Thursday, December 5, 2013

Guess Your Number Freebie

My kiddos LOVE playing Guess Your Number! It is a quick game that is fun for the kids while reinforcing basic addition and/or multiplication facts---win, win. I decided that I would spread some holiday cheer with a Christmas Edition freebie. My sweet kiddos are going to get a kick out of playing with the elf cards I created. Click here to get your free copy.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fruity Arrays

Math is everywhere! Our nutrition program at my school requires each kiddo to get a fruit even if they don’t plan on eating it. So instead of throwing it away, they give it to me. In the afternoon, I draw numbers from my equity sticks to see who gets the fruit of the day.

It seems like every day I walk out of the lunchroom holding an armful of fruit. I think my kiddos give me the fruit to see how much fruit I can balance walking down the hallway. ---Yes, Yes, I know I need a basket.
Anyway, each day after lunch my class likes to arrange the fruit in an array. I’m a math person, so of course I love this. Besides, it usually doesn’t take them but just a few seconds.
The other day however, there were a couple kids trying to get the fruit in an array unsuccessfully. Then, another couple of kids jumped in to “help.” Finally, I asked them what was taking so long. One of my sweet kiddos explained that they were trying to make an array as he began lining the apples in one long line off my table. (The only possible array.)  

I counted the apples and told the class that there were 17 apples. I asked them to write in their journal why they thought we were having so much trouble putting 17 apples into an array. Some kiddos thought it was because 17 was an odd number. Many thought it was because 17 was a prime number. Do other odd numbers have more than one array? This was a perfect moment to review prime numbers.
In the end my kiddos made this 3 by 5 array with 2 extra.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Scavenger Hunt

This week, my students created an “ways to make _#_” poster. After a brief mini lesson, pairs of students were given a numeral card containing a number less than 100. First, students used 1-inch square tiles to build all the possible arrays of their number. Next, students cut arrays out of grid paper and glued them onto an 11x17 piece of copy paper. My kiddos also wrote the dimensions on the outside of each array and listed the all of the factors from least to greatest. In years past, I have allowed my students to work on their posters for 3-4 days, but I found the richness is in the discussion afterward not in the poster making itself. This year for day 2, I created a scavenger hunt and a complete set of posters. I wanted to have my own set of posters that I knew were accurate and easy to read for the scavenger hunt. We began day 2 with a scavenger hunt which required students to look at the posters for number of arrays, dimensions, and factors. My students LOVED the scavenger hunt! They were completely engaged. Afterward we had a great discussion on prime numbers, composite numbers, square numbers, and odd numbers. I have created a set of printable factor posters. Check them out in my TpT store. 

27 Factor Posters

Last week, we made an array city on the wall outside our classroom. This great idea came from E is for Explore!

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Best Move Ever

I am one of those people that have a million ideas. Every once and a while I think one of my ideas qualifies as genius. This is one of those ideas. Two weeks ago, I moved my red kidney table from the back of the room to the front of the room. Let me tell you, this was the BEST classroom rearrangement ever!! At the beginning of class, my kiddos that need a little extra help grab their math journals and meet at my red table. During whole group instruction, these students have a front row seat which is perfect because a few students struggle with attention issues. During small group intervention, I have access to my Promethean board which is FANtastic!! I also have a better view of the entire classroom. I have worked out a system in which I have six students around my table at a time. I keep a 7th seat to my right as a “feeder seat” which I use if I see a student is struggling and needs one on one. There is even space on the floor to my left where a pair of students may work playing a math game. Let me tell you, I LOVE my table at the front!!
This week, one of my sweet kiddos gave me an apple with a division symbol on it.---How Neat!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Flying Feathers

I am completely obsessed with designing more snowball games because my students absolutely LOVE my original snowball games. Not only do my kiddos beg to play, they are completely engaged. My students work hard to earn snowball fight time, usually about 1-2 times a week. Here is the thing I love, they are begging to do math! Since our fourth grade is departmentalized, it is sometimes possible for me to squeeze in quick game at the end of class. Recently, I have had students write their answers on post-it note exit slips. Click here to checkout my whole collection of snowball games.

I wanted to create a seasonal version of my snowball fight, so I created Place Value: Flying Feathers. I have created 100 feather pages which require students to either read or write numbers between 1,000 and 1,000,000 (4.NBT.2). In this game, feather will fly.

I also created 2nd Grade Place Value: Snowball Fight (2.NBT.3). This game contains 60 snowballs featuring numerals between 1-500. The numbers are represented in word form, expanded form and picture form.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Subtraction Strategies

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

For the last several weeks, my class has been solving addition problems using a variety of methods, including mental math. I developed an addition graphic organizer which we use to record the strategies shared by my kiddos. At the beginning of the year, many students described solving 345 + 30 by adding the “three to four.” Now, my little mathematicians tell me, “I know thirty plus forty is seventy or I know three tens plus four tens is seven tens.” We are now working on both addition and subtraction strategies. I created a subtraction graphic organizer for my students to keep in their math journals as a reference. My kiddos like completing the graphic organizer with a partner. I put the graphic organizers in clear report covers so my students may write on them with fine tip dry erase makers. Click here to download your FREE addition and subtraction graphic organizers!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Place Value Foldables

Updated 2/26/15

My class has been examining number patterns for several weeks. Because many of my students incorrectly thought the place after thousands is millions, I wanted my students to notice patterns among place value periods. To help my students really see the pattern, I pushed the place value out into the quadrillions. I displayed my I Can Read Big, Big, Big Numbers Foldable on my interactive whiteboard, and then my little mathematicians practiced saying the large numbers I wrote on the board. They had a BLAST reading the big numbers. My kiddos noticed that each period had a ten and a hundred. Afterward, students placed a copy of the foldable in their journals as a reference. Click here to check out my Place Value Foldables!

