Using ThingLink to Show Mastery of Division and QR Code Variable Activity

Saturday, September 26, 2015 2 comments

I am excited to share two new activities that my students completed this week.  I have been teaching division using the standard algorithm for the past week or two.  This week we moved onto writing equations using variables to solve for the unknown.

While I was small grouping with students who needed a bit more instruction on division, I had students complete a division project using ThingLink.  This is the first time I have used ThingLink and I LOVE IT!
ThingLink has a free version for teachers.  It allows the teacher to create a group or a class.  Then you can invite students to join your group with a specific invite code.  This allows you to have all of their projects in one place.  It makes grading so easy! ThingLink is also an App for Ipads.
Before the students got started, I made sure all the students became a part of my "group" or "class".  Then I gave each student a step by step handout that explained my expectations for this project.  You can download your own copy of the handout by clicking HERE.
Here is a couple of examples of projects that were submitted by my students.

I used a rubric when grading each of the projects.  Here is a copy of the rubric.

I really loved using this tool, this week. THANKS THINGLINK!!!

I use many different activities to practice writing equations using variables.  One of my favorite ways to get students excited about writing equations is by using any of Greg Tang's books.  I used Math Appeal.  Together we use the pictures and poems to quickly count the number of items on the page.  We formulate equations together as a class and collect them in our journals.

For Example: If we were to encounter this particular picture and poem, we would formulate an equation to find the number of snails.  S= (5x5) - 3 
We would pretend that all five rows of snails have 5 snails.  Then we would subtract the 3 snails that are missing.  S=22 snails. 

Another activity I use to reinforce this skill is Mystery Beads: What's Inside?
I pre-made 13 film canisters, the dark kind you cannot see through, with a set number of beads inside. I made a recording sheet with word problems that students will use to determine the number of beads inside.  
For example: 
There are a total of 12 beads inside.  There are 4 yellow beads and the rest are blue.  Write an equation below to find the number of blue beads.  Let B represent blue.

Then students would write an equation, solve the equation and open up the film canister to reveal the number of beads inside.

I realize how hard it is to find film canisters, so I took pictures of my canisters and beads and turned them into QR codes. I like the actual film canisters best, but if you are in a pinch, just print off the activity and students can reveal the contents by scanning the QR code. HERE is a copy of the What's Inside Activity @ my TpT store! 

Next week I am working on Order of Operations and the importance of parenthesis and brackets. I would love to hear from you or see pictures of your class! Please comment below.
Peace, Love, Math-

Multiplication and Division Activites

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 No comments
Wow,  I have been busy!  The start of the school year is always so challenging.  Routines to establish, classroom management to control and not to mention, all the Math TEKS I have to squeeze in before our first major assessment.
Here are a couple of wonderful activities I have done this past few weeks.

Multiplication Detectives-  This activity has students focusing in on the standard algorithm of multi digit multiplication.  I created 12 different cards.  Each card has a multiplication problem that is incorrect.  Students work in partners to determine the error in each problem.  After wards the partners work together to solve the problem correctly.  This really allows students a chance to evaluate the process of multiplication.  To get your own copy of the Multiplication Detective handout click HERE

Multiplication Project Using PicCollage- 
Students created a PicCollage using the app on their Ipad.  PicCollage is a free app and is an amazing tool to use in classrooms.  This project had a step by step checklist that students needed to follow.  This checklist also served as my rubric. To get a copy of the project click HERE

Who Needs Division Anyway??- This activity was great and it refreshed their memory about division.  I knew they already knew how to divide, but I really wanted to slow down and have them really think about how we use division in the real world.  I put students into groups of 4.  Within these groups students were given a real world problem.  With this problem students used blocks to act out what is happening in each problem.  I did not want students to use pencil and paper, instead I wanted the groups to act out what is happening in each problem.  When students were done.  I videoed each group present or act out their situation using the blocks.  Afterwards I showed the videos to the entire class so that everyone was able to see everyone else's problem and solution. To get a copy of the division problems click HERE

This week we are doing a project on division.  We are also working on how to write equations using a variable! I look forward to sharing our awesome work next week! 
If you use any of my activities, I would love to hear from you! Please leave comments below. 

Until then.... Peace, Love and Math

Multiplication Using Literature & A Tower Made Out of Spaghetti: STEM Design Challenge

Saturday, September 5, 2015 No comments
Happy Long Weekend! I love long weekends because you get to rest and relax and there is NO MONDAY to dread.

Last week my class assessed their knowledge on interpreting graphs, started to review multi digit multiplication and constructed a tower made out of spaghetti!

Assessing Graph Knowledge:
I first called over students four at a time.  I gave each child a sheet with 9 problems that assessed their graphing knowledge.  Here is a copy of the quick check I used. We assessed stem and leaf, line plot or dot plot, and double bar graphs.  While I was "quick checking" students, the class used blendspace to watch videos and games that I had planned ahead of time.

Blendspace is amazing! You can have blendspace as a stand alone application or you can link your blendspace through your edmodo.  If you use edmodo, look at the app store in edmodo.  Blendspace is a free app and it links up your classes into the blendspace for easy sharing.  If you are using a stand alone application, then you will just share your blendspace using a url.  To learn more about blendspace visit the site:
Here is a copy of the blendspace that my students worked on while I assessed students:

After I assessed students I looked at the data and decided who needed reteaching.  While I was small grouping and reteaching this week, students worked on a Graphing Slide Show Project.  They worked on this for about 20-30min a day for 4 days. Here is a copy of the project outline.  I used this outline to also create a rubric to grade the projects with, you can access the rubric HERE.

Multiplication Using Literature:

In a previous post I wrote about my love for using literature to teach or reinforce multiplication. Reluctant mathematicians often feel more comfortable with story books than a 20 question worksheet.  We explore the math within these books, using our interactive math journals.

I have used Multiplying Menace by Pam Calvert to reinforce multiplication.  This book even hits on multiplying by fractions.   So we will revisit this book when we learn multiplying fractions with whole numbers. I have developed a board game that uses the problems in the book as a way to have fun while multiplying. 
To purchase: Click Here

I love Minnie's Diner by Dayle Ann Dodds, it allows us to focus on doubles and how quickly numbers increase as you double the numbers. Next we explored how quickly numbers increase as we triple them.
To purchase: Click Here

Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar by Anno is fascinating to read with students.  I love how it explores factorials, on a level 5th grade students can understand.  It actually shows how fast numbers can grow when multiplying using tiny dots.  This is always a favorite in my class.  To purchase: Click Here

STEM Design Challenge

On Friday, we completed our first STEM design challenge! I love doing these challenges because it allows everyone to be successful.  The students also learn how to work as a team.  This week we built spaghetti towers that can support the weight of a large marshmallow. 

Here is a copy of the slide show with directions.   Students had 25 minutes to build the largest tower.  

Next week: We will assess multiplication for reteaching purposes and move onto division.

I would love to hear from you! Please post comments below if you use any of these activities or books in your class! 

Until next week, Peace Love and Math!