Friday, July 17, 2015

Favorites for Friday: Rounding Numbers

Ever try to teach a student with poor number sense skills to round numbers?  This week's favorite for Friday is a view of the video and anchor chart that made it all possible this year.  Even my most struggling students were rounding with ease after this!

First, we used this poem:

Then we watched this video: 
(pointing out the slight differences in the poem we use and the video's poem)

We made an anchor chart like this one:
(My anchor charts never look good enough for a photo!) 

This poem works with any place value, whether using very large numbers or decimal numbers. 
(We did another example on an anchor chart with a 9 in the selected place that needed to round up. That can be tricky, too!)

 For those of you that use the Common Core State Standards, I've included the 4th and 5th grade standards that relate to this particular skill:  

Use place value understanding to round multi-digit whole numbers to any place.

Use place value understanding to round decimals to any place.
© Copyright 2010 National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.

Thanks for visiting!  Happy Friday!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Favorites for Friday: Winning the Pencil War

This week's Favorite for Friday is a Teachers Pay Teachers freebie:  Winning the Pencil War.

I LOVED this idea this year.  Oh. my. goodness!  I have been teaching since 1998 and this year was the first year that pencils didn't drive me crazy!  I have tried all kinds of systems for pencils and nothing worked - until this!!!

It takes a bit of up-front planning/cost, but in the end, I spent less on pencils this year and it removed so many headaches!  No more whining, no more pencil sharpener noise in the middle of class, no more broken pencil sharpener because a student wasn't careful!

Winning the Pencil War
Created By Ms. Hazelton © 2012
Winning the Pencil War - An Effective Management System

Ms. Hazelton does an excellent job of explaining how to set up the process.  I only made a couple of adjustments for my 5th graders -- I gave them 5 #2 pencils and 2 mechanical pencils, plus the big pink eraser, all in a zippered pouch (I numbered the pouches to help keep track of which pouch belonged to which student).  We also did not do the switching of pencils on Fridays -- We often collected them at the end of Monday afternoon because I had volunteers that came in on Tuesday mornings to help.

Prize ideas -- trying to give prizes to each responsible student each week could easily get out of hand, but I got very creative sometimes!  Check out this list of ideas that worked very well for my 5th graders:
*coupon to choose a "brain break" or "Go Noodle" activity
*coupon for extra time on the Chromebook for educational games
*bookmarks (sometimes I printed out color-your-own freebies!)
*binder clip to help them organize their planner
*one item to eat -- One pretzel rod, one skittle, I even did one fresh raspberry the week they were on sale at the grocery store! The kids LOVED that one and those who didn't earn one were so disappointed.  They all had their pencils the following week!
*of course, little erasers, stickers, a pen, a decorated pencil, or the prize box were also great incentives.

One other great tip -- Keep a stash of extra sharpened pencils so you can quickly trade at the end of the week.  Then you have a whole week to get volunteers to sharpen the dull pencils.  I had a few volunteers that came in before or after school to spend 10 minutes sharpening pencils for me.  My pencils sharpener didn't need to run during the school day ALL YEAR LONG!

Thanks for visiting!  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Amazing Friends

I've got 2 amazing friends I'd like to write about today.  They agreed to come to Las Vegas with me during the heat of summer so I could go to the Teachers Pay Teachers conference.  They don't sell on TPT (but they do BUY from TPT) so they're not attending the conference.  They're just going to hang out at the pool while I'm at my sessions and then we'll tour the strip in the evenings.  I'm so excited to have their company!

So, to thank them, I made some cute little goody bags.  I just had to share these.  They're in my suitcase right now.  I'm giving you all the sneak peek.  Perhaps you are going to the conference with a friend and want to make a goody bag. Perhaps you've got a girlfriend's getaway planned and want to put together a little something.  Maybe you just really like shiny gift wrap. If any of those apply to you, enjoy the following!

Full gift bag with magnetic name tag for the Meet Up party and a pin with my logo.

Inside the bag:  Snacks, Tylenol and Rolaids just in case,
Chapstick with SPF for their time at the pool,
eye mask, and ear plugs (I've been known to snore)

Spray bottle with fan - it's going to be HOT in Vegas!
(Ice cubes from the hotel make for a lovely mist in these)

Water bottle with my logo and their initials on printable vinyl
Filled with little individual packs of lemonade mix (and white gift fluff)
Kirsten and Amy - you are awesome!  I can't begin to thank you enough!!

If you're reading this and going to the TPT conference in Vegas, I'd love to meet you!  Please introduce yourself if you see my logo! Feel free to leave a comment here, too, and we can try to find each other.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Favorites for Friday: Grammaropolis

This week’s Favorite for Friday is videos from Grammaropolis.

I love these videos.  They have a whole series – Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs, etc.  The tunes are catchy and fun.  They even color coordinate all the words they use in the videos – Nouns are blue, verbs are yellow (outlined in red), adjectives are orange and so on. 

The videos do a great job of explaining what the grammar concept is, and then they take it to more complicated grammar concepts.  For example, this noun song explains proper/common nouns, concrete/abstract nouns, compound nouns, and collective nouns.  By the time kids get to my 5th grade class, they know what a basic noun is, but they struggle with the more complicated concepts, like abstract or collective nouns.  This video is great for supporting the higher grade level grammar we need in the upper grades.

So, now I’ll be singing this song all week.  J  Sorry if it gets stuck in your head, but think about how much we WANT that to happen to our students! 

Here are a few others:

Thanks for visiting today!