Saturday, August 31, 2013

Where did August go?

It's official. Labor Day is almost here...which means we've finished our first month of school with success! So many great things have happened that I'm not quite sure where to begin. Hum....let's talk math first.

We finished the Whole Numbers Place Value unit in only 7 days (including a Review day and a Test day). My Place Value QR codes were a huge hit with my kiddos; many thanks to my TPT followers who have also provided some great feedback on these. If you haven't checked them out, go ahead & put them on your wish list for next year (or even state test review).

Another great FREEBIE resource that I used was the Ordering Numbers Through Millions set from Allison Harig. Comparing & ordering whole numbers (along with decimals) is still in my TN state standards, but I sometimes have trouble finding activities for this skill because most are on a lower level. The larger numbers are perfect for 5th grade, plus students must carefully read each number (lots of similar numbers) & notice the difference between place values before just placing them in order according to the first digit (many of my kiddos tried to order 899,876 before 7,908,994 because they didn't notice that it was only in the hundred thousands place). I even let my students work together so they could share the cards (I try to limit myself to printing/laminating only 5 sets of cards per game). If you haven't already downloaded this set, check it out by clicking the icon below!
My second unit was entitled "Introduction to Algebra" and focused on understanding & applying the Order of Operations. This one served as a double whammy for both my CCSS and TN state standards, however for the TN standards, students will have to apply PEMDAS for expressions with decimals & fractions....go figure! The introduction of brackets & braces wasn't a huge deal as I expected but those darn exponents just got some of my lovelies really hung up. I started only with squared & cubed exponents (think SMALL products) because we haven't "officially" worked on multi-digit multiplication. I'll definitely need to hit this again before throwing in higher powers.

Next Up, Multiplication

After the Labor Day break, I'll start our Multiplying Whole Numbers unit that will include using the Powers of 10 to multiply whole numbers (decimals will come later). It seems like I've used the phrase "Powers of 10" constantly - when referring to those place value patterns and our exponents mini-lesson. However I'll only have two days to with my kiddos in regular classes before we take our traditional overnight trip to 4H camp. I seriously LOVE this field trip. I can't wait to share stories & pictures of our adventures!

- Mrs. Wiggin -


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