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...
~@gfletchy

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

CONNECTION

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!
Enjoy