Wednesday, March 28, 2012

April Creative Writing

My April Creative Writing is ready!  I didn't get it ready as early as I hoped to, but I did do better than last month:) I don't know about you all, but I have a terrible case of spring fever!  I don't know if it's the beautiful weather or if I'm just ready to get testing over with, but I'm as bad as my kids.  I'm hoping that next week's spring break will cure it!  If you're looking for a little break in your routine, these writing prompts are a fun change of pace.  You can grab your copy by clicking on the picture.

I also wanted to share with you a great new product I had the privilege to preview.  It's Shelley Gray's Multiplication Mastery, and I have to say it is a great resource.  It's a huge multiplication fact program that can be used as a year long system to teach multiplication facts through a variety of strategies.  I was so impressed with the organization of this unit, because it really is big, but Shelley does a great job of breaking everything down and giving step-by-step directions.  I know multiplication facts are a huge part of third grade, so it's definitely worth checking out.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Elapsed Time

Okay, I'll admit it.  I hate 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, and also because I've always had a hard time finding interesting and relevant activities for my students.  Fortunately, I've finally come up with an activity that I actually enjoy, and my students did too!
 I printed out our daily schedule for each student and then gave my students an elapsed time sheet, where students had to use our daily schedule to determine how long we spent in each subject area, as well as other questions that required students to determine elapsed time problems.
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 thought they were very grown up!  I've uploaded a Word version of the activity that you can adapt to your classroom schedule.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Test Prep Task Cards

Regardless of how I feel about testing, I can't ignore the fact that in about a month my students will have to take their first high-stakes test.  In GA, my students are tested in reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science-talk about a fun week.  I am extremely fortunate to work in a district that does not require or even support "teaching to the test".    We're almost on the opposite end of the spectrum, which does make it a little difficult during this time of year, because this is all so new for my students.  I do try to sprinkle in a little practice throughout the year, so my students aren't overwhelmed. 

As many of you know, I've become a fan of math work stations this year, and I've created a few new things to help incorporate test prep into my work stations.  I now have three different sets of math test prep task cards to add to my work station activities.  Each set of task cards reviews 4 different subjects with 24 task cards for each subject (a total of 96 cards for each set).  You can download a portion of my Test Prep 3 cards here!
 I have the complete versions on all three sets in my TpT Store if you're interested.

Test Prep 1 (place value, addition & subtraction, rounding & estimation, properties of addition)

Test Prep 2 (representing multiplication & division, properties of multiplication, multiplication & division word problems, fact families)

Test Prep 3 (fractions & decimals, geometry, measurement, algebra)

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!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March Creative Writing

Hi everyone!  I'm so sorry that I'm late getting this to you, but it has been crazy around my house the last couple of weeks.  The good news is that I already have April's version almost ready, so I'll be early next month!  I hope that your students are enjoying these!  You can download the version by clicking on the picture below.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!