lao/WZjS4ANKb-I/AAAAAAAAaD8/ISEGAUyzie42-3sZahrH9mkI4Ji7Dy7ugCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BAug%2B19%252C%2B7%2B07%2B08%2BPM.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></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=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theteastu0e-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B07217PMQ5&asins=B07217PMQ5&linkId=09f7f1e8648be72f747e7414507d52ee&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></iframe> </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><h3 style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Anchor charts, smelly markers, and more</h3><div style="text-align: center;">Now for markers. I make a TON of anchor charts, and I really use color to highlight different components of my chart so Mr. Sketch markers are my favorites. I like that I can use the wide side for titles and the thinner edge for lettering.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="720" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FtKaKGWa8lU/WZjTpzZBzUI/AAAAAAAAaEE/Bd9jxbqr_Lsw1hSTf0MxyRbNG7yYLMzJACLcBGAs/s400/partner%2Banchor%2Bchart%2Bfixed%2Bslide.jpg" title="classroom anchor charts" width="300" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">But this is only one way I use them...my students' favorite is for signing their assignment books. Every single day my students fill out their planners, and I'm trying to build good habits with them. I ask them to share their planner at home with SOMEONE (I don't like to require parents because it puts pressure on families with complicated work schedules, and so on)--it could be a parent, a big sister, a childcare provider--anyone who is home with the student. If they initial it, that counts!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">When the students bring the planner back the next day, I "star" their initial with a smelly marker. The students love to see which marker I am going to pick...and then on special days (Valentine's Day...Packer games...you get the drift), I may just get a little creative! I also use the markers to write special comments home like "GREAT job in math today!" or "Max was a great friend today!" or "Ask Anne about her story!". The bright colors (and smells!) make sure families see the messages and encourage students to share them.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1600" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OvvzLwcOgpI/WZjWrI5Q4TI/AAAAAAAAaEQ/MWh91Mo67d8A2QVE_FraoYMwg0X6gryXQCLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BAug%2B19%252C%2B7%2B22%2B20%2BPM.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">I'm not going to lie--I may have ordered 3 more packs. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XU_yLwnYmGE/WZdT642OvcI/AAAAAAAAaCM/OEjk_mTWI244EcT7a5TcHxEeJxBr9jALwCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BAug%2B18%252C%2B3%2B40%2B21%2BPM.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></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=B00006IFH0&asins=B00006IFH0&linkId=ea21b980fb051bde04212657c13ea7f3&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> </iframe><br /><br /><h3>Math word problem storage</h3></div><div style="text-align: center;">Finally...as I started to put together my math area, I was reminded of how I could not live without my pocket charts. I keep them up on my walls all year and keep a revolving collection of word problems in them. Sometimes I have them tied to our current unit...sometimes they are "seasonal"...sometimes they are tied to our content (like human body). I keep a nice collection printed and cut and ready to glue into math spirals!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7A6UIVRxhgA/WZdT7RI7q9I/AAAAAAAAaCU/fK4T2cPbhY8RbbRWgybDIcWcTIKhisJ2wCEwYBhgL/s640/Photo%2BAug%2B18%252C%2B3%2B40%2B53%2BPM.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Want to read a blog post with a few more details about this? Just click on the image below...</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2014/05/bright-ideas-pocket-chart-problem.html"><img border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lHMEL5OOUUM/WZjYuk2n8GI/AAAAAAAAaEc/p2Ej7nWbUpIZCdofODrTTOAL1NWdOPK6wCLcBGAs/s640/redo%2Bpocket%2Bchart%2Bproblem%2Bsolving%2Bimage.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I used to use this chart until I changed the color scheme of my room...but I loved the fact that you could use the charts together or separately.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></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=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theteastu0e-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1604186658&asins=1604186658&linkId=b37451b5e22254b7bc8aedc4b4f2190e&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"></iframe></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">So there you have it! My musings after my first day back in my classroom--and some of my "must haves". I hope you all have a wonderful school year!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br />Want to pin this post for later?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JpU5kJwVJAM/WZneL0kHZnI/AAAAAAAAaFc/v04YSdtJkAE432jF3XZhBQy01fcXn48ugCLcBGAs/s1600/favorite%2Bclassroom%2Bthings%2Bpost%2Baugust%2B20%2B2017.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="teacher hacks, math workshop organization, math manipulatives, staplers, classroom library, word problems" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JpU5kJwVJAM/WZneL0kHZnI/AAAAAAAAaFc/v04YSdtJkAE432jF3XZhBQy01fcXn48ugCLcBGAs/s640/favorite%2Bclassroom%2Bthings%2Bpost%2Baugust%2B20%2B2017.jpg" title="teacher hacks, math workshop organization, math manipulatives, staplers, classroom library, word problems" width="320" /></a></div><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-85427237648625868762017-08-14T12:20:00.000-05:002017-11-11T11:04:32.013-06:00The Tiger Rising: The book I couldn't stand. Really.<div style="text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">That's right. I couldn't stand a book--and that's rare for me! Several years ago, my team wanted us all to read "<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Reading-A-Novel-Study-for-The-Tiger-Rising-2841826?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=tiger%20rising%20blog%20post">The Tiger Rising</a>" to go with our realistic fiction unit, so I read it. Then I read it again. And again. Each time I disliked it more. I told them that I just couldn't do it--I couldn't invest that much in a book I didn't enjoy myself. They were fine with that...so I went on a quest for a new book to use.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Reading-A-Novel-Study-for-The-Tiger-Rising-2841826?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=tiger%20rising%20blog%20post"><img alt="novel study Tiger Rising" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZagbDIYNVjY/WZHW8KFznxI/AAAAAAAAaBw/DILZ2dzX0awXnkHDPPPxfke7cVKBwDy7ACLcBGAs/s640/Tiger%2Brising%2Bpost%2Bimage%2Bredo.jpg" title="The Tiger Rising" width="640" /></a></div><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Here's the deal--the more I thought about it, the more I felt I should do what my team was doing so we could have quality discussions about how we were using the text and so on. Our unit was a new one, and I felt it would be odd to be the lone defector. Besides, I reminded myself, it isn't about ME, right? So I made the commitment to read the book with my class.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Reading-A-Novel-Study-for-The-Tiger-Rising-2841826?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=tiger%20rising%20blog%20post"><img alt="novel study Kate di Camillo" border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Uv08hhf7G4s/VBuS3e0R0eI/AAAAAAAALh8/kP29ilcxeLo/s1600/phonto-389.jpg" title="The Tiger Rising" width="240" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">So I took it on and we dug in--despite my misgivings.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>And</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>my</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>kids</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>loved</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>it.</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Seriously...each day as we read my students got deeper and deeper into it and we had some of the BEST discussions I have ever had with fourth graders. From my top readers to my strugglers, everyone found a way to connect to this text. We talked about bullying. We talked about characters. We talked about death. We talked about animal cruelty. But most of all...we talked about how powerful books can stay with you forever. Another amazing thing happened--students all began to understand that they could HANDLE these very "grown up" texts.<br /><h3>Making books like "The Tiger Rising" matter</h3>So often we break reading up into its small components like fluency and context clues--especially for our lower readers--and we don't give them enough time to just immerse themselves in wonderful stories. I've always said, if a child is reading at a "Henry and Mudge" level, they still MUST be exposed to rich, sophisticated literature or they will never learn how to read it and think about it. Our read aloud texts are the perfect way to do this.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">I am getting ready for my fifth year of reading this book with my students, and I can't wait to see what elements this group relates to the most. Each year we seem to take a slightly different spin on it, but the effect is the same--books can make us FEEL, and when we can learn to do that with a read aloud, we can learn to do it when we read on our own. So this fall as we begin our study of this masterpiece, I am reminded that teaching isn't about me...it's about my learners and the interactions and experiences I provide for them. I can't wait--and a good reminder that we don't have to LIKE something...we just have to be open to learning how to love 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;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-blJnYUV9vk8/VBuSgiUa4nI/AAAAAAAALh0/qRAz94dZDos/s1600/phonto-388.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Kate di Camillo novel study" border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-blJnYUV9vk8/VBuSgiUa4nI/AAAAAAAALh0/qRAz94dZDos/s640/phonto-388.jpg" title="The Tiger Rising" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Reading-A-Novel-Study-for-The-Tiger-Rising-2841826">I even invested in a set of 25 so we could use the text later in the year to "dig deeper" and go hunt for evidence! We ended up talking about this book and the characters ALL year.</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div><div style="text-align: center;">To help me and other teachers really dig into this book, I have also created a novel study to go along with it. I hope you find it helpful. Use it to help guide your discussions or to provide occasional writing reflection opportunities. It helps me make sure to maximize the content of the book without having to take copious notes. See what you think.