Thursday, November 13, 2014

Interactive Lessons for Number Sense using a 100s Board

I love interactive math lessons!  I love when my students are so involved that the hour I spend teaching math goes by in an instant!  I love when they DON'T WANT TO STOP learning and practicing math!
First, I want my students to be familar with the hundreds board, and how it works.  I copy a hundreds chart and we use it in our Interactive Notebooks.  Then we Hop' Round the Hundreds Board.  Basically I give them a series of 4-6 directions and they move a bingo chip, or their finger around the board following the pattern I've established.  The cards basically look like this:
I start out super easy, using only addition and subtraction operations.  I want them to learn to listen, since I will not repeat my directions.  I also want to practice our Talk Moves, one of which is Wait Time.. for both them and ME!
Next, I up the anty and include directions that involve all four operations, and words that could be used with them.
Finally, I include phrases that contain math language such as squared, cubed, sum of the digits, product of the digits etc., to really get them thinking.
After each activity we continue with our Talk Moves, and discuss how people "got around the board." Even in sixth grade, I still have students who don't recognize that the numbers on the board go up by 10s, and they count up 17 spaces singly.
I love this type of activity because everyone is engaged in the puzzle.  After we play it as a whole group, I put Task Cards in my Math Rotation for them to play on the Smartboard.
My cuties have been so excited over these riddles, they are even making up their own to stump the class!

When every group has gone through a math center rotation, I pull the game out when we have 5 or 10 minutes and we are waiting on something.  Since the hundreds chart is already in the math notebook, it is easy to grab and go!
This activity is a perfect set up for looking at prime factorization and then on to GCF and LCM. It is also great to review common operations terms, exponents and prime numbers.
If you are interested in this activity, and want something quick to use, you can go {HERE} and find a set of 30 differentiated task cards.  There is also a set that is not themed for Fall {HERE}.
Let me know a few ways you use the hundreds board with "Big Kids" and how you keep things interactive!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

What I've Squared Away on a Sunday! America's White Table for Veterans Day

I've loved being able to spend a little time today catching up with some of my favorite bloggers!  I haven't had a lot of time to blog or read blogs lately, and I'm so glad I could find an extra hour today to focus on my bloggy friends and read their posts.
My family and my job have been keeping me super super busy.  I know I'm not alone in that crazy feeling. I can't wait to be off on Tuesday to just have that one relaxing day!
Here's what I've got Squared Away as far as lesson plans for the week: I'm going to continue my work with my Smarties about Veterans Day.  We are using an amazing book from Margo Theis Raven called America's White Table.

  The story is all about the small white table that is set for a single soldier in the American Legions and mess halls of American military bases around the world.   Each item symbolizes the American soldier, freedom and peace that is so important to us.  I chose my mentor sentence from this text, and we are reviewing simile and hyperbole using it.   It is also a way that I review symbolism before it gets too hefty in our literature.  I have a pack for Veterans Day using this book, along with the Mentor Sentence suggestion {HERE}.  Of course, I am ALWAYS an advocate for having a mentor text in front of you that children can read, and refer to, but if you want to learn more about this story, or you are in a pinch, you can watch this video which retells the story.

In Math, I'll be finishing up inequalities, and giving an assessment on equations and inequalities.  I am almost done with my Algebra unit.  It has been a long, long haul, but we are getting there!  In my guided math groups, I'll be using my Inequalities Task Cards from this {PACK}.  I've already done the foldable and interactive lesson.  My smarties really get the idea of reading and graphing the inequalities quickly using this.  I'll have a few other stations running, including my Hoppin Round the Hundreds Board activity.  They LOVE using the hundreds chart for this, and I can tell that mental math skills are improving.  Look at these cuties using their notebooks to check the operations words! LOVE!
I've noticed over the past few weeks, my students are not really picking up on having meaningful conversations when they are working in their math groups, so I'm going to start emphasizing more Math Conversation.  I made a few conversation writing prompts that we are going to put into our interactive notebooks as a reminder.  You can get this FREEBIE {HERE} if your students are needing a little prompting as well. I'd love a little feedback on it as well, if you are feeling generous.

