Saturday, January 17, 2015

Word Problems: What's Your First Move?

Word problems...

Don't we LOVE them?! ...psych!

I realized this year that my students are having trouble with word problems....wait..let me elaborate. They are doing well with word problems with each section that I teach: adding decimals, dividing whole numbers, etc. However, I realized that the students knew what to do because they used their common sense - "If we are learning dividing decimals right now, then on our test, I will need to divide when I come across a word problem." 

Hm....What about when my students are faced with their standardized test and they will need to figure out which basic operation they will have to use for each word problem on their own? What will happen then? 
This thought is what inspired my most recent creation...

In day one...

...students will not focus on solving word problems, but instead they will work on figuring out which basic operation they need to use in order to move onto solving the problem. In other words, what will our first step be if we were to solve the problem?

Below is a pair of my students working on this activity. They are reading the 20 cards and then placing them in the addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division section depending on what their first step will be when solving the problem. 

On day two...

...students will use any of the five printable worksheets given, OR the task cards used in day one, to solve the word problems we read on the first day. Now, they need to read the word problem, check off which basic operation they will use, and then solve it. An example of the printable worksheet is seen below.

On day three...

...students will be introduced to two-step word problems. These word problems require two steps, or two different basic operations, to solve. Students will need to recognize these, the steps they will use to solve it, and the order in which they need to solve it. A sample of the task cards for day three are shown below.

On day four...

...students will not only recognize the two step word problems, but they will solve them. The printable worksheet requires them to solve their problem in different boxes in order to have the students organize their steps. This will really help you, as their teacher, find where their mistakes or misconceptions are, if any. 

On day five... will assess your students! Yay! Find out how they are doing now that they have practiced word problems. The assessment mixes up the word problems so that they are using different basic operations each time they solve, and in no particular order. This also mixes one and two step word problems. 

Extension activity:

Students can create their own word problem...alone, with a partner, or with a group! They will use the page you see below to set up their work, and then they will create a poster! :) This is one of my favorite projects! 

Here is the link if you would like to see more about this packet! 

Thanks for joining today :)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Freebies to know about!

Isn't it great when you buy something on Teachers Pay Teachers and then use it often!? Getting the most bang for your buck is always a great thing! However, some of these amazing sellers that you are used to buying from, have some SUPER AWESOME freebies! I am always shocked by some of the amazing things I find for free on TpT! 

I want to share some love for a few of my favorite freebies that I have downloaded in the past, and find myself using all of the time! I am a little early for Valentine's Day...but maybe I can mention something you will also find useful!

Let's start with a huge THANK YOU to these sellers for having such wonderful items like these up in their store for FREE!

1. Whimsy Clips 
These freebies are great because the art can go with anything that you do in your classroom. These clip art kids are great on worksheets or letters you send home to parents. I use these a lot for little personal things in the classroom. 

2. Ashley Hughes
Write the room cards are great for all grades! All of our students have one particular thing in common: they love getting up out of their seats! This pack is great because it is ready for you to create a write the room activity whenever you need one! Whether you have all day or 5 minutes to create the activity, this pack is ready for you! I love EVERYTHING Ashley Hughes makes...but this happens to be my "most commonly used" of all of the free items I have from her! Love it!
Click here for her store

3. Lovin Lit
Figurative language is something I teach throughout the year, but it is not always easy to find stories that contain figurative language. This pack is great because if I feel like I need a little something to reinforce the figurative language skill in my class, I can just do these with my students. I can pull them up on my big screen and do them with the kids at any moment. I like this because I don't necessarily need to have copies made for each student. If I do plan ahead and have copies made, then I can use these for morning work, as assessment for my lesson, or as an early finishers assignment.

4. Jennifer Findley - Teaching to Inspire in 5th
This is my newest freebie! I just stumbled upon this recently, but I am SUPER excited to start using it! My students need all of the word problem practice they can get - and I am having a hard time thinking of so many word problems! Haha! It gets tough after a while! This resource is great, and I absolutely LOVE how she uses it in her classroom. She has the students glue the problem into their math notebooks and answer it in there. I love this idea! Thanks Jennifer!