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Reading-A-Novel-Study-for-The-Tiger-Rising-2841826?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=tiger%20rising%20blog%20post"><img alt="novel study" border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aqGDnwoYXoE/WZHSlolfx_I/AAAAAAAAaBc/0fWsvuyQ_0Yt2eOfeINNYF-hUXXAhs_vQCLcBGAs/s320/The%2Btiger%2Brising%2Bcover.jpg" title="The Tiger Rising" width="320" /></a></div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Want to see more about it? This is an affiliate link if you are interested.</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=0763618985&asins=0763618985&linkId=PVD6E5HAEIJNEAOD&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> </iframe><br />Want to pin this post for later?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Reading-A-Novel-Study-for-The-Tiger-Rising-2841826?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=tiger%20rising%20blog%20post"><img alt="The Tiger Rising, novel study, teaching character, read aloud, book clubs, literature circles, Kate DiCamillo, reader's notebook, reader's response, response to reading" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZggFmosXCA0/WZHTJsXIZYI/AAAAAAAAaBk/iwqINCKB-RgF2PXrswv8OUv3Nx4_nEOYQCLcBGAs/s640/tiger%2Brising%2Bpin%2Bfor%2BTpT.jpg" title="The Tiger Rising, novel study, teaching character, read aloud, book clubs, literature circles, Kate DiCamillo, reader's notebook, reader's response, response to reading" width="320" /></a></div><br /><img src="http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/megsig.png" /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com11tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-73046018837352002532017-08-06T07:00:00.000-05:002017-11-11T11:04:47.004-06:0010 Tips for Creating a Culture of Readers<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Developing life-long reading habits is so critical, and as teachers we have so much power to help students learn how to learn and grow as readers.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2017/08/10-tips-for-creating-climate-for-readers.html"><img alt="reader's workshop, indendent reading, life-long reader, teaching reading, reading stamina, classroom library" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oyuYK-49Q1o/WYZ3rM4aB7I/AAAAAAAAaAY/ZXTQXP0uC1cth6CaIk8ZnCKc-3wfna7LgCLcBGAs/s640/UES%2Bculture%2Bof%2Breading%2Bpost.jpg" title="reader's workshop, indendent reading, life-long reader, teaching reading, reading stamina, classroom library" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Today is my day to blog over at Upper Elementary Snapshots, and I'd love for you to stop by and check out my 10 tips for making sure your classroom is a place to nurture life-long readers! I hope you'll click the image above and check it out!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-40316589755458933572017-08-02T14:26:00.000-05:002017-08-02T14:26:09.769-05:00Back to School SALE!<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;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JvZJez5n0go/WYImI-Thn0I/AAAAAAAAZ-I/FJYCqezneoEar_KdAHJCTNT4MhaXF-y6ACLcBGAs/s1600/bts2017%2Bsale%2Bimage.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JvZJez5n0go/WYImI-Thn0I/AAAAAAAAZ-I/FJYCqezneoEar_KdAHJCTNT4MhaXF-y6ACLcBGAs/s640/bts2017%2Bsale%2Bimage.jpg" width="640" /></a></div>It's TIME! The official Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale is happening today! I try to not do shameless product plugs...but at these sale times, I do like to showcase some of my favorite products you may not know about.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">I also have a freebie if you want to grab it as well!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-No-Prep-FREEBIE-Building-Classroom-Community-2696782"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z-t5MayRm_I/V52MAjWBSPI/AAAAAAAAXzE/DF3no3LbIv0tXyb2lI-vr1-bFnHkPTamQCLcB/s640/back%2Bto%2Bschool%2Bfreebie%2Bcover%2Bimage.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">OK...so now some of my absolute favorite resources...</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><br /></div><center> My number 1. My fraction unit. This unit literally took months and months and was a true labor of love as my students and I worked through it. I believe it to deepen true understanding of fractions at a level no textbook I have seen provide, and I love that you can use it as a complete replacement unit or use parts of it to supplement a textbook. </center><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hands-On-Common-Core-Fraction-Unit-Constructing-Meaning-625571"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-c_2Oj2wQBHw/U9zu2yvtk_I/AAAAAAAAK4s/RlrOFO7S6lo/s400/blog+post+fraction+unit+revised+cover.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><center> </center><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hands-On-Fraction-Bundle-10-Hands-On-Fraction-Resources-for-Grades-3-5-3280070"><img border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kCpO1asszMg/WYImlrCj6GI/AAAAAAAAZ-M/XP7nJTryABYCIziTadXNjIxAUng_tsMvQCLcBGAs/s640/fraction%2Btoollkit%2Bcover.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /></div><span style="text-align: -webkit-center;">This huge bundle has the fraction unit plus NINE more quality resources for you to use as you immerse your students in fraction work this year.</span><br /><span style="text-align: -webkit-center;"><br /></span> <span style="text-align: -webkit-center;"> Then it gets tricky to choose...</span><br /><span style="text-align: -webkit-center;"><br /></span> <span style="text-align: -webkit-center;">Another set of "favorites" are my word problem bundles because I am PASSIONATE about getting our students to do more problem solving and whether or not you have a series you love, a series you despise, or no series at all--we ALL need to have more word problems on hand to use as class warm ups, cooperative problems solving, stations, and more. My bundles of word problems are pretty popular and I have gotten lots of feedback about what a time saver they are. Here are a few!</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seasonal-Word-Problem-Bundle-Grades-3-5-1202149"><img border="0" height="300" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ctJJ1YcxTUo/U9zzJ7f4H8I/AAAAAAAAK5A/HGNVZviDRxs/s400/Slide1.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mega-Math-Word-Problem-Task-Card-Bundle-Grades-3-5-902544"><img border="0" height="300" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tzthB3fhdzA/U9zzQnz0DaI/AAAAAAAAK5I/K7U0HvKU9nA/s400/Slide1.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Word-Problem-Bundled-Set-Grade-3-4-748119"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nIm-SebZeVo/U9zzS57YIuI/AAAAAAAAK5Q/D-8uphITX6I/s400/Grade+3-4+word+problem+bundle+cover.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Word-Problem-Bundled-Set-Grade-4-5-682472"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/--sFQn3S98Ko/U9zzcAfpZWI/AAAAAAAAK5Y/GqMDwvxM1qU/s400/grade+4-5+word+problem+cover.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Another thing I feel pretty passionate about is helping students learn to be independent readers and book lovers! These two resources have been helpful to hundreds of teachers who are looking for new ways to keep their kids reading, to track their reading, to build excitement about books, and to realize that reading is a personal and enjoyable experience. The calendars are updated yearly so you only need to buy it one time.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Getting-Ready-for-a-Year-of-Reading-How-to-Launch-Independent-Reading-767169"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dmroan7HPJU/V54RxaclD7I/AAAAAAAAXzs/j2-KagMXpBQy97w5QT8pbTF8KoI1n4_aQCLcB/s320/getting%2Bready%2Bfor%2Ba%2Byear%2Bof%2Breading%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;"></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/-Qehe02z_EQI/V54SNWd7J5I/AAAAAAAAXz0/gGStVfaQahY5J2JXe5456GZ23cB2d5neACLcB/s400/Slide1.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I know lots of you have used my concept sorts over the last year, so I had to include my latest one. If you haven't tried using concept sorts--either that YOU have made or that you got from me...you seriously HAVE to try. It is so much fun--and you can see how much more deeply your students will think about the topics. I have more in the works--but this one is a GREAT one for back to school because it really gets them thinking about the concept of "equals"--the foundation of SO much math work! There are also <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Fraction-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1036755">fraction</a>, <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Multiplication-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1519691">multiplication</a>, <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Geometry-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1221841">geometry</a>, and <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Angle-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1085001">angle</a> sorts available so far in my store--and a <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sort-Bundle-Grades-3-5-2550979">bundle</a> as well!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Concept-Sorts-A-Set-of-5-Algebra-Thinking-Sorts-for-Grades-4-and-5-1282487"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uubWWh2e83o/U9z0SvmDG0I/AAAAAAAAK6A/WrYh2dzrk38/s400/Slide1.JPG" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">In staying with a math theme, developing number sense is SO important--and many students move to the intermediate grades with a less sophisticated understanding of our place value system than we would like. Using number limes in an open ended way has really helped me both see where my students' understanding is AND help me create lessons and practice opportunities for them. Last year I created a resource using the numbers 0-1,000 and it was a perfect thing for first quarter. As the year went on, I realized that I wanted to do more with the higher numbers, so this resource was born! It is a challenge for many at first, but you will see their understanding grow as you work through these and share ideas as a class. I have both sets available and on sale.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Number-Sense-with-Number-Lines-Place-Value-Understanding-to-1000000-1302496"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-g0D8W-vK2pc/U9z0HOiY7WI/AAAAAAAAK54/SNDQSuhciFk/s400/Slide1.JPG" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Along the same line, I feel pretty strongly about helping students learn to tackle challenging problems--even problems that may have more than one answer--so that they learn the trait of perseverance. So often students are unwilling to take risks when they come to my class OR math has always been so easy for them that they don't know what to do when they encounter something tricky. Thus, "Perseverance Problems" were born. In my class, I used them in a few different ways--from cooperative problem-solving exercises to challenge work for some of my top students. This is definitely one of my favorites--so check it out!