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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:

## Teaching 3 Dimensional Solids?

Check the trash first!  Whenever teaching  dimensional solids, I look around the school building for large boxes that may be thrown out.  Especially in the teacher workroom, there are always bulletin board paper boxes, toner boxes etc. that are being thrown away.  This is where I have found some of the best trash for treasure pieces for my 3D solids collection.  When I have found one, I wrapped it in colored bulletin board paper with the name on each one to help students have a constant visual of prism pieces.  At the time I teach solids, I also have the students bring in items they find at home that may be prisms, cubes, spheres, or other solids.  They relish sharing their found items with the class.  When they share them with the class, they must ask the students how many faces, edges, and vertices there are.  Students get extra credit for bringing in solids.  The best solid that I ever had a student bring in was an almost perfect triangular pyramid made out of rock! Below are pictured my recycled trash 3D solids.

## How Can You Reach Parents During Family Night?

When looking for items to place at a table during family night for parents, I stumbled across some great info already made on a website.  I took this info, and copied and pasted it into Microsoft Word with some cute fonts and borders.  I would offer you my final product here, but I would be infringing on copyright.  I will give you the links I used instead.

Math Help Tips

Helping with Homework

Why Math Looks Different to Parents than When They Grew Up

And there is even a power point that you can play for parents–ready made!

See isn’t this great!

## Do You Need an Idea for Family Math Night?

As promised, here are a few snapshots of our Family Math Event/100th Day of School Celebration!

Students built number bonds with Legos, and got to take a few Legos home!

Students built 10 groups of 10 to make 100 with different small food items.  This was one of kids’ favorites since food was involved!

As you can see in the picture above, this is one of the staff members that dressed up like she was 100 years old.  She said she got her whole outfit at Good Will for \$4 with the exception of her wig from Party City.

Students played Race to 100 on the 100′s chart with dice.  They rolled and added the number that they rolled each time on their 100′s chart.

Double dice subtraction is a game idea taken from the Georgia Department of Education resources.

How creative!  This teacher made a multiplication/division edition of chutes and ladders complete with spinner.  Kids loved this activity.

Kids flocked to this booth where they made chocolate chip cookie dough.  Students mixed up the dough in a gallon baggie to prevent mess.  The math was in the measuring cups fractions.  They had to figure out how many small measuring cups to use in lieu of the larger cup sizes.  For example, if the recipe calls for a cup and a half of flour, how many times will you have to fill a 1/4 measuring cup?

We can’t forget the Estimation Station!  The closest guesser got to go home with the jar including candy!  We gave away five jars.

One of my personal favorites…maybe because it was my idea , is the 100 scavenger hunt.  Students had to find index cards hidden around the cafeteria.  Each card had an equation, but only some of the equations equaled 100.  If the equation made 100, students could then bring it to the scavenger hunt booth for a prize.

Students used different fruits and vegetables to equal up to a pound in this next picture after first estimating.

At the probability booth students used fractions to predict the chances of landing on a variety of spinners.  Students got to take home their own spinners.

We also had a technology table where students got to play math games on our schools mini laptops.

Moe’s Southwest grill kindly donated tortilla chips for us to have nachos!  And, the church next door to our school kindly donated lemonade!  We also got plastic sacks donated to us from a nearby restaurant so that students had a bag in which to place all of their take home math activities.

The kids went home with smiles!

## My Favorite Fraction Tools

I wanted to share with you these new tools that I ordered for this year.  I knew that we would be studying a lot of fractions, and we only had the linear models for a class set.  Normally, when introducing fractions I start out with whole sheets of colored paper and have students cut them apart into halves, thirds, fourths, and so on.  Then students can lay these pieces of paper on each other to find equivalent fractions.  While this has value for students understanding that fractions are parts of a whole (piece of paper), students tend not to cut them out perfectly, so their equivalence investigation is a bit skewed.  Because of this I move to manipulatives for the equivalence investigation, but again, I only had tools that were linear models…so here is what I ordered…  Foamy fraction squares!