5. My favorite freebie of my own...
I have two favorites ;) I use these sets of posters every single day! One set it great for classroom management - my students use a 1, 2, 3, or 4 to tell me what they need without me having to ask them what their question is (example, if they hold up two fingers, I know they have to use the restroom). This is helpful for management and flow of the classroom. The other set is a set of math posters. I love these because, instead of a plain set of ABC posters, these are math related in content! I also have these for sale in a Science format.

I hope you can find use for some of the freebies mentioned above! I sure love them! ;) Yay for free items! Especially after we all just spent a lot of money over the holidays...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ho Ho Holidays!

Guyyyssss! I am sooo late sharing my December Math Pack with you! However, if you are in the hunt for a few last minute activities that are educational but're in the right place! 

My kids used this pack today in class and we had so much fun! 

Welcome to Dasher's Diner and Frosty's Finds! This diner and toy shop activity is so much fun! My students loved reading the descriptions for all of the holiday-related food items! My kids spent math time today adding and multiplying decimals using the menu and the catalog to "shop" (there are printables that go with this pack, but you can also create your own activities with these items). 

A look at the covers...
(I glued the pages to a file folder, and then laminated them)

and a look inside....

My students worked in pairs to "shop" and "eat" using the item prices found in the menu or catalog. This was such a great way to review their decimal skills without boring them on this last week before holiday break! 

The pair of students below is using the catalog for Frosty's Finds...

...and now they are using the menu for Dasher's Diner!

In this pack, there are also other games like a decimal war game and a "write the room". If you have not heard of "write the room" before, it is probably because it is usually used in lower elementary grades! My sister used write the room activities with her little kinders, and I just HAD to copy because I knew my fifth graders would love an excuse to be out of their seat! 

In "write the room", students have a printable worksheet that displays different images (or other visuals), along with an answer space next to that image. They then walk around the room to find the "clues". The clues have the matching visual/image on them. When a student finds a clue, they answer the question on their paper next to the matching image. When they are done, they find a seat! I usually have something on the board for my students to do when they are done. During "write the room", some students complete their work more quickly than others. I also love to use "write the room" at a center! Then the kids at the center go back to their table when they finish and compare answers. If they disagree, they need to figure out where their mistakes are in their work (with the help of their team!).

Below you will see the write the room cards that come with the Christmas pack, and the record sheet the kids use when they walk around and show their work.

Found a clue! Working hard! 

Just a few more photos of what comes in the pack!
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's October Already!

Woah! It is already October...I can't handle time flying at this pace! I know..."Time flies when you're having fun..." but I don't even have time to have fun! 

All has caught up with me this week, though. I am home sick after trying to fight it for the week. I just kept getting worse, so now I am home to battle it with full force...and my nightstand full of items from the pharmacy! 

I was so happy to see on instagram that it is Currently time over at Oh Boy, 4th Grade! I just LOVE Farley's monthly linky, and I have been missing out on it for months! I kept finding it a few days late! I am home today, and I am ready to link up! A little late....but not so bad! haha!

My main tradition when I am sick is to watch my Friends DVDs! I have been sick since last Thursday, so...I am on Season 6! If you are a Friends lover...than you know "The One with Rachel's Sister" - that is what is on my TV right now! I just love it! Friends makes everything better! I feel like everyone has that "show" that can help them feel better when they are stuck in bed! 

The cough has been the worst part, so I have re-introduced myself to Ramen Noodles! I forgot how much I love them! I feel like I know they aren't the best option...but you can buy 6 in one pack! Hahaha! I mean, what's better than that!?

IDEAS needed!
I need some ideas from you all! My students have learned division with one digit divisors, and then partial quotients with two digit divisors. Next week we continue with division and I need some activities! I want to make this a little bit more fun for them! We will be working on division in word problems, and they will get to choose the method in which they want to solve it. Whichever works best for them! Any ideas? You can feel free to leave a link to an item of your own, or a blog post of yours, below if you have an idea I can use! Yay!

