Friday, March 27, 2015

Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching today for 5 for Friday from a busy, crazy week!

I started the week celebrating my wonderful hubby's birthday! I forgot to take a picture of my amazing burger at Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth - I highly recommend it if you're looking for a burger joint in Fort Worth!

Using toothpicks to create different types of lines and angles as part of a Geometry Menu Board

My first attempt making a mini book for my students was a success! They filled the inside with examples of quadrilaterals and triangles. 

We used the app "Geoboards" to create different 2-Dimensional figures. Much easier than pulling out all the rubber bands and actual geoboards! The kids loved it.

And now on a less fun note, I ended the week getting the room ready for our big state writing test next week. We have to cover everything that has writing on our walls - I hate the way the room looks! I also close the blinds so the sun isn't glaring on any students and they're not distracted staring out the window. Do you have to get your rooms covered for testing at your school?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Elapsed Time

We spent a couple of days this week on elapsed time - a skill that always proves to be tricky for students. I'm also noticing that my 4th graders aren't as good at telling time as they should be, but they never have to read analog clocks in real life! They get much less practice at telling time than my students used to.

As I've mentioned before in posts about math workshop, I use blendspace to organize the workshop activities for the kids. I also record the lessons and they watch it on their ipad at the beginning of workshop. This really helps with their attention and also gives me more time to pull small groups.

Feel free to check out the blendspace I created on elapsed time here

So their first tasks were to watch the videos. For this skill I made 2 videos, each one teaching a different strategy for elapsed time. Once they were done with the videos, they worked at their own pace through the different activities over the course of 2-3 days.

I had made some QR code task cards and put at a set in each table group's bucket. (Each table has a bucket where I put any supplies they will need for math workshop that day). I also put some clock manipulatives. I am fortunate to have a TON of hands-on math tools at my school, so I had enough for each student to get their own clock.

They solved the problem on the task cards using their clock, used the QR code to check their answer, and then took a picture of the problem and the clock showing the answer. When they were done, they put their pictures into pic collage.

I did this activity in small groups with students who I thought may struggle.

The QR task cards are part of my Elapsed Time Lesson Pack, available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store - check it out here.

After the QR task cards, they did versatiles. I had never heard of these until I came to  my current campus last year and they had a set in each room, but now I love them! Ours are a little out dated, but whenever I find a page that correlates with our current skill, I love to use them. Find out more about them here.

Then I had another set of task cards taped around the room that they answered. Some students were still using their clock to help them, while others were relying more on strategies such as t-charts or number lines. When they finished these task cards, they had to come check in with me before they could move on.

The last 2 activities were intended to be more of an extension - if you got to it, great! If not, no worries. One was to plan your dream day and to outline the schedule. They also had to write down how much time they spent on each activity.

The last activity in the blendspace was to do some practice problems on IXL. Our school doesn't have a membership, but kids can do 20 free problems in a day. I like the repetitiveness of IXL, so I typically include some type of this practice each week.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stem-and-Leaf Plots

When we got our new curriculum this year, stem-and-leaf plots were one of the "scary" new additions. I mean, really, who uses a stem-and-leaf plot?! I was a little nervous about finding a meaningful way to teach these to my kids, but as always, the kids did great!

We were able to tie these lessons in with our science unit on the weather. Each table group was given a region of the US. Within the groups, students chose a city and looked up the 10 day weather forecast for that city.

They had to record the weather conditions and the high temperature for each day in the forecast. Then the students in each group combined their data.

They made a dot plot to represent the weather conditions and a stem-and-leaf plot to represent the high temperatures for their region.

It took us a couple of days and lots of mini-lessons and checking in with groups, but they turned out great!

When most of the groups were done with their plots, we worked on writing questions for them. I modeled some questions using the example plots I had made during mini-lessons. I also gave the class some question stems that they needed to include. For example:
How many...
What is the difference between...
How many more _____ than _____

Then each group wrote and answered at least 5 questions for their plots. Some questions went with the dot plot and some with the stem-and-leaf plot. When they were all done we wrote the questions and answers on paper and hung them in the hallway with their plots. I forgot to take a picture of this! I'll have to add it later.

Any other Texas teachers struggling with real-world connections for stem-and-leaf plots?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Five for Friday - my first linky party!

I'm making my first attempt at participating in a linky party! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Five for Friday (yes I know it's Monday...)

We finished up our unit on data analysis. At the beginning of the year this is what I was most nervous about teaching with our new math standards. It went great though! The kids made stem-and-leaf plots and dot plots using a 10 day weather forecast (which tied in great to our science unit on weather!)

We moved into our house last year. I finally got around to decorating the guest room/my office. I now have a lovely, motivating space to work. I love how it turned out!

We started off our measurement unit with perimeter and area. Here are a couple of glances into the notes we put in our math journals:

We got another snow day Thursday. It doesn't take much in Texas to get a snow day, but this was real fluffy snow - not the normal sleet we get down here. Of course my husband and I had to build a snowman. 

It's hard to believe that it's spring break! I'm looking forward to a week full of relaxation and catching up on things. My 2 kitties couldn't be happier to have me home for a week!