Friday, 30 November 2012

Hidden Picture 100s Chart FREEBIE

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hidden-Picture-100s-Chart-Christmas-Tree-Freebie-438880

Looking for something fun and seasonal for your kiddos to complete?  Have I got the freebie for you!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hidden-Picture-100s-Chart-Christmas-Tree-Freebie-438880

Why use 100s Charts?

A hundreds chart allows for the discovery of patterns and relationships between numbers and can be a valuable reinforcement tool for many concepts.  The main focus is to assist students to visualize the patterns in the hundreds chart, which will improve their ability to calculate mentally.  While initially students may need to see a chart, ultimately they will visualize the patterns and solve problems without reference to the chart.
 
Below the 100s chart are clues that tell you which colour to make each square.  For younger students, this is an excellent number recognition task.  For older students, it can strengthen skills they already know in a fun way.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hidden-Picture-100s-Chart-Christmas-Tree-Freebie-438880

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Inside/Outside Day Sign *FREEBIE*

I just posted a new product on my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and, it's FREE!  Our school is trying to work out the kinks with Inside and Outside mornings.... we are going to post these signs at the doors so students can easily check where they need to be.  Let's hope they work!

You can download the file on my store, by clicking here.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Remembrance Day

At my school, every class is responsible for one assembly.  My class teamed up with the grade 4/5 class and did an awesome performance of Thriller for Halloween.  (I'd love to show it, but still checking to see if all kids have permission to be shown online.)  A grade 6 class signed up to do the Remembrance Day assembly.  They did a truly amazing job.  There was a skit, a song, many beautiful movies....  

They asked each class to create a wreath to be presented during the assembly.  I didn't want to do the traditional colour and cut out poppies for a paper wreath.  I wanted to create a true, 3D wreath.  Of course, I couldn't find any wreath forms.  So we had to improvise and cut one out of a foam cushion.  I then wrapped it in green ribbon.  

Under the document camera, I led my class through the process of making a pinwheel.  I felt a pinwheel was appropriate as it is "similar" in shape to a poppy.  They were also red, with black centres.  If you don't know how to make a pinwheel, the process is very simple.  Just google it, there are lots of tutorials out there.  

I then asked the class who wanted the opportunity to bring the wreath to the front.   After describing the job, those who were interested wrote their name on a post-it note and I drew one.  I felt it was the only fair way to go about it.  I wish I took a photo of all the wreaths at the front of the gym.  The wreath is now hanging out the door of the classroom.  I think it is very beautiful and will save it for upcoming years.  
Close up

Quickly, I wanted to share our poppy artwork.  The poppies are made out of coffee filters painted with tempura paints.  Some used a bit too much yellow paint, but I like the variety of shades.  The newspaper clippings are from a Remembrance Day school newspaper.  That added texture and some themed wording.  Inspiration is from "That Artist Woman", a wonderful school art website. 
I love how these came out!

Writing circle stories to teach organization


This year, I am teaching writing primarily through the 6 Traits.  As part of teaching the trait of organization, I read my class a handful of books by Laura Joffe Numeroff.  She writes books such as "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" or "If you Give a Moose a Muffin".  These books all follow the same premise - whatever you give the animal at the beginning "chances are" it will ask for it on the very last page.


I read aloud several over a few days.  Once we had a good base to go by, we brainstormed common words/sentences in the stories.  Students then had a discussion about what they could write about.  The next step was to fold a paper into 6 spots.  This gave them essentially 6 pages to their stories.  My higher writers had up to 12 pages, because they flipped their papers over.  The goal was to make their story logical (the animal couldn't just ask for something because you ran out of boxes, it had to make sense) and use inspiration from the originals to make your own.

Once a rough draft was complete, students worked in pairs to edit each others' work.  They then published their work by typing it up and illustrating.  I am fortunate enough to have a document camera in my room so students are able to share finished work under that for all to see.  Here are a few examples of finished work:





In this last one, the moose asks for a drink of water, which reminds him of his home by the lake.  I think that's hilarious.


Friday, 2 November 2012

Using Word Problems for Deeper Thinking



The values of word problems are plentiful!  From a young age children are taught to play with objects, and when we get older that same ability is taken to a higher level by doing word problems.

Word problems teach you to accept a challenge but also to persevere and use both logic and creative ability combined. When you visualize the word problem you will be able to get to the solution quicker. Most of us enjoy a good challenge; after all, it gives spice to life doesn't it?? 

Word problems teach children to become creative thinkers. In history we have many men and woman who fall into that category, like Shakespeare for instance. This will also teach children to become independent thinkers and they will come up with concepts and designs that are new and exciting.
Word problems are a caterpillar in order to develop a good understanding. Word problems are very valuable in teaching children to solve problems in their everyday lives. They can take their real live situations and apply the same principles to get to a solution.

With that being said.... here comes an amazing place to get some real life word problems! A colleague posted on her blog several months ago about this website: Bedtime Math.  

http://bedtimemath.org/

The concept is this: give math some time regularly each day like parents often do for reading stories. So each day Laura posts a tidbit of information along with three math problems created from the numbers in the information: one for “wee ones” (targeted at pre-school children), one for “little kids” ( for children in kindergarten through grades 1 or 2) and one for “big kids” (for children in grade 2 and up). Oh, yes, the answers are posted there too, so you don’t have to sweat it out! It is not an official curriculum, just a way for parents to have fun with their kids with math.

I personally think this is a great idea. Doing math in an inquisitive, fun way helps children develop a positive disposition about mathematics.

Today, my class tried out a problem.  The big kids version read:


This sparked some amazing conversation in my kiddos!
 
There were debates about the most efficient strategy to use.  Many chose to grab a 100s chart to mark the days off on.  The reminder was distracting for many, as they immediately coloured off 30 days in one colour and then 31 days in another, thus their answer was 61.  I asked them to think about that logically "have 61 days passed?"  It was difficult for them to recognize that the days in September before the 24th were not relevant.  At one point, I wanted to record them the discussions were so powerful!

I recommend you check out this website.  Most of the big kids problems are a little young for grade 4, but can easily be adapted to be more suitable.