Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Planet Unit for Multigrade Classrooms

Sketch to Stretch
I was working on my “Planet Unit” for the Multigrade 3/4 and 4/5 classes and wanted to try a new reading strategy that I read about called “Sketch to Stretch.” I read about it in the book, “READING STRATEGIES FOR SPANISH SPEAKERS  by Susan Lenski. The strategy has students sketching ideas as they are read text orally by the teacher in order to comprehend the text more effectively.
In this assignment, while doing an interactive read-aloud with the whole class, the teacher  projects the pages of the online copy of the book “The Sun and the Seasons” onto the front screen and reads the text aloud.  The student then uses the illustrations shown and the oral text to sketch their response to a question.
To see a copy of the worksheet shown above CLICK HERE.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Avoiding Technolgy "Breakdowns"

Do technology breakdowns make your knees quiver?  Then create a "Plan B" and make a PowerPoint presentation by taking screen shots of the interactive model that highlights the most important points.

I've been creating a Multi-level Planets Unit for my 3/4 and 4/5 Multigrade classrooms in our district. I want some of the activities to be whole group, while other activities will be assigned according to the grade level of the student.   

I want the teachers to be comfortable with the visual aids that I've suggested so I am listing the internet site and providing a Plan B PowerPoint too. 

After creating the slides, I added a text box that stated the month shown in the revolution of Earth.  In the small box that shows the angle of the suns rays as they hit the Earth, I made sure that the latitude shown was for our town. 

I added some slides that explained what was happening in the simulation to provide support for the teacher using my PowerPoint in his/her classroom.  So if your knees quiver... then create a "Plan  B."


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fabulous Math Vocabulary Cards

While blog hopping today, I discovered these fabulous math vocabulary cards made by Kristen at Ladybug's Teachers File. Kristen teaches 4th and 5th Grade English Language Learners.

I wish that I could say that I created these vocabulary cards, as they are so wonderful, especially for students that could benefit from a visual dictionary of math terms.

So what information am I sharing? 
Well, when I printed them I printed 4 slides per page and they turned out just the right size for my Word Wall.  Look at the blue area in the picture above called "Pages per sheet." I didn't use as much paper or ink that way either.

Isn't it wonderful how teachers share with other teachers!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Multigrade or Split Math Plan Sheet

This is the plan sheet that I share with the teachers in our district. It features one day when you can teach math games, work on math vocabulary, watch a video clip about a math topic, work on solving a math problem and writing an extended response about your findings, schedule an evaluation, or give a mini-lesson on a topic that is of interest for both grade levels.

The other four days are for small groups with grade-level appropriate materials. Click HERE to see the document in my Google Docs file.

Please leave me a comment if you download the document :)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Check out these wonderful clocks that support student learning at Oceans of First Grade Fun.

In a multigrade classroom, research tells us that we need to create independent learners that know the teacher is not the only source of information. The above clocks are a perfect example of a display that creates independence and scaffolds new learning.

Our wall space is so important in our classroom. Really think how the display you are planning will help student be independent learners.

The blog, Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs.Lemons, will even let you download  6 different colors of clocks in her shared document.

Click here for the link to the time circles that are arranged around the clock from the second picture. It will take you to the same blog: Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons.

Lastly, remember to physically get students involves with learning about measuring time on a clock. I've got some ideas about that and I will share them at a later date. Right now I'm thinking about multiplication flashcards to teach students multiplication patterns.

Monday, August 15, 2011

PARCC Says 3RD Graders Should be Fluent and Precise with Multiplication Facts by End of Year

In a new document titled, Draft Model Content Frameworks for Mathematics”   PARCC’s purpose is to:
• identify the big ideas in the Common Core State Standards for each grade level,
• help determine the focus for the various PARCC assessment components, and
• support the development of the assessment blueprints.

This resource will help teachers know how to implement the Common Core Standards in their own classroom.  For example in 3rd Grade they suggest, “Students fluently multiply two single-digit factors, and they fluently find related quotients. By the end of grade 3, they know single-digit products from memory.
Students must begin work with multiplication and division (3.OA) at or near the very start of the year to allow time for understanding and fluency to develop. Note that area models for products are an important part of this process (3.MD.7). Hence, work on concepts of area (3.MD.5–6) should likely begin at or near the start of the year as well. “ 

They give this example of opportunities for in-depth focus: “Finding single-digit products and related quotients is a required fluency for grade 3. Reaching fluency will take much of the year for many students. These skills and the understandings that support them are crucial; students will rely on them for years to come as they learn to multiply and divide with multidigit whole numbers and to add, subtract, multiply, and divide with fractions. After multiplication and division situations have been established, reasoning about patterns in products (e.g., products involving factors of 5 or 9) can help students remember particular products and quotients. Practice — and if necessary, extra support — should continue all year for those who need it to attain fluency.”

