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## 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:

## Wondering What the PARCC Assessment Will Look Like?

Now there is less to wonder about.  Admittedly living in disequilibrium and uncertainty all year about how students will be tested in the future, I now see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.  I perused the PARCC assessment items that are up to view.  There are now more questions up than there used to be, so now I have a better understanding of  how students will be asked common core questions.  Now I know how rigorous I need to be in my question asking of students.  I suggest you take a look to if you are one of the PARCC states.

I noticed that students are doing a lot of writing about their mathematical thinking, so it looks like math journals will come in really handy.  Also, students answer questions in which there could be more than one right answer or more than one way to arrive at the answer.  They also seem to love fraction number line questions!

Here is the site.  http://www.parcconline.org/samples/mathematics/grade-3-mathematics  Click on the grade level you want to look at.

Then click on Elementary School Tasks.

## Great Free Assessments for Each Common Core Standard K-2

We owe North Carolina another thank you for the awesome common core resources that they have helped us all with.  Now, I have discovered these common core assessments for K-2 for EVERY standard.  They are all downloadable Word document files.  Just  follow the red arrow in the picture below to know where to click for your grade level.

Below is an example of one of the second grade geometry tasks.  You could copy and paste these directly to your lesson plans.  The addition and subtraction tasks have word problems already written.  Also, I like how they provide a checklist on the side of the task so you can track students’ mastery.

It gets better!  There are black line masters to go with the tasks!

## Need Activities to Teach Counting?

I was so excited to get these unifix books that I ordered.  With there being a shortage of counting activities in our regular kindergarten textbook, I was eager to find more.  These simple and practical books for kindergarten and first grade offer several counting activities like the following:

• Shapes that students cover with cubes to see how many cubes will fill the shape.  Students count the number of cubes that fill the shape.
• Cards with a different number of shapes on them that students match to numbers cards.
• Number cards to match to plastic baggies with cubes in them.
• Games like “First to Fifty” in which students spin a number spinner to draw a certain amount of cubes to cover a board.  Students can count how many they have left to cover.

There are some other good number sense activities included also.  These are available at Didax for \$13.95.

## Decimal Number Line: Project Completed

I am posting a follow up of the lesson I co-taught with a fifth grade teacher.   The earlier post shows the number line that I made for students to model their number line after.  I had planned to have students do a different section of hundredths so that we would have a large number line from 0 to 1 tenth compiled of different students’ number lines.  I decided not to have them do different numbers than I had shown on my own number line because I saw that students were struggling with the idea of counting by thousandths in discussion before they did the task.  The whole project took about 2 days for almost all students to finish.  Below I have pictured two of the  students’ number lines that turned out well.  None of the groups quite had time to write the midpoint between two different hundredths like I have in blue….five thousandths, fifteen thousandths, twenty-five thousandths etc.  Even though students muddled through this and had a difficult time getting started, I would do this lesson over again.  I probably would spend more time examining decimal number charts first so that students would more quickly recognize number patterns to write them on a number line.  To save yourself some time if you want to build these number lines see the measurements I used in my earlier post.

Student Decimal Number Lines Counting by 1 thousandths to 1 tenth

Teacher Decimal Number Line

I just wanted to share another free common core resource with you.  Performance tasks from New York.  There are some good ones, but not  as put together as the ones from Georgia that I posted recently.  But still you can search your grade level and topic to locate good resources to teach many standards.  However, they aren’t all covered yet, but it is worth your time to look!

## Are Your Students Struggling with Ordering Decimals…Try This!

To help 5th graders understand decimals last week, I built this number line using an old roll of fax machine paper.  I measured off a little over two meters and then marked every two centimeters to put another number, so I would have room to write the numbers and for them to actually be seen.  Students don’t usually have much of a problem ordering decimals to the hundredths place because they can visualize pennies and dimes, but past that students struggle.  Also, thousandths are a bit daunting to teach…after all they don’t make “thousandths” manipulatives….at least that I am aware of.  This coming week, students are going to build their own number line between two hundredths and we are going to connect all of the number lines and put them somewhere…I am not sure where because it will be VERY LONG because 100 numbers are written on it.  Another something I did to the number line is I glued hundredths blocks down underneath the hundredths numbers, so students could see the concrete representation of these.

