We're Sharing a Smile

29 November 2015
With just a day or two left in November, crunch time has officially begun.  I'm currently juggling report cards, Christmas concert preparations, classroom assessments, holiday parties, plus all of the stuff with my own kids and around the house.  I wouldn't trade any of it, though - this is my absolute favorite time of the year.

TeacherspayTeachers is having their annual Cyber Monday/Tuesday sale tomorrow - just in time to put a Cyber Smile on your face (ps - SMILE is the checkout code).  All my resources will be on sale for 20% off, with an additional 10% off at the checkout with the SMILE code.  I know I'll be stocking up to help me get through the next month.  ;)

But ... I wanted to share another smile with you today.  I'm getting together with two of my best teaching friends, Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6 and Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files to give you a chance to win a few resources to give you a little help and inspiration.

I'm giving away one of my newest bundles - my Christmas Activity Bundle - filled with some of my favorite December activities that keep my students engaged and learning throughout the busiest month of the year.  This bundle contains 4 of my tried-and-true holiday favorites, plus a brand new resource.

There are 5 different activities included in this bundle.  The activities cover persuasive writing skills, creative writing skills, grammar skills, drama skills, oral presentation skills, cooperative learning skills, listening skills, and following directions skills.  Throughout all activities, there is an element of reflection and rigor – allowing students to reflect on all of the magic December brings.

The Dear Santa, I Can Explain persuasive writing activity could be completed over a few days (or longer), and makes a great December bulletin board.

The Giving Tree Craftivity needs a few classes to complete (two different versions are included) and results in a beautiful display that can be shared at school and then at home.

The Christmas Drama Circle and Christmas Homonym Letter make great last day activities when you need no-prep, high interest activities to enjoy the excitement of the last day with your students.

Lastly, the Stick-It Together Collaborative Writing Activity can be completed in writing centers or small group activities throughout the month of December.

Enter below for a chance to win this resource, PLUS Teaching in Room 6's Essay of the Month, AND Ladybug's Teacher Files' Instant Checklists.  And then be sure to visit their blogs to enter and increase your chances of winning.  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop on over to visit my friends to see what they have for you.  :)  The winners from each of our blogs will receive all three of our resources.
Just click on the buttons below.


Math Journal Sundays - Mean, Mode, Median, and Range

22 November 2015
For today's Math Journal Sundays post, I'm sharing the Mean, Mode, Median and Range entry we did this week.  This was our first lesson on it, so this journal entry was used as an introduction to the concept (although, students had studied some of them in previous grades).  This journal entry is based on an entry in my Interactive Math Journals 2 resource.  We used 4 index cards to complete this entry, but the resource linked above includes the 4 cards needed for the resource.

We started out on the right side of the page by defining mean, mode, median, and range on the cards.  To help them remember, I taught them this little rhyme based on Hey Diddle Diddle, which we wrote at the bottom of the page.  When the cards were complete, we punched a hole in each corner, and then attached the cards to the page with a brass fastener.

We did a traditional left side of the page thinking for the output, but for the proof/application, I wanted to work together to solve for mean, mode, median, and range, using the definitions we came up with.  We collected a quick set of data (I asked them how many markers they had in their desk) to work with, and got to work.  It was a perfect way to introduce these concepts to them.

The next day we continued with our study of mean, mode, median, and range with a special OREO day.  :)  This is one of my absolute favourite days of the year ... cookies and math ... can't beat it!  In fact, my own daughters wanted to get in on the action the night before ... how could I say no?  If you want to read more about our Oreo Stacking Challenge, it's in my original Interactive Math Journal, and I have a blog post you can read more at HERE.


Math Journal Sundays - Bar Graphs

15 November 2015
For this week's Math Journal Sundays, I have one of my favorite math journal entries - it has both the deep learning with the students analyzing the information and applying it in a new situation and the "wow" factor they love.  This Pop-Up Bar Graph is a resource that I have in my store, both on its own, and in my Math Journal 2 resource.

This was a 2-day lesson - we completed the graphing activity on the first day and then did the journal activity on the 2nd day.

On the first day we surveyed, collected data, and built the bar graph.  As a whole class, we came up with the survey question, "How many books have you read this school year?".  We decided to survey three classes so we had a good variety of data.  We then collected the data (making sure to organize the data by boys and girls because we knew the second step to this activity would be making a double bar graph).  From there, we discussed intervals and came up with a suitable interval to use to display our data - 0-2 books, 3-5, 6-8, etc.  For the pop-up bar graphs, we made a single bar graph, so we had to find the total number of books read by boys and girls for each interval.  We made our bar graphs according to the information in the resource, then glued the page onto construction paper for extra support (however, this is optional - they do stand up on their own without the construction paper).  They students LOVED these graphs and couldn't wait to put them up on the shelves outside of the classroom to "show them off".  ;)

On the second day, we turned it into our math journal entry.  We did a traditional left-side of the page thinking, with the reflection being a kind of application, too.  We started with the single bar graph, but to meet the double-bar graph expectation for our curriculum, I had the students take the data we collected yesterday (remember, we had separated the answers from girls and boys) and turn it into a double-bar graph.  As we had been studying single and double bar graphs through the week, they were able to do this independently.  And as they finished, I had them bring their journals to me so I could do a quick check for an informal assessment.  The few students who had made the graph incorrectly were quickly pulled for a little small group reinforcement, where we remade the double bar graphs and added it to the journals.

We're moving on to stem and leaf plots and line plot graphs next week ... stay tuned!  ;)  


Math Journal Sundays - Types of Graphs

08 November 2015
It's Math Journal Sunday!  Our math journal entry this week was all about those graphs.  Depending on where we are in our unit, sometimes our journal entries introduce a topic, and sometimes they reinforce or review a topic.  This one was definitely an introduction as it was our very first day in the unit.  This entry is extremely similar to one I have in my original Interactive Math Journal (template included), but I changed the types of graphs this time.

We started out by folding our paper into thirds, then cutting flaps on the top and bottom third (4 flaps).  The back of the middle third is glued to the notebook.

For this entry we looked at double bar graphs, broken line graphs, stem and leaf plot graphs, and line plot graphs - these are the main 4 my grade 4/5s need to know.  We wrote the titles for each graph on the outside of the top flap.

When you lift those top flaps, under that we wrote definitions and uses for each specific type of graph - something for them to refer to later when thinking about the best kind of graph for a particular set of data.

And lastly, under that flap, we drew a picture of each type of graph.  This was just a quick picture or sketch to show what the graph looked like - we didn't actually use a real set of data to make the graphs for this journal entry.

And that was that for the right side (the input side) of the page.  We followed our traditional left-side of the page thinking (the output) for this entry.  With the gradual release of responsibility to the students, this time they completed the learning goal, what I already know, what I learned, and proof independently (however, I did model a response for some of my students who require it).  For the reflection section, I gave them a question to answer:  Give 3 examples of where you have seen graphs used in the real world.  As part of their homework over the weekend, I asked students to bring in examples of graphs they have found so we can start to examine them.

And that's that.  Don't forget you can click on the Math Journal Sundays link at the very beginning of the post to see all my math journal entries over the past few years.