Friday, December 21, 2012

Thoughts on the Week

I do not need to remind fellow teachers what happened a week ago in Connecticut, I was anxious to return to school Monday mostly because I knew I would look into the faces of my students and think of their future and their potential and how those who watch over us now in heaven passed far too young.  Surprisingly, it was quiet, my students are too young to understand. 

This update comes with some pictures of what we have been working on before the break, the pictures do not come with worksheets, I had the students show me their work on Ipads =)

I drew this monster and we made some easy multiplication and division statements from the picture.

Here's Santa!!

Double digit numbers with some partial product division, my new go to method I willpost a video of how to do this because students who have a hard time with the traditional method have more success with this method!
I am doing thinking blocks with the third grade group and how to visualize math differently:

I had the students draw the thinking blocks and show their work.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Any go to non-lame and cheesy holiday activities for your classroom?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Where are you Christmas?

I had like three drafts throughout November, but between the Hurricane, life and Thanksgiving I just did not get around to finishing it.  So I cannot believe it is December! Now that progress reports are done, hopefully I can be on here a couple times a week!

So I wanted to share some things that I am doing with my students =)

With Third and Fourth grade, they created subtraction and multiplication stories using models, after they created their story we took a picture with the Ipads and shared them on the showme app. 

Here is an example of Multiplication:

Also, with my fourth and fifth grade groups we are working on prime, composite, factors, and multiples of a number in the EveryDay Math Calendar book in January there is an activity.  I have the students discuss the numbers, then we make them.  In fourth grade each student is making their own books to 20 and in fifth grade each student is making two numbers a day all together.

Example of Fourth Grade:

Fifth Grade Wall:

We talk about factors using the Cuisenaire rods, which we then write the multiplication factors.  Also we can talk about what makes a prime number or composite number or square number.  Very visual for the students.   

The students match the multiplication equation to the appripriate cuisenaire rod, we did this through number 10.

In December my goals are to have fifth grade do a division story using the ipads and models.  Also, across grade levels we will create a Christmas math story which I think they will enjoy. 

What are some December activities you have planned? Any you do every year?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Everyone hail to the Pumpkin Song!

Be prepared for a pretty massive update, there has been a lot going on and I am sorry my followers for the delay I have had some family emergencies.  This first post is about my goals and Ipad apps!

First I completed my goals for my three year Professional Development Plan, I needed two for each certification and one for the district so for me that was five goals.  Then they had to meet a certain criteria.  I wanted to share my summary of my goals for those of you who might be having trouble.
1) Assessment - research and implement assessment tools, my goal is for my students to keep track of their own progress.

2) Math Language - I have money for a library (see previous post) I just put in the order for the books so I am excited for those.  With this goal I wanted to focus on the language of math and creating a library for students to enjoy math in a whole new way.

3) RIT (Response to Intervention) - my groups are Intervention so using the assessment along with careful research and reflection I have to see what is working and not working for my students.

4) Strategies - I need to learn new strategies to teach so students have a better understanding of numbers instead of using their fingers.  I am going to do an intensive Cuisenaire Rod strategy with Grade Three and I will focus on Singapore math with grade 4.

5) Common Core - The reality is that everything is going to move to the common core for math soon and I need to know what is going on!

Second I wanted to post screen shots of the apps I use in my classroom! I am only going to highlight some of my and the students favorites.
 1) Math Party (free) - multi-player number sense game student have to tap the numbers in order
2) Math v. Zombies (free) - the zombies are math problems the students answer and fire at levels included are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
3) Ace Multiply (free) - timed multiplication grid students have to drag the answer to the correct spot.
1) Montessori Place Value (PlaceValue) (2.99) - I know I am about cheap and free but this app focuses on expanded form, place value and zeros in numbers which is awesome.
2) Splash Math Grade 3 (9.99) - Again I would not advertise if I thought it was totally worth your money!  I can differentiate almost all of the worksheets to 4th and 5th grade and students work towards fish to fill their aquarium.

Those with SmartPhone technology any favorite apps you like for your classroom?  Please share in the comments!
Next post: Self-created forms, lesson plans, and Parent night!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

September Madness

My fellow followers, I apologize for my much needed update.  I have been in the mist of NWEA testing but have some things to share.  I am starting to know students, teachers, etc I feel like my school is becoming home.  The other day I was walking between two fifth grade classes and they were all like "Miss KAYYYY!!!" That was nice, I cannot wait to set my groups up. 

I am in the process of creating some worksheets, which I will post.  Also I am getting a screenshot of my Ipad apps to share as well, so stay tuned, trying to learn how to do so at the same time.