In case you aren’t familiar in decimal base ten block world:

a flat = 1 whole

a rod = 1 tenth

a unit= 1 hundredth

When explaining hundredths and thousandths to students I do the unthinkable.  I take a blue foam base tenth block and a pair of scissors in front of the class and SNIP a hundredth goes flying a few feet away.  This grabs students attention because #1, I just cut a holy math manipulative, and #2 something just went flying across the room for those students who may have just momentarily zoned out .  No worries, I have had tubs and tubs of these math manipulatives (oh we are calling them “tools” now) that I could build a shrine to them with lit candles.  In other words I have plenty that if I cut one it isn’t a big deal.  THEN, I take the itty bitty hundredth that I just cut and SNIP another slice goes flying.  I tell students that this slice is one thousandth.  This visual really helps students to see how tenths, hundredths, and thousandths are related.  A speck can even be cut off of the thousandth so that students can see what a ten thousandth looks like.  After I have cut all of these pieces off, I put them underneath the document camera so students can see them up close.

## Is Not Knowing This Simple Math Concept Holding Your Students Back?

Brainstorming about how to make numbers such as 1 million comprehensible to students with the new common core standards, the fourth grade planning team and I discovered a way to do just that.  We knew that we didn’t have enough thousands blocks to make ten thousand, one hundred thousand, or for sure 1 million!  So we thought about how we could do this with pictures of the blocks.  We discussed taking pictures of the thousands blocks and putting them together in picture form so that the students could actually see the blocks.  I had no idea that the pictures would turn out SO LARGE!  I’m going to hang them up on the wall with labels, but I took  some pictures with them on the floor first while I was standing on a chair.  Take a look below.

I had to put the million block through the laminator folded in half so that it would fit.  Then I cut the edges to unfold it and put it through the laminator again to laminate the back.

We often forget to ask the simple questions about these concepts.  Such as how many hundreds are in 1000.  Students can often count to “ten hundred”, but they aren’t sure if that is the same as 1000.  I ask, “Is that the same? Are you sure?”

Then I prompt students to prove it with 10 hundreds blocks up against a thousand cube.  This same idea needs to be repeated with ten thousands,  hundred thousands, and millions so that they aren’t just a words they hear that just ‘means a really large number’.

For the first time ever, I hear fourth graders able to articulate that there were 10 thousands in a ten thousand, 10 ten thousands in a hundred thousand, and 10 hundred thousands in a million.  Students understanding this concept was a result of their creating a hundred thousand with ten thousand block printables, and creating one whole class one million after taping together many students’ hundred thousands.  I recommend this exploration activity for all students who are studying place value of numbers this large.  (I wish I could share the ten thousand printable with you, but one of the fourth grade teachers I planned with made it–I don’t have a digital copy to share, I’m sorry.  It would be easy enough to make.  Just copy and paste 10 thousands cubes together)

## Can Your Students Count past 1000?

Because I  have seen no publishing companies extend number charts past 300, I developed these for my school.  These charts are extended to 1200, so that students can recognize the repeating patterns.  Most of the charts have a probing question at the bottom to help prompt discovery of patterns.  Most of the charts also start and end ten numbers before a multiple of 100 so that students are able to build understanding and find patterns before and after multiples of 100.  If you click on the link, you will be directed to TPT to get a few charts for free by clicking on the preview download!  There are over 70 pages of number charts included.

## To Teach or Not to Teach the Cent Sign?

I love it when I’m right.  The other day I was having a friendly debate with another teacher about whether or not to teach the cent sign with the new common core standards.  After all, sometimes students use the dollar sign at the same time along with the decimal point and get them confused.  I argued, however, that you still see the cent sign at times in stores , but this person argued that you don’t see the cent sign anymore…well, here you go…the cent sign at back to school time!  Seventeen cents for a spiral bound notebook.  My proof that IT IS STILL IN USE, so we still need to teach students how to read them!

I’ll let you in on my little secret.  Now beware it is a little simple and silly, but kids love silly and so my story works.

The cent sign at one time was the dollar sign’s girlfriend, but they broke up.  Then the dollar sign and the decimal point got married, so they are seen together almost always.  The cent sign got her feelings hurt when the dollar sign got married to the decimal, and so she ran away.  THE END.

Adapt and embellish the story to fit your personal style.  Now just remind your kids of this story any time they get confused about the notation of dollars and cents, and they will remember which sign to use.