Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ghost Blasters Online Game

Happy Halloween! This is a great day to practice multiples with the online (free) game, Ghost Blasters! Choose your multiple (1-20) and then blast ghosts that appear with multiples of that number.

Oh...and don't forget to GRAPH your Halloween candy! :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Math Vocabulary Sheet (freebie!)

This year, my fifth graders have been recording math vocabulary in their journals. They write the word, their own definition, and an example (in pictures or numbers) as well as a non-example of the term.

The word "quotient" might show a problem with the quotient highlighted for the example and the dividend or divisor highlighted for the non-example. I recently made a little vocab record sheet to help with organization. I uploaded it to Google docs if you want to grab your own freebie.

Thank you for leaving a comment!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Free Virtual Math Tools

Don't miss the Edutopia post by Monica Burns highlighting 11 free apps that she uses in her 5th grade math class. She elaborates in a 45 minute webcast. I especially like the Geoboard ideas she shows at 34:00.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Math Monday Blog Hop: Math Vocabulary

Welcome to Math Monday Blog Hop!!!! In this hop all links will relate to the theme: Math Vocabulary.

This week, I'd like you to consider your own school experience. Did you use many mathematical terms? How might your math experience have been richer with more vocabulary inclusion?

Personally, I remember very little terminology. Sure, we had the basics--multiplication, addition, perimeter--but it was pretty limited. When I started teaching and had Word Resource Cards to use in the context of lessons, it brought both inspiration and challenge. I've had to learn vocabulary for the first a teacher. I'm so pleased to support students with vocabulary that helps them to explain their thinking, clarifying both what they know and what they still need to figure out. I turn to resources like:
I ask kids to write their own definitions for terms we're studying, explaining their ideas with pictures, text, and sketches. How do you integrate math vocabulary? Post your ideas in the blog hop below!

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Flies Make Fabulous Math Manipulatives!

Reposting to enjoy during the Halloween season... Plastic flies are readily available at this time of year!

Since our study this week included insects, I thought it might be fun to do a little math "on the fly." Turns out that plastic flies are the perfect math manipulative. They're quiet. (No buzz. Honest.) Cheap. (Bought mine at the dollar store.) Fit great in a kid's hand. Are big enough to find if they "fly" to the floor. (Although we didn't really have trouble with flying flies...) And the math exploration possibilities are endless. (I saw the idea for counting flies here, but I extended it.) Flies would make great manipulatives for probability or fraction work with older kids. But this week was at the kindergarten level.

1. Practice writing numbers:
I made a sheet with the numbers I wanted my kids to practice. I gave each child 5 flies to spill out of the hand and onto the desktop.  Children then traced the number of "dead flies" (ones that landed on their backs) in one color and number of "live flies" (upright) in another color.

2. Practice addition bonds:
I set a target number and gave the child that number of flies to spill onto a desktop. We started with 5 flies. I made a worksheet to record a fly addition sentence: Dead Flies + Live Flies = How Many Flies Altogether? I put the paper in a page protector so we could change the target number. The picture matches the type of flies I found, but I think you could use it with any plastic fly. As long as kids record the upright flies in one column and the upside down flies in the other column, they're good to go. I mean fly!

On the first day, one little guy looked at the column of sums and remarked, "It always equals FIVE!"

Click on the picture for a free Google Doc download. Since I can't see how many people download, you'd make my day if you'd leave a comment saying you grabbed a copy! :)

This little activity would make a great Math Station or Work Box.

Related Kindergarten Standards:

K.CC.3. Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
K.CC.4. Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
K.CC.5. Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
K.OA.1. Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings1, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
K.OA.2. Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
K.OA.3. Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
K.OA.5. Fluently add and subtract within 5.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

John Boy Walton, Where is MY Room?

If the mere sight of this:

...makes you start to long for calls of "Goodnight John Boy"...I get it.

Yep. I grew up under the illusion that I was half Walton. To this day, I'm pretty sure that MaryEllen is a long-lost sister and that Grandpa's land deed will eventually prove that I'm to inherit a piece of the mountain.

If you need more proof, just look at my childhood lunchbox. It holds a place of honor on my living room shelf.

Last week I visited Virginia for the first time. Along with a trip to Monticello, I couldn't help but visit the next most famous historical site. What else? Walton's non-t.v. land, that would be Schuyler, VA.

So here's my conundrum. I got to see the original "Waltons" (Hamner) house. Based on the television series, I assume that all the kids (7 on t.v., but 8 in real life), parents, and grandparents slept there. Real life = twelve people. Yet here's the real house:

Too cheap and in a hurry to tour the place, I'll take the word of fellow tourists that the place only had 3 bedrooms. So where did all twelve people sleep? As a half sister, I'd love to know!

So that's my math problem for the week:

3 bedrooms
divided by
2 grandparents
2 parents
8 kids

Do the math.
I don't think there's room for any half sisters.

P.S. A reader sent me a message that might explain more:
"My mother grew up in Tennessee/Georgia in the 1940s. They slept 3 to 4 kids per bed; living rooms had beds in them. There wasn't much leisure time, so you didn't need a "living room" or a sofa. She said you were either working at chores or sleeping!"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Math Monday Blog Hop: Fractions

Welcome to Math Monday Blog Hop!!!! In this hop all links will relate to the theme: Fractions

If you want to share this collection on your blog, just grab this link:

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Math Monday Blog Hop: Geometry

Welcome to Math Monday Blog Hop!!!! In this hop all links will relate to the theme: Geometry.

If you want to share this collection on your blog, just grab this link:

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Need Math Lesson Ideas? (1500 links on Pinterest!)

Looking for math teaching ideas? Visited Pinterest lately? I've categorized over 1500 links--mostly math--into math concept headings. Find ideas on teaching fractions, subitizing, geometry, operations, and using apps, children's literature, art and lots more!!)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Math Monday Blog Hop: Fall & Halloween Math

Welcome to Math Monday Blog Hop!!!! In this hop all links will relate to the theme: Fall and Halloween Math!

If you want to share this collection on your blog, just grab this link:

get the InLinkz code

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Are You Teaching 5th Grade Math??

Teaching 5th grade math this year?

So am I!

I want to share a resource page that I am continually updating for my own class. You'll find online games, books, and other resources that students can access to practice grade 5 math content. If you find something wonderful for 5th graders, I hope you'll comment below so I can add to the list!

Feel free to direct 5th grade teachers, students, and parents to the page. My own students go to the page to practice math skills online at home.


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