Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Calendar Time Routine

Each class, I start with directions on the board, like this screen shot.
When I am ready and I think they've had ample amounts of time to get ready, I start passing out Brummett Bucks to the first four or five people who have read and followed the directions.  I can tell by how their desk looks. 
Then, I say "Oh, Class?"  to which they response "Oh, yes?" while spinning in their seats to find me.  We jump into calendar time.  We have practiced and practiced their responses because I want them in unison, not someone rushing to beat everyone else.  Q/A: Class, What month is it?  What day is it?  What day was yesterday? What day is tomorrow?  What is today's date?  And, how many days have we been in school?
For my interventions class, we grab our hundreds chart from our working folder and fill in that day's number.  Then, while doing my PD on Pinterest this summer, I came across this
The kids  then fill out that day's box.  For the 2nd day of school, they write a 2 on their hundreds chart.  (They use the same sheet the whole year.)  Then, they write the decimal.  We have practiced a million times how to say a decimal.  It was ROUGH at first, but OMG they are getting it!!!!!  It is not zero-point-oh-two, but FINALLY it is zero-and-two-hundredths.  AWESOME!!!!  Brummett Bucks are passed out here, too: ) Then on to the fraction, which as to be simplified every other day at least.  What joys :(  But, the reason kids struggle is because of lack of experience.  So what better way to get that experience than doing it almost
This is hard to do, especially if you don't know if a number is even or odd, or know multiplication facts, so we've been working on that.  You can read about that HERE.
The kids simplify their fractions on the same sheet of notebook paper and then write their final fraction on their chart.  We've talked about prime/composite, divisibility rules of 2 and 5 already, evens/odds, reviewed numerator/denominator, parts of wholes, and obviously, what does simplify mean?  Adding this routine has been AMAZING for this kids so far, and we've only been in school 7 days :) 
From here, we launch into our lesson.  Building the procedures and routines has been critical for our calendar time.  Without the procedures in place, this would be a TOTAL TRAINWRECK!.
If this is something that you are interested in, you can grab my hundreds chart freebie HERE.  It is in PowerPoint, so you can manipulate it.  I run a hundreds chart on the front, and a hundreds chart on the back.  And, we use the same one all year.  So far, 7 days in school, we haven't lost one yet....yet being the operative word :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back to School Craziness & Freebie

I have been in school 7 days and I finally feel like I am starting to feel like a normal person again!  Back to School is exciting, but exhausting at the exact same time.  Shew! 

I am teaching two types of classes: special education/pull-out math classes, as well as intervention classes for regular education students who are behind on benchmarks.  Teaching these classes are HARD work, but soooooo incredibly rewarding :)  Here's a peek at what's been going on in Room 118 lately:
We've been working on using our base-10 mats to build numbers and continue developing our number sense.  We were even able to get into adding with and without regrouping.  What a breeze since we had our tens-frame drawn right on our mat.  I read about Tens-frames at Math Coach's Corner.  If you are a math teacher K-6, you MUST check out this blog.  It is AH-MA-ZING!!!  I learned so much this summer.

I also had made my kids matching cards.  They had to match the word form, number form, and base-10 picture form of numbers. 

We worked on evens and odds in my intervention classes.  We started the week with taking a specified number of blocks and sorting into two groups.  If they could be split into equal groups (not even groups), they were even.  Developing this understanding was sooo important.  Once again...I read about this at Math Coaches Corner :)  In this pic, students have a large number (3 and 4 digits) to sort into even/odd.  We started building our ISNs this week, too.

Because we now know about evens and odds, we started working on multiplication.  We started with x2.  One of our big focus was that multiplication means "groups of".  This worksheet had the students solve the problem (not hard), but also draw the groups.  You can pick up this freebie HERE.  If the problem was 2 x 4, they read that as "two groups of 4."  They drew two circles/groups with 4 X's in each one.  Lots of Aha! moments with multiplication this week. 
While looking for a different video, I came across THIS video that shows an elementary class using Whole Brain Teaching in math.  I knew nothing about it, and still don't know much, but after watching 2-3 minutes, I know I had to incorporate something in my classroom.  This week, after lots of practice with "Oh Class?" and "What is multiplication?" with lots of handsignals, we were rocking and rolling.  Below is a student's written response to some of the items we learned this week :)

I have SOOOOO much more to blog about, but I've gotta run...  Be sure to like this blog on BlogLovin' by clicking the button at the top of the page :)