Sunday, April 3, 2022

Exit Ticket Assessment Activity: Grade the Teacher

Are you looking for a creative way to assess students or provide test prep? This "Grade the Teacher" exit ticket task is a perfect way to have your students show mastery and understanding of any skill by grading work done by you, the teacher. It provides valuable error analysis, critical thinking and reasoning opportunities. An added plus is that students love playing school and being the teacher. High engagement is always seen when I pull out this lesson. Try it with your class! You can grab it in my TPT store.

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Sunday, March 27, 2022

Map Landforms Project: Create an Initial Island

My students love this culminated project for our map unit. After a study of maps and common landforms I assign students the task of creating an island out of the initial letter of their first name. Then, they are challenged to add a certain number of characteristics like landforms, bodies of water, animal species, human made features (bridges, houses, roads) and more. In addition they need to create an accurate map key and name their island. Finally, they complete the writing task where they are to write a persuasive commercial to entice others to vacation on their unique island. It is a BIG hit and is a great way to assess students' understanding of maps and geography. I hope your class will enjoy it as much as mine do. You can find it in my TPT store

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Saturday, March 26, 2022

Rounding to Nearest Place Value with Vertical Number Lines

Are your students on the struggle bus when it comes to rounding? By far, every year, my students need extra reinforcement to help them with this difficult concept. I've tried every trick in the book...all the cute rhymes, place value and more. Then I tried the visual concept of a ladder as a vertical number line to help solidify the number sense needed when rounding. I reinforced the idea of climbing up the ladder to the higher number or stepping down the ladder to the lower number once the mid point number was identified. It clicked with my students. My Rounding Ladder templates are my "Go To" tool now when I teach rounding. I can easily project the template I need to guide and model problems. In addition, I copy a blank template on cardstock and laminate as a resuable mat for each student to use as a learning tool.

Give it a try and see if it helps your class! You can get a copy from my TPT store.  

I also have a Rounding Bundle available too.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Fraction Activities Fun

One of my favorite units in my math curriculum to teach is fractions.
It's easy to apply the concepts to the real world and show students it is a important life long skill.
Students come into 3rd grade with a basic understanding of what a fraction is: part of a whole.
From there I can jump right into teaching fraction equivalency.
With spring in the air, I have the perfect project to drive home fraction equivalency in a concrete, visual way. Equivalent Fraction Kites , as seen below, model fractions that equal the same: 4/16 is equivalent to 1/4 and 8/16 is equivalent to 1/2. Students have so much fun designing them and in the process own the meaning of equivalency. This project is available in my TPT store.

I also have some other valuable resources to share with you that I incorporate into my fraction unit study.

This video helps build background needed on equivalent fractions.

Another handy tool is this manipulative fraction bar number line model from the site Math is Fun
It visually shows fractions with the same value.

I have a set of fraction task cards that my class uses with the fraction bar interactive model.

You can get them in my TPT store

In addition, I have my class do a creative fraction writing project titled, Fractions of Me,  to show the parts of themselves that make up the whole of them.

I do have a Fraction Bundle with all three products together, at a discount, if that interests you.

The Illuminations site has an interactive tool that allows students to create equivalent fractions by dividing and shading either squares or circles and to see the position on a number line.

Happy teaching
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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Classroom Resources for Martin Luther King

My class is focusing on biographies right now and I've compiled resources over the years on my blog for Martin Luther King. I hope you find something useful to use in your own classroom.

My newest find is an online MLK reader.

The following links are from my past blog posts

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Types of Genre: Fantasy or Reality

I'm reading aloud James and the Giant Peach to my class right now.
It's one of my favorites to introduce the genre of fantasy.
On Friday, we stopped at the chapter where the bugs, floating in the ocean on the peach, were certain they were going to be eaten by sharks unless James figured out a plan to save them all.
I introduced the idea of finding elements of realistic events within a fantasy book by doing this writing frame.
To begin with, students identify the story as realistic or fantasy and provide evidence from the text.

For instance, the writing below states, "One event that is fantasy is a peach that is big as an elephant."
"Something else that happens in the story that is fantasy is an insect that is the size of a human."

If the story is a fantasy, then students continue on and find examples of realistic events from the text.

It can be used with any book.
Grab it from my TPT store.


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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quality Counts Board

It's about this time of year that students get antsy and don't always put forth their personal best.
I find myself saying over and over, "Is this your best work?" or "Did you rush?"
So, this week I'm bringing out my trusty Quality Counts Board.
I ordered a large size car magnet from Vista Print a few years ago titled "Quality Work". When needed, I simply display it on my white board. Then every so often I will pick a few model work samples to hang underneath it.
The work I pick has to show quality effort. If I pick a student's work he then gets to write with a special pen until I replace their work with someone else's. It works like a charm and saves some of my teacher sanity as the "holiday-itis" sets in.


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Saturday, September 5, 2015

September 11th Read Aloud

I recently added the book The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein to my classroom collection.
It tells the true story of the Frenchman, Philippe Petit's, tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers in 1974.  The theme of perseverance is a great point of discussion after reading this book. As I was preparing my lesson, I located this wonderful craftivity over at The Best Childrens' Books website.
Students work on goal setting, as Philippe Petit did with his tightrope feat.

Here's my rendition of the craftivity:

Other just as useful resources for The Man Who Walked Between the Towers can be found over at Scholastic. Resources include lessons on analyzing the character traits of Philippe Petit.

Will you be doing lessons to honor September 11th? I'd love you to share your ideas.


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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Back to School: Start the School Year with Kindness

As I start each school year I promote the idea of Bucket Filling.
I recently was introduced to a story, Each Kindness, that would be a great discussion starter for older students which covers the consequences of bullying.

The story introduces us to Maya, the new girl at school who is not accepted by the others.
She wears second hand clothes and eats weird food and her efforts at forming friendships are all but ignored. Then one day she is no longer at the school and the teacher shares a lesson on kindness to the class. Each student drops a rock in a bowl of water and witnesses the ripple which is like each little kindness we show towards others. This book doesn't have a happily ever after ending, which is a great lesson to discuss with students. It  can make them realize that we don't always get a second chance to make things right and that behaviors and choices have consequences.

After reading this book you might even want to keep a bowl of water and rocks to drop in to show ripples of kindness towards classmates.


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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Name Tag Magic

I've been back to school for just over a week. If you are one of the lucky ones still enjoying summer vacation I envy you. But I'm popping in with a neat nametag trick. This year I printed my name tags on the printer with a cursive font since I teach third grade. They turned out so neat, clean and uniform looking. Once you get the line up the way it looks best on your particular name tag design it easy to print up your whole class set. Give it a try!

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