Saturday, February 6, 2016

Writing in a Digital World

I'm an avid believer ...
 students need to be engaged in meaningful 
and authentic
forms of writing to share their thinking 
as well as their learning!

We write to penpals. 
They LOVE when those large envelopes come in the 
"snail mail" through the office.  
Great writing lessons come from sharing how
to put ideas into a letter format....

But...thinking in today's terms...writing a letter
"on paper"
is not how many of my students are going to communicate
as they get older...

I saw a stupendous idea on Instagram this week!
Mrs. Standford has her KINDERGARTNERS 
emailing her their writing!


What an authentic form of communication!
Typing skills 
Grammar Skills 
(capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence formation)
Formal Language vs. Informal tones...

She wrote a blog post on how she created the QR code
as well as what her students are writing...
The Primary Pack

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Snowball Toss and Compare

I'm joining in with the #MBToS 2016 Blogging Initiative to try to 
improve my teaching and share some of the learning in my 
room with others...

We needed a little fun 
and a LOT of practice on comparing decimals this week.
Since we're all looking for some snow 
(not happening in the south anytime soon)
we decided to play a little Snowball Toss and Compare.

First we created a QUICK unique snowflake on a sheet of blank copy paper....
   like seriously QUICK....

Next I called out children's names and gave them a decimal to write on their paper...
for instance thirty-four hundredth...
and they were supposed to write 0.34 ....right???
well...that was a great little lesson for some...
and peer tutors stepped in to help those
that weren't sure about writing out
their decimals from word form!
Gotta love my peer tutors!

Then I modeled how to GENTLY crunch the paper
into a SOFT snowball
(cause if you wad it into a small hard ball it's harder
to pull apart and open without ripping the paper to shreds!)
...just saying!

We headed to our hemispheres in the classroom
...western and eastern for the toss...

On my count....
everyone tossed
(of course NOT at anyone ....
just a nice flying snowball arc in the air)

After I said the word GATHER....
everyone scrambled for a snowball
and met up with their "BACK TO BACK" partner.
(NOTE: I have a chart in the room with everyone's picture.
They are pre-arranged with a partner
of my choosing called their BACK TO BACK partner.
I change partners periodically,
but it gives me some sense of peace to
know they'll be getting together with someone
that will help them stay on task
and compare the numbers with fidelity.)

With partners together....
they CAREFULLY unbound the snowball
and wrote the decimals on their recording paper
to compare using <,>, or =.
Then quickly discussed how they knew
their sentence was correct or
how they could write their equation in a different way.

On my word PREPARE, students gathered back to their hemisphere spot in the room and re-crunched their snowball to prepare for another toss...

The process continues for several more comparisons with lots of cheers and enjoyment. Ahhh...a brain break with some sharing of knowledge involved.

I'm happy to report that after collecting and reviewing their recording sheets, most everyone did a great job with their comparisons! I look forward to seeing how they apply their practicing on their assessment papers.

We might not have actual snow (for a LONG while), but we did have some fun practicing for the real thing inside!

Can you think of other skills that might work for this as well?
I'm thinking multiplication of 2 digit numbers...addition and subtraction of 3-4 digit numbers...fraction comparisons....and more...

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

What's Your Word?

Not doing the New Year's Resolution thingy...
But I do want to work on some things...
So I'm choosing ONE word for 2016


I want to strive to be more connected this year...
to God
to my family
to my students
to my PLN

What's your ONE word for 2016?

Join the tribe at

Hope to connect with you this year!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Making Connections through#EdCampVoxer

If you're looking for a great way to "ease into" the 
EdCamp model of Professional Development....
#EdCampVoxer is going on right now!

Download the Voxer App

and then join in a chat for the topic that you're interested in sharing and learning more about...
You can find the different chats by using the link here to the developers of this awesome way to connect and share resources...

I've started a chat for 
"Connecting Classrooms to Share in the Learning"
Here's the link if you're interested in joining us...

There's a lot being shared on different ways to connect classrooms and share learning with other classes through 
Google Hangouts
Global Math Task Twitter Challenges

Hop over and join in the fun!
It's a great way to get an idea of how the 
EdCamp model of Professional Development works

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Crash Course ...

Christmas Break is upon us and I wanted to a minute wish everyone a 
Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays
and a 
Wonderful New Year!

Some of the things I'm thankful for this year...

amazing opportunity to connect my students with other classes around the world!
So looking forward to learning from more of you in 2016!
If you haven't had the opportunity to join in the fun yet...
take a leap of faith and jump on into the fun!

Just search for the hashtag #gmttc or #gmttc4 in the Twitter search bar.
You don't have to be signed up to play don't have to wait for your week
if you are signed up ...jump in and share when you have the chance!

Mystery Skype and Mystery Voxer are two other ways I've been able to connect my students to share their learning with others! LOVE the questioning and thoughtfulness that goes into each one of these amazing projects!

One thing I look forward to catching up on this break is 
Reading... specifically this gem of a book that I have been wanting to read all year long!
Yes it's been on my bedside table since July! and Yes...I have picked it up several times...
and NO :( I haven't stayed awake long enough to finish even one page...
But that's about to change! I love being able to relax and learn during breaks!
Anyone read or wanting to read this book?
Want to connect to share in the learning?
I've found a page of Periscope videos from a book talk the author has shared that I'd be happy to pass along to anyone that would like to listen along.

I look forward to connecting with teachers and classes more in the 
2016 year! 


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Equivalent Fractions Task Card

So I decided to take the 
Equivalent Fraction Four Corners a step further
and used problems similar to the TNReady format for fractions
to create these task cards.
You can download them HERE

If you'd like a copy of the new 
Four Corners google slide
You can see a preview and click through the google slides below.

Hope you find these useful!
My kiddos LOVE playing four corners and completing task card scoots!

Enjoy the day,

Friday, November 27, 2015

Equivalent Fractions Four Corners

I hope everyone had a MARVELOUS Thanksgiving!
I'm so thankful for a PLN that allows me to share and explore new ideas with them!

We're getting ready to delve into the concept of Equivalent Fractions the "TNReady way"...
This means learning the language and deepening our knowledge of models with equivalent fractions NOT just dividing or multiplying numerators and denominators...

Take this question for instance...

So my kiddos have to be able to identify the fraction that is shaded in the visual model...and then determine which of the listed fractions could be an equivalent fraction of this model.. 

We're having tons of fun using 4 corners as a way to practice and assess...but you could easily use the Plickers app to assess skill levels as well. I'm also working on creating a Kahoot to go along with this skill... It will be called "Equivalent Fractions with Visual Models"... 
I'm in the process of creating it now, but you should be able to access is through this LINK.

If you'd like a copy of the google slide presentation to play in your room 
This LINK should allow you to copy the presentation into 
your own google drive :)

If you've got an idea for this frazzled teacher on teaching equivalent fractions or decomposing fractions or multiplying fractions...etc...etc... 
I sure would appreciate any shares or thoughts!

Who knew fractions could be so scary and overwhelming?!?
Still learning to be fourth grade :) 
Thanks for learning along with me!