Showing posts with label TPT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TPT. Show all posts

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Minded Crate Activities, Updated 2013-- On Teachers Pay Teachers

Hello, everyone! I just updated my other post about my Minded crate at my other weblog this evening. The following file is featured on Teachers Pay Teachers (CLICK HERE) and can make a significant difference in how you run your intermediate/upper elementary classroom! If you have ever heard students bemoan, "I'm bored" or "There's nothing for me to do", this crate offers 71 activities students can work on after completing work. Or it may serve as pure enrichment time on a Friday afternoon, whichever you feel works with your students the best. Many of the activities include printable components, which include foldables, fill-in components, and games. Your students will have the opportunity to delve into their areas of talent and make wonderful, memorable products that may inspire them to delve even farther into something they truly want to do. Some of the activities can be completed in one sitting; others may take over a week, but they tap into independent learning styles.

The crate focuses on multiple intelligences and has eight sections-- Math-Minded, Science-Minded, History-Minded, Literary-Minded, Travel-Minded, Art-Minded, Music-Minded, and World-Minded. You need a typical crate from the store, eight durable hanging folders, and plastic bags/sheet protectors/etc. for storage. You will need to cut out some of the activities, but many come ready to go. Make about five copies of each activity provided to start the year, and then work from there. Check-off lists where students indicate the dates they completed activities are included with each section, too, so you know how your students make choices with the crate over the course of the year.

I didn't mention if you should count the completion of the lessons for incentives or not-- it's up to you and depends on your classroom environment. I am likely going to encourage my students to complete at least two activities a month, though-- because of the variant times it takes to complete each. Some take perhaps 15 minutes while a few may take as long as a week or two. If your students have maybe 10-15 minutes a day to dedicate to their choice activity, perhaps during morning work, everything may work out well.

Or you can not use the crate at all and use the 71 activities as enrichment for the whole class. The math section was one I had a tremendous time developing. There are puzzles and mind-benders that may very well motivate your students to think in divergent ways about geometry, fractions/decimals/percents, algebra, and number sense concepts.

I included an optional activity-- a United States state and capital game. Also, the beauty of most of the activities is that they can be completed a countless amount of times.

The activities came straight from my mind-- and if any of these activities have been shared before in any other capacity (and likely some have), I did not use anyone's specific ideas as direct inspiration. I did include spelling/vocabulary word math that I have seen used many times before, but there are activities I included in the file I have never seen before. I also included ideas I used at other times with my students-- a mineral identification activity and a microscopic investigation, which I'm sure you've seen typed out in different capacities online, too.

Overall, I had so much fun compiling this file. The graphics inside are all original (triangle sketches, rectangle/square sketches, etc.).

I know I have promised a video in the past, too. I may be able to finally make it this year! I am sorry about my long delay from blogging and online-- but we all go through changes and take breaks. Thank you for your support!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Suggestions for Phenomenal Math Resources in the Classroom

After a year of teaching Language Arts to two classes, I am going back to teaching all subjects as a gifted teacher. For some reason, I am ecstatic about the subject that gave me the most grief growing up (and my first B in fourth grade!)-- Math. (No offense, Mrs. Runde and Mrs. Sloane-- two math teachers I admire and adore.) However, I have learned over time that math can be the most exciting, hands-on hour of the day in my classroom!

During the 2011-2012 school year (I believe around the time of state testing), the class completed an activity that was kind of modeled after games where they sketched a plot and "purchased" items. You see the illustration above included her "inventory" on the right and how much she "purchased" of each item. The students then had to write out an algebraic expression for how much "money" they spent in all to set up their gardens. 

Students also developed menus for their fictitious restaurants where they assigned prices to their foods and drinks. They then had to write and show the solutions for at least five algebraic word problems that had to do with people eating in their restaurant. For example: The family ordered two plates of fried shrimp, one triple cheeseburger, and three double caramel sundaes along with free waters. Write out the algebraic expression-- and SOLVE-- for how much the family spent. So the student would show ($3.92 x 2) + ($7.59 x 1) + ($3.64 x 3) along with the solution. Students could also apply taxes and have the families give the waiters or waitresses "tips" in their problems. 

I figured out from using many resources and developing some on my own that math can be an invigorating adventure! Here are some other resources I have enjoyed using and/or recommend: 
There are also teachers online who have developed phenomenal resources I'd love to share, starting with the top download on Teachers Pay Teachers right now from Jennifer Runde. 
  • Mrs. Runde's Interactive Math Journals: Chances are, you've seen this file or heard of it. Yet if you haven't, it is a phenomenal resource. This 165-page file includes 38 different math journal activities with descriptions, recommendations, and templates. Download the 18-page preview to see her Table of Contents and the first activity, which is the Operations Review. 
  • Mrs. Runde's Math Reflection Fans: Another really good, very well presented resource! 
  • Math Concept Posters: This is the last Mrs. Runde-related resource I am featuring for now. These pages are VERY, very well-made. The borders and decor are impressive. 
  • Math Stations for Middle Grades: This resource from Laura Candler (for grades 3-8) ALWAYS impressed me. So do many of her other resources. 
  • Laura Candler's Resources and Freebies: Laura has tons of freebies that are very impressive. My students have done her data activity for Valentine's Day and played some of her games, one of them being "Place Value Partners". 
  • The Math Penguin: I am also a fan of The Math Penguin, a.k.a. The Science Penguin. Her blogs are print-rich and interesting. I love how she shares her ideas. You can find a link to her Teachers Pay Teachers resources through her weblog. 
  • 4Mula Fun's Resources: Just like Arianne above, I'm come to know this awesome teacher in just a few days, too. This is a direct link to Jennifer's Teachers Pay Teachers store. 
Well, hopefully I've provided you with something with this first content post.