Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rounding and Literature

Teaching math is a HUGE deal for me...Like, I don't think you all really understand. I grew up HATING math, and my hate for math began in third grade and lasted until my senior year of high school. If ANYONE would have told me that I would be teaching three sections of fourth grade math, I probably would have walked away from my love of teaching. 

Anyway, my point is that math has come such a long way from when I was in elementary school. Conceptual learning has taken over my little math world, and each and every day I strive to make math fun and meaningful for my kiddies. One of my favorite ways to spice up math units is to incorporate literature. Sure, I love read alouds to begin a unit, but actually utilizing the text to enhance a math lesson is what I'm all about :)

Last week my kiddos finished the rounding unit. I know some of you are getting anxiety just thinking about rounding. It's ok...I've been there! I actually began the unit by reading Hottest, Coldest, Highest, Deepest by Steve Jenkins. My fourth graders were fascinated by the nonfiction text in this book and were blown away by the wonders of the world that this book explored. Steve's book talks about the highest mountains, the coldest temperatures, and the deepest of oceans. Students are given actual measurements ranging from numbers in the hundreds place to numbers in the ten thousands place. After reading the text, we talked about the numbers and about how tall Mauna Kea reaches, about how far the Nile stretches, and about how hot the Sahara Desert can get at the day's peak. 

I explained to my students that as the week went on, I wanted them to flip through the book again and to pick a landmark and a number that they wanted to round to further explore. 

I had two original books but also had my fabulous parent volunteer copy the books so that students could flip through as needed.

Mid-week, I gave my students a rubric so that they were able to see the guidelines of the project. Students were to choose a landmark, identify the exact measurement, and round the number to two or more places using a number line. I had sentence strips available for students to create the number lines.

You can click HERE to grab the rubric, FREE!

By the end of the week, my classroom was filled with these gems :)

Who says math can't be exciting and colorful?!

Friday, October 2, 2015

October Currently

It's Friday night, I'm exhausted, but I am determined to crank out this Currently post.  

Thanks again, Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for hosting this monthly linky!

Listening- I am sooooo excited that Fall TV is back! I managed to watch Scandal last night, but am catching up on HTGAWM now. These shows keep me coming back for more every darn time!  

Loving- This Louisiana girl is LOVING the crisp air thanks to the cool front that has come through this weekend. Temps in the 50s, 60s, and 70's make me smile :)  Not too hot, but not too cold!  Time to break out the fall wardrobe...Eeeee!

Thinking- Hallelujah!  My formal observation is O-V-E-R! My kiddos basically led themselves through a problem solving lesson on Wednesday, and it was fabulous! I cannot wait to write about the activities and the amazing ways my kiddos assessed themselves and classmates throughout the entire lesson!

Wanting- I need to get into my closet and pull all of my fall staples to the front! I also have some new pieces I cannot wait to show off; Thanks Stitch Fix :)  Booties, long cardies, and skinny jeans here I come!

Needing- After school, I am sooo tired.  After dinner and laundry and more schoolwork, I am EXHAUSTED. However, I know I need to bring myself to the computer to blog. I have so many ideas and lessons I want to share, but I've got to get some energy flowing! Two times a week, two times a week, two times a week.....

Boo-tiful- I just love when my students compliment my outfit and accessories. I could be having the absolute worst day, but my students find something sweet to say :)  Love my kiddies!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fall Freebie

Happy Fall, y'all! The weather has been gorgeous around here over the last few days, and I am just itching to get out my pumpkins and fall clothes. To celebrate my favorite season, I have a little freebie for all of you!  My kiddies just love dice and spinners, and they love these tools even more when they can work in pairs or small groups. This particular freebie focuses on addition and subtraction, and has options for 2,3, and 4 digit numbers. I will be placing a few of these in my math workshop buckets this month :)  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A New Look for A New Year!

Hey y'all! Hmmmm, is something different around here, or is it just me?!  I just have to say that I am so excited, so thrilled, so incredibly pumped about my new blog design!  I never thought my personality, passions, and ideas would come together in such a beautiful, perfect way. Alexis over at Laugh, Eat, Learn was such a pleasure to work with, and completely captured my visions.  Seriously, if you are looking for a new look contact Alexis immediately. She was super efficient with email, and is basically like a blog magician. Sheer perfection if you ask me!

Today is the tenth of the month so I am linking up with Rachel over at the Classroom Game Nook for Ten on Ten.  Here are ten pictures that encompass what's been going on in my life recently.

 I was trying on my first Stitch Fix shipment, and I am LOVING this cardi!  Definitely one of my favorite casual looks.

 Working on giving our classmates feedback on problem solving strategies. The purple pen is a student favorite!

This week we worked on multiplicative comparisons. My students were asked to create a scenario problem involving a multiplicative comparison, and this little gem included Peyton Manning. Bonus points anyone?!