This weekend I will be out of town (I know...I neeeeeed to feel better ASAP!) so I am going to celebrate that FACT that I WILL be getting better tooodayyyy by putting all math items from my store on sale through this weekend! Yay!!! 

Click the image below to head to my store and find an item ON SALE that can work for your class! Yay! 

Be sure to read other bloggers' currently link ups by heading over to Farley's blog and checking out who else has joined! There are plenty more TRICKS and TREATS waiting for you!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Upper Elementary Snapshots Kickoff Giveaway!

I am soooo excited to be officially announcing a new collaborative blog today!  Myself and 11 other ahhhmazing upper elementary teachers have gotten together, and will be sharing ideas, tips, and resources from our classrooms.

You are officially invited to come check out...
Upper Elementary Snapshots

Come read our first few posts, and "Meet the Collaborators"

If you like us, come follow us on FacebookPinterest, and Bloglovin'

Finally, don't forget to enter our first giveaway for the opportunity to win $120 in resources!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sincerely Quinley Giveaway!

Ahhh! I am sooo jealous excited that someone gets to WIN three of these handmade bracelets by Sincerely Quinley!

I am super excited to have this giveaway...except, I can't lie...I really want to be my own winner!
...Life isn't fair, though....right?

To enter the giveaway, you'll have to do a little bit of work... ;)
If you go through the list on the rafflecopter below, you will see a few things you can do in order to better your chances of winning! You'll have the best chance of winning if you head over to your instagram account and follow
@sincerelyquinley  - the beautiful creator of these bracelets!
@littlelovelyleaders  - me!
@lifewithpeanut  - an ahhhmazingly talented mom and etsy shop owner!

If you head over and "like" my facebook page, found here, you can increase your chances even MORE!

Alright! Good luck everyone!!! I would love to hear your compliments to Quinley on these amazing bracelets - leave a comment below on this post :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Reading Corner with a "Worldly" Flair!

I love having a reading corner in my classroom. The students love to lay/sit in there when they write, edit, read, and do partner work. I actually wish my whole classroom could be this comfy! I get my best work done when I am laying on my I bet my students would get great work done if they were comfortable!

My reading corner, of course, HAS to match my classroom theme of pink, navy, and teal. However, I wanted there to be a 'worldly' flair to it because I find geography SO important. Fifth graders don't have a very good grasp on our "world" unless they have traveled with their families. I am super excited about the new items I got from Oriental Trading this Summer because I feel like they really helped me add geography to my reading corner! 

The students favorite part about the reading corner is the globe! I have more than just one, in fact, each student has one! They are inexpensive and accurate! I feel like other globes I have found that are inexpensive do not have the most accurate-looking continents, or they are not labels. These globes have so many countries and continents labeled, as well as the lines of longitude and latitude. The kids love to sit in the reading corner in the morning and afternoon when we have a few minutes of free time and look at the globe. They like to name countries and challenge their friends to "find it". Little do they know...they are learning! 

I happen to LOVE the pillows they sell at Oriental Trading. They have SO many colors and sizes. These pillows are also SUPER durable! I always have pillows that rip...and I don't know how to sew! In the past, I have sent pillows home with students and their moms have offered to sew them for me! Haha! Now, I don't have to do that! These pillows are so durable and super soft! The stuffing also keeps its shape so well... the photo above was taken after 5 weeks of school! 

The pencils I keep in my classroom are also "worldly" !! They have the many flags from around the world on them. The kids love to search around and figure out which flags they know and which they don't. When they don't know a flag, they have to research it! :) They are so curious! 

I love the items I received from Oriental Trading, and I am going to keep going back to their store for more! The kids have taken to their items even more than I had hoped! I actually see them improving their knowledge on the countries and continents they find on the globe! It is really helping them understand the "idea" of the shape and size of our world, as well as the location of many continents. They are not as abstract of thoughts anymore...the kids "get it" now! :) 

“This review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.”