I actually have a budget for books!  So I did a lot of research and came up with this list, if you have a suggestion, or comment let me know.  You can tell which authors I liked.  
Inchworm and a Half Elinor J Pinczes
Remainder of One Elinor J Pinczes
One Hundred Hungry Ants Elinor J Pinczes
If you Hopped like a Frog David Schwartz
G is for Googol David Schwartz
If You Made a Million   David Schwartz
How Much is a Million David Schwartz
Second is a Hiccup   Hazel Hutchins
Great Estimation Bruce Goldstone
Grapes of Math Greg Tang
Math Potatoes Greg Tang
Math Appeal: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles Greg Tang
Math Riddles Greg Tang
Math-erpieces Greg Tang
Shark Swimathon Stuart Murphy
Divide and Ride Stuart Murphy
Lemonade for Sale Stuart Murphy
Penny Pot Stuart Murphy
Elevator Magic Stuart Murphy
Math Counts: Weight Henry Pluckrose
Math Counts: Capacity Henry Pluckrose
Math Counts: Time Henry Pluckrose
Math Counts: Length Henry Pluckrose
Mummy Math An Adventure in Geometry Cindy Neuschwander  
Sir Cumference and the first round table Cindy Neuschwander  
Sir Cumference: and the Dragon of Pi Cindy Neuschwander  
Sir Cumference: and the Great Knight of Angleland Cindy Neuschwander  
Sir Cumference: and the Isle of Immeter Cindy Neuschwander  
Sir Cumference: and the Sword in the Cone Cindy Neuschwander  
Sir Cumference: and the Viking's Map   Cindy Neuschwander  
Pastry School in Paris: An Adventure in Capacity Cindy Neuschwander  
Round Trip Ann Jonas
Reflections Ann Jonas
Actual Size Steve Jenkins  
Grandfather Tang's Story: A Tale Told With Tangrams Ann Tompert
Apple Fractions  Jerry Pallotta  
Hershey's Milk Chocolate:Weights and Measures  Jerry Pallotta  
Twizzlers Percentages Book  Jerry Pallotta  
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! Marilyn Burns
The Greedy Triangle Marilyn Burns
Math Curse Jon Scieszka
Counting on Frank Rod Clement
Measuring Penny Loreen Leedy
A Very Improbable Story  Edward Einhorn
Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstilskin Pam Calvert
If You Were a Fraction  Marcie Aboff
Piece = Part = Portion Scott Gifford

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Title One MathNess

One HUGE pro of being a Title One Math teacher is that I can set my own schedule, but one con is that until I have my scores (hopefully by Friday of next week woot!) I cannot really "see" students so I have been observing/getting to know the kids with their classroom teachers.
Open house was awkward because I do not have "assigned" kids in my class I just walked around introduced myself to parents.  It was hard. 
However I come with some goodies:
First Entry in the Math Resource Book!  Taken from: Math-Charts

I made my own smart-pals.  I took page protectors that my dad had extra (6) Purchases duct tape $3.99 each and voila!
Comapre that to: Smart-Pals
Now imagne buying some cheap page protectors (they come in boxes of 100 at walmart) and now you get cool looking smart pals =)
ALSO expo markers wipe off BEAUTIFULLY and with little residue (had to see it myself)
Now for my, what I do in my spare time:
Finished this Times Square 1000 piece puzzle just before school started, I do not see myself completing any puzzles soon.

HILARIOUS gag present at a Newburyport Story.
I am trying to make worksheets like on teacherspayteachers, we will see how that goes.
How is everyone's start of the year coming along?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Miss Kay's Room

No longer shall anyone refer to my room as "the dumping ground", I spent most of the week making sure everything got in place, since I am a "pull-in" room I did not want to go for a theme rather a friendly place where students feel safe.  Also I have a general "math" theme.

Remember what it looked like before? Well look what I created under all that mess! 

The chalkboard and bulletin board.  The math word wall words I got from my district's curriculum maps, print, glue on some contruction paper, and attach a magnet. The blue bulletin board will be used to change for every topic I have posters that go with each topic.
Now my recommendation for magnets are these:Stickels 
They are 2.99 for 100 but they are the ONLY thing that worked, I tried magnets from walmart, too heavy, packaging tape and they were all off the wall over night.  These are only a little indulgence to save you a world of aggrivation. The Teacher's Pet in Methuen, Mass also sells them.

Look at that beautiful bookcase I built! I am trying to find labels for my boxes.

The student area with the bookshelf and rotation game.
This red bulletin board will be for student work. 
Know of any math pun ideas for the title?
How are your rooms coming along?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Taming the Beast

So the beast that is my room, is SLOWLY coming together, key word is slowly.  I have small spaces for posters, so I was going to do a math focus wall where I would change it week-per-week depending on the topic covered (which may be hard because I am covering 3 grade levels but hopefully they will line up). Also, I hope to have a room to brag about at the end of this week.