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Problem-Solving-A-Resource-to-Teach-Perseverance-997255"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qJ-w8KejDHM/U9zz7XKr6UI/AAAAAAAAK5w/a8U7aBknfI0/s400/Perseverance+Problem+Resource+new+cover.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Another product line that has made a HUGE difference in my classroom is my Thinker Tasks. These open ended problems area great for whole class, small groups, or fast finishers. They are all differentiated and students can work at their own pace--some doing just a bit of it, and others taking full advantage. There are 7 different products in the line now--and a bundle of all 7 at a reduced price. See what you think!</div><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="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-odw1ysiWDLE/V52N7nF4VZI/AAAAAAAAXzU/leN_PC9Bq8QuGtnXKgPN2raQtOToDf-2QCLcB/s640/Slide1.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;">Using formative assessment is SO key to making good instructional decisions. I found myself CONSTANTLY creating exit and entrance slips to go with my lessons--so I created this resource as a time saver! Each one has a whole bunch of "empty" slips for you to use to tailor to your lessons--almost like graphic organizers. New to this? I have given suggestions for use for EACH one! Check out the preview for me. I use these ALL. THE. TIME.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Using-Exit-and-Entrance-Slips-to-Guide-Instruction-BUNDLE-821305"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bpsGQakYXe4/U9zztxuuuYI/AAAAAAAAK5o/0Hvaso5cjzM/s400/Entrance+and+Exit+Slip+Bundle+new+cover.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Finally, last year I was complaining to my friend about how my students over the years seem to lack the creativity they had years ago and we chatted and put blame on everything from TV to video games to our textbooks and so on. I went home that night and decided to do something about it! Over the next months, 6 different "activities" were born and all 6 of them are included in this bundle. This is rapidly becoming one of my best sellers--and my students LOVE them! See what you think!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thinking-Outside-the-Box-Exercising-Creative-Minds-Bundled-Set-1217847"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sYBGOWF8JrQ/U9zzsABg0aI/AAAAAAAAK5g/Lme7oJJgA6k/s400/Creativity+Bundle+Resource+cover.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I also am in love with my latest line of novel studies including one for the AMAZING "Fish in a Tree" book. Have you read it? If not, I highly highly recommend it! </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Digging-Deeper-into-Reading-A-Literature-Study-Guide-for-Fish-in-a-Tree-1989573"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-en3tgovkJGE/Vb4SMLJ90JI/AAAAAAAAOW0/EJkcsfCfJgg/s400/Slide1.JPG" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">And finally, my "Maps and Globes" unit is done...this is how I start the year and it is full of projects, creative thinking, interactive notebook components, assessments, and more. I am super proud of the level of challenge--AND the level of fun!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Maps-and-Globes-Interactive-Unit-for-Grades-3-5-1939210"><img border="0" height="246" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aU33xE7ZRWE/Vb4SlwKnQcI/AAAAAAAAOW8/_OIbFDshNg0/s320/cover%2Bslide%2Breduced.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;">You may also know I have a TON of math games...I have started bundling them together in sets of "like" games to make planning easy. They even have labels included for labeling bags or bins! Here is one...there are 3 sets so far and more on the way!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Bright-Ideas-Bundled-Math-Stations-Place-Value-Games-and-Centers-2689925"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nMQL6zY1hGg/V52NQa-CIfI/AAAAAAAAXzQ/d3mmbu07vk4NIMZIqfRI97xmmunCjvRzACLcB/s320/math%2Bgame%2Bcenter%2Bbundle%2Bplace%2Bvalue%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;">So...this is just a small handful of the many products in my store...and after the sale is finished, this post will be hidden from view! If you end up purchasing any--I'd love to hear what you think! Stop by my <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Teacher-Studio">STORE</a> or my <a href="https://www.facebook.com/FourthGradeStudio/">FACEBOOK</a> page and check things out!</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-82796769495915522722017-07-28T16:14:00.000-05:002018-01-09T18:34:09.907-06:00Anecdotal Reading Notes and Status of the Class<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: start;">As we move into a new school year, many of us are searching for new systems. If you are anything like me, you have probably uttered the phrase, "Next year, I am going to be SO much better at...". And you can fill in the blank. Better at recording grades...better at keeping your desk clean...better about providing timely feedback to students--we all have tons of areas where we wish we had a system that worked. One such system that I think is highly effective is my <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Readers-Workshop-Forms-for-Reading-Status-and-Anecdotal-Records-444716?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=blog%20post%20anecdotal%20calendars%20and%20classroom%20library">status of the class</a> procedure that I use during reader's workshop/independent reading.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Readers-Workshop-Forms-for-Reading-Status-and-Anecdotal-Records-444716?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=blog%20post%20anecdotal%20calendars%20and%20classroom%20library"><img alt="back to school classroom library" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zFLIk0cUgQA/WXuis94_R1I/AAAAAAAAZ8I/FdQkrgdn2hAzDABijWGvwt9tKufEY8nrACLcBGAs/s640/getting%2Bready%2Bfor%2Ba%2Byear%2Bof%2Breading%2Bpost%2Bjuly%2B28%2B2017.jpg" title="reader's workshop independent reading" width="640" /></a></div><br /><h3>So what is status of the class and why do I value it so much?</h3>Several years ago I created a system for taking status of the class--something I value very much. I had tried everything...class lists, special forms--you name it. What I finally came up with was a calendar system...I LOVED being able to see the entire month at a time. What I REALLY loved was being able to take some anecdotal notes right on the page...and then to use the back to work with students on word work or other decoding skills. I despise my voice--but I did make a video of this process last year if it helps anyone visualize it.<br /><br />I so firmly believe that we, as teachers, send messages all day long to our students. I want one of my crystal clear messages to be--I value you as a reader. I care about what you are reading--and I can't wait to hear your thoughts.<br /><br />When we take time every day to hear what our students are reading and to do a brief "mini conference" with them helps us know their reading habits, patterns, and to help coach them to the next level. See if this video explains it more clearly!<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-O6ga7O_8_Y?ecver=1" width="560"></iframe><br /></div><br />I seriously love knowing what my students are reading...it helps me make book recommendations, it helps me know where to focus my instruction, it helps me make small grouping decisions, and it helps students know they are accountable. It truly is one of my favorite times of the day...and it works toward building that all-important culture for learning. I actually make each month's calendar on a different colored paper and get them all ready before school starts so each month I can just grab the next stack. <br /><h3>Making sure independent reading is a success</h3>This is a perfect habit to build at the beginning of the school year. I use it and many of the forms and ideas from <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Readers-Workshop-Forms-Posters-Lessons-and-More-767169?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=blog%20post%20anecdotal%20calendars%20and%20getting%20ready%20resource">THIS RESOURCE</a> to help students understand what independent reading looks like and sounds like in my room. It is a sacred time in my room, so I want to set the climate from the very first day of school! It is SO worth investing the time early on to set those routines and expectations.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Readers-Workshop-Forms-Posters-Lessons-and-More-767169?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=blog%20post%20anecdotal%20calendars%20and%20getting%20ready%20resource"><img alt="forms independent reading" border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-p0_1ZmQOa9s/WXuKwMLl_2I/AAAAAAAAZ7g/dvE-LsgGQNc31_OxaFATlKFVli6a2BKGgCLcBGAs/s320/getting%2Bready%2Bfor%2Ba%2Byear%2Bof%2Breading%2Bcover.jpg" title="reader's workshop independent reading" width="320" /></a></div><br />Finally...one more item on my "to do" list is to do a little library reorganization. Since reorganizing last time, I've added some new series and need to make some new book bin tags. I LOVE how my library is organized and my students can use it totally independently which is so important to me. One of my favorite times in those first weeks is a one-on-one conference I do with each child IN MY CLASSROOM LIBRARY where I get a feel for what they like and don't like, and so on. We start their "books I can't wait to read" list during that time and make sure everyone has a book to get started on. Even 5-6 minutes per student can give you SO much information about them as readers!<br /><h3>Easy classroom library organization!</h3>Interested in how I organize my classroom library? Just click the image below. Disclaimer. I despise my voice in this video as well...but sometimes "seeing" makes it easier. I do not organize books by level as I believe students need to learn how to pick books on their own that interest them and are "good fits" so we work on that extensively at the beginning of the year.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD3rk9QeVSE&t=21s"><img alt="reader's workshop independent reading" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-72AdumKpqSY/WXuNfzjpXlI/AAAAAAAAZ7s/UjdUOpRe_d4W73H8_TjfdoPZejTPM3F8QCLcBGAs/s640/library%2Bvideo%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bimage.jpg" title="classroom library organization" width="640" /></a></div>Anyhoo...one of the first things I start to think about for "back to school" is getting ready for a great year of literacy--so I hope these gave YOU some ideas as well! <br /><br />Building a relationship with each and every reader in our class is so important--and SO much fun! This is what reading is all about...helping develop life-long book lovers! Thanks for stopping by.