Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
In 6th grade we tackled word problems involving fraction and decimal division/multiplication. We did this similar to the ratio word problems and it had almost better results! Since we use Math in Focus, the problems almost require using the bar model. Some you don't need it but others it just makes the problem so much easier at their level.
For example this fun problem: Mike had a large tropical fish collection. He gives 2/3 of his fish to a local high school. Then he gives 2/5 of the remaining fish to an elementary school. In the end, he has 30 fish left. How many fish did Mike have at first.
Three of my 5 groups got it using the beautiful bar model! Best of all,the rest saw how much easier the bar model made it look.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
- Bring more struggle and frustration to my classroom!
- Take more pictures of students' work.
get the InLinkz code
Friday, September 26, 2014
Things have been very interesting these first few weeks. Like I've been saying 5th grade is so much different than what I've been used to. Also, my homeroom is full of the "high-needs" kids which I think is also wearing me out. I had two boys suspeneded yesterday for fighting in my classroom before lunch. Ugh. Not a out and out brawl, but one boy bumped into the other by accident and then hands started flying. Luckily all I had to do was yell "STOP!" and they both looked like they were going to cry.
Last night I had over 10 inches of my hair cut off, and I'm thinking of going in today and telling them I am Mrs. Nehila's mean evil twin sister and then acting the part. We'll see. Not a great actor so I don't know if I can pull it off.
Lots of good and bad stuff going on with the math so far. I need to blog more about that and especially about the bad stuff.
One thing I'm having massive trouble with is getting my 6th grade lessons in with only a 45 minute class. I do get a double block with them on Fridays, but I feel like I am just playing catch up.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Thursday, September 18, 2014
We had our back to school night last night and I think it went pretty well. I met my new families and got to catch up with some who I had older siblings in prior years. Another reason I love my school is that since we are so small we do get to know everyone pretty well and I think my families are pretty great!
This morning was tough getting up and going in after leaving last night around 8pm! All of the teachers seemed to be dragging today and I know I chugged down about 5 cups of coffee!
Today was a mix of good and bad with my homeroom. I seemed to have gotten the group of kids who know how to push each others buttons. I must say they have the potential of really growing up and out of it and I am excited to see that happen over the course of this year. They had a rough day yesterday with following directions and tattleing, etc. and I came down on them pretty hard. They really take losing their recess seriously unlike 7/8 who would just roll their eyes and say "whaterver" if I threatened recess detention. So they pulled it together most of the day and actually got two compliments from other teachers which made me proud. Then we had some problems with missing money and items from someones pencil case. Followed by some more tattleing and tears. Its going to a long year!
I am working with the 7/8 math teacher on a model of direct instruction that is really working well for us so far! I will share in a few days after we work on it some more. Its really exciting how the kids respond and it makes teaching the procedural stuff fun!
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
So about the title, ups and downs. Yesterday in 5th grade I had a major flop of a lesson. Ok, here is the gist, I tried following the textbook, (mistake) and the lesson was on front-end estimation with adjustment. This isn't even really a standard that I need to teach, just for the mathematical practices. The students were ok with addition, but when we hit subtraction all I could tell them was do it this way because I said so! I couldn't for the life of me explain it without saying, this is the way you do it, so do it! Does that make sense? The textbook, which for the most part, I really love even said "Make a poster showing the two ways to use front-end estimation with adjustment for subtraction so that students remember." Not how to explain why it works, just have them memorize! UGH!
Here are the examples I used to teach them, which come straight from the book.
Friday, September 12, 2014
First we modeled it by drawing rectangles on graph paper, then we moved onto the actual procedure. I showed them the division problem set up as a complex fraction. Then we played around with writing equivalent fractions. So far so good!
Next I asked them what was the easiest number to divide by and a lot of them said 2 but a few said 1. So I threw out some problems like 1,784 divided by 2, 85,954 divided by 2, etc then the same numbers by 1, they quickly agreed that 1 was much easier! So I asked them to look in their notebook vocabulary section to see if they could figure out how we could make the denominator equal 1. They flipped to the vocab section checked the definitions and all agreed the reciprocal is what they needed! So we wrote an equivalent fraction using reciprocal of the denominator. Once they had their answer I drew a box around the numerator in the problem. It was pretty clear to see the procedure and they seemed convinced! One student had heard keep change flip before and I kept saying "Yes! That's right, multiply by the reciprocal!
We practiced for a while and I really liked what I was seeing! I am going to give an entrance ticket on Monday to make sure they remembered it.
We also got our IXL accounts ready today, some students already have gone on and started practicing which I love to see!
Oh I almost forgot something I tried with my homeroom, at the end of the day I handed out an index card to each student and told them to write down the name of the person they though should be nominated for Citizen of the Week. They all voted and the nice thing is that they picked the person I would have picked as well! In addition to picking my student of the week, I am also looking for the kids that don't get any votes. There are some kids who have been reprimanded already this year and sent to guidance and they vice principal so they were obviously not voted for, I'm looking for the ones who are getting missed. There were definetly two names I was surprised I did not see. I will make sure to observe how these kids behave next week. Are they my sneaky ones I have to watch out for? Or are they being shunned by their class? Not sure yet, but I will be doing this every Friday. The nice thing is our school does a lot of awards and this will definitely help me choose. I've always had such a hard time with that!