As you saw I had zero open storage for my students in my classroom, thus the bookshelf.  But I wanted to share my idea to get more space out of something cheap.

This is a pencil bin from the dollar section at Target I got last year.

I created partitions using an extra piece of cardboard from a box.  I figured I could separate markers, colored pencils, expo markers, etc so I can maximize space in my classroom. Total investment: $1

I also wanted to share a freebie from fellow blogger: Teaching My 3:

 Math Freebie  switching to the common core and the need to have student see numbers clearer, I love how this includes the number word, items, ten frame and money, up to the number 20!  Grab it while it is free fellow math teachers.

How do you use what you have to make something new?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day One of "The Dump"

So I arrived at my school this morning to do some preliminary work, moving schools I had no idea what to expect when I walked into my classroom.  Nor was I ready for what I saw...

This was what my classroom looked like from the door.  The custodians, who affectionatly call me "Lady K" said this was the dumping ground for unwanted desks, tables, etc, which proved obvious. 

This is the mess straight on... those few boxes are my stuff.

 Before I get to the after pictures, I wanted to explain that my room was once home to a second grade teacher, so I wanted to show you the very unique things I found while emptying the cupboards for my storage.

The Front

The Back  
Any one have any clue what this is?  I think it is some mini television perhaps? But I am not sure, I know it is old. 

This is an old school projector, like the one you put slides in, I should look these up and see if they have any value, seriously.

All of the cupboards looked like this:

Full of series of books, dictionaries, and stuff, lucky for me the school has a place where they store all that stuff so I moved it there.

Finally this is after all the moving, obviously it is not done, but any ideas on how to cover those back desks?  They are just there and I want my room to look welcoming.

Also, look what I built!  The start of the bookshelf I bought from my deal at target.  A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into that, mostly sweat.

How are your classrooms coming along?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Miss Kay's Favorite Websites

One of the many perks to my job is that the grant I am hired under allows me a class set of IPad2 as well as a Macbook Pro.  I wanted to share some of the apps and websites that I use in the classroom.


   There are many reasons why I love this website.  One is that ALL of the worksheets are free, it is a quick and easy registration to log in to the website.  The worksheets are colorful, interesting, and sorted by grade level, subject and even sorted further into which specific thing.  For example: 3rd grade, math, place value.


   Ixl is a place where students can go to practice their math skills, the website only allows you like 25 questions per day for free, so my way around it expecially with small groups is each group does 5 (or 10) depending on which group I do when.   Again this separates by subject and grade level, very user friendly.


  This website has many interactive manipulatives, flashcards, and games that will assist elementary students with their math skills (especially memorizing those pesky multiplication facts).  My favorite item on here are the math rods:  Cuisenaire Rods  I find that these work as a wonderful model for showing everything from arrays, factors, equivalent fractions, etc... I will go into more detail on Cuisenaire Rods in another blog post!

4) Math Games

  My students loved this website, this website has compiled all sorts of games about various topics in math.  However, only some of them do not work and some are weird, do some filtering.  I found that MOST of the games work and are relavent.

Now I want to talk about math apps, again most of these are free.

1) Splash Math Grade 3  this app is 9.99, there is a free lite version that restricts you to levels and lessons, but I found that I could differentiate this app across grade levels 2,3,4 and 5!  For example, there is a lesson on tenths, for a 5th grader we would talk about the decimal, percent, and fraction aspect of each problem. 

2) Math vs Zombies  my students LOVED this one, and it is FREE! There are different levels addition/subtraction and mutiplication/division the students become fluent at math facts before they know it!

3) Show Me  with moving to the common core and the need for student to explain their thinking, this interactive whiteboard has the student able to record their own voice while they do a math problem. FREE! 

4) Motion math zoom this is an interactive number line that the students can zoom in or out depending on the number, again it is Free!

5) Pizza Fraction  I use this app as an introduction to fractions and equivalent fractions.  Once the student answers the problem they shake the Ipad for a new question. Free!

6) Saved the best for last:  Math party  there is a free version of this you can get and all of my students loved the mutiplayer aspect of the app.  They would challenge me and by the end of the year, most were suitable to beat me!  This is great for number sense.  Highly recommended for any math classroom.

So what websites, apps, etc can you not live without in your classroom?  Or if you want more apps/websites because these are just the tip of the iceberg.  Leave me a comment =)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Scrapbooking with Math

One of the things that my students have trouble with are clue words in word problems for which operation to perform, especially on a NECAP or NWEA (yea for standarized tests).





Each of these I made from scrapbook pages that I had around the house, but craft stores like AC moore sell entire books on sale.  Or they sell individual pages for .55 cents, even less. I made these travel sized because of the nature of my job, sometimes I am not in my classroom I will be bringing these with me. 

