Guess What We're Learning About In Math ...

Monday, April 28, 2014

The first day after a long Easter break is done, and I'm exhausted!  Can we start counting down til summer holidays yet? 

This week in math, my Grade 4 class will be attacking perimeter and area.  As soon as I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I had to put it on my classroom door.  Doesn't it catch your attention?

It's a little hard to see in the photo, but on the outside blue trim, I wrote "Perimeter is the distance around a 2D object". I think my students will benefit from this visual.

I'd love to hear about your favourite perimeter and area activities.  Please share!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

After trying and trying and trying some more, I think I might have figured this post signature thing out. What is easy-peasy to one person is NOT easy-peasy to all.  I guess this is how some of my students feel at times.  A good reminder to not assume and slow down when introducing new concepts.

Back To School

Easter break is over and it's back to school tomorrow.  I am excited to try this little math review activity from with my kids.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Have a fantastic Monday!

Alberta Map Work

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My students finished their Alberta maps before Easter holidays. 

Step 1
 - Make a wooden frame.  Ok, get your hubby to make a wooden frame. :)
The triangle piece is separate.

Step 2 - Cover all the wood with tin foil.  I tried wax paper and plastic wrap before settling with tin foil.  I like that I left the tin foil bumpy along the longer side of the triangular piece.  When the Plaster of Paris dries, it looks like the rugged Rocky Mountains.

 Step 3 - Pour Plaster of Paris into frame.  It sets pretty quick, so don't mix too much up at once.

 Step 4 - Plan, Etch, and Paint!

 Step 5 - Finished map with compass rose and legend.

The kids really enjoyed this project.  I had students working in groups of 2, which was successful.  My one group of 3 had a trickier time painting the map at the same time.  I decided to do this project after the students had studied the six geographical regions of Alberta.  Maybe it would be a good introduction project next time?

Liebster Award

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Thank you to The Purple Teacher for nominating me for the Liebster award. Since I'm a new blogger, I was a perfect candidate.  Now you get to learn a bit more about me. 

Here are the 11 questions Purple Teacher asked me and my responses:

1 - When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?  What made you pursue this career?

Ok.  This is any easy starter question.  Both my parents are retired teachers/principals, so I had wonderful examples to follow.  I have very fond memories of playing school with my two sisters.  I think I was a bossy teacher back then. :)

2 - What is your proudest moment as a teacher?

I love hearing from former students.  I'm always happy and proud when I get a wedding invite.  To me, that's pretty special.  

3 - What is one tip you would give new teachers today?

Don't reinvent the wheel!

4 - What's the best TPT resource you have ever purchased?

This is a tough one.  I LOVE TpT and there are a lot of amazing resources available! I found this adorable clipart last fall and used it as my inspiration when I decorated my classroom. Check it out: Autumn Garden Clipart

5 - Describe your teaching style.

I'm all about engagement!  I've done a lot of training with Kagan, as well as Tribes and Instructional Intelligence, and I'm slowly working on my WBT certification.  I like to keep my students moving with interactive and fun activities.  If I'm bored planning the lesson, then chances are the kids will be, too.

6 - If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I grew up in Saskatchewan and moved to southern Alberta after attending university in North Dakota.  I love the prairies!  Now that I have a family of my own, I appreciate that we are close to relatives.  I've always dreamed of taking 6 months to a year off from teaching and moving the family to Europe to live and learn.  Maybe when my kids are a bit older.

7 - What is your favourite meal?

I'm not a fan of eating out, so my favourite meal would be something that I make myself. I'm more of a dessert person, so I always make sure I leave room for the sweets at the end.  

8 - If you had a magic lamp, what would you wish for?

A permanent contract!!  I have had to give up two permanent contracts with two different school districts in my career, and now I'm starting over AGAIN.  I would love the security of a permanent full-time contract.  I think I'm dreaming for this year though.

9 - What is your favourite colour and why?

I had a student ask me this just the other day.  I colour-code the clothes in my closet (please don't judge) and blue and black are pretty prominent.

10 - Who is your inspiration?

My kids. 

11 - What motivated you to start a blog?

3 Reasons: 

1) I thought writing a blog would be a good way to document activities I've done with my students.
2) I like that a blog challenges me to come up with new teaching ideas that I can share with my followers (yep, all 3 of them).
3) And if it helps with my TpT sales, that would be a bonus. :)

11 Random Facts About Me:

  • I do not own a coffee maker because I don't drink coffee.
  • I graduated high school with pretty much the same 12 kids I started Kindergarten with.
  • I love Disneyland!
  • I am NOT a morning person.
  • I am a middle child.
  • My first teaching assignment was Grade 9, even though I had interviewed for the Kindergarten position.  I ended up teaching junior high for eight years.
  • I wish I could whistle with my fingers.
  • I love Nicholas Sparks' books.
  • I could spend my entire summer eating raspberries and strawberries.
  • I am working on Project Life.  This is the third time I've scrapbooked a 365 album.
  • I went through 2 labours with absolutely no painkillers.  Not even a Tylenol.
Thank you to The Purple Teacher for this opportunity!

Get Crackin'

Friday, April 11, 2014

I forgot to post this activity from yesterday's math class.  Each plastic egg had a long division
problem that the students had to solve.  A little more exciting than a worksheet, I think.

Check out my TpT Store for this product:

Derek Whitson Visits!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

We were so lucky to have Derek Whitson visit the school today and show off his bronze medal from the Sochi Paralympics.  His girlfriend visited the school back in February before they left for Russia and gave us a crash course on sledge hockey. We asked her if she'd bring Derek to the school after the Paralympics with his medal, and she did!  He gave an inspiring talk about overcoming obstacles and working hard towards your goal.  We were very lucky he was able to stop by!

I was surprised at how big and heavy the medal was.

Division Fun!

This is sooo much better than a worksheet:

I punched the numbers from foam sheets and kept them coloured-coded so it was easier for the kids to find what they needed.  We used a bendy straw for the division symbol.  I thought it was cute to see some kids using pencils and erasers for the subtract symbol, bring down arrow, and subtraction line.

A Remainder of One

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

My Grade 4 students were introduced to long division a few days ago.  I found this little gem at the public library and shared it with them to help explain the concept of remainders.

My Grade 4 students were introduced to long division a few days ago.  I found this little gem at the public library and shared it with them to help explain the concept of remainders.  As we read about Joe's bad luck with his army troop, the students showed the different long division statements on a simple handout I put together.

Spring Is In The Air

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Mother Nature finally decided to smarten up today.  We hit a high of 24, and I was in heaven.  I took full advantage of the nice weather with my students, too.  First thing in the morning we headed outside for a little hopscotch with a math twist.  Before class, I drew several hopscotch designs on the playground pad and filled in the spaces with division and multiplication facts.  I had the students partner up.  One person hopped through and said the answer out loud.  The other person checked and helped if needed.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did.  Towards the end, I gave the students a challenge to see how quickly they could scoot through one of the hopscotches.  They loved this!

Next time I might have the students create their own hopscotch


Monday, April 07, 2014

I am beyond frustrated at the moment.  It is after midnight, and I have just wasted at least 90 minutes tonight and a couple hours last night trying to spruce up my webpage.  I tried to switch the background and header.  Nothing seemed to work right.  I ended up going back to a standard layout.  It's ok.  For now.

I need to keep this in mind ...

Check It Out!

Friday, April 04, 2014

I love finding great blogs by accident.  I came across Performing in Fifth tonight, and I think you might want to check it out, too.

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