Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Place Value Daily Practice



Place value is one of those skills that help build true number sense. Giving students time to compare numbers and justify their answers increases their place value understanding. I have a set of 7 questions I like to use with my students. I call these questions the Sweet Seven. Students paste a copy of the question in their journals. Then, I provide them with three numbers to evaluate and answer in their journals. The numbers I select increase in difficulty as my students' skill level advances. Click here to get your FREE copy of the Sweet Seven!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review with Hot Potato


My students enjoy playing Hot Potato to review. Not only is Hot Potato a fun game, it works for any subject! All you need a soft ball to serve as your "potato" and kid friendly music. Begin by setting some ground rules for the students. I tell my students the boys must throw to a girl that is seated and the girls must throw to a boy that is seated.

I usually make it a competition between the boys and girls because fourth graders love it. You can play without competing or you can compete by groups.

Play a kid friendly song and let the students begin tossing the "potato." When the music stops, I ask whoever touched it last a review question. I also ask a question to everyone that sits in that same position at the other groups. This allows me to ask several questions at once. It also give me a chance to check in or to assess kids that normally avoid answering questions. You could ask everyone at the group a question instead.

Play a couple of rounds prior to giving a test.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Rounding World Records



Rounding is definitely one of those skills my kiddos need to practice all year. It gets included in my math centers, spiral reviews, and basically anywhere I can pop estimating in. I have created a fun Christmas rounding review using Christmas themed world records. Click here to grab yourFREE copy of this set!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cooperative Learning Rubric


My kiddos love working in cooperative groups. Let’s face it, they love to talk. I am tickled pink when they are talking about math, not so much when they get distracted and start talking about their weekends.

Each time we start a new task, I let my students select their own group. My rule is they are only allowed one person to be the same from the last group. I tell them to stand up push in their chairs and then I give them 1 minute to find a new seat. If they are not seated after one minute, I find a seat for them. For some classes, I have a few students that do not work well together. In these cases, I sit each one of these students down at different groups prior to starting the 1 minute clock. The other students will then fill in around them.

I few years ago, I created a cooperative learning rubric that works well with my students. I recently updated the rubric with adorable troll clipart, and I would like to share it with you.

Before I use the rubric with a class, I teach them HOW to work in a group. I let them model appropriate group behaviors. I show them quality work. I may have to do this throughout the year, depending on the class.

I print the rubric on half pages and give one to each group. I know not everyone agrees to competition in the classroom. I am a very competitive person and somehow can’t help turning everything into a game or competition. I tell my classes the group with the highest score will be rewarded. This is where knowing you class is valuable. What reward will be the most beneficial. Some classes like to clip up on our behavior chart, others like candy, while others like earning math game time.  As students get more proficient at working in groups, start using the reward more sporadically. Do not get rid of it all together, but keep them guessing.