I am hoping to get to my classroom this week, expect some before and after pictures lol.

What do you like to make with extra scrapbook pages?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Target Sale!!

Fellow organizers, teachers, and anyone who likes to save money on awesome things. My amazing man mentioned the closetmaid brand and I have been on the market for the 9 cube Closetmaid Cubicals pictured below.  At the Nashua Target they are ON SALE in the store for $39.99!  On target online they are going for $51.99 :Original Price

Also the cubbies that come with it are usually: $8.99 were also discounted to $5.99 in store, I purchased three.

In all I spent around $60 for something that would have originally cost me over $80.  I love finding a great deal, even if it was a "splurge", I have no regrets about this, because either way I have a use for it. 

Once I decorate and put it in my classroom, more pictures to come, but in the mean time the sale ends 8/11/12.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Do It Yourself!

One of the things I love as a teacher is making things that are low cost (isn't that why we are all on Pinterest? lol) Also, making manipulatives I know my students would enjoy using.  Today I wanted to share a manipulative I will use this year to teach number sense, ten plus a number, nine plus a number, numbers up to 30, multiplication, etc... 

Angry Birds:

The Littlest Pet Shop:

 Thirty 10-Frame Model:

One of the great aspects of these cookie sheets is that the students can write in expo marker below the 10-frames when making their equations, and presto, you got an interactive activity that can also make a quick assessment.

Below the Line cut is a step by step tutorial on how I made the 10-frames, but all I used were things from either walmart or the dollar store.

Cookie Sheets $1 each from Dollar tree (I got 5 of them)

Magnetic Buttons $5.97 for 50 from Walmart

The stickers were like $2 per pack of 100 they were in the clearance section and I had to cut the bodies off some of the pet shop animals so they would fit in the circle.

Total investment: $8.97

Below the cut, a step by step on how I created the 10-frame on the cookie sheet!

What is your favorite manipulative to use in the classroom?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The ways of the K!

I need to be super organized otherwise life gets messy so I wanted to share my Common Core binder that I put together.  This will be a resource that I will refer to throughout the year.  When I attend more Common Core meetings that information will go in this binder

Inside the binder is the Common Core flipbook I got for free from attending a workshop along with a Renkenrek I made at that workshop (I will be talking about how I made that later in the post)

The Tabs:

Common Core Information: Any powerpoints, printouts, etc that I receive from workshops.

Common Core Standards: I printed the Common Core Standards for Grade 3, 4, and 5
If you want them they are safe links that open as a PDF (take note these are for NH) 
If you want your state go to: Common Core Website:  
Also included in this tab are the GLEs that do not match to the state standards again for NH if you want your state you can search: "GLEs not matched to CCSS for (your state):
NH standards not matched to GLEs  the official word is that the mismatched GLEs will not be on NECAP tests!

Ten Frame Lessons: Most of these were given to me free, but of course I have great websites if you want ten frame lessons.
AIMS - lesson ideas $2 per lesson, they are alined to the new common core.
Illuminations - FREE =)

Assessment: The new assessment they are using is called Smarter Balanced Assessment and on their website you can download sample items.

Alright, the last thing I wanted to discuss is the Rekenrek:

If you go to their website they will try to sell you one for lots of money, but being teachers we like free or low cost, obviously, however they include FREE activities and ideas on how to use them:

This low cost Rekenrek was made with:

Index Card found at the dollar store! You can buy in packs of 100 or 200 and in different sizes
Pipe Cleaners from the dollar store, come in various colors and in packs of 45
The beads you can find at any craft store cheap also in various colors
So not only did you buy enough for your current students but probably enough for the following year as well, total investment: $7

Thursday, August 2, 2012

First blog Post!

As my district moves into Common Core, I wanted this blog to be a place where I share some lesson plan ideas, classroom organization set ups, and just general math geekness that I come across.  Who doesn't love looking at pictures?

I am Miss K (shortened) my first name is Christie.  I have been a Title One Math teacher and am starting my second year in my district.  

The first thing I wanted to share is "Number of the Day", which is a concept I have seen done on teacherspayteachers and pintrest, however I used it every day last year and saw come great number sense accomplishments in my students.  I wanted to share the version of "Number of the Day" that I created (with some help of my fabulous assistant I had last year)

The new common core is all about modeling so I made sure so include that in my Number of the Day.  The students can model using 10-frames, base-10 block pictures, or singapore math method.  As I teach these I will add examples!

In the margin below the rounding, I will have students draw the number lines for rounding their numbers.  Again as I get examples I will post more pictures. 

This whole common core thing is going to be an insteresting transition, hopefully we will all get through it together.  Anything you would like to see?