I led a math inservice for my fourth grade teachers, and everyone brought a few treats. #stresseating #teacherswhoeattogetherstaytogether

 Our classroom feedback anchor chart.  We try to focus on meaningful feedback every day. 

My mom made me two number pillows for my reading center. Talk about a big hit! My students love seeing numbers and books in our reading nook.  Notice the number in the middle :)

Kiddos working on multiplicative comparison spinners. This activity helped my students soooo much with 4.NBT.1!

On Saturday, the hubs took these two cuties on a ride. I just love this shot!

LSU game on Saturday. I know we look happy here, but the smiles quickly faded after the game was canceled due to lightning and rain :(

This is my whole class incentive display. We LOVE sweet behavior!

Go ahead and link up with Rachael and add your own Ten on Ten!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Currently

July 1...really? I always feel like once July 4 comes and goes, it's time to get into school mode. My Open House is July 27, so I have less than a month to get my classroom ready and to get two units of curriculum finished. Why is it that deadlines start to feel real when you put them into writing?
Once again, I'm linking up with Farley from Oh'Boy Fourth Grade for the July Currently. 

Listening- Dawson's Creek now comes on ABC Family following Gilmore Girls. Ummm. yes please! I am seriously having flashbacks to middle and high school, and I cannot get enough! Today Scott Foley (yes, Jake from Scandal) made an appearance and was dancing to Savage Garden's, "I Want You". THIS is why I set my DVR to record the show every, single, day.

Loving- I've already purchased my school supplies and have made several trips to my local school supply stores. I am LOVING these chalkboard brights letters, and will be using them all around my classroom this year. Instead of posting, "Word Wall" this year, our math vocabulary will be posed next to this...

Thinking- After this weekend, I will be in full school mode. 3 months off a year....yeah right!

Wanting- Definitely wanting to shop, shop, shop! I got an email today from Loft informing me that everything is 50% off. That's enough info for me to put on my makeup and hit the mall!

Needing- Now that I am officially finished with grad school, I've had so much time to read for fun! I absolutely loved my last two reads (see pics below), and I've got a reading wishlist about a mile long. I just can't commit to a new book! What are you all reading this summer?

All Star- I would like to say that I am an All Star baker! I really enjoy baking, and I'd like to say I'm pretty darn good. My husband has decided to go on this healthy, protein filled diet, so I haven't baked as much as I usually do in the summertime. Men spoil all the fun!

Oooh, and in other news, I will have a new blog design coming at the end of August. Just in time for some new blog entries filled with fourth grade math! Exciting!

I hope everyone is enjoying summer!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June Currently

First post of the summer!  What a whirlwind of a year...
Moving into a new classroom...check!
Working with a new team...check!
First year teaching fourth grade...check!
Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction...check!
Teaching three sections (2 advanced) of 4th grade CCSS math...check!
Surviving...check! (but just barely)

I am so excited to be finished with grad school! I have already had so much free time to read, to work on TPT, and I am so thrilled to be able to blog without feeling guilty about putting off action research. To start, I am linking up with Farley for the June Currently linky!

Listening: My husband gets up anywhere between 4:45 and 6:30 for work, so I'm usually up fairly early, but I refuse to completely get out of bed. This means you will usually find me cuddled up with my pup with a cup of coffee, my iPAD, and with GMA in the background. My school day mornings are EXTREMELY rushed, so I love embracing lazy mornings catching up on the news...and gossip.

Loving: Again, my lazy mornings. I am currently in my pjs, drinking my second cup of coffee, and if I weren't blogging, I'd be reading. I've read the following books so far this summer...

I started reading Classroom Discussions in Math, and I LOVED every bit of what I read-until the book completely disappeared. Yes, vanished into thin air! Seriously! I went to Canton, TX with my mom and brought this along to read at night. It was with me one moment, and now it's nowhere to be found :( The book was fabulous, and if you're a math teacher, you need this immediately! I will be ordering another very soon!

What are your reading this summer?

Thinking: I should have gone to the gym. This thought enters my mind every morning. But, again, I love my LAZY mornings!

Wanting: My husband and I recently purchased a new couch, and I've wanted to restructure m living room a bit. I've changed my color scheme, and purchased a new rug yesterday. My project today is to find some fabulous pillows!

Needing: I know, I know, it's June 2. Our 4th grade math curriculum needs to be completely revamped, and the thought of beginning this massive task completely overwhelms me. I have TONS of ideas, but organizing those ideas and putting them down into curriculum format means my summer is practically over, already!

Summer Lovin': Summer means having lunches that last longer than 20 minutes with my best girlfriends, my mom, and my sweet grandmother. I love, love, love summer lunches! Of course, I have a beach trip scheduled with the husband, and I'm so excited because my best friend and her hubby are coming down for a few days! We are even chartering a fishing boat...that should make for a funny story :) Lastly, No more grad school...I think that sentence speaks for itself!