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Ok, I think I'm getting the hang of this! I had a nice little revelation as I'm getting to know my students better and that is that while I have to come in with a totally new mindset on how to treat and teach 5th graders, my 6th grade students are similar to my 7th and 8th, just not as apathetic! Wooo Hoooo!
I feel like I am doing a lot of informal assessing in class but I'm not getting the exit tickets in and that is bothering me. I need to try and use them and start my circle trackers back up.
I can see in my class who is getting it but I have no data to back it up.
Well of to my son's back to school night to meet his teachers!
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
So for tomorrow with 5th, I will do one lesson in the first half and then the second half will be all about stations! I'm actually excited about the stations I have been gathering tons of resources and our school bought a subscription for IXL which I'm excited to try out.
So for 5th grade tomorrow we will have a min lesson on place value where they will complete this foldable (idea taken from somewhere on the internet but I have no idea where sorry!)
Monday, September 8, 2014
One of those things is the importance of creating good habits and setting good routines. So far I absolutely love my do now routine which is practicing basic skills around the number of the day. The number of the day has been the month and day, so for example, today's number was 98.
Each day students have three different boxes with tasks they have to complete. Today it was to write in expanded form, round to the nearest ten, double it, and then check the divisibility of the number by the numbers 2 to 10. I know I'm going to have to tweak it for 6th grade, way too easy. We are doing factors and multiples this week, so I'm sure going to add that on there!
Although we are only really two days into it, I am super excited about my INBs!! Not only am I excited to use them in class, but it makes lesson planning really easy too! I just build my notebook pages and that is how I write my lesson plan.
Today students put in their Unit 1 Table of Contents and their vocabulary pages. On the right side page I'm having them put a KWC organizer.
|Awesome Unit Table of Contents page from Sarah at http://mathequalslove.blogspot.com/|
Sunday, September 7, 2014
This is my 5th year teaching and it feels like the first!
Meeting my new 5th and 6th graders has been so much fun! I've known most of these kiddos since they were in Kindergarten and 1st Grade! Still its hard to get names right. One of the advantages of teaching two grade levels is I usually knew all of my 8th graders very well and had to only get to know my new 7ths. So this year is a little bit of a challenge, I could tell I was getting better by Friday, and yesterday we had our back to school BBQ and could remember their names and even which class period they were in! Oh and a bunch of my students from last year came to visit too! I really loved that group of kids and I hope that they stay in touch.
I spent the first three days teaching routines and procedures of course and used games and iPads and started my INBs! While I tried to make this fun (its hard to tell because they are all so happy and eager to please, unlike 7th and 8th where they just stare at you most of the time LOL) I did stress that I'm very serious about learning, classroom community, and being able to feel comfortable making mistakes. I've heard that last year some of the 4th grade girls were a little mean and did laugh at kids when they made mistakes. I was sure to look those girls right in the eyes when I was explaining my thoughts on it and they did look wide-eyed like "Oh bleep, I better watch it!"
They really responded well to my "Class/Yes" procedure which 7/8 also did well with, but I think it fits better with the younger crowd anyway. I'm using the scoreboard game with them in conjunction with our school's Battle of the Homerooms. So the way Class/Yes works is when I say "Class", they say "yes" and they have to say it however I say it. I have to try to remember to mix it up a little, I tend to get boring the way I say it. The scoreboard is a chart I put on the front whiteboard and if they do the class/yes procedure correctly -everyone says it, stops what they are doing and does not talk after, they get a tally mark under the column with a smiley face. If they don't do it correctly they get a tally mark under the frowny face. Their goal is to get more smileys than frownys. If they do, I give them 100 points for the day. 7th/8th could care less about the Battle of the Homerooms (well until the day the winner was announced each month) but 5th/6th still take it very seriously!
Every class won last week, but starting this week I'm going to kick it up a notch and add tallys for expected behavior.
I also introduced them on Thursday to our Number of the Day do now. I can already tell it is going to be a big help in my classes. Right now I have both 5th and 6th doing the same sheets, but I think I will be changing it up in the next week or so to really focus on which skills they need the most practice on. I think 5th is going to need some multiplication and they are both going to need fraction stuff.
I am looking forward to this first real week of math to get started!
If you would like to link up and share your first week or first day reflections click HERE to go to Sherrie's blog and join us!
Friday, September 5, 2014
What a week! 5th and 6th grade is such a different experience. So far I'm really happy and optimistic about the school year. The only trouble I'm having right now is getting my little 5ths used to their lockers!
I have about 12 combinations memorized right now from doing them the whole week. Then they take FOREVER getting their stuff and forgetting things after they've finished.
I know its only the first week and I have to be patient with them, but this is killing me! They took 18 minutes out of my math class on Thursday, it was a nightmare.
Today we got out of school 15 minutes late because they couldn't get it together. I know one problem that I have that the other 5th grade homeroom teacher doesn't have is that my lockers are stacked in three's and hers are in twos. This means only 6 of mine can go at a time and 9 of hers can go.
I've got my timer set and they are only allowed 2 minutes, which should be 6 minutes for my whole class. I'm really hoping they get faster with practice!
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Today I was able to do the Marshmallow Challenge with one of my classes. It was AWESOME!!!
|Marshmallow Challenge fail|