Sunday, March 18, 2012

Elapsed Time

Okay, I'll admit it.  I don't enjoy teaching elapsed time.  It's just one of those things that I've always dreaded teaching.  I think part of it is because it is such a difficult skill for students to grasp, and also because I've always had a hard time finding interesting and relevant activities for my students.  Since it is such a challenging concept, I'm constant seeking ways to make elapsed time hands on and relevant for my students! Last week, we used mini clocks and our class schedule to allow students to practice finding the elapsed time in an authentic way.
 I printed out our daily schedule for each student and gave students an elapsed time printable, where students used the daily schedule to determine the elapsed time of each subject area. There were other questions that required students to determine elapsed time problems of different parts of the day such as lunch and recess.
It was so funny to me to see how excited my students got about using our real class schedule.  They thought that was even cooler than using the little clocks.  They felt very grown up!  I've uploaded a copy of the activity that you can adapt to your classroom schedule.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

Keeping my students' pencils sharpened has been one of those things that absolutely drives me crazy.  I'm not talking about the management aspect, I'm talking about finding a pencil sharpener that works-for more than a month.  My current super cheap sharpener lasted less than a month.

I'm now conducting a just for kicks experiment on which new pencil sharpener I like the best.

Option A

Option B

I used my new electric sharpener, and it worked perfectly for 48 brand-new pencils.  It was wonderful!  However, my students are so excited to have a crank sharpener they can use!  They think it's the coolest thing ever.

Geometry Riddles
On another note, I'm trying to give my students some additional geometry practice.  I've found that they do a great job of identifying shapes when looking at a picture, but they have a more difficult time identifying shapes when reading a description without any visual clues.  I created a very basic activity that should help with this skill.  In it, students have to write riddles for 5 different geometric shapes of their choice.  When students finish the worksheet, they can go around the room and quiz their classmates.  You can grab your copy by clicking on the picture.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Fun

Do you ever have those moments where you're shocked at how quickly the year has gone by?  That's how I was this week when I really stopped and thought about the fact that it was already March.  Where has the year gone and how can it already be time to start thinking about spring activities?  I'm definitely not complaining though!  I'm excited to do something fun and a little different for St. Patrick's Day with a couple of activities that use Lucky Charms.

Two of the activities are algebra worksheets where students have to determine the value of each marshmallow.  My students have done similar activities with random shapes, so I think they will really enjoy the novelty of marshmallows.  I made one version with addition and subtraction problems, and a different version with multiplication and division problems.

I also made a little fractions activity where student get a large handful of Lucky Charms (I'll place my students' Lucky Charms in little baggies before class to help save a little extra time).  Then students have to write a fraction to represent each type of marshmallow.  In one part of the activity students will ONLY count the marshmallows for the denominator, and in the other portion of the activity students will count the cereal pieces AND marshmallows for the denominator.
 You can grab your FREE Lucky Math activities by clicking on the link or pictures!