So what do you have Squared Away for the week?  Leave me a comment or two and let me know what your working on!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Getting in a Workout with Combining Like Terms

My Smarties have been working hard lately in Math.  We have A LOT... A LOT of work to do.
One of the big ticket items for us is the Distributive Property.  Using this, we have to learn how to combine like terms and be very proficient with simplifing expressions using the Greatest Common Factor.
There are several items that I begin with in the fall.  One of which is Prime Numbers and Greatest Common Factor.  The easiest thing that I've found is using the Prime Ladder Method.  I want my students to be familiar with the Hundreds Board, so I complete a lesson where we discover the prime numbers through 100 by color coding the board.  Once we are comfortable with the prime numbers, we learn GCF with the ladder.  These lessons along with a foldable can be found {HERE} if you are interested.
Once my Smarties are familiar with GCF, we turn to Distributive Property and combining like terms.
This can be so difficult for them to grasp and go back and forth.  I wanted extra practice for my students in a center like activity, so I created 'Smore Practice with Combining Like Terms.

They loved this!  On top of it making them crave 'Smores,  [Sidebar: this made me laugh because smores is a summer thing for me in the North East but not in Mobile... it's winter time when a campfire is needed hello!  teacher needs to adapt to her surroundings!]
The activity forced my students to take the terms step by step.
We find the original term, then combine the variable terms.  We find the chocolate piece with this answer.  Next, students combine the constant values.  Finally as added practice I provided a value for the variable and my students solved the expression.
I included a student recording sheet with the activity.  I had my students place them in sheet protectors, then they could use the back of the sheet to work through the combinations.  It gave them more space to work and it allowed them the ability to place each piece next to the work to show me the steps and EXPLAIN them.  Hello!  Formative assessment! BOOYA!

Also, my entire TpT store is on sale through Halloween, so you can grab this item for a steal if you're interested!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Teachers Helping Teachers: Adoption Bundle

Being a teacher is an amazing profession.  We face cultural, social and economic challenges every day.  We counsel, doctor, mentor and teach our students while wading through pounds of paperwork, answering emails, copying, cutting, laminating, grading and assessing them.  I know I could not do all of what I do without a supportive family.  This family is not just made up of my husband and children, but it is the support system that I have gained through blogging and TpT.  I was so thrilled to hear that one of my extendend family of BBBs, Nick, from Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason is in the process of adopting a child.  YAY!  Another member to add to my extended family!  I am so excited to be part of this AMAZING bundle that we have put together to help Nick and his family with the cost.
Check out what this product has to offer:
You get over 300+ pages of activities, 19 PRODUCTS!!  Including ELA, MATH, and SCIENCE for only $25.00.  Most of these products you can not individually purchase, but they make a great bundle!
The diversity and ability to differentiate within these is fabulous.  Even though I teach 6th grade, I am still using a ton of these products in centers as review.  I especially like the math task cards.  I can put some of them in a math center rotation a week or two before beginning my decimals unit, and it really helps to refresh my students thinking about the basics.
I included a set of 30 task cards to practice Number Sense using a Hundreds Chart.  These are 4-5 step riddles that help students practice basic operations phrases and computation skills.  There are three different levels so you are able to differentiate.  Plus.. don't even get me started on the ELA goodies!  Seriously!  You know your kids have different interests, let alone reading levels.  These products make my job SO... MUCH.. EASIER! 
How can you beat getting to spend a little more weekend time with your family because we have made easy planning for you ON TOP OF supporting a fellow teacher.  Go {HERE} to check out this amazing product.
Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Narrative Leads, Transitions, and the Echo Conclusion


Recently we have been focusing on Narrative Writing.  I always try to do a short unit on Narrative Writing after we finish basic paragraph writing and learning to cite evidence.  I like our narrative unit to fall during October.  My students LOVE to tell spooky, scary stories this month, and it is a perfect time to get them writing longer pieces.  We have been building up our stamina through Communication Journals, and we are just about ready to scream and shout.
This past week we worked on Narrative Leads.  I like to use The Storyteller from Saki as a basis for this so I can tie in a reading element.  The Storyteller has a plot twist, and my Smarties are all about the plot twist.  I got these initial lessons from Erin at Lovin Lit and her Interactive Writer's Notebook.  After we get the basics of leads down, I have them write 5 leads for a Halloween story.  THEY GO CRAZY.. trying to make the scariest, or silliest, or creepiest hook imaginable.
We posted these up on our side wall so others could get a few good ideas as well.

