Thursday, November 5, 2015

Rounding Strategies

Here is a video I made to help students with rounding. It teaches several strategies for rounding, including rounding hills, number lines, and place value with a hundreds chart or place value chart. Problems are scaffolded to both teach and challenge students. I hope it's helpful.

Download a freebie worksheet here or click the image.

Click here or the picture to use an interactive number line. It is also a wonderful tool to show decimals through the "zoom in" feature.

Click here or the picture to use the interactive number line jump maker (good for rounding as well as showing addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and patterns on a number line)

Click here or the picture to use interactive place value blocks.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Using highlighters to create independent learners

Do you find yourself spending a lot of time with students who can't seem to write reading responses, read maps, or solve word problems? I have found something that really works for my students - color coding.

Close reading is a big thing in the Common Core. Deciding what is important to highlight is an important and hard skill for students. I teach my kids by going through questions first and kicking out unusual or important words. They get a good idea of the story's plot before even reading. It also improves their comprehension because they know the questions they are going to answer ahead of time. It helps them find answers much more easily, too!
Next, they read the story. Then they answer the questions, highlighting answers in the text. Some kids  "just don't get" what to do when the answer isn't obvious. I have them highlight clues that helped them make an inference or draw a conclusion.

This is a Deepen Comprehension question from Journeys Grade 4 Lesson 5. We were working with the story Stormalong and analyzing characters. 
I projected this on the Promethean Board and we worked together to show the process of turning prewriting into writing. I used colored text and the highlighting tool to show where the information came from. Some students really do need modeling of this!!

Here we used crayons and symbols to answer questions on this Common Core sheets page.
Some of my students really aren't strong readers and typically ignore graphic features. My higher learners can color code themselves. I do it ahead of time for the couple of kids who struggle and over time they learn to do it by themselves.

Now you see another way to use highlighters to draw attention to map features.
Believe it or not, some of your struggling learners don't actually realize that they need to use the picture / map to answer the question. You can do some of the highlighting for them or with them. Eventually they will become independent at it.

How do you use highlighters and color coding to help your children?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February Fraction Fun

Here are some more freebies! I created these to add some fun to what we've been learning this month.

 subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators

equivalent fractions

mixed and improper fractions matching

Click the links to download.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Math Freebies

I was on Pinterest looking around for some fun math fraction games to review concepts with my fourth graders when I saw this: 

Unit 6, Set A5 (around page 245 of the third grade pdf - but the sample goes to 140)

The link didn't direct me right to the game... But it did take me to a bunch of free resources - so it was worth it! We're not talking a page or two. It's an entire 140 pages. It's perfect for home schooolers, tutors, or teachers who are looking for more / different practice for their kids. Unfortunately, it only looks like third grade is completely posted.

Here are some free printable courtesy of Bridges to Math.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Proofreading Paragraphs

Do you find that your students have difficulty proofreading their writing? It's a common problem!

Here's what I've done in the past:

1. Students complete Wake Up Brain right after they unpack and write down their homework. I photocopy it as two sided each day. That means they edit two sentences, do a language exercise, complete a spelling / phonics activity, answer 1-2 geography questions, and do 2-3 math problems. It should take 5-10 minutes.

Depending on the grade I am teaching, I start with the one previous in September. We are on grade level after a few months and then we are above grade level by the last third of the year. It makes a huge difference! (That means in grade 3, we do the second grade, third grade, and fourth grade books.) The great thing is you can find them for grades 1-6.

2. Students proofread sentences using the week's grammar skills. Here are sentences from Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Journeys Grade 3.

3. Students read each other's written work out loud. If you pair them up and have them switch papers, they are more likely to notice mistakes they've made when they are listening to someone else read it! We use A Star and a Wish to give feedback. You can download it for free by clicking the picture or the link.

4. English for Everyone has posted free printables at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Perfect for differentiation! I have found that my kids can usually find mistakes in isolated sentences, but it becomes much more difficult when they have to do it in a paragraph. What makes it easier is these worksheets are multiple choice, so you shouldn't get any blank stares. They are good for assessment.

5. Finally, for those of you who have kids that need to practice that actual process of editing, SuperTeacherWorksheets has some cool printables. You may need a subscription to the website for some of them.

What do you do to help your kids proofread?


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