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Math Picture Books

I recently attended a math professional development session.  I learned that I'm doing the right things in math, they just aren't focused and reflective enough.  I need to integrate more personal goal setting and fine tune the way students share their work with one another.

I was reminded that I have so many great math picture books sitting on my shelves.  I need to read them and use them!  Here are some favourites I need to dust off:
This book is about perimeter and area.  We had the afternoon to create a math task, and myself and a colleague did a lesson for this book.  I probably won't be at a point where I can use it for 6 to 8 weeks, but when I am.... I'll be ready!

There is a whole series of Sir Cumference books.  I have several.  This particular book is all about place value and base ten blocks.  Great for great 2 or a refresher for 3 and 4.

Greg Tang makes several great math books.  The one above is about multiplication, of course.  His books have math rhymes/riddles and an accompanying picture.  I usually don't read the entire riddle, because the end gives a strategy, and I want my kids to tell me the strategy.  It's best to project these pictures under the document camera.
Sometime very soon my students and I will be discussing the "traits of a mathematician".  We talk a lot about what good readers do, and what good writers do, but never what good mathematicians do.  *forehead smack* Why, oh why, haven't I done this already?  I really hope that through this they will realize the importance of perseverance when completing a math task.

 A final thought for when you are structuring your math lessons.  This is from an article we read today titled "Unlocking Children's Math Potential: 5 Research Results to Transform Math Learning" by Jo Boaler. 

If we are serious about encouraging students to develop growth mindsets we need to provide open tasks that have the space within them for learning, not short tasks that students are meant to get right or wrong.  Tasks are made more open when they have or encourage:

- multiple entry points
- multiple ways of seeing
- multiple pathways and strategies for solutions

How big is that pencil?

I've been busy creating again!  It seems once I get started I get the bug for a while and can't stop.  I'm really excited to use these cards in my classroom.  Even in grade 4, students still have confusion surrounding measuring.  They aren't sure if they measure from the edge of the ruler, from the zero, from the one... What do you do if the thing you are measuring doesn't go exactly to a line?

Most items available are in inches.  Being that I live in Canada, these cards work in centimetres.  This set of 18 measurement task cards provides students an opportunity to practice measuring objects to the nearest cm and half cm. Measurements range from 1 cm to 20 cm. A little extra thinking is involved because some of the pencils do not line up with the edge of the ruler.

These cards can be used in small group/centre situations or in a game of Scoot! A recording sheet is included. 


Teaching About Indigenous Cultures of Canada

Teaching students about the Indigenous cultures of Canada is a huge part of Truth and Reconciliation.  Sadly, it's a topic a lot of teachers stray away from because they don't want to misrepresent or misinform on this important topic.  Even more sad, is the fact that there aren't many comprehensive, ready to use resources available to teachers.

In my experience, there's a lot of worksheet tasks, but nothing interactive, hands-on, or with an inquiry approach for students.  With this unit I wanted to make things more interesting for Canadian teachers and students.


What's Included?
♥ Guiding Inquiry Questions
- 6 samples are included
♥ Lesson 1: Introduction to Culture
- Article
- Web activity
- Venn diagram
♥ Lesson 2: What are Basic Needs?
- Web
- Article
- Ticket out the Door
- Cut and paste sorting activity
♥ Lesson 3: Indigenous Place Names in Canada
- Mapping activity with place names and their meanings for provinces and territories, capital cities, and other communities across Canada
- Bonus activity specific to British Columbia
Lesson 4: Indigenous Technology
- Powerpoint lesson
- Student prediction and recording sheet
- Anchor charts
Lesson 5: Indigenous Structures
- 4 Articles (Longhouses, Teepees, Igloos, and Wigwams)
- Jigsaw activity with interactive notebook pieces
Lesson 6: Totem Poles
- 3 articles (types of totem poles, symbols, colours)
- options for making your own class totems with samples and instructions
♥ Lesson 7: Indigenous Storytelling
- Mentor text suggestions
- Lesson plan for students to write their own legends
♥ Lesson 8: Inquiry Research Project
- Research project partner planning sheet
- Options for student recording pages
- Poster blackline master
- 2 Options for assessment
- Student work samples
♥ Lesson 9: Treaties
- Article
- Numbered Treaties anchor chart
- Research project instructions and assessment
♥ Assessment
- Study sheet, test, answer key

This unit aligns to curriculum across the country!
- British Columbia, Grade 3/4
- Alberta, Grade 5
- Saskatchewan, Grade 4
- Manitoba, Grade 5
- New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Grade 5
- Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Grade 2 (Some modifications may need to be required at this grade level.)

I hope these files help inspire you to teach your students about the Indigenous cultures of Canada.  Leave me a comment if you have any questions!

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The Scientific Method


A poster set for your classroom or school hallway to help students learn the scientific method. Each step of the process is explained and contains guiding questions to help students think critically at each stage.

You can use this set to teach the process by projecting it in the classroom, and then display printed versions to serve as an anchor chart later. I like to display the digital versions as I teach. Also, print them on a smaller scale and use as a center activity - students can rearrange the posters into the correct order. Any age group doing a science fair project will benefit from these posters.

You will receive 7 8x11 posters:
♥ Ask a Question
♥ Do Background Research
♥ Form a Hypothesis
♥ Make a list of Materials
♥ Create & Conduct an Experiment
♥ Draw Conclusions
♥ Analyze your Results

In addition, you'll get a one page summary sheet to print for student reference in notebooks, logbooks, etc.

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