<br /><br />Interested in the calendars? Just click the image below. They are updated each year so you don't ever need to repurchase.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Readers-Workshop-Forms-for-Reading-Status-and-Anecdotal-Records-444716?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=blog%20post%20anecdotal%20calendars%20and%20classroom%20library"><img alt="reader's workshop independent reading" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="240" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-y3luwpAYmXo/WXunX-u0gWI/AAAAAAAAZ8U/WTK96QrY6kQHT9aP0rFVdYQRWaxKOuTmQCEwYBhgL/s320/Reading%2BStatus%2BCalendar%2B2017%2B-%2B2018%2Breading%2Blog%2Bcover.jpg" title="taking status of the class" width="320" /></a></div><br /><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/Readers-Workshop-Forms-Posters-Lessons-and-More-767169?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=blog%20post%20anecdotal%20calendars%20and%20getting%20ready%20resource"><img alt="classroom libraries, anecdotal records, status of the class, independent reading, reader's workshop, reading stamina" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lZ8_1LmbdZc/WgZ24Sm9veI/AAAAAAAAaUg/dOawCkgrd8YavXDlUlkLH64iRN5za8E2wCLcBGAs/s640/status%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bclass%2Banecdotal%2Brecord%2Bpin%2Bnew.jpg" title="classroom libraries, anecdotal records, status of the class, independent reading, reader's workshop, reading stamina" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-80127164760129965902017-07-26T18:10:00.000-05:002017-11-11T11:05:36.335-06:006 tips for Creating Your Back-to-School Classroom Culture<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">As I have taught longer and longer, I realize that this "back to school" season has taken on new priorities for me. I remember scouring the back-to-school flyers looking for bargain school supplies. I remember thinking about what colors my bulletin boards would be--or if I wanted a "theme". I am still wondering what led me to the "fish" theme that one year...I think it was the clearance glittery fish I saw at the party store, but I'm not 100% sure.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Differentiated-Word-Problem-Collection-Grade-3-5-777345"><img alt="classroom community" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5GFlfD5qtcs/WXkfUZ6bb5I/AAAAAAAAZ7M/_rJcbicXr5U7jbEREgAycLj8dsr5SL28gCLcBGAs/s640/back%2Bto%2Bschool%2Bculture%2Bheader.jpg" title="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" width="640" /></a></div><br />With the growth of Pinterest and other social media sites, I have seen even more attention paid to these things...the colored bins. The coordinated bulletin borders. The works. And you know what?It's FINE. I know that we, as teachers, need to be happy in our classroom environments and creating that space can be a creative release for teachers as well. That being said...I do hope that we always remember that we are there for the <b>students</b> and their academic and social growth. Because of that, I wanted to share with you some of my current thoughts about back-to-school preparations. When I plan my classroom environment, THESE are the ideas that help steer my thinking.<br /><h3>Teach Students to Work Collaboratively</h3>One thing I expect ALL year is that my students work collaboratively and cooperatively. This is not something all fourth graders do innately! Early in the year, I immerse my students in practice opportunities where I coach and we work together to establish "norms" for partnering. I truly believe that investing time early in the year in teaching students how to work in partners will pay off so much as I move to larger cooperative groups later in the year.<br /><br />First, I encourage a discussion where we keep track of what students know about working in pairs. We FILL the white board with ideas and then work to group things together. I later record the key ideas on a chart that I display ALL year. When partnerships are struggling, I send them over to refer to the chart and identify and work on the issue.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Customizable-Make-Cooperative-Groups-Name-Tags-1400835"><img alt="working in cooperative groups" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="816" height="564" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-E3ZpbpRfiS4/WXiz7hq20LI/AAAAAAAAZ5w/GkWh9G1oJzYj8X4nqvDueB2O9s4IjzHTwCLcBGAs/s640/back%2Bto%2Bschool%2Bculture%2Bpicture%2B3.jpg" title="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" width="640" /></a></div>I also get my students reading from DAY 1 that we work in partners a ton...and that we often don't get to pick our own partners. I use "people picker" sticks a lot...and also use cooperative name tags that make it super easy to form groups of different sizes. We talk about how important it is to be able to work with ALL students...regardless of friendships, skills, gender, or any other variable. I also want students to understand how damaging a heavy sigh or an eye roll can be...and those are not allowed when partners are picked. Ever.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Customizable-Make-Cooperative-Groups-Name-Tags-1400835"><img alt="picking student names" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="816" height="564" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3YHI7jopn4w/WXjaNxvftbI/AAAAAAAAZ6M/GdcbHHcI_fYVVBiYMn7LoSwGJzZwAQx9QCLcBGAs/s640/back%2Bto%2Bschool%2Bculture%2Bpicture%2B5.jpg" title="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" width="640" /></a></div><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/Customizable-Make-Cooperative-Groups-Name-Tags-1400835"><img alt="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="816" height="564" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QSQj-IUf4mA/WXjcnPMpDNI/AAAAAAAAZ6Y/mexBlF0cwS0zO-ghfhCJlpqFQunWxngPwCLcBGAs/s640/back%2Bto%2Bschool%2Bculture%2Bpicture6%2Bname%2Btag.jpg" title="classroom name tags customizable" width="640" /></a></span></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Customizable-Make-Cooperative-Groups-Name-Tags-1400835">Just click the image to learn more...</a></td></tr></tbody></table><h3><br />Immerse Students in Growth Mindset Language and Practice</h3>Talking about growth mindset is quite trendy...but when I first started reading and studying the brain research years ago, a few things became clear. This truly is a CULTURE that needs to be nurtured. It isn't an "activity" or a project--it's a way of DOING things--all year long. I do a lot of activities at the beginning of the year to get students comfortable with the language and ideas related to growth mindset...from reading picture books that represent it to using sentence stems to working with this bulletin board to really keep these ideas visible.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Bulletin-Board-and-Activity-Set-2021181"><img alt="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="816" height="564" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FaJ73QKFgw4/WXiz_lV7GsI/AAAAAAAAZ54/jcoV2pE4Oi4ZpVm1p78grMxdTOh57j4LwCLcBGAs/s640/back%2Bto%2Bschool%2Bculture%2Bpicture%2B1.jpg" title="teaching growth mindset activities" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Bulletin-Board-and-Activity-Set-2021181"><img alt="teaching growth mindset activities" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="816" height="564" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HJ3OXKq2_WU/WXiz_mOvqjI/AAAAAAAAZ50/ia0v5WMLY0Uy9h648ZyGO96_bLxQPQdowCLcBGAs/s640/back%2Bto%2Bschool%2Bculture%2Bpicture%2B4.jpg" title="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" width="640" /></a></div>I also start the year off by providing students with a bunch of challenging tasks that help us practice a growth mindset and to build this culture. This leads to my next point...we want to create a climate where mistakes are made, acknowledged, managed, studied, and even celebrated. If you are interested in these growth mindset activities, click <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Bulletin-Board-and-Activity-Set-2021181">HERE</a> or the images above.<br /><br /><h3>Nurture of Culture for Mistake-Making and Productive Struggle</h3><div>If we want students to be risk-takers and to be willing to try new things and receive feedback, we need to make our classrooms places where the pressure to be correct and perfect is absent.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Bulletin-Board-and-Activity-Set-2021181"><img alt="productive struggle" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-O-kODXdVYxc/WXitLkIyOBI/AAAAAAAAZ5g/89deaARstWYXzntVwsBDsO7aBgfmm5HngCLcBGAs/s640/carol%2Bdweck%2Bquote%2Bversion%2Btwo%2Bjuly%2B26%2B2017%2Bblog%2Bpost.jpg" title="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" width="640" /></a></div><div>It isn't enough for US as teachers to believe this...we have to clearly model it and communicate these truths to our students. We need them to trust us implicitly--and that we actually VALUE mistakes and are there to help coach them through challenging work.<br /><br /></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-top: 0pt; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><u><span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">A few ways to encourage productive struggle…</span></span></u></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: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">1.Model it! Show your students how to tackle new concepts with an “I can do it” spirit! Admit when you don't know something...and show them what you do next!</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /><!--[endif]--></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">2.“Name it” when you see it! Highlight student work and effort…show you value it.</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /><!--[endif]--></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">3.Teach students how to work in teams and how to support each other through challenges. Give them sentence stems to support their language. I like to help them learn how to "coach" each other without simply giving away the answer. I also want them to learn how to politely refuse help if they want to keep forging ahead on their own.</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /><!--[endif]--></span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">4.Remember YOUR mindset…students will value what you value. I also love to find real world examples and examples in the books we read.</span></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><br /></div><div style="direction: ltr; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-left: 0.38in; margin-top: 0pt; text-indent: -0.38in; unicode-bidi: embed; word-break: normal;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">5.Think about ways to regularly celebrate challenge…tough math problems you tackle together, digging into rigorous but engaging literature, celebrating exciting new vocabulary words, cooperative puzzles…the sky is the limit!