Monday, April 30, 2012

State Testing

In September it seemed light years away to think about the state testing in May...but here it is! 
We have our first test this Friday and our second next Thursday.  My 3rd graders have been working hard to cover all the content all year long... and squeezin' in some bits these last few weeks! ;)
So... after MANY hours on Pinterest... I thought it'd be fitting to create another [super cute] gift to help inspire them to keep doing their best! 
I'll have to look into finding a 'pants' punch to use in the upcoming years, but for now I used the di-cut at school and punched a pencil shape to use.  Once I added a few encouraging words and a cute bow, voila!  Of course it wouldn't be complete without a few rolls of SMARTIES! 
I'm going to set them on their desks the morning of the test and we'll celebrate by opening them once everyone's finished.
Here's how they turned out:

I hope this will help ease some of their anxieties the morning of the test!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Math Manipulatives!!

Today some of the math manipulatives I bought came in the mail!!  Yeah!  I was SO EXCITED to tear open the box and gush over all the new things!  But.  Of course I had to immediately head back out and make a quick trip to a nearby Dollar Tree to buy some cute containers to put them in!!

Here's how some of them turned out!  I can't wait to use them tomorrow.  We're knee deep in fractions and working on equivalent fractions tomorrow.  The fraction pieces will work PERFECTLY!  Very hands-on!


Of course they look much cuter in their matching green containers!!

Multiplication Dice I bought. 
Two dice with numbers 1-12 and one dice with an 'X' sign. 
I found the small containers at the Dollar Tree. 
Using an idea I saw on Pinterest!! 
No more rolling, lost, noisy dice!! 
You shake the container and voila!  Equation is made!!

Can't wait to use them tomorrow!! 
And.  I can't wait until the rest of my goodies arrive!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Oreo Moon Phases

During conference week [in the last week leading up to Spring Break] we did a little Science 'catch-up'.  There were some [okay a little more than just some] lessons that we still needed to complete.  So during this week we did Science everyday focusing on the Phases of the Moon.

Of course I found an activity on Pinterest using oreo cookies to show the different moon phases.  All week they were excited and looking forward to this 'special activity' that I told them was coming on Friday.  It was such an engaging activity and extremely hands-on.  I think more of the oreo creme ended up on the students instead of the cookies.  Oh well.  I even caught a couple kiddos who were already eating their cookies as they walked out the door.  I don't know if they'll still remember each of the phases of the moon... but I know they had fun!

I took a few pictures while they were working... turned out a little blurry, but it gives you the idea.

This is what the finished product 'should have' looked like:

Fabulous Fraction Frenzy!!!

Fractions here we come!  As we're quickly approaching the state test (M.S.P.) in May, we're having to take the usual fractions unit and condense it a bit.  I wanted to get the biggest bang for my buck with the lessons I choose.  So of course, I turned to doing some hands on 'crafty' type lessons.  They always seem to make an impression and sink in the most! 

All of the crafts were ideas from Pinterest!  We're so lucky to have other teachers who share their ideas so we don't reinvent the wheel!  I hope others will be encouraged to use them too!

The first project was a flip book to include all the fractions our 3rd graders needed to know.  They also need to be able to identify the fractions in a variety of forms (rectangular, circular, number line, etc) so it was the perfect idea to put them all in one!  I started with a VERY CUTE colored paper flip chart.  But.  It was HUGE!  It would require a lot of paper for each student, EVEN MORE cutting and gluing... and at this point in the game, we're running short on glue, and even shorter on time!  So after an hours work afterschool on Friday, we came up with this idea that could be copied.  All the students will need to do is color and label!  This is an example of what they'll look like.  I've started coloring an example for the class but the number lines still need to be completed, but it gives you an idea of the flip book:

The next project was creating visuals for using circular fractions.  I had many leftover plates from our 'Oreo Moon Phases' science activity so I thought I'd put them to use.  I created all the different fractions they'll need to know and I'm still working to create an activity where they'll have to investigate all the equivalent fractions.  It's a great visual to see the equivalencies and also very hands on!

It'd be great to have them write the addition equation of the fractions on the right to show how they equal one whole.  I might have this as a station when they finish their work early...

The last fraction project was an adorable idea I saw on Cara Carroll's blog, The First Grade Parade.  [You should definately check it out!]  The idea is to use pizzas to investigate fractions.  They will have to identify the fraction for each type of topping [mushrooms, pepperoni, olives, and peppers] on each pizza.  From there I decided I'm going to need to take it further for my 3rd graders, so I arranged each pizza to have 3 or 4 fractions that could be simplified, really focusing on equivalencies again!!  I thought it'd be an engaging way for the kiddos to see equivalent fractions and have a little fun! ;)  The only thing I need to get is some actual pizza boxes so when they go from table to table they'll have to open the box to see the pizza!  Fun!

If you're interested in this activity Cara's blog has the template for the worksheet to download.

I can't wait to start fractions on Monday with some brownies!  In Monday's lesson they have to 'share brownies' using pieces of paper to represent brownies and divide it among a certain number of people.  In the end I'll pose the problem of actually needing to figure out how the class can share the pan of brownies that I'll bring in!  Yum!