F L U E N C Y… does this make your knees knock with anxiety or do you have a plan to meet this goal?  This picture was posted on a 6th Grade Classroom Blog:

The comment under the picture was to ask 6th Grade Parents to please work with their children on memorizing their basic multiplication facts.

Lastly, a big thank you to Ginger Weincek at Liberty Elementary for making me aware of this document earlier in the summer.  I love how teachers like Ginger support other teachers!!

By the way PARCC is giving you a chance to comment on this framework until August 31 through their website in a survey format.  Here is your chance to respond before the document is finalized.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

6's Multiplication Facts with Systematic Flashcards

These flashcards can be used by your students to learn the pattern to multiplying 6 times an even number-2, 4, 6, 8. The ten's place digit is one half of the other digit that is being multiplied by 6. The one's place digit is the even number that was multiplied by 6... or just repeat the number. Click here to download the flashcards.

If you download the flashcards, please leave a comment for Deborah.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Common Counting Errors for 4 and 5 Year Old Children

 I've been working with my two-year old granddaughter on counting. (Can you say "Overachieving Grandma?") In this picture we are painting TWO monsters after reading "My Monster Mama Loves Me So." This book  is about the relationship between a monster and his mother. As the title suggests, the monster lists some of the reasons he knows his monster mama loves him. Those reasons include the monster mama baking cookies that are filled with bugs. (Doesn't that sound delicious??) All of the examples the monster gives are funny and heartwarming.

Given the fact that I have a passion for both my granddaughter and MATH, I started thinking about the problems children have when they learn to count.  I've been reading the book, "Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Path Toward Excellence and Equity", and I found a list of Common Counting Errors.
As a teacher, I found these words interesting:
"As with many physical activities, counting will improve with practice and does not need to be perfect each time. Teachers do not have to monitor children’s counting all of the time. It is much more important for all children to get frequent counting practice and watch and help each other, with occasional help and corrections from the teacher."

After reading Debbie Diller's book, "Math Stations" this quote provided even more support for the use of math stations at the early learning grades.

Just in case you are interested,below is a direct quote from this book about common counting errors:
"There are some common counting errors made by young children as they learn the various principles that underpin successful counting. Counting requires effort and continued attention, and it is normal for 4-year-olds to make some errors and for 5-year-olds to make occasional errors, especially on larger sets (of 15 or more for 4-year-olds and of 25 or more for 5-year-olds). Younger children may initially make quite a few errors. It is much more important for children to be enthusiastic counters who enjoy counting than for them to worry so much about errors that they are reluctant to count. If one looks at the proportion of objects that receive one word and one point, children’s counting often is pretty accurate. Letting errors go sometimes or even somewhat frequently if children are trying hard and just making the top four kinds of errors is fine as long as children understand that correct counting requires one point and one word for each object and are trying to do that. As with many physical activities, counting will improve with practice and does not need to be perfect each time. Teachers do not have to monitor children’s counting all of the time. It is much more important for all children to get frequent counting practice and watch and help each other, with occasional help and corrections from the teacher.

Very young children counting small rows with high effort make more errors in which their say-point actions do not correspond than errors in the matching of the points and objects. Thus, they may need more practice coordinating their actions of saying one word and pointing at an object. Energetic collective practice in which children rhythmically say the number word list and move down their hand with a finger pointed as each word is said can be helpful. To vary the practice, the words can sometimes be said loudly and sometimes softly, but always with emphasis (a regular beat). The points can involve a large motion of the whole arm or a smaller motion, but, again, in a regular beat with each word. Coordinating these actions of saying and pointing is the goal for overcoming this type of error. For variety, these activities can involve other movements, such as marching around the room with rhythmic arm motions or stamping a foot saying a count word each time.
Counting an object twice or skipping over an object are errors made occasionally by 4-year-olds and even by 5-year-olds on larger sets. These seem to stem from momentary lack of attention rather than lack of coordination. Trying hard or counting slowly can reduce these errors. However, when two counts of the same set disagree, many children of this age think that their second count is correct, and they do not count again. Learning the strategy of counting a third time can increase the accuracy of their counts. If children are skipping over many objects, they need to be asked to count carefully and don’t skip any.