</span></div><br /><h3>Encourage Deep Thinking </h3>I know some people like to start the year off with a lot of low-stress activities--but I am a believer in digging right in and getting going! In those first weeks, I do provide students with the chance to really practice those "culture" pieces--discussion, partnering, discussion, and so on. This fun cooperative activity gets so much great discussion going--and the students just love it! Click the image to go the blog post all about it...(and it's free!)<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2015/09/engineering-inquiry-and-cooperative.html"><img alt="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" border="0" data-original-height="1190" data-original-width="736" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-M_qiLlLGB9A/WXj9xtf642I/AAAAAAAAZ64/BfOUU3DGg7AJHXDL_2mAOO-w1X_zI1K8gCLcBGAs/s640/help%2Bharry.jpg" title="engineering STEM challenges" width="394" /></a></div>Although I certainly do stick to the curriculum sequence, I also want my students to have to think deeply from the first day--and to realize that there ARE going to be problems this year that they can't solve right away--or alone. We work collaboratively to tackle these back to school word problems, and it's a great opportunity for me to watch how students are working and what strategies they have dealing with problems that require a little thinking. It is almost like a little assessment for me to see how they work together and how willing they are to tackle challenges.<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/Back-to-School-Differentiated-Word-Problem-Collection-Grade-3-5-777345" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" border="0" data-original-height="336" data-original-width="560" height="384" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PjtbVwl5SlU/WXj8owdD2hI/AAAAAAAAZ6s/hYz8FbMXOeceVoWcMPoxBBzW1gXGWsL_ACLcBGAs/s640/back%2Bto%2Bschool%2Bword%2Bproblems.jpg" title="back to school math word problems" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Just click the image to see more about these problems (also available in a digital version)</td></tr></tbody></table>Another way I really get my students thinking from the first day is with my read alouds. I start the year by reading picture books that get them thinking...and I also start my first chapter book read aloud of the year. For the last few years, I have used Fish in a Tree as my first read aloud because it has SO much to offer...it helps us learn to talk about books, about bullying, about life at school, and about how we each have our own journey at school. If this is a new book for you, I can't recommend it enough. I have put together a <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fish-in-a-Tree-Novel-Study-1989573">resource</a> with a lot of the writing and discussion prompts that I use along with this text in case you are interested.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fish-in-a-Tree-Novel-Study-1989573"><img alt="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Tzy0d2Un0cs/WXj9q4uB9QI/AAAAAAAAZ60/sHAt25RgcsgGiMrUQq7LCbvBUhxGKByZQCLcBGAs/s400/fish%2Bin%2Ba%2Btree%2Bcover.jpg" title="fish in a tree novel study" width="400" /></a></div><br /><h3>Help Students Self-Assess and Reflect on Their Learning</h3>Fish in a Tree is the perfect novel to kick of our year-long discussions about how we EACH have our own educational journey and a different path to success. We start with a lot of interest surveys and self-reflections where we check out our strengths and do some goal setting. This math behavior checklist is one of the things we do--and it really helps students start to move away from the idea that "good" math students are fast at math facts--and they learn that math (and other learning) is so much more than this.<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/Common-Core-Math-Practice-Standards-Self-Assessment-Checklists-3224089"><img alt="back to school teaching ideas classroom culture" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="816" height="352" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Bqt-hA7RtJA/WXiz39hh0hI/AAAAAAAAZ5s/EB3H0a_URRkWOU_esDD0rzjT7I-yd_V4QCLcBGAs/s400/back%2Bto%2Bschool%2Bculture%2Bpicture%2B2.jpg" title="standards for mathematical practice" width="400" /></a></span></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Math-Practice-Standards-Self-Assessment-Checklists-3224089">This is a part of my math practice standards self-assessment resource. Click the image to see more.</a></td></tr></tbody></table>Getting students to recognize and "own" their own strengths and goals is a great way to work on that culture for learning...that idea that we are all on this journey together.<br /><h3>Culture of Fun and Joy</h3>I hope you can see that I firmly believe that despite all the demands placed on us by our policies, our administrators, our peers, social media, and more--we really CAN create a culture in our classrooms of acceptance, fun, and excitement. Students need to feel like we are on their team and will support them unconditionally--and when we have this culture in our classroom, we CAN have fun and do amazing things. So...go ahead and search Pinterest for the perfect classroom theme and have fun. But please remember why we do what we do...we nurture humans to become better humans. Have a great school year.<br /><br />Want to pin this for later?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Differentiated-Word-Problem-Collection-Grade-3-5-777345"><img alt="first weeks of school classroom community, growth mindset, classroom culture, cooperative learning, collaboration, accountable talk, STEM activities, Fish in a Tree, problem solving, partner work, name tags, back to school" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OR-oJrLTmDQ/WXkfO4j-uFI/AAAAAAAAZ7I/lKGdJy1g3_8ku9_6T0fc1qBRcqoxsKI9QCLcBGAs/s640/creating%2Bclassroom%2Bculture%2Bpin%2Bjuly%2B26%2B2017.jpg" title="classroom culture, first weeks of school classroom community, growth mindset, classroom culture, cooperative learning, collaboration, accountable talk, STEM activities, Fish in a Tree, problem solving, partner work, name tags, back to school" width="320" /></a></div><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-28854792182613881902017-07-16T07:00:00.000-05:002017-11-11T11:05:54.460-06:00A Classroom Culture for Self-Assessment<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2017/07/the-importance-of-student-self.html"><img border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qkH7-9AI5WA/WWlcBejkOAI/AAAAAAAAZ2I/Or_3352AmSEw4OcOtiy92U5N6XkbPD7xQCLcBGAs/s640/UES%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bfeeder%2Bimage.jpg" width="640" /></a></div>Interested in some food for thought about self-assessment---and the importance of creating a culture to nurture it! Come visit over at Upper Elementary Snapshots to learn more! Click <a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2017/07/the-importance-of-student-self.html">HERE</a> or the image above! Before you go...<br /><br /><span style="text-align: center;">By the way...not sure if you have noticed but I have added a few new products to my store that might help you out! Just click the images below if you are interested...</span><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/Sentence-Strategies-Writing-Sentences-Task-Cards-3255871" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-G6Ai_dTgZVo/WWotewL7UCI/AAAAAAAAZ2k/xGgM9OCMlpUJGiOo7cCFLCAJTVkY2hcEwCLcBGAs/s320/Sentence%2BStrategies%2BTask%2BCards%2Bcover%2Bbefore%2Band%2Bafter.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Another set of task cards perfect for developing student writing skills with quick writes!</td></tr></tbody></table><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/Demand-Writing-Prompt-Set-Narrative-Writing-Cliffhangers-3196029" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VDvKClgFxnE/WWotiJbY8qI/AAAAAAAAZ2o/PQ7YDYG8BLAPQ08jEaj8_mjNQFEMU0wGACLcBGAs/s320/narrative%2Bdemand%2Bprompt%2Bcliff%2Bhanger%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">So much fun for students--they can finish the narrative and YOU can easily assess!</td></tr></tbody></table><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;"><img border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7VTGUeiyRnQ/WWotiKUU-1I/AAAAAAAAZ2s/4ck54SaQSRIAG37j_NX7xElpTnBf-AWoQCLcBGAs/s320/open%2Bended%2Bchallenges%2Bset%2B4%2Bcover.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="320" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Sets 1-3 are my best seller--and here is set FOUR finally!</td></tr></tbody></table><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/Common-Core-Math-Practice-Standards-Self-Assessment-Checklists-3224089" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-If3_sE86iqk/WWotiMK7m6I/AAAAAAAAZ2w/qA5wwhalHSQqlR8qiMFBy_9bqPJyePeDQCLcBGAs/s320/Standards%2Bfor%2Bmath%2Bpractice%2Bassessments%2Bchecklist%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Perfect to help students REALLY understand the standards for mathematical practice and to help them be more reflective.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />Want to pin the blog post for later? Here you go!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.upperelementarysnapshots.com/2017/07/the-importance-of-student-self.html"><img alt="self-assessment, assessment forms, assessment checklists, standards for mathematical practice, math practice standards" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-R1melRDQFTM/WWlcFRBw3XI/AAAAAAAAZ2M/iS5tbgdeuo0Kvx4tuvwLcMlMiGfYM8VyQCLcBGAs/s640/UES%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bself%2Bassessment%2Bjuly%2B15%2B.jpg" title="self-assessment, assessment forms, assessment checklists, standards for mathematical practice, math practice standards" width="320" /></a></div><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-19534353173811111422017-07-06T16:27:00.000-05:002017-11-11T11:39:21.382-06:00Teaching growth mindset...<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: start;">If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I am a huge believer in helping students learn the "behaviors" needed to be successful students and human beings. The idea of "<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=growth%20mindset%20blog%20post">Growth Mindset</a>" is trendy right now--but it is really important to know the research and reasoning behind this movement.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=growth%20mindset%20blog%20post"><img alt="Growth Mindset, STEM, productive struggle, perseverance, classroom culture, Carol Dweck, growth mindset lessons, growth mindset activities, teaching growth mindset" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tKXg8Eoi5Ho/WV6XKUgRxfI/AAAAAAAAZyM/SmPkSjt4wzg13kYCu1UoVejhyGBhfYmPgCLcBGAs/s640/growth%2Bmindset%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bimage.jpg" title="teaching growth mindset lessons and activities" width="640" /></a></div><br />Whether this means immersing them in the Standards for Mathematical Practice...coaching them on discourse and accountable talk strategies...or helping develop life skills that will extend far beyond my time with them--I firmly believe that spending instructional minutes explicitly working on these skills will pay off BIG time.