What is even better than the fact that they are brightly colored and quiet?

They are exactly the same size as a base ten block!  This makes teaching decimal equivalents so much easier!  I know the shadow makes the base ten block look larger but, they really are the same size.

See!

Students can easily see that one-half equals five-tenths, one-fifth equals two tenths, and one tenth equals ten hundredths.

I ordered a class set of these from EAI education here.  I promise I make no money from telling you about these, but they make teaching fractions so much easier.  Every teacher who has used them loves them!

## Family Math Night…I’ll keep you posted!

I’m planning for another Family Math Night.  This time since the 100th day of school is the day after math night.  Because of this, I am incorporating our 100th day celebration along with Family Math Night.  I’m thinking about doing some fun things like…maybe a 100 scavenger hunt.  I am going to hide signs around the cafeteria which are equations that equal 100.  The catch is that some of them won’t equal 100.  Students who find the equations that equal 100 will get a prize.  I’ll keep you updated and be sure to post some pictures of all of the activities and ideas I have as they come to fruition!

## How Big is Your Kiss?

I know no one is probably looking for Valentine’s Day lessons yet, but I redid my cute little Valentine lesson “How Big Is Your Kiss”.  This will be my momentous tribute to working over the Christmas break.   This is my favorite lesson to do at Valentine’s Day.  Kids kiss a piece of grid paper with Vaseline on their lips, and then measure their kiss.  This looks SO cute, too, when you hang it in the hallway with all of your kids lip prints.  See the lesson below.

## Could the Thousands Blocks in Your Classroom Be Causing a Misconception?

Students who struggle with number sense aren’t sure how many 10′s are in 100, how many 100′s are in 1000 and so on.  Because of this I work on this skill often with students in my intervention groups.  On more than one occasion, I have found that students even as old as fifth grade have a misconception about the thousands block.  Now that we have math tools made from plastic instead of the vintage wood ones, some students are confused when they lift the thousands block.  They realize the plastic thousands block is hollow, so when I ask them how many hundreds are in a thousand, they count the sides and say six.  I have to correct them and have them just stack the hundreds blocks until they are the same size.  Then they realize that 10 hundreds make 1000.

## Integrate Math and Literacy for a Halloween Costume!

For our fall carnival, we dressed up like a book character.  Me being the math coach, I wanted to incorporate literacy AND math.  I decided to become “The Greedy Triangle.”  The librarian says that kids LOVE this book.

I looked everywhere for cardboard large enough to make a human sized triangle and finally found some in the storage room–chart paper boxes.  The bottom of the triangle is as large as the box.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to be equilateral like the true Greedy Triangle.  I’m isosceles, but that leads to some great geometry discussion with kids!

I covered my front and back triangle with yellow bulletin board paper.  Then I made the mouth eyes and nose with white and colored paper, and just glued it onto my front triangle.  I just drew the eyes and nose and mouth free handed, and outlined them with marker.  I folded the eyes in half so I would have a symmetrical shape.  The cheek circles I made by tracing a round cup.  A teacher next door helped me staple the yellow ribbon, which I had at home, to the two triangles.  The costume fits over my head like a sundress.  Underneath as you can see I wore black tights a black cotton T-shirt and skirt  which I already had.  I would say this whole project took me one hour and cost me nothing–not bad.

The costume isn’t user friendly however if you plan to sit a lot.  The cardboard doesn’t bend of course.  When going in and out of small areas I found that my vertices would bump into a lot of things.  However, this was a plus because I was able to use math vocabulary all day such as….”watch out for my vertices.”

I received lots of complements on this costume…some “aww how cute” from parents, kids, and teachers.  One parent thought I was pizza…but then where are my pepperonis?  I guess I could be a happy block of cheese, too!

With that said, I suppose you could adapt this costume to many things when trick or treating…

Picture this…

“Trick or Treat”

“Hi, honey, what are you dressed up as?”

“A block of cheese, but I’m lactose intolerant.”

“Oh, honey, here’s some extra candy!”

Maribeth Alexander liked this post

## 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)