Young children sometimes make multiple count errors on the last object. They either find it difficult to stop or think they need to say a certain number of words when counting and just keep on counting so they say that many. When they say the number word list, more words are better, so they need to learn that saying the number word list when counting objects is controlled by the number of objects. Reminding them that even the last object only gets one word and one point can help. They also may need the physical support of holding their hand as they reach to point to the last object so that the hand can be stopped from extra points and the last word is said loudly and stretched out (e.g., fii-i-i-ve) to inhibit saying the next word.

Regularity and rhythmicity are important aspects of counting. Activities that increase these aspects can be helpful to children making lots of correspondence errors. Children who are not discouraged about their counting competence generally enjoy counting all sorts of things and will do so if there are objects they can count at home or in a care or education center. Counting in pairs to check each other find and correct errors is often fun for the pairs. Counting in other activities, such as building towers with blocks, should also be encouraged."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Systematic Flashcards to Learn 9's Multiplication Facts

I created a set of flashcards to systematically learn the nine’s multiplication facts. These cards are based on the work of John Van De Walle.

This is how I envision the system working
First, the students must know the combination of two numbers that when added together a sum of nine results. For example, 2 + 7 = 9, so I included a set of flashcards to practice those addition facts.
Next, I made a set of cards that teaches students that the product’s tens place digit will be one less than the “other” factor multiplied by nine. 

The next pattern is that when you add the two digits in the product the sum will be nine.

Then it practices the two ideas together.

Lastly, no support is given.

Ta Dahstudents know their nine multiplication facts.

Download by clicking here. It’s free for my blog friends and I’m putting it in my TPT store with a cost for everyone else. See how much you mean to me!!!
Want more flashcards based on the work of John Van De Walle? Leave me some comments with your thoughts.

Monday, August 1, 2011

5TH Grade Students at 2nd Grade Math Level…Now What Should I Do?

First, a special thanks to all the teachers that contributed their ideas. I've added a few of my own.

1) Understanding math vocabulary is essential.
a)    Accelerate these students with vocabulary preparation a week or two in advance of the new Math concepts (pre-load)
2)    Create a math word wall or add math word to your regular word wall. Pictures help clarify meaning, and don’t forget to make connections for 2nd language learners.
3) Make connection from where they already know to what they need to learn or preload information before teaching it with the class.
4)  Make activities engaging and visual. Use manipulatives when possible. Games make practicing skills fun. Use whiteboards in small groups to have each student react to your questions and help them stay focused on the lesson. Try to involve as many manipulatives with our math core as you can. When the students can touch, see, and manipulate what they what we are working on they understand so much more. They can each "see" how it all fits together.

(photos by Ashlee Tucker)

5) Use volunteers, teaching assistants, peers and educational internet sites, to give those students support when the teacher is not available. Teach students that you are not the only source of information. Have volunteers work with them to practice math facts.
6)  Motivate students to learn given a scenario where they had to learn skills in order to complete the task. An example is our end of the year project revolved around creating their own ice cream shop. Students designed their stores, researched the costs to build, decorate, and stock the store.
7) Look at the possibility of teaching math using Guided Math Small Groups.  There is more opportunity to differentiate and more time to practice skills.
8) Using "Math Stations" by Debbie Diller as a guide, create math stations that offer independent activities at different skill levels.
9) Believe in their ability to learn, and vocalize their accomplishments when they happen.  Take a look at Marzano's work with:Effort and recognition speak to the attitudes and beliefs of students, and teachers must show the connection between effort and achievement. Research shows that although not all students realize the importance of effort, they can learn to change their beliefs to emphasize effort.
According to research, recognition is most effective if it is contingent on the achievement of a certain standard. 

* Have students keep a log of their weekly efforts and achievements, reflect on it periodically, and even mathematically analyze the data.  * Find ways to personalize recognition. Give awards for individual accomplishments. * "Pause, Prompt, Praise." If a student is struggling, pause to discuss the problem, then prompt with specific suggestions to help her improve. If the student's performance improves as a result, offer praise.
10) Don't go and get a 2nd Grade Math book for a 5th grade student.  How deflating to their self-image. Support them as they continue to work with their other classmates, and preload background information. Just because one testing source tells you they are operating at a 2nd Grade level they will have highs and lows as you look at their knowledge of different mathematical strands.

 Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...