### Save \$5 at Educents

Happy September!  Here is a fabulous September giveaway to help you get going with your instruction in the new school year!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Prize: \$25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher),

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 9/16/16and is open worldwide.

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## What do you see? A Freebie?

I have been missing in action from my blog lately.  Hopefully this will make it up to all of you faithful followers 🙂 !  I have been working on this packet of addition fact lessons that I used with intervention groups all last year with much success.  The lower students really seemed to enjoy the thinking aspect of these lessons.  I have been working on putting this into a format that is cute enough to post.  Because I have been working on the whole packet for months, I thought I would give you a free preview sample in the meantime.  I will be posting the whole packet soon for sale.  Without further adieu, here is the Freebie!  I hope you enjoy using it!

Thanks to Winchester Lambourne for the spooky eyes clip art!

## Free Fraction Cards for Tonight Only!!!

I just finished these fraction cards per request to go with a Decimal Wall Number Line I have in my TPT store.  The cards include halves, fourths, thirds, fifths, sixths, eighths, tenths, and hundredths.  They are free for tonight only.  They are pointy so that they can precisely point to a number on the Decimal Number Line.  Just click the picture to be taken to the freebie.

Below is a sample of the Decimal Number Line that I made the cards to match…

Oh, my gosh!! I have wanted to post about this forever, but when I taught the lesson, I didn’t think to take pictures.  Well, here arose the opportunity when a 5th grade teacher wanted me to do this lesson with her class.

First it was all out WAR with the copy machine when I shrunk a larger clock face to smaller clocks to make this original.  I wanted to have smaller faces so I could give them several and not waste paper.  Plus I wanted to use colored paper.  I shrunk the larger face to about 60% on the copier.  Fifty percent was too small.  I wanted the faces to be large enough for the kids to still be able to easily see the tiny marks around the sides of the clock.

I copied a class set of these on 3 different colors of paper.

First we discussed how many minutes were included in one hour on the clock face…Sixty of course.  Then I had the kids tell me how many minutes were in half of a clock face or half an hour…too easy…30 minutes!  Each time we found a fraction on the clock face, I had students label it with the fraction and with the amount of time.

Next, I asked them how many minutes were in a fourth of a clock face.  To see what kids knew, I didn’t allow them to raise their hand or blurt out.  I really wanted to know what each child thought.  I had them write the minutes they thought were in a fourth on the back of the clock face and then cover it with their hand–so no cheating ;).  This gave me a quick assessment of the class.  Before students drew lines on the clock face for fourths, we discussed where to draw these lines so there were equal pieces.  Fifteen minutes are in ¼ so students drew a line from the center to the 12,3,6, and 9.  Then they snip, snip, snipped on the lines to make pull apart fraction pieces.

Now, for one that doesn’t work out quite so nicely–thirds.  How can you split up 60minutes into 3 even sections?Hmmm…students gave me answers ranging from 10 to 60 when they did secret answers on the back of the pink clock face.  I wrote down the ranges of answers that students gave me on the board.  We weeded out the wrong answers as a class by justifying why the wrong answers couldn’t be right–this way the mathematical practices were involved.  Several students, however, were easily able to tell me 20 minutes and reasoned that 3 sections of 20 minutes would be able to fit in the clock face.  We discussed again where to cut the clock face so that the sections would be equal.

Below are all of the clock faces together….I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE colored paper

Then I started posing problems to the kids, so they could use their clock pieces as manipulatives.  The picture below shows what the kids had on their desk when I asked them to show me how many minutes 2/4 of an hour was–EASY 30 minutes.

How many minutes is ¾ of an hour?  Just look at the clock pieces to see how many.  Below is a simple sheet I gave students to do as guided practice to make sure they were following along while we discussed their clock faces.

Yes, I do quick smileys (although usually with a pen) on every single one students get right as I walk around the room.  I do this for two reasons.  1.  It gives students a boost if I ask them to fix something.  They don’t feel defeated because they got so many right and only a few were wrong.  2.  This saves me time from grading papers later because I can tell which ones I have already checked.

To make students think outside the box, I also changed the size of the whole.  For example, students had to find ⅔ of 45 minutes.  This tripped up most students who were used to figuring out ⅔ of 60 minutes/the whole circle.  Hmmm…if I think about 45 minutes in thirds, I can use three of the fourths pieces.  Now these fourths pieces turn into thirds because three of them now make the whole of 45 minutes.  If two of them are chosen then that makes ⅔.

Finally, students will tuck their fraction clock pieces away behind fraction notes in their journals for safe keeping.  We taped envelopes down in journals for this.  Most kids are able to do this on their own, however, some are not as self sufficient as one would hope in 5th grade.

