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Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Structure of Opinion Writing for 3rd Grade Using ... Fingerpaints!!


 My 3rd Grade student and I had a little fun this week with FINGERPAINT!!!
We've been talking about how an Opinion Writing Piece is organized. I wanted to use her senses of touch and sight to make a connection about what that structure really was all about.
So we started with a large piece of bulletin board paper, some fingerpaints, and some graphic images .  

First step:  Get ready to tell the reader of your Opinion Writing Piece your opinion.  Grab their attention so they really want to listen to your opinion about a subject.  Then state your opinion clearly...I believe that

Second Step:  State your opinion and support and defend your thoughts with 2 or 3 details or facts/personal experiences/evidence.

Third Step: End with a strong concluding statement that restates your opinion....but don't just relist those details or facts. Mix them all together and come up with your own summary.  Restate it with a strong VOICE. 
 
Then we took an opinion piece, that we had written together previously, and cut it into sentences and or paragraphs.  We glued those parts on the top of our finger-painted structure to see if we had really written a strong writing piece about our opinion about what's the best summer fruit of all. 
Lastly, we stepped back and asked ourselves:
Did  it flow...did I use my own voice...was my concluding sentence written in a way that summarized my thoughts and pulled my writing all together so it ended strong?

"In my opinion using sensory experiences in your concept instruction, assists children and adults in learning and retaining information. First, we know that stimulating the senses sends signals to children’s brains that help to strengthen neural pathways important for all types of learning."     (Now you finish this opinion writing piece and think about what your opinion is.)

 Smiles,
Deborah

Monday, December 19, 2016

Foldable Worksheet Unit using 2016 PARCC Released Math Items To Prepare My Students


 Why Does Test Preparation Work for Standardized Tests?
Since the PARCC standardized Test follows a specific structure and assesses a known set of math concepts that are detailed in the Common Core State Standards for each grade level, test preparation can help your students succeed on these tests.

Test preparation is effective when it is an accurate representation of what is on the actual exam.  Since the practice set uses actual released items from the PARCC tests, the time you spend on it in class will be worthwhile.
I don't advocate weeks before the test being spent on test preparation.

I do advocate making CONNECTIONS between what you are teaching in class, and how they test students about these same math concepts on a standardized test.
  Think about yourself.  When you know what to expect and how to pace yourself on a test, you are more likely to be relaxed, confident, and comfortable. This typically leads to better scores than if you're full of anxiety and stress.
 

For all these reasons, I decided to use the PARCC 2016 and 2015 Release Math Items for 4th Grade and create a student friendly foldable worksheet to use to start discussing the released items while teaching the same material in class.



ONE QUESTION AT A TIME

ALL DURING THE REGULAR SCHOOL YEAR

My first completed unit focuses on the area of
 Operations and Algebraic Thinking. 
It includes the foldable worksheets and a completed student response pages from their notebook to show what the 
finished pages might look like.












Notice that is states the Common Core Math Standard in      
"I Can" format.
 Also suggested are talking points for the teacher to use 
while discussing the individual questions.

In addition , it includes test taking strategies and 
not just how to do the math. 
I tried to do the preparation for this unit,
 so you would have the time to teach it to your students
starting tomorrow.

Smiles,
Deborah 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

2016 PARCC Released Math Test Items Review with Your Students

 I've been working on my newest teaching material for my Teacher Pay Teacher store. 😁😁
 These materials utilize the
 2016 PARCC Released Math Test Items for 4th Grade. 
No teacher preparation will be needed to discuss these released items and test taking strategies with your students.
I've done the preparation work...you do the teaching!
Here is a quick look at what is coming... Click on the pictures for a bigger and clearer look.

















So what do you think? It should be finished by January of 2017.
Smiles,
Deborah

February Daily Calendar: Counting by 5's with Adaptations for 1st/2nd Multigrade



















Here's my suggestion for your 
February Daily Calendar.
 

