Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fraction Games Preview and Sale

Button by Ashley Hughes

It's one of my favorite shopping days of the year.... Cyber Monday! I've got my TpT cart loaded down with lots of classroom goodies. Be sure to enter your code at check out "CMT12"! Here are a few of my latest fraction games. I'm so excited about them. I've been using them in my classroom and the students are really getting grounded in their fraction knowledge.  If you care to check them out just click on the picture. I have several more fraction games coming out soon, so be sure to follow my TpT store! 

And be sure to check out my best selling product, Writing Aerobics!
Happy shopping!

Winter Holiday Freebie

I'm so excited to offer you my latest holiday freebie. My students have been working hard on learning all about fractions for the new Common Core Standards. Number Line Lane is a fun way to help ground students in where a fraction lives on the number line. File folder and baggie games are included. Just click the picture to pick up a copy of this freebie. This is sure to bring a little Christmas Classroom Magic into your room!

I'm joining up with Laura Candler's Holiday Learning Link Up. My loyal readers know I don't do many linky parties, but I make an exception when Laura Candler hosts one because hers are always top notch. I know you will be able to pick up some quality holiday freebies.

This freebie was inspired by my Crusin' the Number Line Fraction Set, if you'd like to check that out just click on the picture.
I'm off to trim the tree and make a gingerbread house with my two girls. Have a blessed week!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving Goodies

Here's a little activity for celebrating Thanksgiving. Use the book Pardon That Turkey. The book is free from We Give Books. (You will need to register but it's fast and free.) This is a great nonfiction book. The activity is for chapter four of the book, and addresses point of view and persuasive writing. Click HERE or the picture above for the free printable. Click the book cover for the e-book.
I've had several request more Writing Menus, so I've made one in celebration of Thanksgiving. (If you missed my original post on Writing Menus, click HERE.) The video prompt for this menu is Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Click the picture for your free copy. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Problem Based Learning for Common Core Math FREEBIE

How many of you are still confused about Common Core? I just learned this week that my state will not test on Common Core for a couple more years. My students will still be tested over the old state standards which I'm no longer teaching. CRAZY! I think the thing that concerns me more than anything is the differences I'm seeing in implementation.  The literacy seems to be consistent across the board BUT the MATH is has me very concerned. I've been trained exclusively in the Problem Based Learning (PBL) method. This is a stark difference from the old way of teaching. Before you had a set of standards that you taught and checked off the list. (By the way, I've seen numerous checklist for Common Core on TpT.) The PBL method is the complete opposite of the checklist method. The skill and drill is definitely OUT with this method. Students are asked to solve  real-world problems. Students will use various methods for solving the problem and no one way is correct. Teachers will no longer teach students a set of rules or algorithms. Students will "discover" these on their on by being immersed in student discourse. The teacher's role will be that of a facilitator. The problem I've been faced with is there is absolutely NOTHING on the market to help with implementing this type of approach, so I was forced to create my own. While spending numerous hours looking at student work samples, I noticed the lack of consistency. In many cases it was hard to even know what answer the child came up with. Even among trained professionals there was disagreement over what the child was thinking. In the PBL method student thinking is the key. Again I came up with a method to help reduce the confusion. I needed to create a standard for solving problems, so we could put our focus on the more important things. That's how the A.L.I.E.N. method came about. The students choose their own method for solving the problem but are then asked to make sure it is in A.L.I.E.N. format, so we get a clear understanding of their thinking. A.L.I.E.N. stands for Answer, Label, Isolate, Explain, and Number Sentence. I love it, and it has helped tremendously when it comes to math discourse.
I've had the opportunity to look at several examples of student assessments for the Common Core Assessment that is coming sooner or later.  If these examples are anything like what the real assessment will be like, those teachers not teaching the PBL method are doomed. Seriously these assessments are ridiculously hard. A child will need a lot more than the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide to score proficient. I'm very curious to know if any others states are being trained in the PBL method.

In my freebie for you, I've given you everything you need to implement this method in your classroom. simply click HERE or on the picture above  for your freebie. You can create these problems all on your own. If you are interested, I've created a TpT product with 110 problem sets (3 problems per set) for a total of 330 problems. This is enough problems for an entire year of teaching.I've also included an overview of the method and given you question stems for conferencing with students.  I'm also having a 24 hour Flash Sale for my readers. If you want to pick up a copy from my store, click on the picture below.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Capacity and Measurement Conversion

This is a great math picture book for teaching capacity and measurement conversion.(Pastry School in Paris: An Adventure in Capacity) After reading the book, I let the students make Surprise Pudding. I buy a large box of instant pudding for each group of 5 students. I take the pudding out of the box, so they can't read the recipe on the box. (That's  why I call it surprise pudding.) I give them a recipe card that requires them to convert to cups. Students get to do all the measuring and mixing. This is great for those students who don't have any experiences in cooking. Finally, we all enjoy a little taste of Surprise Pudding. Click on the picture below for your free copy of this activity.