A little more about this lesson… I gave each student a large white sheet with the three clocks (my original copy shown way above) for them to figure out other fractions of a clock such as twelfths or fifths.  Students also did two word problems following the easy guided practice sheet.  Those are not pictured.  Here is the FractionClockConversions guided practice sheet shown above.

Updated 2-19-2016:  Here are the detailed lessons for sale on TPT for \$3.  These include lesson plans, small printable clock faces, worksheet practice, and word problem practice.

## Fill In Decimal Number Charts. Could This be the Answer?

Ok!  So I won’t lie!  I have struggled with the next teacher.  Kids just fumble through decimals like there is a missing link. You try to have them do number lines, and they give you blank stares.  You give them card sorts.  They jumble all the cards up in the wrong order.  They tell you the wrong answers almost always.  There MUST be another way!!  Well, 1 year later, I have finally put the pieces together.

Why can’t kids compare decimals?  They are just numbers that follow a pattern with DOTS in them no less!

Have we ever stopped to look at the patterns that are formed when decimals are put in order.  Have we stopped to reason about why the zeros drop off the ends of the numbers and they have the same value?

In kindergarten, first, and second grade, we have it somewhat figured out.  For three years, students spend time counting and looking at patterns, and building numbers–for THREE YEARS.  THEN BOOM!  All of a sudden, they are supposed to draw their own conclusions about how to compare and round numbers that are abstract to them in 5th grade.  So students  CAN build decimals “reasoning about their size”, but where is the repetition that we give students in primary grades so that they can draw their own conclusions about the patterns.  There is no counting standard that I can find…but maybe I just missed the standard or maybe I am just going on a rant here.

Anyway, I think students struggle with decimals, because we don’t give kids anything to hang their learning on…they have no foundation!  I made some decimal number charts last year, but never really used them in depth.  This year I made some fill in charts thinking this would solve the problem of students’ glassy eyed look when learning about decimals–AND NO…I’m not even talking about the kids on meds!!  I really think that this is the problem…they need the foundation of counting before they can reason about decimals and move on to comparing, rounding, and ordering.

Because you are reading this, you obviously care about your students.  You most likely wouldn’t be on the computer during your down time looking for materials for your kids.  I am going to give you a few of the pages I made for FREE just because you care.

More charts are included than this single picture below.

I am also going to tell you about the pack of number charts I made that may help you even further.  There are number charts for each section of decimal numbers counting by hundredths and thousandths.  There is also a decimal number chart that counts by thousandths that is small enough to glue in students’ journals.  Not only that, there are small number charts the same size as a base ten block that will help students put the concrete together with the abstract counting numbers as they place blocks on top of the charts.  You can see a bit more below:

## Counting by 1’s and Counting by 10’s Freebie!

This week, I was helping our kindergarten teachers gather some resources to teach counting by 1’s and counting by 10’s.  I made these simple blank number charts that the kids could use with unifix cubes when counting.  Because the vertical lines on the number chart for counting by 10’s are missing, this prompts students to group their blocks into a stick of ten for counting groups of ten.  The squares are ¾ of an inch so they fit exactly with a snap cube or unifix cube.  The counting by 10’s mat is made to fix ten unifix cubes exactly as well.

I am sharing these sheets for counting by 1’s and counting by 10’s with you (freebies)

counting by 1’s mat

Counting by 10’s

Click here for the Counting By 1’s and Counting By 10’s Mat

## Save Time Teaching Time! (and two freebies!)

I have to share what I have been working on with you all!  I have been working at home on this for months.  I finally finished my Telling Clock Time Lesson Plans and Activities Unit!  I’ve been putting together all of the lessons I have used to teach time that have been tried by the fire of struggling learners.  I will have to say by far it is the best thing I have posted on Teachers Pay Teachers yet!  This is definitely the product for you if you are busy and teaching 2nd or 3rd graders about time.

Many of the lessons have links to videos or book suggestions…

There are 3 differentiated levels of small time booklets for students to fill out.  There are lots of other differentiated lessons, too!

To teach elapsed time, there are directions for building a linear clock.  You can read more about the linear clock here.

There are card sorts, games, and center activities.  This card sort is a freebie!

AM PM Sort Blog Freebie

There are suggestions of ways to teach that will help steer students away from misconceptions about clock time.

And there are clock labels for your classroom clock…

Clock Labels Freebie

And so much more!

And that’s not even all that’s included!

You can find out more about the time unit here.

I am putting this unit on sale for two days–Monday, November 11th through Tuesday, November 12th–at half price…so scoop it up while the sale lasts!

## I Met My New Favorite Math Hero!!!

I just came back from the SDE conference in Chicago this week and I got to see some famous teachers on my trip.  I met three famous TPT bloggers and one author.  I found it so fun to see what the bloggers’ personalities are like behind their pictures.  I saw Cara Carroll from the First Grade Parade who had a very good session about fun math activities you can do in your classroom and how to organize math centers.  She is very high energy, bouncy, witty, and fun.  Her loud personality transforms an entire room.

