Financial Literacy Featuring Animoto!

Saturday, November 21, 2015 No comments
Happy Thanksgiving BREAK!!!!

I want to highlight a special technology tool that I love to use in the classroom! ANIMOTO!!! If you have never seen an Animoto, it is a music video made with text and images.  This week, during enrichment time, my students made a music video to explain the financial literacy terms that we have been learning over the past couple of weeks.  Here are a couple of their videos that they made for this project:

My kids LOVE to use Animoto and it is very user friendly.  Here are some tips to using Animoto in the classroom:

1. Make sure you sign up for the FREE EDUCATOR Animoto! That's right FREE!!!! Here is the link to get your free version of Animoto! It says apply, but really, if you are an educator, you will receive a promo code for a free year of unlimited videos!

2. Make your Animoto account have an easy user name and password.  This will allow students to sign in to your Animoto and create their own videos.  For example: make your user name your last name, then make your password, Password.

3.  When students log onto your Animoto account, have students save their name as the title of their video.  This will allow you to find their work, and grade it accordingly.  Students can save their work and come back another day and work on it some more.  We only have 30 minutes a day for enrichment time, so this feature is awesome.  It allows the students to save and then pick up where they left off the next day.

4.  Talk with your students about behavior and being considerate of other's work.  Since the students are all using the same account, they can technically delete other students' work.  This has never happened to me, and I have used Animoto for three years.  I always tell the students that if they like Animoto and want to keep using it, they will need to respect other's work.

5. Create a rubric! Make sure to tell the students exactly what you expect in their finished project.  It is easy to get swept up in all the cool things Animoto does, and students can forget what and why they are actually doing the Animoto.
Here is a copy of my Financial Terms Animoto Rubric

I would love to hear new ideas on how to use Animoto in the classroom! If you already use it, please comment below and tell me how you love to use Animoto!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Peace, Love, Math-

Types of Taxes, Gross and Net Income and Multiplication of Decimals using Models

Friday, November 13, 2015 No comments
Happy FRIDAY!!!
It is almost time for Thanksgiving break! I know I can't wait to rest and recharge.
This week I signed my students up for a computer game, Prodigy.  My students LOVE this game! You can set assignments, differentiate grade levels and it is ALL FREE!!! There is a paid version for students but it is not necessary.  Every thing for the teacher is FREE!!! The game provides them with questions, and even allows them to use aids such as base ten blocks or markers to help them solve the questions. If you would like to check it out here is the link!  Let me know what you all think about it!

I started out the week with Types of Taxes.  In our state, the standard calls for all students to understand these four types of taxes, property, payroll, income and sales tax.  I first had students research and define each type of tax.  We then put our definitions on to a Padlet.  From those definitions, we developed our own definition.

Afterwards we played a Kahoot which I developed to help reinforce the definitions.   One thing I have learned is when playing Kahoot, kids often focus more on being on the leader board and answering too fast in order to make that happen.  More times students are wrong when really they knew the answer.  So I started Hands Up Kahoot.  Students will put their hands up in the air while I read the question fully.  Then I will allow them to answer the question.  

The next day we focused on Gross Income and Net Income.  I used an activity which allows students to draw a Gross income card and then draw three payroll tax cards.  In addition to payroll taxes, I also included medical insurance.  I used a paycheck that I found on the internet from, you can see the citation for that at the bottom of the paycheck.  I laminated the paychecks so that students could use dry erase markers in order to practice.  I put the gross incomes in one cup and payroll taxes in another cup.  If you would like to do this in your own classroom click HERE for the cards and blank paycheck.  

On Wednesday we had a major science exam so students played prodigy when they were done.  
On Thursday, we started with multiplying decimals by wholes.  I first had each student use base ten blocks to make 0.36, then we journaled what it looked like.  They sit in groups of 4, so we took each person's 0.36 and put them altogether (0.36 x 4). We drew all the tenths and hundredths we had.  We then exchanged 10 hundredths for a tenth etc.  We looked at the repeated addition and carried that over to multiplication.  We repeated this same situation with another decimal, 0.28, but this time two groups got together, so there was 8 different 0.28s.  This was wonderful to see how students used their place value knowledge to exchange tenths for whole and hundredths for tenths etc.  It was easy for the students to see how this related to the repeated addition and then to the multiplication.  

On Friday we investigated tenths times tenths, for example 0.9 x 0.6  
We used grids and blue and yellow crayons to show the intersecting hundredths is the answer.  Students practiced this using an activity that had QR codes for self assessment.  I like to use the blue and yellow, in order to count the green squares. 

HERE is the activity with QR codes. 

I would love to hear from you all and hear what you all do to tackle this in your classroom! Please comment below! 

Until next week, 
Peace, Love, Math-

Adding and Subtracting Decimals Using Simple Budgets and Rounding Decimals!

Saturday, November 7, 2015 No comments
Hello Everyone!
The last two weeks have been very crazy.  If you were not able to catch my webinar, check it out HERE for the next 90 days or so.  It was so fun doing this webinar with Google For Education!
Every year, during the last week of October, we take our kids to Camp Grady Spruce at Possum Kingdom Lake.  This is an amazing experience and teaches the kids so many science skills that cannot be brought into the classroom.  It also allows us a chance to get to know our kids in a non-academic setting! We hike, ride horses, canoes and learn how to shoot an arrow.

So when we came back from camp, we moved onto Rounding Decimals! We journaled how to round decimals and then the next day we played a game.  This is a game I saw on the internet that I modified to meet my needs and my TEK standard.  Here is a copy of the handouts: Handout Place Value Mat

I quick checked the students a little differently this time.  Instead of calling them over one by one and observing the student, I decided to create a Google Form and have all students quick check at the same time.  I was so glad that I chose to do this! The kids did well and the process took a fraction of the time! Thanks to Flubaroo, which is a Google Sheets Add-On, grading was done in seconds.  I have students complete the work on paper and then answer on the Google Form using the chromebook.  

Our next focus was on Adding and Subtracting Decimals, which I taught while also focusing on Balancing a Simple Budget.  We took quick notes on how to add and subtract decimals and then students took home an interview for their homework.  Students went home and interviewed their families about Budgets.  Here is a copy of that interview
The next day we used Padlet to collect thoughts from every interview.  

The next few days were spent working with budgets, income and expenses.  Another activity we used was a hands on way of figuring out how many hours a person would need to work in order to pay for three different expenses. 
I had two cups, one was a job cup and one was an expenses cup.  Students would pick one job and three expenses.  They would need to determine the least amount of work hours needed in order to balance their budget. 

You can buy all the cards and recording sheets, by visiting my Teachers Pay Teachers store: Income and Expenses- Working With A Simple Budget

Next Week: Gross and Net Income, Types of Taxes and the Start of Multiplying Decimals! 

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Peace, Love, Math-