Happy Summer!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Lucky Decimals

I L-O-V-E St. Patrick's Day. I've always loved the green, the gold, the rainbows, and the imagination that accompany this holiday each year. Sometimes I feel like my holiday themed madness can be too "baby" for my fourth graders, but I truly believe that even 10-year-olds need some four leaved clovers in their lives!

We are pounding out decimals right now and continuing to model both fractions and decimals in various ways. I threw this little gem together so that my students could show me what they know about modeling decimals wile embracing their inner "leprechaun-ness". My students had a blast showcasing their creativity, and I loved seeing each student's level of understanding of modeling decimals!

Here was my example that I showed the whole class. The activity sheet gives students explicit instructions and has a mini-checklist so that students are sure to model their chosen decimal all four ways.

Lovely student examples...

Ok, here's what you've been waiting for...hopefully! Click the image below to grab your Lucky Decimals template, free!

Enjoy :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Currently

This morning I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade to kick off the February Currently.  February...really?!

Listening- Last night we went out with friends for my husband's birthday, and we stayed out past midnight. This is a major accomplishment for us as we are usually in bed by 10:30 on weeknights and weekends. Needless to say, we slept in this morning and I think I'll be hanging out in my pjs an d listening to all of the Super Bowl hype for most of the day today.

Loving- Moving to a new grade this year has most definitely had its challenges, and I have felt extremely overwhelmed at times. However, I LOVE teaching fourth grade math. My fourth grade friends have come such a long way, and I enjoy challenging them while watching each little mind persevere through the standards. My kiddos this year have taught me so much about my teaching practices and give me something to look forward to each and every day.

Thinking- I need a cute Valentine's Day treat for my kiddos. I have pencils, but need to decide what their big treat will be so I can check that task off of my list! Pinterest is calling my name!

Wanting- Y'all...I LOVE Spring clothes. I LIVE for the moment when stores stock their shelves and racks with Spring colors and light layers. My wallet is definitely in trouble, because I...AM...READY. I'm ready to say goodbye to Winter and welcome in Spring with some brand new clothes. Anyone else feel me on this?

Needing- Groceries. Yeah, remember that segment earlier where I mentioned that I may or may not still be in my pajamas....

Pageant Title: Cupcake Queen. I loooove to bake when I have free time, and my husband's coworkers actually call me, "Cupcake".

In honor of February I am putting all of my Valentine's Day themed math activities on SALE! Click on the images below to grab yours soon because the sale will only last until February 3rd!  I also know many 3rd and 4th grade classes are working on fractions now, so I am also putting my Fractions Pack on sale :) Enjoy!


Enjoy your first week of February and the last day of football!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fraction Firsts

Today was my first day to teach fourth graders fractions. Whew...I teach three sections of math, and I definitely changed up my lesson all three times. By the third class, I was pretty impressed with how the activities and the levels of understanding played out :)

Before giving my students any experiences or exploration times with fractions, I displayed this question. Students had one minute of think time and then I instructed them to discuss their thoughts in groups. Again, and again, my students continue to surprise me when I ask them hold discussions.  My kiddos were sharing intense ideas, were drawing models, and were changing their thinking based on the evidence their group members were presenting. At the end of the discussion, we shared thoughts as a whole and came to a consensus that 72 cents is just a part or portion of a dollar just as a fraction is part of a whole. Students continued to explain that a dollar would represent the whole, and 72 cents was just part of a dollar. This led to the creation and discussion of writing 72/100, 0.72, and even 72%. No, we aren't quite ready to tackle decimals or percents, but I'm all about connections and exposure.

We quickly reviewed important vocabulary (numerator, denominator, equal parts, partition), and then broke out the manipulatives to explore equivalent fractions.  I put a bucket of colored, 1-inch tiles at each group and gave students the task to create a model showing 1/4 blue tiles. I gave no other specifications other than 1/4 of the model had to be blue. Many students chose to create a model with 4 squares, one of which was blue. I did have a handful of students who constructed larger models such as 2/8 and even 4/16. I asked students to stop and take a walk around the room to observe their classmates' models. Seeing their classmates' models sparked major connections with these kiddos, and they were quick to go back and construct additional models that were equivalent to 1/4.

I gave the students a couple more examples, and they created basic fractions along with their equivalencies using the the square tiles. Placing the fractions next to one another was they key to helping students develop the equation of multiplying the numerator and the denominator by they same number to arrive at an equivalent value.

 The Ipad camera was super helpful with this exploration because I was able to go around and use the Ipad as a document camera. My students modeled after their classmates, and were able to write expressions for the equivalent fractions.

Don't tell my principal we were writing on the new desks with dry erase markers... I mean, sometimes there just isn't room for dry erase boards!

I made this quick student recording sheet for my kiddos to use today. Click the image to get your free activity sheet.

I'm excited to see the progress my kiddos make with fractions! I will continue to share as we move along.

Also, if you are looking to review skills from the fall semester, my New Year Math Review packs are perfect. My students LOVED the measurement spinners! Click the picture to check it out!