Then I saw Abby Mullins from the The Inspired Apple.  Her personality is sweet and precious.  I was so impressed with her attention to detail as she gave all of us in her session a pack of sticky notes, an adorable business card, and the most precious apple cookies that her mother made!  So cute! Her presentation was adorable as well with beautiful backgrounds.  Everything she touches seems to be as cute and creative as she is.  I really enjoyed her ideas about how to preview a book and label ideas with different colored sticky notes before you write a lesson plan.  For example, use blue stickies to write numeracy ideas down or green to write hands on learning ideas to help incorporate math or science etc. into your lessons.

It crumbled a little in my bag, but the cookie was still yummy.

And who could leave out Erin Klein from Kleinspiration.  I actually was on the elevator twice with her all alone.  I did say, ” Oh!  I recognize you from your blog.”  That is as far as I got.  I was too shy to tell her I blogged too.  She seems so smart and has like eleventy billion followers, and I guess I was thinking I’m like a small gnat in the blogosphere?  Erin seems just like her picture too…sweet and smart! Anyway Erin’s session was so inspiring!  I learned about flipped learning where you video yourself teaching the lesson and have an extra self to help kids stay on task.  I love the idea of having a cloned self!!  She also demonstrated all kinds of cool tech gadgets like the Live Scribe Pen that records whatever you say when you write and Sifteo Cubes like digital legos.

Now for MY NEW MATH HERO…(long pause with bated breath)…so exciting…I must say it one more time….SO EXCITING!  Here’s a clue…

You guessed it!  I met Greg Tang, got my picture made with him, and he even autographed my Grapes of Math book!  See!

I’ve always admired his books…remember my door decorated with the Grapes of Math?

Greg (yes, we’re on a first name basis *wink*) challenged my thinking for sure!  Greg doesn’t come from the school system educational world and is not a “teacher” although he has worked with kids at schools on many occasions.  He is SO smart…a Harvard graduate with a common sense education perspective and hilarious dry humor.  He takes VERY few rabbit trails in his presentations and is a very no nonsense kind of guy.  Greg says that if a task is daunting, break it apart into chunks to make the task smaller.  With everything in life this principal works.  He says that we make math too difficult (agreed).  Again he says that kids learn math when they learn patterns…so true!  We as teachers don’t show them enough patterns so that students see all the connections among different math concepts.  My favorite part of Greg’s presentation is when he showed us how regrouping relates to all the measurement concepts…not just adding/subtracting.

If you have the opportunity to hear him, make sure you take it!  You will learn mountains and your thinking will be changed!

Oh,  in case you don’t know, all of his books are animated on his website, AND all of his worksheets and games are free on there too!

Like I said…my new math hero!

## Free Math Common Core Tasks

I just ordered these Battista books to help implement the common core math standards for each grade level at school.  To my delight, the books list a link to extra free resource tasks!  There is a book for place value, multiplication and division, fractions, geometric measurement, and addition and subtraction, hence there are FREE resources for all of these.

These free tasks are at Heinemann, the publisher’s website.  To access the free resources, first click on the book icon of the topic you are interested in.

Next click on the link that says “companion resources”.  This will take you to all of the free tasks for that particular math book.

Here is a sample of one of the tasks:

## A Branching Unit–with a Makeover!

I’m so thankful for a summer vacation and the beautiful weather we have been having.  Usually it is so hot and humid this time of year, but the weather has been so mild and beautiful compared to recent years.    Yesterday was really my first day out that actually felt like a vacation.  I have been going to trainings and working on our district’s pacing guide.  With all of that said, I spent yesterday doing the finishing touches on a branching unit I had posted previously on TPT.  One of my summer goals is to improve some of the items, which I feel need a makeover that are posted in my store.  I am so much more proud of this unit now.  I included some of the fun branching templates that a co-teacher and I devised to make branching and our hallway more fun which weren’t there before!  I hope that those of you who have already downloaded this item enjoy using these materials even more now.  Last summer was the first summer I got REALLY serious about selling on TPT, and in this year I have learned so much–from fellow bloggers, from TPT, and from my customers.

I am also considering doing a whole new makeover for my blog…hopefully to be coming soon :)!

Below I have posted pictures of my new and improved branching unit which I used when teaching my third grade class several years ago.  The new part is the templates that we used to decorate our hallway with ‘branching trees’, more detailed teacher notes, student word problems, and I included some scaffolded practice for struggling students to group their tens and ones.  I have posted a sample of some of the student sheets that you can try out for free.  When you click below, the link will take you to my store where you can download the free preview.