I would practice choral counting by fives to 100,
 both forward and backwards.
  This graphic for the hands
is available for download for free for teachers use from the Florida Center for Instructional Technology using this link:
 Florida Center for Instructional Technology Clipart ETC (Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, 2009)

 If you have never visited this site, it has many graphics available for math that are 
 for students and teachers to use free of charge.  
The site says "shopping cart," but that is for commercial use.
How do you download the clipart?
Windows: Right mouse click on any of the images and choose save image to disk. Select the destination folder and click save. You can also click and drag the image to your desktop.
Macintosh: Right mouse click on any of the images and choose download image to disk. Select the destination folder and click save. You can also click and drag the image to your desktop.
Note: Each piece of clipart will appear in four different sizes for you to choose from. If you want a very small image, you can use the methods described above to select the tiny thumbnail version that appears in the top left corner of the page. The shaded box around the thumbnail image is NOT a part of the image and will not show in the file that you download.

Adaptation for 1st/2nd Multi-Grade Class: It's also a great time of the year to start practicing reading thermometers with the 2nd Graders.



oven thermometer
 Invite your school nurse into the class during calendar time.  Have her talk about how she uses a thermometer, and the many different kinds of thermometers that are available. Then have the 2nd Graders write step-by-step directions on how to take your own temperature, a drawing that shows 98.6 on a thermometer and what the resulting temperature means...98.6 and 102.


digital thermometer
Smiles,
Deborah

Saturday, December 17, 2016

January Daily Calendar: Counting by Tens (Multi-Grade Adaptation Given)



































Here's my suggestion for your 
January Daily Calendar.
I would practice choral counting by tens to 100
 both forward and backwards.
Adaptation for 1st/2nd Multi-grade Classes: Replace the digits with the number words... ten, twenty, thirty, fourty.. after you reach the second 100, or continue the pattern to reach 310, 
i.e. 100, 110, 120, 130....
 
This graphic for the hands
is available for download for free for teachers use from the Florida Center for Instructional Technology using this link:
 Florida Center for Instructional Technology Clipart ETC (Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, 2009)

 If you have never visited this site, it has many graphics available for math that are 
 for students and teachers to use free of charge.  
The site says "shopping cart," but that is for commercial use.
How do you download the clipart?
Windows: Right mouse click on any of the images and choose save image to disk. Select the destination folder and click save. You can also click and drag the image to your desktop.
Macintosh: Right mouse click on any of the images and choose download image to disk. Select the destination folder and click save. You can also click and drag the image to your desktop.
Note: Each piece of clipart will appear in four different sizes for you to choose from. If you want a very small image, you can use the methods described above to select the tiny thumbnail version that appears in the top left corner of the page. The shaded box around the thumbnail image is NOT a part of the image and will not show in the file that you download.
Smiles,
Deborah

Friday, December 16, 2016

Chart Showing the Organizational Structure for Opinion Writing: With 3rd/4th Split Grade Adaptation



















While working with a Third Grader to make sense of the organizational structure for opinion writing, 
I came up with this chart to help her see where we were headed.

Notice that an opinion writing piece does not
 have to change the reader's opinion.
My resident fairy and her home in my garden (complete with a working drawbridge).
It only states the personal experiences or facts/evidence to support their reason for the writer's opinion.

For example, my opinion could be that EVERY garden should contain
a fairy garden.
I don't have to persuade you...
I only have to explain to you why I feel that way.
By the way... in your opinion, should every garden contain a fairy garden?

Multi-grade Consideration:  If you teach a 3/4 Multi-grade Class, the 4th Graders should be part of the whole group discussion about what makes an opinion writing piece. Their comments will help the 3rd Graders learn about this type of writing and the 4th Graders will benefit from reviewing their background knowledge.

Then, the 4th Graders would meet as a grade level group, with their teacher, for a mini-lesson on what is the difference between Opinion and a Persuasive Writing Piece. Lastly, they can also write to answer the same question as the 3rd Graders, but take it one step further to not only express an opinion, but

persuade:
  to make someone do or believe something by giving them a good reason to do it or by writing down your thoughts so clearly and convincingly it helps the reader confirm their similar view or change their opinion to agree with yours.
Smiles,
Deborah
 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Equivalent Fraction Games from Illuninations




















Have you seen the Equivalent Fraction tool on Illuminations. Here is a link to this tool.

 Your students can create equivalent fractions by dividing and shading squares or circles, and matching each fraction to its location on the number line.

It's a fun way to see representations of equivalent fractions without a paper and pencil activity.  There is an iTunes app too.

Here's the gameboard from the Fraction Game.
This applet allows students to individually practice working with relationships among fractions and ways of combining fractions.

Fun and Free!
Smiles,
Deborah 
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