Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bright Ideas Round Up By Ideas By Jivey!

Hey friends! It's time to review the year and all the bright ideas that have been shared!
But first, here is a new bright idea for you:
Crates and plastic book bins! When I was in the classroom, my students were not allowed to put ANY library books (mine or the media center's) in their desks. I didn't want them getting torn and messed up... I mean, you have seen the way students shove things in there, right? Each student got their own book bin that always went back in the same place in or on the crate, and this book bin held their library books, as well as their reading notebook and reading folder. You'll notice the crates are right by their tables too- this way, if they have extra time when an assignment is done, they can easily get their book without distracting others walking around the room. When it was time for reading workshop, they had everything they needed in one place to take with them to their book nooks or the guided reading table! :)

I have a few in the round up, too- check them out by clicking on the images below if you missed them (or need a refresher!):

Creating Maps to Review the Year
Fun Seed Idea Activity
If you enjoyed these bright ideas, please consider joining me on Facebook, Instagram, or my TPT Store for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Why I love the Division Area Model (and you should, too)!

I know there is a lot of controversy about the Common Core, and that is not what I'm here to discuss. If you are a teacher, whether you are for or against CCSS, you have to teach the standards! So I am here to (hopefully) make your life a little easier. :)

The division area model can seem difficult to teach because it's NEW to so many, but actually, I found my students to be MUCH more successful with it than the traditional long division algorithm.


Well, first of all, students have been working on multiplication facts for about a year by the time you get to division in 4th grade (counting third grade practice, and constant practice the first part of fourth grade). This method makes them think in a "multiplication problem with a missing product" kind of way.

Second, the area model breaks down a "hard" division problem into a few easier ones. 

Third, it helps them SEE what they are actually dividing (hundreds, tens, and ones), unlike the traditional algorithm. 

And fourth, it allows them to "check" themselves much easier.

>>>How do I do it?<<<

The size of your model, or number of "boxes" will be determined by your dividend- I will be demonstrating with a 3-digit dividend, but you can absolutely use this (and should!) with 2-digit, 4-digit, and so on. 
First, let's look at what the students will be doing with manipulatives. It's important to start with concrete models first before moving to the more abstract. We are going to divide 834 by 3. We start in the hundreds. We can only put two hundreds into three groups to divide evenly.
That means we need to slide the "remainders" over to the tens place, but we also need to trade those two hundreds for twenty tens to be able to make groups.
Now, we can put seven tens into three groups to divide evenly.
So again, we slide those remainders over, this time to the ones... so those two extra tens should now be traded for twenty ones.
And of course, we can divide 24 into three equal groups by putting eight in each group!
By adding up the numbers across the top, you get your quotient!

Now for the more abstract model... using numbers. Same idea as with manipulatives! You are only dividing the hundreds first, so 3 x ___ = a number close to 8?
Just to show you what might happen (and probably will), here is a student who doesn't start off grouping correctly:
The same could go if they said 300 could be in each group... when they go to subtract 900, they are going to see that 300 can't be correct! But luckily, this student figured out it was 200. :)
Moving to the tens, same idea- I like to have the students "box" what they are going to be dividing. This way, they remember it is 23 tens, not just 3 tens.
They will have that remainder of 24 to move over to the ones, which hopefully they can very easily answer 8x3=24! :)
Finally, just like before, add up all those numbers across the top of the model to get your quotient!

I like to give students this larger workmat (laminated) with a dry erase marker to help them do their work. Not only is it more fun, but of course, it is also easier to erase, and erase, and erase... :)
You can find this activity (and many other division stations) in my Differentiated Division Stations for Math Workshop pack! I also have other math station sets in my store.

Check out these blog posts, too, on why to use Math Workshop and how to Manage Stations!

Follow my Math Workshop Pinterest Board for even more great ideas!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mentor Sentences for Kindergarten and First Grade

I am so excited to announce that there are OFFICIALLY mentor sentences for every elementary grade! Grades 3-5 had them first- and they now have two complete volumes to choose from... then second grade got them, and these can be implemented into first grade with some scaffolding... but when I released mentor sentences for EARLY emergent readers (kindergarten, ELL, and maybe first grade if you've got some low babies), I had people asking for lessons that come between the K and 2 lessons for their emergent readers. I was happy to oblige! :)
Just like always, I used some of my favorite books that I loved reading to my kiddos when I taught first grade!

Let's take a peek inside the two units- the Kindergarten Unit and the Kinder-First Unit- so you can see the differences in skill levels! (Both of the lessons you'll see are freebies in my store!)
I hope this post helps you see how valuable mentor sentences can be for kindergartners and first
graders, too! It provides balanced literacy opportunities where students will be reading and writing every day, and your students will have fun at the same time.

You can get ten weeks of lessons for either set:
I'd love to hear how these are going in your classrooms!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Close Reading Poetry: Step-by-Step Mini-Lesson

Poetry is not just for April! Don't save all the awesome poems for the spring! Everything you are doing with close reading can be done with a poem, too. Students can still infer, determine theme, compare characters or events, understand figurative language and word choice, explain how stanzas build on each other, determine mood or point of view, and compare poems to each other, just like they can with literature.

In this post, I will walk you through how I close read poetry with students.
I have used different colors for each step, but this is not necessary. (Although it IS prettier!)

When close reading a poem with students, before we read, I like students to label stanzas, verses, and sometimes even rhyme scheme.
Then in the first read, I just want students to "get the gist" of the poem. Students will annotate their initial thoughts during the first read. (Check this post for a great annotation bookmark students can use as a reminder!) Sometimes I read it aloud to them during the first read, sometimes I want them to read it alone. It depends on how much I anticipate that they might struggle with it (I don't want them to struggle TOO much, but a little is good). With this poem, I'd say most students 4th grade and up could read it alone.
During the second read, I always read the poem aloud to them. I will usually do some think-alouds along the way and ask questions about parts that I want them to really think about. I also talk about any cloudy words to make sure they understand the meaning (by leading them through context clues if possible). This is when students really dig in deep and try to understand what is happening in the poem, and what the author wants to convey.

With this poem, I'd be sure to really talk about the word choice of the poet to show Ann's fear as well as the mother's feelings. We will also talk in detail about the lesson Ann's mother is trying to teach her.
For me, I think the third read is always for the students to do on their own. They should really have a pretty good understanding of it at this point, too. The third read is where I like for students to connect to the poem and figure out what it really means to them. In this example, I have boxed the words that made me feel a bit sorry for spiders- all of Ann's mother's words.
(Of course, with all of the things you can do with one poem, you might do several readings over the course of a few days, but this is just one day!)

The poem you've seen in this post is a freebie in my store! :)
Enjoy using it with your class!

**Fun fact to share with your students: Jane Taylor also wrote Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!**

You can also get the full pack to give you a poem for every month of the year!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sharing Sunday: Figurative Language Ideas for November!

In just one week, November begins. Isn't it crazy the year is almost over? The authors of The Primary Peach are back again this month to make your life easier and help you plan for November! (Did you miss October's Sharing Sunday? Check it out here!) I am sharing some fabulous resources for figurative language- great for grades 3-5. The best part: many of them are freebies or ideas from blog posts! Click on any of the images below to download the PDF. Once you are on the PDF, click around on all of the images to visit the resources!

The first three are books that are perfect for this time of year...
 The following ideas can be used any time of year!
Make sure to visit The Primary Peach to see other posts sharing amazing resources!