Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Equivalent Fraction Game

WOW! Can you believe we're almost done with another year? I think I just became used to writing 2011 instead of 2010 and now I'm going to force myself to be writing 2012! Hope everyone is enjoying their time off or looking forward to the holidays - I know I am :-)

Anyways, I wanted to share with you a neat game that a coworker shared with me last year. If you students are like my students, fractions is a hard topic to understand. Especially equivalent fractions. She told all of us about this game and it's definitely a more tactile way to understand how fractions are equivalent.

Here's what you need:
*4 pieces of paper (all different colors) *pencil/marker
Create the game pieces as shown. One piece of the paper is the whole, the next is split in half, third into fourths, and the last piece into eighths. Write the correct fraction on each piece. I like to do this one sheet at a time to avoid confusion. We start with the whole and lay all other sheets on top (whole, halves, fourths, eighths)
Here is the picture of the spinner made for the game. I usually make several for the students using thick cardboard or cardstock. Punch a hole in the center, place a brad in and secure a paperclip and you have a spinner!

Now the fun part on how to play the game - Lay all pieces down starting with the whole then halves, etc on TOP of the pieces you just put down. When finished, all you will see is the 1/8th pieces. Next, spin the spinner. Let's say you land on 1/4. If the 1/4 pieces are not showing, you cannot take them out from underneath. You can only take pieces from the top. The player must then think of an equivalent fraction for 1/4 in eighths. Once you begin to play the game, students see that there are 2 eighths for each fourth and 2 fourth for each half and so on. If they spin a fraction and the piece isn't showing or is not there, they lose their turn. The goal is to be the first person to reach the whole piece at the bottom. The first couple of rounds, I let me students use white boards to figure out the equivalent fraction and that could help for you. I love this game because you can have anywhere from 2 kids playing the game to 4. It's perfect for students who finish early and allows continued practice throughout the year on this tough topic.

Anyone have interesting tips on teaching fractions?

Happy Holidays Everyone :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

That's Very Pinteresting

  Well if you've been around the web lately (or you're living under a rock) , you've noticed this awesome site floating around called Pinterest. Let's just say I spend about 95% of my web-browsing on this site!!
It's filled with cute crafts, clothes, prints and posters, and even an Education section. I've gotten SEVERAL ideas from the education board including lots of new technology that I can incorporate into the classroom.
  Did you know there is a website that lists iPod apps by the level of Bloom's Taxonomy? I mean how much more convincing do you need? Hop on over to the website and I'm pretty sure you'll find someone you know over there who can invite you to the site. Happy Pinning :-)
Follow Me on Pinterest

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Classroom Management

Sorry it has been so long since my last post! Things are SUPER busy and it's hard between working at school and working at home that I have lacked in the blog department. I want to share how classroom management works in my classroom.

I have the typical stoplight but this year I added something different and it seems to really improve the positive reinforcement rather than the negative reinforcement. So much so, I've found myself not even using the stoplight! At the school I student taught at, we had character cards. When students showed good character such as being kind, helping others out, picking up a mess without being ask, etc, they were given a character punch. If students filled that card at the end of the week, the counselor would come around and call them out in the hall and they received a small prize such as a water and a Kool-Aid packet or small toy. I found these cards online and they are along the same line.

These come from: http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/2011/07/good-deed-cards.html

Each student gets a card with their name on it. I keep mine on one of those binder rings and hang it by the door so that they always look at them and I can easily grab them as we leave the classroom (for hallway behavior). The students receive punches for good behavior, kinds words, helping others and when they receive 13 punches, they get into the treasure box! Now this is no ordinary treasure box - I beefed it up a little bit thanks to the dollar spot at Target ;-) I have keychains, glow sticks, homework passes, expo markers (which are coveted in my classroom), and other exciting things. I even have something in the works for students who fill up 8 total behavior cards - lunch in the classroom or something else (need some good ideas!)  I've see the positive outcome of this this year and will definitely use it in the future!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Where are you?

WOW! It has been such a long time since I've blogged. I've been super busy with progress monitoring, grading, teaching, living, and teaching haha We've moved pretty quick in this month so far.  I will share with you one idea I used for Social Studies to interest my students a little more.

