Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Cause and Effect Anchor Chart

As our school uses a fluid grouping structure, my reading class is full of PSD (funded) students, EAL students and low academically achieving students. It is sometimes a struggle to get these students motivated and interested in the class activities so I am constantly trying to find new ways to approach different topics. I have always found "cause and effect" an easy topic to teach in reading and the one that most students understand right away. This year, it was a little harder for me to get through to the students. I don't want to overload them with cause and effect and I want them to also enjoy their reading sessions. I have found numerous activities, games and online games on the internet which helped out during this unit. Above, is my anchor chart for cause and effect. Although it may not seem at a grade 5 level, it is targeted to the needs of my students with examples that are easy to read and understand.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Pirate Place Value

I found this wonderful and creative activity pack called Pirate Place Value (from Frogs and Cupcakes) and absolutely had to use it. My maths class loves to do activities and so I love making maths a "students-don't-think-they-are-learning-when-they-really-are" experience. Thus, rather than just having students do repetitious worksheets, I often use either activities or hands on learning for my lessons.

When learning/teaching place value, students should be able to represent a number in standard, expanded and word form. Here is a cute and fun activity for students to represent a number in all three ways. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Build a Number

This is a great activity to test students knowledge of place value and decimal numbers. Although a few of my students struggled with this activity, many others were able to "step up" to the challenge and took their time to work out each problem.

A really good way to have students manipulate numbers and use the same digits to create decimals and whole numbers. I will definitely use this again!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Woolworth's Teaching Decimals

At one of the EAL (English as an Additional Language) professional development workshops I attended last year, the speaker discussed how useful "junk mail" could be for teaching maths. She had us look at a flyer for a local grocery store and come up with different ways of how it could be used in our maths class. Going on this trend, I decided to use a Woolworth's flyer to create an application activity for decimal place value, addition and subtraction. 

I can always tell the success of a lesson based on the engagement level of the students in my class and throughout this activity, all students had their heads down and were working diligently with their partners. First, they were asked to find the prices of ten different items in the flyer. Next, they had to organise the items from the most expensive (number with the greatest value) to the least expensive (number with the lowest value). The third thing students had to do was purchase as many of the items as they could with a $10 budget. This required students to both add decimals to create a total and subtract decimals to see how much money was left in their budget. 

A very simple activity to create and students were able to improve their skills with ordering and comparing decimals as well as decimal addition and subtraction!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Creating 3D Shapes

As an application activity for 3D shapes, our maths class created their own 3D shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks. I was surprised with how talented my students were with quickly creating numerous 3D shapes. 

Once the students created their 3D shape, they had to identify the faces, edges and vertices of that shape. Each group had to create as many different 3D shapes as possible. This activity was extra engaging as all students were able to participate. A rich learning task where students could enter at their level allowed every student to participate and work together in a group. This task also allowed me to see which students were easily able to identify edges, vertices and faces, which students could identify them using concrete materials, and which students still needed additional help with this. 

At the end of the lesson, we were able to put our 3D shapes up on display and it was great to see how proud our students were of their work. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

I Have, Who Has - Place Value

It's been a while since I've posted something on my blog. I guess this past term has just gotten the best of me. So I have tons of items to blog about as it has been an exciting term with lots of learning. 

Here is a quick item but worked wonders! I never knew what these cards were called and always called them "I have, who has" cards. They can be used for almost any topic you want but recently a coworker told me that they are actually called "loop cards" and there are websites that you can create them on.

These loop cards were for teaching place value up to six digits with whole numbers. They required students to read the number in standard form and then read another number in expanded form. Each students has a card and when they here their number called in expanded form, they need to recognise it in standard form and it is then their turn to read out their card. Although it is a bit confusing to explain, it was an excellent diagnostic tool to see where students were with reading and recognising whole numbers up to six digits in both standard and expanded form and being able to switch between both. I highly highly recommend using these as a quick exercise to start off a maths lesson and get students ready for learning.