Monday, June 24, 2013

Area of Parallelogram Task Cards

Another week of our precious summer vacation has flown by....ouch! Just reading that makes my heart ache. I'm  a summer junkie - all I need is a pool with a good float that I can rest on while reading my Nicholas Sparks novels. However,as much as I love the summer break, I must confess that I have a hard time staying out of "school mode." Speaking of school, I just wanted to take a moment to share my top TPT resource (it's a FREEBIE).

Area of Parallelogram Task Cards

I made these cards last year to address one of my TN SPIs  - 0506.4.1 Solve contextual problems that require the area of triangles and parallelograms. Imagine my disappointment when I found out that TNCORE dropped this SPI from our standards for the 2013-2014 school year....just my luck! Hopefully some of you other teachers out there will still have a use for this product - it's one of my favorites!

I spent most of last year "experimenting" with the way I structured my small-group math activities. I found that using task cards was an easy way to keep each group focused & working together. Plus, I could use the same set of cards to differentiate for all of my groups; instead of working on all 12 cards with each group, I just selected the most appropriate ones for each group.

My favorite thing about these cards is that they are sized to print each card on a full sheet of printer paper (so every student can easily see the information - no more yelling "I can't see!"). Once I started laminating the cards, I could even write directly on the card & erase it for the next group.

One last thing! How cute is this recording sheet? I also like to incorporate Gallery Walks into my lessons - the kiddos LOVE this activity! In this case, I like to use a recording sheet to help keep their work organized (and easier to assess).

Ready to grab this FREEBIE? Just click on any of the pictures above to hop on over to my TPT Store.

- Mrs. Wiggin -

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Multiplying Multiples of 10 SCOOT Game

Ever heard of SCOOT? I've been playing this game with my kiddos ever since I discovered it 3 years ago. It quickly became a class favorite for both my 2nd graders & 5th graders. I begin by placing a task card on each student's desk. You want to keep these rather simple (think multiplication facts, fluency skills, etc.) so the game doesn't drag on. I prefer to create pre-made recording sheets for the students to use, but you can also have them just number a piece of paper if you're in a pinch. They begin by answering the task card placed in front of them. After a few minutes (or when everyone is finished with the first card) I usually say "1, 2, 3, SCOOT" and start the music. Students then walk around the room (think musical chairs) and when the music stops (I usually allow 15-20 seconds), they must sit down at a new desk and answer a new task card. You can repeat this process as few times as you wish or until the kiddos have answered every card. I've also played variations where students are not allowed to "wander" freely around the room; in this case I give specific directions as to where they must "scoot" next ("Scoot to the desk on your right each time..."). This works best when your desks are arranged in clusters or tables and you only want them to answer a small number of cards; this method is also great for differentiating the difficulty of the cards.

Now that you know how to play the game...

Here's a great resource that I just released on TPT! It's a set of 24 cards designed to provide practice in using basic facts and place value patterns to multiply whole numbers that are multiples of 10.

Think 120 x 30....Since you know that 12 x 3 = 36, you can simply count the number of zeros on both factors and place as many zeros on the product. Since 120 and 30 both have 1 zero, I need to place 2 zeros at the end of 36. The product of 120 x 30 must be 3,600.

Even though my CCSS 5th grade fluency standard is for students to "fluently multiply multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm," I emphasize the use of basic facts and place value patterns so that mental math is more accessible.

To provide extra practice with the Properties of Multiplication, I've created cards 1-12 to include 2 factors and cards 13-24 to include 3 factors. Answers may range from 0 to products in the millions.

Click on any of the pictures above to hop on over to my TPT Store!

- Mrs. Wiggin -

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You Created a Blog?

Time to jump right in! Over the past year I've become increasingly obsessed with following several teaching blogs. Between the creative ideas and real-life pictures, how could I resist? Besides, those super cute backgrounds are like candy for my eyes! After months of stalking several of my favorite bloggers I started to think "How hard could it be?" and "...if they can do it, surely I can too." Subsequently, I am proud to announce my first blog - Dots and Decimals.

What's in a name?

I had the hardest time thinking of a catchy blog name. When you see pictures of my classroom (COMING SOON) you'll quickly agree that ladybugs and polka dots rock my world. I wanted something to reflect that, but also something to convey my love for teaching mathematics. Fingers crossed that I don't feel the urge to change the name every week.

Just a Taste

My school district is *thankfully* on summer vacation...this means that my daily schedule currently consists of laying by the pool, reading, & planning for next year. I can't help it! I hate to use the word obsessed, but I truly love teaching math and don't mind to spend hours looking for new ideas or tweaking the strategies that I already use. With that being said, it is quite difficult for me to stay away from my classroom during the summer months. Hopefully I can stop by the school tomorrow to take some pictures, but until then here is a sneak peak of the outside of my classroom. P.S. - I totally made this by hand, thus it has some imperfections :)
- Mrs. Wiggin -