Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Qommon Qore Quads...

Can't you tell how much we just loooove alliteration?!  This week we reviewed quadrilaterals but added in how to classify them based on sides (equal? parallel?) and angles.  Now too much to share about the activity but I did have a friend "connect" quadrilateral with the quad he has always wanted to ride! and how many wheels does this quad have!? "FOUR!" and how many sides do quadrilaterals have?! "OOOOOOH! FOUR!".  Love moments like this!  I had them make posters to help them study/review and they taped them to the side of their desks ("Our desks are quadrilaterals too!").  Unfortunately, with this our district adopting the Common Core Standards this school year, we have felt a bit overwhelmed and well, under time.  In fourth grade we currently have math daily for an hour - that's when we do our Fraction Frenzy unit (Numbers & Operations: Fractions)!!! And then each class (we have two fourth grade classes) has one extra math class a week  and this is where we have our Geometry unit (4.G.1.2.3).  Finally, twice a week after school we fit in the Measurment and Data standards!! Phew, luckily - I have coined myself amongst our fourth graders as a MatheMagician who looooves teaching Math!! I'm already excited for Pi Day on Thursday! I'll be sure to blog some pictures of our activities and I even created a little PiDay activity packet!!!  For now, here are some pics of our quadrilateral day today aaaand just click here to get your own copy! for your students to create their own posters!! Have a Wonderful Wednesday tomorrow - hump day is almost here!!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Alliteration Linky Fun!

This alliteration linky from Primary Possibilities looks like fun! So here we go!

MUSIC - What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I love COUNTRY MUSIC! My favorite country artist is Luke Bryan. I have met him two times, and he is adorable! What a smile! I also really enjoy Kip Moore. His entire CD is fantastic, check it out! 

This is a picture I took when I got to see Luke on Good Morning America this past summer! 

MENU - When you go out, what is your favorite item to order from a menu?

This is a tough one, because I love food. I would have to say that the dish I order most when going out to eat though is penne vodka :) 

This is a home-made penne vodka I made (with no extras added in, just the way I like it)

MANAGEMENT -  What is your best classroom management tip? What works best for you? How do you manage your literacy stations, math rotations, small groups, and organization tips?

I like how I manage my centers and guided reading time. I have a center board, with each group's names on cute ocean creatures ( I have an ocean theme in my class) They are backed on the color of their group. I use velcro to put up icons with pictures of what centers they are at for the day. Above the centers chart, I have another big poster with all the center icons where I write directions for all of the centers for the week, so I do not get a million "What am I supposed to do in this center again?" questions. They can just look at the chart for an easy reminder of the directions. I also have color coded baskets for each group, where all the materials they will need for their centers that day go. This is also where they hand in completed work. Once I am back at school (I am at a workshop tomorrow) I will take a picture of these and add it! It helps everything run smoothly!

Hope you enjoyed, now go link up!

~ Kristen

Fraction Frenzy!

This week, 4th graders started their unit on FRACTIONS!!!!! (cue in the scary-themed music...). Incoming of 4.NF.!!!
The students were in a bit of a frenzy but slooooowly but surely they are taking great strides with fractions.  I have to start off by giving a HUGE SHOUTOUT and THANK YOU to the Fourth Grade Studio for some Fantabulous Fraction ideas (gotta love alliteration right before testing!).  I was able to take a lot of ideas from this blog but as great teachers know, you follow the lead of the students!  They have been so into fractions and asking such great questions and reaaaaallllyyyy thinking (favorite), that even I am enjoying Math first thing in the morning.

 We first started by making posters to demonstrate fractions in: halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, eighths, and tenths.  The Common Core "limits" 4th graders to fractions with denominators of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 100.  But I was not about to have them folding squares into 100 equal parts - not yet anyway.  Here are a few snapshots of our week!!

*side note* very new at blogging and can't figure out how to add another picture of our posters.  But there was a lot more than just this fourths poster! I will try to add those in tomorrow. 

The following day I got another great challenge to use with my students over at The Fourth Grade Studio.  It had my students in a real frenzy.  I started by showing them this shape (courtesy of FGS!) and asking them, "Is this shape divided into fourths?"  Check out our initial graph: 

I know it's not too clear but on the left side is the "yes" it is in fourths (4 students) and the rest of the class said no.  So of course, I gave them their own copy and had them "play" with the shape [seriously, use the word play with anything and suddenly their ears perk up] and reaaaaaally think about their thinking.  We followed with a class discussion and I heard what I guess I expected to hear (which I expected to follow with me having to give them the answer....).  "There are two squares and two triangles! They CANT be in fourths!" and "Grab a big ruler, Mrs. B! Let's measure this thing!" and then a few faces that said it all without saying anything at all: "What is going on in here?" of my dears...the new student this year...the one that sits in the know, the one that you have to ask her to YELL so you can hear her and she's still at "inside voice"....well, that dear raised her hand. "Yes, N.  Tell me your explanation!"
"Well.  I think it is in fourths." 
"Remember, N.  We need to explain our thinking.  Tell me why you are on the 'yes' side."
"Yesterday when we did our posters, we noticed that the fourths poster was all half of the half shapes.  If you look at the square, it is in half down the middle.  and then each half in half."



Notice all the checks in the "YES" boxes?  Notice how they weren't there BEFORE. (yea, scroll up and check it out).  Check out all the Xes through the "NO" boxes.  Now there were only 3 left that still weren't convinced.  And it became the rest of the class' mission to get them to their side.  It. was. amazing.

Tomorrow I am giving them some divided rectangles and asking them to label each fraction of it. Then I'm giving them blank rectangles with directions to divide in half...then find of the half...then a fourth...and so on.  I hope it goes well.  I will post up the rectangles ASAP (as soon as I find how to upload a GoogleDoc!) for your free use. 
Divide these rectangles! (Can someone please click to see if it works? Leave a comment!:])
 I'm really excited!! I love when the students are so excited and struggling with challenge because that AHA moment is my favorite part of teaching.  I've had many "AHA!!!!" moments this week - amazing!!