Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fraction Frenzy *Freebie

Fractions? Still?
I know.

We're about to move on from fractions.

We've been in fractions overkill overtime.

I still have to finish up fractions on a number line and measuring to 1/4 and 1/2 inch.

Oh, we'll be back. We'll be back to compare them and make some equivalent fractions.

But not yet.

These are some of the activities we did this week to work with fractions.

Pizza Fractions
I didn't have enough of the right colors of construction paper handy, so I had the kids color the pieces. (FYI, construction paper copies are obviously WAY faster and I really wish I'd had the construction paper lol). But they colored away for a while, and then we used the pizzas for my pizza fractions task cards. Kids had to use the toppings like manipulatives to build different fractions on the pizza.

Then they made their own fraction pizzas and identified the fraction for each topping. (2/8 mushroom, 1/8 peppers, 2/8 pepperioni, 2/8 olives, 1/8 onion)

Fractional Parts of Shapes using Pattern Blocks
At my guided reading table, I worked with groups of students to identify fractional parts of pattern blocks. Students had to use the pattern blocks to fill the shapes, and then identify the fraction of each one.

At the front of the room students used fraction pictures, names, and numbers from my Furry Friends Fractions Pack (on sale at TPT and Teacher's Notebook) to play a matching game. 

In another part of the room (the nonfiction nook) students read Hershey's Fraction Book and used the manipulatives below to build the various fractions.

Grab the manipulative pieces free at TPT.

Pick up the Pizza Fractions Craftivity Pack (includes craftivity pieces and instructions, 12 task cards, recording sheet, and bonus comparing fractions with like denominators sheet) at TPT or Teacher's Notebook!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fractions Foldable Freebie!

Awww, look at my title. I heart alliteration.

It's nice to know we all feel similarly about testing. 
The word to describe the feeling shall not be written here, but you know what it is. (There are actually more than one. I think George Carlin said seven)

We have been working away with identifying fractions and applying that in different contexts. Yesterday, we worked with fractional parts of a dollar, and since we made this simple foldable, I decided to link up with for Corkboard Connections her foldable linky party!

We took a piece of green construction paper and cut it in half. Each student had two pieces. Then we made it into a flap book and added the outside labels. I included half-dollars, quarters, and dimes.

On the inside, we cut between the coins to make flaps. For the quarter, for example, there were four flaps; one for each quarter.

We wrote the fractional part of a dollar that each coin represented, identified the value in cents, and named the coin.

We put it into the fractions section of our math notebooks. On the output side, we added a few statements identifying the fractional parts various coins represent.
Grab the this instruction page and the labels from TPT or Teacher's Notebook for free!

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Erupting with Science! *Freebies! And Winners!

First of all,


These are the three lovely winners of my 200 follower giveaway!
Natalie from Teacher Tidbits with comment #12
Staci from Let's Teach Something with comment #33
Misty from Think, Wonder, and Teach with comment #48

I'll be emailing you ladies so you can choose any two items from my TPT store! 

And on to the new news. 
This is the post I've been promising for, like, a month. Our fast changes to the earth unit took forever. This is because I don't know how to keep things simple. I group as many millions of standards as possible together and teach stuff into the ground. You're gonna learn the heck about volcanoes! Until forever.

So these are some of the things we did. At the bottom of this post is the product where you can do many of these activities, too, including the writing pieces, and a freebie! So stay tuned, at least till the bottom of the page.

We started off by watching (of course) a Brain Pop and using the basic information there to identify the causes of changes to Earth's surface. Plate tectonics. The kids had some background knowledge from when they did their whole continents hoopla (you can read about that here), so they at least remembered the terms "continental drift" and "tectonic plates" and "Pangea".

Then we introduced some of the changes that these shifting plates can cause and recorded them on a foldable about volcanoes, earthquakes, and landslides. This foldable is included in the pack below.

We read several articles about volcanoes, including this one about Pompeii. We practiced identifying important ideas and using context clues.

Then I thought, "Hey! I have to teach all these poetry standards. Why not do it in a poem about..." you guessed it. Volcanoes!!

So we read a poem from a Safari reader called "Lava and Ash." we used it to identify stanza, rhyme pattern, rhythm, meter, and poetic language.

We made a poster of all of that here:

We labeled the different characteristics of a poem and identified the main ideas of each stanza.

This is our figurative language foldable. On the outside, there are lines from the poem.

On the inside, we used specific language to talk about
why the poet chose to do different things with language.

I didn't include the poetry stuff in the pack, because I didn't think I could use the poem! obviously - I didn't write it, lol.

nope, still not done yet. never gonna be done with these darn volcanoes and stuff
we did a TON of activities with earthquake and landslide vocabulary and causes and effects. You can see these here, where we glued them onto posters.

Each one includes the title, diagram of a volcano (see freebie below!) most devastating earthquakes chart (included in pack), causes and effects of landslides (a different version is in the pack) earthquake vocabulary foldable (included in pack) and types of volcanoes foldable (a different version of this is included in the pack; it's a chart instead of a foldable).