<br /><br />A few years ago I started digging into the work of Carol Dweck and Jo Boaler because I knew what I believed--and wanted to understand the research behind it. I blogged about Carol Dweck last year...just click the image below if you missed that post about the need to nurture "productive struggle". There's a short video clip that is super powerful as well. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2015/02/encouraging-productive-struggle.html"><img alt="teaching growth mindset lessons and activities" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-drPl9M-G0kY/WV6UgS5oClI/AAAAAAAAZyI/M3pVPo0b7rIdhTQqSFABlPWYoqieabgzQCLcBGAs/s640/Slide1.JPG" title="Carol Dweck" width="640" /></a></div><br /><h3>Growth Mindset and Productive Struggle</h3>So over the years, I have started to formalize the work I do in my classroom related to this idea of "productive struggle" and "growth mindset"...and the beauty of teaching intermediate grade students is that they can LEARN about these ideas. I love to teach students about how their brains work--and the truth about how they learn. It has become more and more clear to me that I send messages to my students without doing so deliberately...the "hidden" curriculum.<br /><br />If I insist on silence during work times, it shows I value working independently.<br />If I give time tests, it shows I value speed in math.<br />If I use wait time, it shows I value thinking and reflection.<br />If I teach students to work in groups, it shows I value collaboration.<br /><br />So you can see, this "hidden" curriculum can be a GOOD thing--or a negative thing and we need to be more mindful of the message we are sending.<br /><br />For that reason, I try VERY hard to be transparent with students. I try to explain WHY we do what we do. "I want you to work in pairs today because I think it's important that you try to coach each other and push each other." or "Today I'm going to give you a precision grade because it's important to look over your work and check for accuracy and completeness." or "Let's study our mistakes on this problem because investigating errors helps us grow connections in our brains--research shows us this." I really believe it helps build the culture in our classrooms--that it gives students ownership of the learning and helps cement my role as "facilitator", not "boss". I want them to know why I do what I do. It's important.<br /><br />This leads to very explicit instruction in some of these ideas early in the year that I then revisit all year long as routines and behaviors might start to break down a little.<br /><br /><h3><b>What are some of these classroom "learning behaviors"?</b></h3>We talk extensively about "helping" each other...how it's ok to offer help and also ok to "give it a try" on our own--as long as we are respectful about how we do it. We also talk about the different ways to OFFER assistance without being a "boss" or taking over. We want a climate where students know how to manage help!<br /><br />Also, I talk about how our brains grow and learn and how important it is to make mistakes, to recognize the feedback of others, and to be willing to tackle challenging tasks. I purposely put students in positions to practice this...with collaborative activities, challenging math problems, and more. I want to establish a culture where it's acceptable and ENCOURAGED to say, "I don't understand," or "Can you please help?" or "Let's try something different." The real world is NOT fill-in-the-blank, is it?<br /><br />I explicitly teach the language of "growth mindset" and "fixed mindset". We brainstorm the language associated it and post examples that I leave up all year. One of my favorite things is when a student recognizes these behaviors--perhaps in a book we are reading--and says something like, "Hey! Elise is really using a fixed mindset in this part." The discussions we have then are amazing.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=growth%20mindset%20blog%20post"><img alt="growth mindset bulletin board" border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NXuDKmnd3B0/WV6cWw-f6HI/AAAAAAAAZyU/jjlIfFaZBigf2TV7fYMBLzlPiizA8qhFgCLcBGAs/s640/growth%2Bmindset%2Bpic.jpg" title="teaching growth mindset lessons and activities" width="640" /></a></div><br />I use discussion starters to keep us talking about writing about these behaviors...we make anchor charts...we take surveys...we assess our own behaviors...we set goals. We immerse ourselves in these "learning behaviors". <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=growth%20mindset%20blog%20post"><img alt="lesson plans growth mindset" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-N-wsV5mV9Lc/WV6cybpEujI/AAAAAAAAZyY/sXitZUxa34Q-DIMItUqu0gcVxLKy2RKugCLcBGAs/s640/Slide69.JPG" title="teaching growth mindset lessons and activities" width="640" /></a></div><br />Why? Because if students don't have a true awareness of these behaviors, the fractions and verbs and summarizing and map skills just don't matter as much if students are missing the other piece. We can continue to work ourselves through our textbooks and our curriculum documents. We can write learning targets on the board and do our assessments and fill out our spreadsheets and track our data. <br />We can continue to go skill by skill, day by day--or we can stop, help students understand how they learn, and create a climate where learning is exciting, meaningful, rigorous, and extends far beyond the objective on the board.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><b>I think it's worth it.</b></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Interested in what I do to help teach growth mindset? Check this out...</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=growth%20mindset%20blog%20post"><img border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CNeqrh1F7Oo/WV6fhzV97nI/AAAAAAAAZyc/ljd_m-GxUQ80w1dzjAqbYPPILShQuJAogCLcBGAs/s320/growth%2Bmindset%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Want to see some of the problems I use to encourage productive struggle?</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" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-a4oZVPNGMUw/WV6flVqaWGI/AAAAAAAAZyg/0tPKxdh1FywdxUqt3QAWisGofLfT833hACLcBGAs/s320/perseverance%2Bproblem%2Bcover.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">What a fun freebie to help students learn to work collaboratively?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2015/09/engineering-inquiry-and-cooperative.html"><img border="0" data-original-height="1190" data-original-width="736" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CAu5kElMjS4/WV6fpLog-oI/AAAAAAAAZyk/GfH4klNZ7vUCwE8Xd6-dOH3tK4ug3wL9QCLcBGAs/s320/help%2Bharry.jpg" width="197" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Want to pin this post for later?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-Activities-Lessons-Posters-and-More-2021181?utm_source=www.theteacherstudio.com&utm_campaign=growth%20mindset%20blog%20post"><img alt="Growth Mindset, STEM, productive struggle, perseverance, classroom culture, Carol Dweck, growth mindset lessons, growth mindset activities, teaching growth mindset" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Kyc0hQOWrVo/WV6j20hurTI/AAAAAAAAZyo/CQiwaZ-gdlczhtd_sTavtYX5M9DprBaFwCLcBGAs/s640/growth%2Bmindset%2Bpin%2Bjuly%2B6%2B2017.jpg" title="Growth Mindset, STEM, productive struggle, perseverance, classroom culture, Carol Dweck, growth mindset lessons, growth mindset activities, teaching growth mindset" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br />The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-9934532349165959562017-07-03T18:22:00.001-05:002017-12-26T20:50:54.397-06:00Open Ended Challenges--NOT Just for Enrichment<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-4-Problem-Solving-Grades-3-5-3232162"><img alt="word problems" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-N6_EXyGMZ08/WVrOOtSMiyI/AAAAAAAAZwQ/yXRYx0WJp1EsoCYmrPhSdl4LCag0gUw4gCLcBGAs/s640/July%2B3%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bproblem%2Bsolving%2Bfor%2Beveryone.jpg" title="teaching problem solving real world challenges" width="640" /></a></div>One thing that I really try to be mindful of when planning my math instruction is how I "spend" my minutes. There are some things I really try to minimize as I plan:<br /><br /><ul><li>Transition delays </li><li>"correcting" things</li><li>passing out/collecting materials</li><li>filling out practice pages</li></ul><div>And I try to spend as many minutes as possible doing the following:</div><div><ul><li>high-level problem solving</li><li>math discourse</li><li>small group teaching/coaching</li><li>partner work</li><li>open-ended tasks</li></ul><div>Apparently, a lot of you feel the same way because I am constantly being asked to provide MORE open-ended, rigorous tasks--because they are VERY hard to find! I also think it's important to realize that this type of task can be used in a variety of ways...as enrichment work, for fast finishers, as math "rotation" work, and more. I would like to challenge you to think more "instructionally" as you look at some of these tasks--because ALL our students deserve quality math experiences!</div></div><br /><br />"But my struggling students don't even know their math facts!"<br /><br />Agreed. Mine don't either. That being said--problem-solving doesn't require students to know their math facts--especially not quickly. If we withhold quality math tasks from our students until they know their facts...I think you know what will happen. #stillwaiting<br /><br />"So what am I supposed to do to support ALL of my students so they can be successful?"<br /><br /> Plenty! I like to think of teaching as being like working construction...construction workers need to have a host of skills, know how to use a variety of tools and know WHEN to use them. Same with us! Here are a few of those "tools" that can help us make these rigorous math tasks accessible to even our most struggling students.<br /><br />1. Explicitly teach students how to work together. I start this conversation from the very first day of school and hang up the chart we make together and refer to it OFTEN. We practice it often with short, simple tasks so they learn how to work together when it matters! By doing this, you can get creative with your pairs/trios for problem-solving--either by grouping students together with varied abilities to support each other OR "like-abilitied" students can work together and then get extra teaching coaching or a simplified list of expectations. Math is a collaborative activity, so it's critical that they learn how to work well together!