Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Zippin Down the Freebie Trail

Welcome to this year's Easter Freebie Trail. I am super happy to be participating once again!

I have a fun math freebie for you today. 

I am in the crazy process of buying a house, selling our house and of course, still teaching. Hope this little freebie is helpful to some one out there.

Follow this link to keep on hopping down the bunny trail for more freebies!!

Your next stop is-

Have a great Easter!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Birthday! TBA!

It's hard to believe that it's already been 2 years since I started blogging and became a TBA author. It's been a wonderful journey and I am very grateful for all that blogging has done for me- personally and professionally. 

To celebrate TBA's 2nd birthday we have a huge bash planned. Linkys (or linkies? I never know) galore and so much more. 

Put April 5th on your calendar and get ready to celebrate!


Friday, March 22, 2013

My Lie is Revealed...

Thanks to all those who commented and made a guess as to which of the three options below was my lie as part of this fun linky party.

Here again were my 2 truths and a lie.

1. I went to summer camp for 19 summers! I didn't go to the same camp the whole time and I was a camper, a staff member and a camp director during that time.

2. I have two tattoos. Actually, three because I had one redone so technically I have gotten three tattoos but only have two on me.

3. I love cats. I have a huge cat collection (mugs, shirts, books, pictures, etc) and 2 cats of my own.

The actual lie is......(drum roll) #3!!

I am a dog person for sure. I won't say I hate cats for fear of offending anyone but I had a run in with a family cat once when I was babysitting (it kept attacking me) and it put me off cats forever!

Thanks for playing along. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Canadian Blogs!!

I love learning about other Canadian bloggers. We are slowly and steadily growing. I was emailed by a fellow Canadian and invited to link up to a Canadian linky party. 

I would love for you to pop over and visit my fellow Canadians...we are a friendly bunch!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two Truths and a Lie Linky

I'm joining in for Flying into First Grade's Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party.

How it Works:
Think of 3 things about yourself or your life.  

You should make 2 of them truths and 1 of them a lie.   

You can list them on your post in any order.  

Do NOT give the answer yet in your post.  People will try guess your lie in your in the comments of your post.  

So remember to be very creative so that it is hard for people to get it right. At the end of the week you can share the answer in your comments from the post or include it in a post you make at the end of the week. 

Okay, here we go...

1. I went to summer camp for 19 summers! I didn't go to the same camp the whole time and I was a camper, a staff member and a camp director during that time.

2. I have two tattoos. Actually, three because I had one redone so technically I have gotten three tattoos but only have two on me.

3. I love cats. I have a huge cat collection (mugs, shirts, books, pictures, etc) and 2 cats of my own.

And now it's your turn...!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Organizing Calendar and Your Math Block

Do you follow Janaye over at Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes? 

Because if you don't, then you really should.

I mean, WOW!!

I started off this year organizing my math journals according to the setup she described on her blog here and now I love doing them. People are so impressed when they visit my class and I so wish I could take credit, but alas it is the impressive Janaye!

Now, she has posted about her morning math meeting time...and in such detail. I am in heaven and will be starting to integrate some her ideas into my morning math meeting as well. Can't wait.

Go here to check it all out.

Tales of Frogs & Cupcakes

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Math Problem Solving (Freebie)- Mega Post!

A big focus in my math program this term has become problem solving. As we continue to work through the different strands outlined in our curriculum we are looking at and working on how to better understand problems, solve problems and talk about the strategies we've chosen to solve problems.

We started by creating this anchor chart step by step together. As we "mastered" (hmmmm?) each step we moved on to the next and added more to our anchor chart. 

Each morning when my students enter the room they have a math problem to complete independently in their problem solving books. This has replaced our math stretch time. In the beginning of the year, we met on the carpet every morning and completed a math stretch orally as a group. We still do this about once (maybe twice) a week, but the focus has moved to independent problem solving using the 4 steps outlined above and a variety of problems.

In Ontario, Grade 3's are required to write a standardize test in the spring and they will need to have a wide range of problem solving skills at their disposal. 
Now that most of my students have improved in their basic problem solving skills we are moving towards improving their communication skills in math. This was determined as a greatest area of need by my grade team and we will be focusing on this skill over the next weeks as a professional learning community.

Since my class had already begun working in this area I needed to change the team plan just a little. My class started by co-creating this anchor chart to show the difference between "Show Your Work" and "Explain Your Thinking" in math.

I was super impressed...both of the success criteria on the Show Your Work side were volunteered by my students and it's in their own words. 

They are listening!!! (LOL)

From here I modelled what Explain Your Thinking would look like using a math huddle focused on division. 

Minds on activity

Lesson Problem- We have been looking at division problems- by grouping and by sharing. As you will see in the sample problem, it is the same problem just asked in a different way!

The board ready for their work!

Here's the updated Minds On and Lesson Problem. I have been modelling how to underline, highlight or circle the key words in the problem and then choose a strategy that works best for the question. 

This is normally where I display student work after they have had a chance to solve the problem with a peer. For this math huddle, however, I wanted to focus less on the strategy chosen to solve and more on the communication delivered by the response. So for this math huddle we worked through the problem together and I modelled how a student could display their knowledge of division/multiplication and communicate their thinking about the problem. 

And we did complete the anchor chart pictured above...but in my rush to start Spring Break(!!) I forgot to take a picture. So I made it into a poster for you instead! Click on the image to get your copy. 

Finally...here's the freebie! This is a problem solving mat that can be used to solve any problem. It's designed to help students move through the steps and communicate their knowledge as much as possible.  I found the original here when I was researching online. I basically just typed it up without too many adaptions...it was so good it didn't need very much!

I hope you find it useful too and if you download it, please visit the original site and leave your thanks there!!

And that's that...we are going to continue working away on different types of problems. I will be back soon (I hope) with some students examples and a checbric for you to assess student problem solving. 

Here is a great link for math manipulatives. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Peek Into My Day Book

Sometimes I like to go back and look through my day plan/ day book. I noticed one thing....I make a lot of changes! So many arrows, post-it notes and cross outs! LOL

Here's the past 5 weeks. Oh dear. 

Wow, that's a lot of post it notes! 

This is my first time using a "pre-made" day book, I've always made my own in the past. I must admit...I kinda love it!

What kind of day book do you use?

Bonus...here's my two-year-old daughter joining in on my yoga session today! (Don't be fooled...this is the only pose she did!)

Happy Sunday. 

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