Next, I talk about Conclusions.  Basically, I teach them about the Echo conclusion, because it is an easy way to for them to grasp the concept.  I use The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton for this lesson.  You can go {HERE} and read more specifically about this.  After using our notebooks and getting the foundation,  I pass out Halloween story starters that were written by Bruce Coville.  He is an amazing author, writing such favorites as My Teacher Is An Alien and The Dragon Slayers.  He has also recenlty written a new Amber Brown book.   This series was originally created by Paula Danzinger, another amazing children's author, who passed away too early!  She and Coville were friends, and he recently collaborated with another author to write an Amber Brown book.
But.. back to Halloween narratives..
For several years he created a story starter for Halloween that was published in the local Syracuse newspaper.  Students could write the conclusion to the stories, and the best were published in the paper around Halloween as winners of the contest.  These stories are SO GOOD!  My Smarties ate them up.  Even though he does not write the story starters anymore, I saved several from past years, and I allowed my students to choose one that they loved and practice writing the conclusion..
THEY GO CRAZY for this.. I don't think my classroom is ever this quiet.. EVER...
Until they finish of course!  Then they want to read.. read... read.. everyone's.  They want to share, and critque, and just discuss WRITING.  I'm in teacher Heaven when this happens!

This year, I borrowed a little trick from one of my BBBs Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teacher, and I found finger lights.  I let the kids use them to sit in groups to share their stories.  Even "Big Kids" need a little "light" fun!
I'd love to know what you do to teach or review narratives.  We really have to move on to the meat and potatoes writing of arguments, explanatory, and research of sixth grade, but I love letting them have these moments as well!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Scoop 10/4

Happy Fall 'Yall!  We have finally had some cool weather down here in the South.  I've been missing the cool evenings of fall, and last night was beautiful!
Today I'm linking up with the Teaching Trio for Sunday Scoop!

This is going to be a busy week at home and at school.  Softball meetings, band rehearsals, orchestra practice, school bowling, PD, and football PHEW~
I'm going to need a couple of extra cups of coffee in the mornings to get me through the week!
I'm hoping to get a ton of work done early today so I can relax this afternoon, read abook and watch some football!  Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So Long September!

WoW!  I can't believe that this is the last day of September.  This month has completely FLOWN by.  There are still so many things I am adjusting to, that this little 'ole blog has just completely been ignored.  I'm so sorry about that!  I'm going to make a much better effort to blog a little more regularly!  Stick with me. :)
Here is a quick recap of my September:
My Little Man and I both celebrated birthdays in September:
I love the card my hubby found for him.  It contained a tattoo that says I <Heart> My Parents.  I tried to get him to wear it to the first football game but he refused.  Such is the life of a 12 year old!
Speaking of football:
We celebrated my husband's new job this month by attending our first football game as USA Jaguars. 
At school we celebrated September 11th, and reviewed Story Elements and really got into Figurative Languge and Inferences with Chirs Van Allsburg's books.  The Stranger is one of my favorite stories to read for inferences.  We also worked on inferences with The Widow's Broom.  It was a great introduction to personification as well.  <Books below are linked to Amazon>
The Widow's Broom is a perfect way to end September and flow into October.  My kids LOVE to ready creepy stories this time of year, and this just got them right in the groove!
In Math we worked our way through Numeric and Algebraic Expressions.  As many of you know I use interactive notebooks, so I tried out a few new items including this expressions sort.  
I'm fixing a few things, but I'm hoping have them up in my store soon.  There will be three new foldables for expressions including order of operations, numeric and algebraic expressions.
They will also be part  of my Algebraic Expressions and Equations Bundle.  If you buy this product now, you get all of the future downloads for free.  Go {HERE} to check it out, and I will notify you when the new foldables are added.
Thanks for stopping by and visiting me, and letting me catch up on this crazy month!
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