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Set-4-Problem-Solving-Grades-3-5-3232162"><img alt="teaching problem solving real world challenges" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yOXNSQ5t92s/WVqk_F5SsTI/AAAAAAAAZvg/H1cztMBK8ow0b4a4o1qEh1mXD_uMCTkVwCLcBGAs/s640/group%2Bimage%2Bdelete.JPG" title="math collaboration working together" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />2. Vary the "tools" you have available. If students struggle with computation, they may still be able to solve challenging problems when given tools...calculators, manipulatives, graph paper, number lines, and more. Here's the deal. When we make these "tools" available to all students all the time, students can learn to access them when needed. When we pass out rulers and TELL students to use them, we are taking all the decision making away from them. Have your materials accessible, teach them how to use them, and then--if students are struggling--gently encourage them to "find a tool" to help. You may even need to coach them on how to use them.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Set-4-Problem-Solving-Grades-3-5-3232162"><img alt="teaching problem solving real world challenges" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NSD4uZcgcr4/WVq8AIIJxCI/AAAAAAAAZvw/KRbyB40QrSkKnt9VRdJiNDL5xXyKfiAwgCLcBGAs/s640/math%2Bmanip%2Bdelete.JPG" title="math class organization manipulatives" width="640" /></a></div><br />3. Teach problem-strategies explicitly. Just like teachers need tools in their "toolbox", so do students! When we help give them strategies to try when faced with a problem, they are far more willing to dig in. One of the first things I talk to my students about is VISUALIZING. I'm not sure this is mentioned in any research anywhere--but let me tell you...it helps so much. When I introduce a problem to students, I always ask them to IMAGINE what is happening. If there is a bakery shelf with 3 trays of cupcakes--picture that. If there are 24 cupcakes on each tray, picture that. If a customer buys 3 cupcakes off each tray--picture THAT. When students learn to do this, it helps avoid that common problem-solving strategy--ADD ALL THE NUMBERS.<br /><br />There are a ton of other strategies I like to teach explicitly as well--so that students have some base experiences with them. I have put together a sequence of problems I use...but I always want to make sure I explain to students that we are practicing them so they can USE THEM LATER. So many math resources have a page called "Draw a Picture Strategy"--where students know exactly what strategy to use (because of the title!), but they don't really understand that the reason we teach the strategies is so they can recognize them later and solve those types of problems. Interested in what I do? Just <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Problem-Solving-Task-Cards-7-Strategies-for-Grades-3-4-2655985">CLICK HERE</a><span id="goog_1862360954"></span><a href="https://www.blogger.com/"></a><span id="goog_1862360955"></span> for the paper version or the image below to see the digital version!<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/Problem-Solving-Task-Cards-7-Strategies-for-Grades-3-4-GOOGLE-EDITION-2657061"><img border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="240" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HSfGzODWg2o/WVrFgVzHezI/AAAAAAAAZwA/zGlQCBtOHrAQD53LCvve22P1RZgOODS1gCLcBGAs/s320/Slide1.JPG" width="320" /></a></span></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Problem-Solving-Task-Cards-7-Strategies-for-Grades-3-4-GOOGLE-EDITION-2657061">Also available in a digital version</a></td></tr></tbody></table>Once students understand their role--to be ACTIVE problem solvers, then we know what to say when they are struggling.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #741b47;"><b>"What have you tried?"</b></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #741b47;"><b>"What tools have you used?"</b></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #741b47;"><b>"What strategies have you tried?"</b></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #741b47;"><b>"Can you visualize what is happening? Tell me."</b></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #741b47;"><b>"Tell me something you can do to get started."</b></span></div><br />By "coaching" this way, students maintain the power and ALL students have access to challenging work! We may need to come back in with more detailed coaching if they are still struggling...but giving them that toolbox gives all students something to grab onto.<br /><br />4. Find real-world experiences to help students realize that we learn math to solve REAL problems in the REAL world...it isn't just filling in a workbook! When we create a climate where students understand the purpose of problem-solving, where they have the strategies needed to tackle them, they know they aren't in it alone (they have classmates and a teacher coach to help), we are helping students build confidence, their perseverance, and their understanding of WHY we learn math. Have a problem at your school that needs to be answered? Solve it! Do you have something in YOUR world the students might like to investigate? Try it. A perfect example of this was a few years ago when I took a trip to my local apple orchard and it turned into a great problem. Click <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2013/10/more-real-life-math-at-orchard-this-time.html#more">HERE</a> to read about it and grab that freebie!<br />Because I know how crazy the school year can get, I have been building my own collection of "real world" problems that I use with my students...from a bakery trip to saving for a new video game to planning a party to helping at an animal shelter...students LOVE solving real problems that matter.<br /><br />You may have seen the first three sets that I've been using for the last few years, and I've had countless requests for more. I finally dug in and got going! Set 4 is ready for you...a shelter problem, a bathroom tile design challenge, and a present-wrapping challenge! Take a peek and see what you think. I worked hard to add extra challenges with each of the 3 tasks as well so that students who handle the tasks with ease can continue the learning. See what you think!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Set-4-Problem-Solving-Grades-3-5-3232162"><img border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="574" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-exam7b9Uv24/WVqbkxf01FI/AAAAAAAAZvU/TC5HbA88fFAJem9UiEHBUK7-GT-i3WulQCLcBGAs/s320/open%2Bended%2Bchallenges%2Bset%2B4%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;"><span style="text-align: start;">Click </span><a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2016/10/helping-students-make-sense-of-problems.html#more" style="text-align: start;">HERE </a><span style="text-align: start;">to read a post from last year where I go into even more detail about open-ended tasks and give you some great teaching strategies!</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 remember...we may need to guide some of our students more than others, but let's remember to not save our best math experiences for only our top students!</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: start;">Want to pin this post for later? Here you go!</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Open-Ended-Math-Challenges-Set-4-Problem-Solving-Grades-3-5-3232162"><img alt="helping struggling math students" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hCWEOhoXPqQ/WVrQesrJIzI/AAAAAAAAZwU/mtkUZqY7xqg0rx_UUK93hG-YDTrQsDOXQCLcBGAs/s640/july%2B3%2B2017%2Bpin%2Bimage%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Bopen%2Bended%2Bchallenges.jpg" title="teaching problem solving real world challenges" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: start;"><br /></span></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-30567444631766607572017-06-21T21:55:00.001-05:002017-06-21T21:55:52.842-05:00Disrupting Thinking Book Study Part 2<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A9toxZj5XMg/WUr__ZKwmwI/AAAAAAAAZsI/UQl6JDr2u9A3F6lJAEDXBYChfetedw4wACLcBGAs/s1600/book%2Bstudy%2Bpart%2B2%2Bimage.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Kylene Beers" border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A9toxZj5XMg/WUr__ZKwmwI/AAAAAAAAZsI/UQl6JDr2u9A3F6lJAEDXBYChfetedw4wACLcBGAs/s640/book%2Bstudy%2Bpart%2B2%2Bimage.jpg" title="disrupting thinking book study" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>It's time to share our thoughts about the second section of "Disrupting Thinking" by Beers and Probst--a week late but here nonetheless! Sorry about the delay--it's been an eventful few weeks for me.<br /><br />When I first read this section, I think that what first piqued my interest was that we truly got into the "meat" of this book--this idea of "disrupting" our thinking and reading to be changed. If this idea that reading should trigger change in us is new to you--you aren't alone. For years we have read (and had our students read) to make connections, to find out how it ends, or to make a story map--but to be CHANGED by it? Certainly not something most of us have discussed with students, especially at the elementary level.<br /><br />Without giving away too much of the book--because no one can state it as articulately and as passionately as the authors, the gist of this section revolves around reading around what is in the book, what is in your head, and what is in your heart. A simple formula, right?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mowmQkG3Z8U/WUswCGlLRwI/AAAAAAAAZsY/NA_bkBmNO3syLkxsf9rgBAa6ExjZReZwACLcBGAs/s1600/Photo%2BJun%2B02%252C%2B1%2B04%2B46%2BPM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Kylene Beers" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mowmQkG3Z8U/WUswCGlLRwI/AAAAAAAAZsY/NA_bkBmNO3syLkxsf9rgBAa6ExjZReZwACLcBGAs/s640/Photo%2BJun%2B02%252C%2B1%2B04%2B46%2BPM.jpg" title="disrupting thinking book study" width="640" /></a></div>If you haven't read the book "Notice and Note", you might want to grab a copy of it to help you understand more about what the "signposts" are. These signposts truly changed the way I interacted with students about texts--and they helped ME be a more thoughtful reader. Again, it's too much to include in a blog post (#readthebookitisworthit) but giving students language and ideas to dig deeper into texts is so powerful.<br /><br />So after this next section, I have a few MORE questions that I need to ponder--and would love for you to add your thoughts about! If you haven't read the book, feel free to add your comments as well, but if you HAVE read this section, I'd like to know your reflections on all or some of the following:<br /><br />1. What are some of the best questions you ask to get these deeper discussions going with students?<br /><br /> <span style="color: #741b47;"><b>Like I said last week, I love our social issues unit--but I have found that by carefully choosing texts to read aloud (picture books, articles, novels, etc) students have NO shortage of ideas they wish to talk about! I really love it when we find connections between texts. For example, we read "The Tiger Rising" early in the year and later in the year read an article about poaching. I didn't have to plan out too many questions because the text selection made it happen. I think I said something like, "Hmmm...so what are you thinking?" and that's all we needed. Some of the best questions I use aren't specific to the text but are more general--like "I wonder what the author was thinking when she wrote that..." or "What choices did ____ have?". What are YOUR thoughts on quality questions?