Earthquake vocabulary foldable

Types of volcanoes foldable

Not done yet! I still had to stretch it into a three-week-long writing project! So, here's what we did. We started out by charting the positive and negative language used to describe volcanoes. This is what we noticed through our wide reading and video watching.
 Then students had to decide: do volcanoes save the world or destroy the world? We planned out our writing using this graphic organizer
This is also included in the Science Pack at TPT or Teacher's Notebook.
After we planned, I noticed some students were having difficulty staying focused within their paragraphs. Some of their paragraphs were also redundant, or repeated. So I had them cut and glue to reorganize based on main ideas. It helped. 
This is what that looked like:

First draft writing is never pretty. We cut a sentence at a time and marked their main ideas in a color so they could make sure they were connected.

They drafted, revised again, using STAR revision (see post here) and edited.

Then we published! This writing project is all included in my Science Pack.
After that, I had my lovely intern stick it all up on the wall in the hallway with the creative *sarcastic* title "Volcano World" that I came up with. Let's just say that by then, I was kind of done.

She did, however, make it more creative than I would have by making the letters look all lava-y. I can only imagine how much time that took.

The kids had a blast 
no pun intended
well, yeah, I guess it was a little intended
once I realized it was a pun
and you can do a lot of these activities, too! 
Just grab my Fast Changes to the Earth Science Pack at TPT or Teacher's Notebook!

At least grab the freebies at TPT. Both pages are part of the same document. Leave me some love, here or there!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tasty Fractions *Fractions Freebie!

So we're still working with fractions.
And we'll probably be working fractions
 cause when I mentioned it and said, "Remember this from second grade?" about a third of my kids said, 

Soooo, we're only working with identifying them. We've watched a lot of BrainPop and used lots of different activities to practice this concept, including the Giant Fractions Foldable from my Furry Friends Fractions Pack, at TPT and Teacher's Notebook

Today, I introduced fractional parts of sets. It actually went reeeeeeaaaalllly well.


Cause chocolate.
That's why.

Chocolate makes everything better.

First, we opened our package of M&Ms....


chocolately gooodness.....

Then, kids sorted by color 

and recorded their data.

Then we identified the fractional parts for each color, and some color combinations.

Then, of course, we wrote about it.
But guess what.
I took a picture, I thought, of a kid's writing.
But then, I opened the picture just now
and it was a picture of my shoes.
Which I deleted.

So I don't have a picture of that.
It was just "I learned..." and "What I still don't understand is..."

This is what we used, and you can get it for FREE at TPT! Just drop me a comment here or some feedback or a rating there!

Tomorrow we're gonna do some cool fraction station stuff with a pizza fractions thingy I made. I'm going to test it out and put it up on TPT after I find out how it goes! I'll try to do pictures.

And don't forget about my 200+ follower giveaway! Check it out here!

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Writing Collections *Linky Party!

Courtney at Swimming into Second is having a writing portfolio linky party!

I'm on Spring Break! 
I will have to continue to mention this daily
But I made sure to take some pictures before I left. 

This year, our campus began a bunch of new writing initiatives. Stuff to keep us aligned. One of these was a writing porftolio. Not a fancy one; just a record of student writing samples in different genre so we can send it to their next teacher.

This is the way I do mine (and a lot of us do it this way, too).
Each student has a file folder with a checklist on the cover. These are the genre our kids have to write in (standards based) Personal Narrative, Imaginative Narrative, Poetry, Expository, Procedural, Letter, Text Response, and Persuasive. We call it their "Writing Collection."

I only have Procedural and Persuasive left.

The pieces go inside. When we've written more than one piece in a genre, 
I have them choose the best one. It's good for evaluating their own writing.

Bonus info!

While we are working on a writing piece, we use our Writing Process Folders.
Some of our teachers went to a training over the summer and saw this cool way to organize student writing. I'll probably change it up a little next year to have a special publishing pocket, but this is the way they look now.
They're pretty worn- we use them all the time!
You take two pocket folders and put one inside the other. Using a giant stapler, staple them together. It's like a giant folder with four pockets.

One is prewriting. We put our plans and quickwrites here. 

Then there's drafting and revising. Some have the S.T.A.R. graphic here as well.
You can read about STAR revising here.

Then there's my five-finger editing hand. Each finger represents a different component of editing. I change it every year, depending on what that group of kids needs. Four are consistent: spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar. Sometimes the fifth represents spaces between words, handwriting, or paragraphs (indent).

Next year, I guess I'll combine revising & editing, but a piece of me really doesn't want to do it. Kids already mix them up, and there are big differences and each one is necessary. So I'll have to think about what to do. Because now, we have to use our Editing pocket for Publishing, too, and I'm not crazy about that.


So another initiative that's new this year is our school-wide writing picture prompts. Each month (sometimes we combine two months, like November & December) the entire school (office staff and administration included) responds to the same picture. You can respond in any genre (whatever genre you're supposed to be writing in) as long as it connects to the picture. Then, every teacher posts the entire class' responses in the hallway along with the picture.

This is my December response. January is a text response about a lion article.
I'll post up the latest one when we go back from Spring Break and I actually take a picture.
They're poems about winter, because the picture has a family dressed in winter clothes,
 next to a snowman they built.
My kids really enjoy seeing how other classes respond to the pictures. 

Grab the  tools you need to make your own writing collection folders and writing process folders here in my Writer's Workshop Resource on TpT!

So, how do you collect your student's writing? Visit Courtney at Swimming into Second and link up!

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