Sunday, January 25, 2015

Comparing Fractions - True or False - Prove It!

When I started teaching 3rd grade six years ago, I was a co-teacher and my part was Language Arts - not Math.  So, I happily observed the teaching of fractions. The previous 8 years, I had taught 1st and 2nd grade where math is is much more concrete, so wow - this was a new experience! Now, 5 years later am responsible for preparing 3rd graders for some very difficult problem solving with fractions - a very abstract concept. Understanding fractions and how they are used in everyday life is one thing..teaching 8 and 9 year old's about fractions is another.  

This year, my kiddos have struggled with mastering fractions. We have practiced with fraction bars, drawn pictures of fractions, talked about fractions, and so forth. But still they just weren't getting it - and I could not get this off my mind!  

Well, last weekend I was getting ready to go out to brunch with family - and suddenly I got an idea!  And since I have an Obsessive Compulsive need to do things right now - it was a little difficult waiting until I got home. But I did and that idea turned out to be my newest resource ...Comparing Fractions - True or False - Prove it!  I knew that if I challenged my students to prove something, they would work really hard to do just that - and they did!  I used it this past week and they really loved it!  I put it in my math centers, and every single student completed it. The beauty of it is - I could quickly look and see whether they got it or not.  I could also tie it to the 8 Mathematical Practices that I am implementing in my classroom this year - #1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them and #6 - Attend to Precision. So....the proverbial 
saying - killing two birds with one stone was definitely happening. Gotta love that!

If your 3rd or 4th graders are struggling with comparing fractions and you need a quick and easy math center OR you need a whole group practice worksheet - check it out! Here's what is included:

Constructed Response for Fraction Cards - A

 Fraction Cards A Inequalities
 (16 cards)

Fraction Cards A - Equivalent Fractions
 (8 cards)

Constructed Response for Fractions
Greater Than One Cards-B

Fraction Cards B - Inequalities (16 cards)

Fraction Cards B - Equivalent Fractions
(8 cards)

Challenging a Classmate
  Perfect for Differentiating your
 Fraction Center

I hope you will try Comparing Fractions - True or False - Prove It! with your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th graders. I think you will find it as effective and challenging for your students as I have.  Just follow this link to my TPT Store.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Teacher Hacks from Pinterest and Blogs - Love these!

Don't you love it when you see a really cool teacher hack or freebie on Pinterest or a blog?  There are some extremely creative teachers out there!  Here are a few of my favorites for this week:

The Classroom Creative - isn't this the best?  I especially love the HOT MESS label - but I will absolutely use the Grade Me and Return Me labels. Totally free download - thanks ladies!

Here's another idea I wish I had thought of.....

Life in First Grade Blog - So cute and so cheap! Those paper plates really make the letters pop!

The Cornerstone for Teachers - This is such a great way to connect with each of your students each week.  The idea is so simple, yet brilliant! (Plus it costs absolutely nothing!)

All of these ideas are so amazingly simple and cheap!  You gotta love that! I know I'm using all of these THIS week - what about you? Thank you ladies for sharing your creative minds with us! 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Smarty Pants Goals

Happy New Year 2015!

New year - new goals - new resource for your kiddos! I've been planning this resource in my head for quite awhile now.  I knew I wanted my 3rd graders to learn to make goals and have strategies to achieve those goals. I knew I wanted it to be easy enough for 2nd and 3rd graders, but complete enough for 4th and 5th graders.  So, I created Smarty Pants Smart Goals.

First, I want my students to visualize what kind of student they want to be. This will help them start to form their own ideas for goals.  Even if students don't verbalize their feelings and opinions of your "high achieving" students, they notice who they are.  So, why not access those perceptions and help them become a "high achieving" student, or at least a "higher" student?  Students will choose four adjective (examples: smart, engaged, curious, active) to describe the kind of student they want to be.

Goal Setting
The page I designed for goal setting is based on S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals. The statements are open-ended so that they can be used for a variety of reading or math goals.  At my school, there are weekly reading and math assessments, so we are starting with those.

The tracking sheets are designed for short term goal tracking (4 weeks) and longer term (9 weeks). Since I am introducing goal setting to my students, we are going to track our scores for 4 weeks first.  I want most students to be able to achieve their goal quickly, so they are ready to set new ones.

I've also designed You Did It! certificates for each content area, so you can reward your goal achieving superstars!  They'll love it!  

I'm excited to get S.M.A.R.T. goals started in my classroom next week.  I hope you will consider setting goals with your kiddos.  If this resource looks like something you could use to get started - check it out on Teachers Pay Teachers.