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!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Math Machine

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I have used peer helpers for years in my classroom. Together with my students, we really can divide and conquer. My kiddo love to help each other!! Taking advantage of peer helpers gives me more time to work with my small groups.

For spiral review, I determine which students should be helpers based on their performance on previous classroom tests. I usually pull a small group for intervention on the skill while the helpers partner up with one or two of their peers. Depending on the skill, I may provide an answer key to my helpers to make confirming correct answers quicker.
For new concepts, I give students an assignment to complete while I work with my small groups. Using a premade key, I quickly check the first few students who finish the assignment. The students who correctly complete the assignment may help their peers and check their work. These students may use their own work as a key. Each helper has a green pen which they use to mark correct problems leaving incorrect problems blank.
This year, I created a Math Machine Helper Badge for my helpers. Each helper will get a badge and a green pen. Click here to get your Free Math Machine Helper Badges!

Update: I have started using the Math Machine Badges differently in my classroom. Students now earn a math machine badge by standing out as a mathematician through their insight, math talk, problem solving, effort, collaboration, etc. As I observe these things I give the students the badge immediately, so that they know why I am giving them the badge. Let me tell you they wear the badges with pride!  


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Capture the Factor

Updated 2/26/15

Capture the Factor is a engaging game in which students practice finding the factors of numbers 1-36. This game is easy to set-up, easy to learn, and my kiddos LOVE it!!

If you are looking for more factor or multiple resources checkout my Factor and Multiple Bundle!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Teamwork In Math

Earlier this week, I used my Rounding Practice Snowball Fight game to kick off our rounding unit. This game contains preprinted numbers with a specific place underlined. Having a rounding snowball fight is a fun way for me to pre-assess my students. After a 1 minute snowball fight, students one by one open their snowballs and round the number on it to the underline place. On my clipboard, I marked a + by a student’s name if they answered correctly or a – if they answered incorrectly. I use this information to decide which students need to come back to my small group table.

Because my students kept begging to play again, Friday I decided to take the last 10 minutes of class to have another snowball fight. After 1 minute snowball fight, I asked each student to pick up one snowball. I explained that I wanted them to order themselves (the whole class) from least to greatest using the numbers on their snowballs. I challenged them to complete the task in 3 minutes. I told them they would be able to have another 1 minute snowball fight if they completed the task in time.

I sat back and watched as my students attempted this challenge. It was so cool to see leaders pop up in each class to help organize the others. Three out of four of my math classes were not able to arrange themselves in order in time. For these classes, we discussed what they could have done differently to be successful. This turned out to be the BEST discussion. I am definitely adding this to my MUST do every year as teamwork and cooperation lesson. The class that did complete the challenge was so proud of themselves. After their additional reward snowball fight, we discussed why they thought they were successful.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Factors & Multiples

I am so excited about two new games I created.

In years past, I have had some students who have had difficulty remembering the difference between factors and multiples. They understand both concepts, but they just keep mixing up the vocabulary. To help my students visualize the word multiple, I created my Multiple Mountain math center. The board for this activity is a large mountain. Students draw a card, and then climb the mountain by writing the multiples of a number on the card. Multiple Mountain
I also created a factor matching game designed to build understanding of the concept of factors. The game contains 30 jars and lids. Each jar is filled with fireflies marked with the factors of a specific number. Students match a lid labeled with a composite number under 50 to the correct jar filled with fireflies. This game is also designed to help students remember the difference between factors and multiples. The firefly factors inside the jar help students visualize factors as numbers inside a number. Firefly Factors