Classtools.net has a great portion of it's website called Fakebook. It is a great website for students to create a profile that look VERY similar to the website they spend hours on everyday. It allows you to post pictures, comments, posts, and even add friends  - all without using an e-mail address. You can even save your profile so that you can go back and edit it later. The students seemed to get into this and enjoyed adding friends and finding videos for their Explorer. It's another way of presenting information. When you finish, you can also print the profile for a grade if needed! Well hopefully it won't be another month before I post again!

Here's one profile that was created: http://www.classtools.net/fb/34/m3FXZY

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Social Studies Unit 1: Geography

Sorry I have been such a slacker on the posting but I have been soooo busy! I wanted to share an idea a fellow teacher had for teaching the geographical understandings required for our students in the fourth grade.

My United States Scrapbook:

Materials: Construction paper (about 2 per student), index cards, small maps of the United States, crayons, glue, scissors

My colleague had previously made a Powerpoint presentation last year as a way to study for the CRCT and we used it to teach from this year. Each student has their book already put together, blank and ready to be filled. I cut the index cards in half so I wouldn't have to a) give so many and b) they would fit on the folded construction paper

1) Have students fold construction paper in half (hamburger style)
2) As we talked about these places, I showed the students the area on the map and they were to color in the area as well.
3) After finding the areas on the map, we took out our "imaginary" cameras and took polaroid pictures of what we had seen. While part of this was from pictures and some from imagination, they turned out surprisingly accurate!
4) Here's the fun part - kids today don't know about polaroids and the fun they used to provide. So we taught them to "shake" the polaroid to help the picture come out faster! THEY LOVED IT!
We pointed out cool, imaginary things that we saw, snapped our picture *CLICK*, shook the polaroid, and quickly drew the picture on the index card.
5) After visiting all the places in the United States, we glue our books together placing the pictures and the maps with each other on the pages. The student were able to decorate and place other exciting things they learned on empty pages as well.

I felt like this was an amazing way of teaching geography rather than simply coloring a map and hoping they remember. I'll have to snap a picture of them because they turned out simply adorable! So check back for a visual!
And the best part was, "Ms. _____, that's the Liberty Bell that we took our trip to see!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Organization is Key

Every school teacher knows that organizing your room can be both beneficial not only for you but for your students as well. It was when all these wonderful students came in with their bags and bags full of school supplies did I go into a panic. Has that happened to anyone else?

After I was finished having a slight panic attack, I remembered an idea I heard from another teacher. I'm not really a big fan of the community supplies - some things I understand (paper, crayons, pencils, ziploc bags) but things like dry erase markers and special items like folders adorned with cute singers and fluffy puppies belong to that student.

I gave every student a gallon size bag with their number on it (keep me from labeling everything with a name) and told them every supply they needed to have at their desk - a couple of pencils, a few dry erase markers, glue, scissors, etc. The rest went into this bag and into the closet. That way the supplies are within reach if a student needs extra of anything but out of the way so the desk isn't overflowing with supplies.

How do you organize your school supplies?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

First Few Days

WOW! I haven't been able to sit down and actually blog since last week! Things have been sort of crazy but I'm loving it. I am enjoying my class and getting to know them more and more everyday. We're going to have a great year :-)

I'm excited about some of the upcoming things in my classroom and can't wait to show them off to you very soon! Check back for updates!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Open House - Check!

Just finished open house and it was so nice to meet all my students! I'm so glad that I have an extra day to work on some things before they come on Monday. Here are a couple of pictures of what my classroom looks like :-)
this is the view from the door

my classroom library complete with stuffed animals thanks to Kohl's!

Reading corner with my new stools - thanks for the help from my dad!

My board and awesome chair that a lady who retired gave to me :-) I love it!

More exciting things to come!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Welcome to the Wide World of Blogging!

Since I am probably writing this to just myself, I can't really say "hello everyone" but who cares? Hey Everybody! I've been inspired by a lot of the blogs that I follow to create my own. When looking around the blogosphere, there weren't very many (or at least that I could find) that related to the grade I was teaching. So the light bulb turned on and I decided that I would add to the Fourth Grade blogging world!

Here's a little about me:
  • This is my second year of teaching - my first year started about October after long-term subbing in a fourth grade classroom. So you could say this is my first full year :)
  • I love teaching and couldn't imagine myself doing anything but teaching
  • I'm deathly afraid of needles
  • I am the baby in the family
  • I would love to learn how to Photoshop more and create some of the cool digital things I see on the internet - I love to increase my technology knowledge and would love to implement those things in my classroom
Cheers to a new adventure :)