Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sometimes, You Need a Do Over

Sometimes, You Need a Do Over - Reteaching a Math Lesson, Real Life Math Activity, Fall Party Task Cards

Do you ever have a lesson or activity that just didn't go as planned? I've certainly had my fair share! Here's one activity that really turned into a hands-on, real life activity do-over.

I had been working with my students on decimal operations. For the most part, they understood the concepts and how to use the algorithms. We had even worked with them in word problems. Then it came time for them to show me how they were doing. I put up word problem task cards around the room and had them complete the problems. All of the problems had to do with a real life activity of purchasing items for a Fall Party.

Everyone was working really hard on their problems. Very few students had questions. I helped those out that did by working through the problem and what steps they were going to take.

Then, I graded the papers. Oh, my! It wasn't that they didn't know how to use the standard algorithms to solve their problems. They just didn't understand the concept of buying items, how much it would cost, and getting change.

It was definitely time for an intervention. I took index cards and printed images from the internet and used those materials to create "item cards". I added the price to each card according to the task card. I found some play money in my cabinet and pulled it out. We were now ready to play store and re-enact each task card.
Sometimes, You Need a Do Over, reteaching a math lesson, real life math activity, fall party task cards

Even though these were middle schoolers, I did review how much the coins were worth. I wanted to be sure we all knew. 

I put one task card at a time on the screen. I had one student come and be the cashier and one or more (depending on the task) be the buyer. We read through the word problem, found the "item cards" needed for that task, and worked through what was needed to buy the products and/or make change (depending on the task). 
Sometimes, You Need a Do Over, reteaching a math lesson, real life math activity, fall party task cards

Even though only 2 students or so were involved with acting out each task card, all of the students were engaged in the new activity. They wanted to be the cashier or the buyer. They were figuring out what needed to be done with the "items". And they begged to keep "playing store". 
Sometimes, You Need a Do Over, reteaching a math lesson, real life math activity, fall party task cards

It took awhile to redo the activity, but it was time well spent for a real-life math lesson.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Giveaway Winners

The Giveaway has ended. Thanks to all who participated! The winners have been contacted.

TPT is having a One Day Sale today only. Hurry by for some great savings on your Back to School needs. My store is 20% off. Use the code: ONEDAY at checkout for up to a 28% savings.

I am having a Back to School Giveaway to help celebrate this Back to School season!! There will be two winners - one for a $10 TPT Gift Card and one for $10 of products from my store. Hurry to enter as the giveaway ends Sunday night at midnight EST. I will draw the winners on Monday, August 22, and notify the 2 winners on Monday. Enter below!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Saving Money in the Back to School Season

Saving Money in the Back to School Season

Every year I would spend hundreds of dollars on my classroom. I wanted cute decorations and a new way to organize. I also needed new materials and supplies to teach students that were behind one to four grade levels. There's only so much money in a school budget. You are one of the lucky ones if your school gives you classroom money. I remember when I first started teaching and had a classroom budget. That helped a lot! By now, though, there is no money given by the schools. So what do you do? Learn to be frugal and seek out donations.

 Bulletin Board Backgrounds
 Buy a sheet from your local discount or thrift store. Choose a color you can live with for a few years.

 Does your school receive school supplies for the kids? Buddy up to the person in charge of handing those out. You will be using them for the kids! My community collects backpack supplies each July and passes them out to the various schools. It's amazing how many glue sticks, markers, crayons, etc. are collected. In my school, it was the counselors who would pass things out to students. Well, there was always a ton of supplies, so I just asked for some of the supplies for my classroom. They handed them over knowing the kids would be using the supplies.

 White Boards
 If you don't have a class set, there are some cheaper alternatives. You can see my blog post here.

 Classroom Lesson Materials & Manipulatives
 Look at what you have first. Have you cleaned out your closets and cabinets (at home and school) lately? I tend to buy things and then stick some place where I know I will remember when the time comes. Three years later. Oh, there it is! Do some cleaning and organizing you might find what you need.
 Check with other teachers. Maybe they have what you need and you can borrow, buy, or trade.
 Check garage sales or your local thrift store. I have found many school items for cheap at both sales and the thrift store.
 Check Teachers Pay Teachers. TPT has lesson materials, forms, decorations, and games that are all economical. There's something for everyone!

Set a budget this year as you think about the Back to School season. Look around and use your creativity to spend less this year.

Teachers can save money during the Back to School Season

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Innovative Classroom Technology

Innovative Classroom Technology

Are you planning on using technology in your classroom this year? I've teamed up with some other educators to bring you some ideas on using technology in your room. Using technology doesn't have to be scary. It can actually be engaging and a change of pace for your learners. While in the classroom, I was always trying to find a way to use the computers. Using Google Slides is a great way to have students complete a math station activity. I just transformed this traditional set of activities into a digital version - ready for Google Slides.
Innovative Classroom Technology Adding Decimals Google Slides

Thursday, June 9, 2016

5 Ways to Move in Math

5 Ways to Move in Math

I always loved having my students get up and move in math class. They probably enjoyed it more than I did. Kids need to move including middle schoolers!

Here are 5 ways to move in math:
5 Ways to Move in Math | Trashketball
1) Play Trashketball - This combines sitting to work the problems and moving when it is time to shoot baskets. Group students into partners or small teams. Show some problems on the board/screen. Students solve and have you check. The number of shooting opportunities is based on the position they finished in (ex: 1st place - 3 shots, 2nd place - 2 shots, 3rd place - 1 shot). Be sure everyone gets a turn to shoot for points!
5 Ways to Move in Math | Math Tag Relay
2) Math Tag - Nope, not play outside chasing each other tag. Math tag is a relay game where students are grouped into teams. Math problems are placed on the other end of the room/gym/measured space outside. Partners race down, solve a math problem on the sheet, and race back to tag the next partner team. This is great to do in a large space or outside but can be accomplished in the room by clearing desks out of the way.
5 Ways to Move in Math | Musical Chairs
3) Musical Chairs - Circle up the chairs and place math problems on each chair. Play some music and have the students move around. When the music stops, they have a seat and solve the problem. I never removed chairs and just continued to play until the time was up. You can remove chairs if you want for a little more competition.
5 Ways to Move in Math | Around the Room Task Cards
4) Around the Room - Hang up math problems (task cards are great for this activity) around the room and have students move around answering them.
5 Ways to Move in Math |  Partner Match Ups
5) Partner Match Ups - For this movement activity, you will need matching cards (ex: word/definition, word/picture, problem/answer, problems with the same answer, etc.). Give each student a card and have them find their match.

I have a Partner Match Up freebie that you can download here or by clicking on the picture. Students solve the adding or subtracting decimals problem and find a partner with the same answer.
5 Ways to Move in Math | Mix and Mingle Add and Subtract Decimals | Free | Teachers Pay Teachers

It's time to get your students moving in math!


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