</b></span><br /><br />2. This section also refers to the idea of teaching social activism through our reading instruction--at a developmentally appropriate level, of course. Think about texts you have used that might lend themselves to this idea and share them.<br /><br /><b style="color: #741b47;">It's interesting because I teach in an area with very mixed political beliefs and have always been extremely careful about how I present social topics. That being said, by tying everything back to EMPATHY, I think I am always helping students look beyond the obvious, beyond what they see on the news, and beyond what they hear at home. We want students to be thinking about the impact words and actions have, right? It can be a slippery slope if not handled with finesse. Thoughts?</b><br /><b style="color: #741b47;"><br /></b>3. The book refers to the BHH framework (book, head, heart). What are some ways that we can work to get students thinking about texts (both informational and fictional) at each of these levels?<br /><br /><b style="color: #741b47;">I think by their very nature, children are curious. As teachers, I believe we need to put them in positions to be able to tap into that curiosity, share their ideas, and LEARN about their ideas. Being mindful of how we introduce texts, how we create a climate where reading to learn and reflect is expected and enjoyed, and how we reward "good" reading...and by "good" I mean thoughtful and meaningful. I think we need to have more discussions as teachers about what "good" readers are! I'd love to hear your ideas as well!</b><br /><br />I hope you are enjoying the book and are starting to do some thinking about the implications for you and your students. Like last week's post which you can find by clicking <a href="http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2017/06/disrupting-thinking-part-1the-readers.html">HERE</a>, I'm hoping to get some great ideas from the rest of you! Still need a copy of Disrupting Thinking? Here is an Amazon affiliate link if you are interested. Stay tuned for the ending next week--and please share your ideas below or on my FB page. Let's learn from each other<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></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=1338132903&asins=1338132903&linkId=563ee2467e3022030daecc62dbd61861&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> </iframe> <br />Want to pin it for later?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L5t74Cp60VI/WUswXyfEECI/AAAAAAAAZsc/F4iuOpdrxDYyNUtrHefK0Xfs2p2Ilt-5ACLcBGAs/s1600/disrupting%2Bthinking%2Bpart%2B2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Kylene Beers" border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L5t74Cp60VI/WUswXyfEECI/AAAAAAAAZsc/F4iuOpdrxDYyNUtrHefK0Xfs2p2Ilt-5ACLcBGAs/s640/disrupting%2Bthinking%2Bpart%2B2.jpg" title="Book Study Disrupting Thinking Part 2" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8072938188438508721.post-24953181688508685802017-06-07T06:00:00.000-05:002017-06-21T18:20:56.038-05:00Disrupting Thinking: Part 1...The Readers We Want<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kWDSYeX5Ug4/WTSTJxjQ8gI/AAAAAAAAZmQ/K4Al7wE4WDcXXRdyCaAFTGAkJO88pXYxACLcB/s1600/Disrupting%2BThinking%2BBLog%2Bpost%2Bpart%2B1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="584" data-original-width="1119" height="334" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kWDSYeX5Ug4/WTSTJxjQ8gI/AAAAAAAAZmQ/K4Al7wE4WDcXXRdyCaAFTGAkJO88pXYxACLcB/s640/Disrupting%2BThinking%2BBLog%2Bpost%2Bpart%2B1.jpg" width="640" /></a></div>It's officially time to share our thoughts about the powerful first section of "Disrupting Thinking" by Beers and Probst!<br /><br />When I first read this book, I think that what first piqued my interest was the title of the section..."The Readers We Want". Interesting, right? After all, we've talked about "backward design" when designing our units for years. Doesn't it make sense to start thinking in reverse--when students area finished with us, what DO we want them to look like and do as readers?<br /><br />I'm guessing if you take some time to reflect on this, that none of you would say any of the following statements...<br /><b><br /></b><b>"I want them to be able to test well."</b><br /><b>"I want them to be able to make 3 text-to-self connections per chapter."</b><br /><b>"I want them to be able to able to improve their fluency rate by 25% over the course of a year."</b><br /><br />Right?<br /><br />So what DO we want?<br /><br />In the STEM fields, we constantly talk about preparing students for the ever-changing world of science and technology. We tell them that we are preparing them for careers that may not even exist yet! So...Beers and Probst are sending the same message--but are we thinking differently about how we teach reading to meet this changing world as well? The more I think about it, the more I realize that we aren't.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h1bcjgRK1cU/WTST011SE4I/AAAAAAAAZmY/x6pwW6A1Ah4hhypNef4BFTaxJLnPj1m1wCLcB/s1600/disrupting%2Bthinking%2Bimage%2B2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="816" height="564" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h1bcjgRK1cU/WTST011SE4I/AAAAAAAAZmY/x6pwW6A1Ah4hhypNef4BFTaxJLnPj1m1wCLcB/s640/disrupting%2Bthinking%2Bimage%2B2.jpg" width="640" /></a></div>In this section, the authors write about being "responsive" and "responsible" readers. They say it isn't enough to have students attend to the messages in the text but is equally as important to pay attention to their feelings and reactions to the text and how the two interact. This is directly related to the ideas shared about reading the news and other information responsibly--and making decisions on what to do with the information (true or not) that we read. With social media at the tips of even our youngest readers, the power to share information is often more accessible than the mature thought processes needed to make these decisions.<br /><br />Finally, the fourth chapter refers to the "compassionate" reader; and I know that in my fourth grade a word we use a great deal is EMPATHY. We try to empathize with different characters in books to "feel" their side of the story. We try to empathize with people and animals that we read about in the news to more deeply understand the experiences they are living. After reading this chapter, I realize that I am on track--but need to do more. Much more.<br /><br />So after this first section, I have a few questions that I need to mull over--and would love for you to chime in about! If you haven't read the book, feel free to add your comments as well, but if you HAVE read this section, I'd like to know your thoughts about any or all of the following:<br /><br />1. How much does this idea of "empathy" come up as you do your literacy instruction? Are there resources you have used that are helpful? For example, I think Eve Bunting's picture books are AMAZING for this...as are many quality novels...from The One and Only Ivan to Out of My Mind to Rules and TONS more. Feel free to add other titles to the comments as well as ideas, grade levels, or other ideas to help teachers know how they could best be used.<br /><b><br /></b><span style="color: #741b47;"><b>I love that we have a "social issues" unit with book clubs we do at the end of the year...it's so great to really push their thinking outside themselves and see how these stories unfold and impact all the characters. This year, I read several of the books I listed above plus "How to Steal a Dog", "Hoot", "Because of Mr. Terupt", and "Shredderman". I also used many different picture books to get students thinking and talking. I also did searches on Amazon and our local library for books on all sorts of issues from race to gender equity to homelessness and more. We had some amazing discussions--so make sure to share any book titles that would help others! To tie in, we also read a variety of articles and nonfiction texts to help us build our understanding of some of these issues.</b></span><br /><br />2. How do you balance the amount of informational reading and fiction reading in your class? What is the ratio you currently have? Is it what you want it to be? What are your thoughts about increasing the amount of reading done with these more intense "social issues" texts?<br /><br /><b style="color: #741b47;">Over the last years, our district has worked hard to incorporate far more informational units into our curriculum from kindergarten on. I still see many students self-selecting primarily fiction texts, however. For every content topic we study--human body, forces and motion, chemistry, pioneering, immigration, etc--I try to immerse the class in informational texts to help build background for deeper understanding. Share out any ideas you have for getting more varied texts in your students' hands! </b><br /><b style="color: #741b47;"><br /></b>3. What strategies have you found most helpful in developing readers who are thoughtful and responsive? What can INTERFERE with this?<br /><br /><b style="color: #741b47;">I think the selection of powerful read alouds is the great equalizer! Not all students need to be reading at grade level to be exposed to deeper ideas and discussions about quality texts. Finding texts with interesting characters, problems, and issues can help teach students to think deeply and talk meaningfully about texts. I also think providing students with lots of independent, "just right", self-selected reading is critical. There are lots of things that can interfere with this of course...challenging schedules, curricular demands, and behaviors. Sometimes resources are scarce as well. Often certain texts and reading lessons are prescribed and mandated which may make teachers feel as if there isn't time to do more. What do you think?</b><br /><br />I hope you are enjoying the book and are starting to do some thinking about the implications for you and your students. One thing I am ALWAYS worried about is finding ways to impact and motivate my most reluctant readers. I'm hoping to get some great ideas from the rest of you! Still need a copy of Disrupting Thinking? Here is an Amazon affiliate link if you are interested.<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></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=1338132903&asins=1338132903&linkId=563ee2467e3022030daecc62dbd61861&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> </iframe> <br />Want to pin it for later?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qjf58N0EMwA/WTSdqN6_caI/AAAAAAAAZmo/Yedcw0TcWMwR9ZbN4JI8WFT2IAdQt8XEQCLcB/s1600/disrupting%2Bthinking%2Bpost%2Bpart%2B1%2Bpin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="720" height="640" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qjf58N0EMwA/WTSdqN6_caI/AAAAAAAAZmo/Yedcw0TcWMwR9ZbN4JI8WFT2IAdQt8XEQCLcB/s640/disrupting%2Bthinking%2Bpost%2Bpart%2B1%2Bpin.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /></div>The Teacher Studiohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04936657056940797588noreply@blogger.com5