We used this foldable to discuss patterns moving from one place to another. For example, it takes 10 tens to make one hundred and it takes 100 tens to make one thousand.

Folding down one zero and revealing the number underneath, helped my kiddos identify the value of each digit. The digit 8 pictured above has a value of 800.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Money and Decimals

Updated 2/26/15
My students really need more practice with decimals, so I am adding a counting coins activity to my math menu. This activity was inspired by Anne Gardner's blog post. For this activity, my students will toss a set of coins equaling a $1.00 onto a Heads/Tails Work Mat. I choose $1.00 because I want them to practice combinations equaling 100. They will separate the coins by head and tails. Next, they will place the coins heads up on the left side of the mat, and then they will place the coins tails side up on the right side of the mat. My kiddos will count the coins that are heads up and record the total amount on the mat using a dry erase marker. Next, they will also count the coins that are tails up and record the total amount. Students will compare the totals, and then place and inequality symbol card on the snail's shell to indicate whether heads is greater than, less than, or equivalent to tails. Click here to checkout my Counting Coins resource!

I am also going to begin using my Daily Decimal Printable every day. I will begin each math class by giving students a decimal. I have placed the daily decimal printable in clear report covers so that my students may complete the printable with dry erase markers. Click here to checkout my Daily Decimal resource!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Addition Road Trip

Alabama Road Trip
For the last few weeks, we have been working on addition strategies. This week my students were able to apply the strategies they have learned by planning an Alabama road trip. My friend Patti came up with the fabulous idea to have our students plan a trip visiting cities around our state. She created a mileage table which showed the distance between each city. She also created a list of the places our kids could visit in each city. In fourth grade, our students learn Alabama history. I love that this lesson combined the curriculum for both history and math.

The students selected a city in which to begin their trip. Next, they selected two cities they wanted to visit on their trip. Then, they returned to the city in which they begin their trip. My kiddos used a dry erase marker to mark their trip on a map of Alabama. Then, they used the mileage chart to find the distances between each of the cities they selected.
Once they found the total number of miles traveled on their trip, my students wrote a math story about their trip. Their stories included the number of miles between each city.

Number Patterns
This week we also examined number patterns. We used my Thousand Chart to count how many tens are in 1,000. We counted down the chart, one row at a time, chanting 1 ten, 2, tens, 3 tens…all the way to 100 tens. Many students noticed a pattern in the numbers as we counted. For example, they noticed 31 tens is 310 spaces on the thousand chart. Click here to get your Free Thousand Chart.
We created a large classroom ten thousand chart. First, I use a roll of graph paper to create 10 blank thousand charts. I cut off 10 pieces that were 100x10, and then used a black marker to divide the piece into 10 (10x10) sections. Next, I laminated each thousand chart so my student would be able to write on them with dry erase markers. (If you do not have a roll of graph paper, you may create each thousand chart by gluing 10 hundred chart to butcher paper. I have a blank hundred chart in my Freebie Create Your Own Thousand Chart.)
I split my students into groups of 2-3, and then put them in charge of completing a section of the chart such as 1-1000; 1,001-2,000; 2,001 - 3,000... Instead of writing all the numbers on the chart, they were suppose to write enough numbers so that we could find any number quickly. They began by writing the first 100 number across the length of their thousand chart (see picture above). This task created so many teachable moments. For many students it was difficult to move from _,099 to _,100. For example, they wrote 4,000 as the number after 3,099 instead of 3,100. We used our completed ten thousand chart to find how many hundreds are in ten thousand.

I created a smaller 10,000 chart to further exam number patterns from 1-10,000. The 10,000 chart is made from 100 hundred charts. Each chart is labeled with the last number on the chart.  My students used a sticky hand to slap the 10,000 chart, and then they identified the hundred chart under the sticky hand.
I created a printable so that my students could magnify or Zoom In on the small hundred chart under the sticky hand. I placed the printable in clear report covers so my student could write on it with dry erase markers. They identified the first and last number belonging on the chart under the sticky hand. They also identified 10 additional spots on the chart. Next week during math stations, two kids will slap the 10,000 chart, and then find the difference between the two numbers. Click here to get Place Value Slap It!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Addition Strategies

Updated 2/26/15
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
My class has been working on their fluency with addition. During number talks, they have opportunities to think about numbers mentally. At first, so many of my students thought mental math was invisible stacking. I saw some of them “writing” on the air. Now, they are beginning to think about numbers in new ways. They are breaking numbers up by their place value or finding close benchmark numbers. I am so proud of my kiddos. I created an addition strategy graphic organizer for my students to keep in their math journals as a reference. I also let them take a copy home to discuss the strategies they are using in class with their parents. Click here to download your FREE graphic organizer!