Saturday, January 2, 2016

Multiplication Box Method and a Giveaway!!!

 I have been meaning to write this and life has gotten in the way.  We have been very busy in math in my classroom this year.  I have been  so happy with my students this year.  They are doing a fantastic job in math.  It never ceases to amaze me.  When I moved to fourth grade a few years ago my teammate showed me how to do multiplication using the lattice method.  That always confused me.  I hope I'm not the only one.   I discovered the multiplication box method last year and haven't looked back.  It is based on place value and expanded form.  The students have caught on to two digit multiplication so quickly by doing this.  Here is a step by step illustration and some pictures of my students practicing.

I'm excited to say that right before Christmas I hit 100 likes on the Fourth and Goal in Fourth Grade Facebook page.  I am having a giveaway!  Since we are starring fractions when we start back to school I am giving away two sets of my fraction activities.  Each winner will receive both sets of fraction games.

Just fill out the Rafflecopter.   Good luck!  If you are like me and can't wait to see if you won, these sets will be 20% off through Wednesday at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great rest of the weekend.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday at Teachers Pay Teachers

I'm home because of all the ice we've had.  That gives me plenty of time to do a little shopping at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Just wanted to let you know about the sale.  Check out my store and you can take 28% off your items when you plug in the code SMILE.
Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Some Ice and a Teacher's Notebook Sale

We have been under a winter storm warning since Thanksgiving day!  They extended it once again this afternoon until noon tomorrow.  It is so icy out!  The good news is that it is just now about one degree above freezing so it is starting to thaw.  The bad news is that they are expecting up to another quarter inch of ice tonight.  Our town has a lot of people without power and with a lot of limbs to clean up.  We have been lucky at our house and so far so good.  Our lights keep flickering every once in awhile but they stay on.  All my laundry is done and as long as my pie gets out of the oven before it goes out I'll be ok.  At least until I get cold! :)  Here's what it looked like at my house this morning.

You can stay nice and warm and do a little shopping over at Teacher's Notebook.  They are having a Cyber Monday + Sale November 29th - December 2nd.  Check out my store.  Everything is 20% off AND you get another 10% off when you use the code PLUS15.

Stay warm and have a good time shopping!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Little Thanksgiving Math

Friday was the last day for my kids before Thanksgiving.  I have two days of meetings before I get a little break.  It is a much desired break.  Hoping that this cough goes away soon!

I am a big fan of having my students do activities that will help them in real life.  One of my favorite activities is to have them plan a Thanksgiving meal.  First we sit down and make a list of things their families have on Thanksgiving.  This is always an eye opener!  This year turkey and ham were the stars but several also mentioned meatballs and hamburger casserole.  We then talked about how the meal wasn't what was important but being together was.

Next up was to talk about what you might need to make certain items.  A favorite item was green bean casserole.  I went over that you needed green beans, cream of mushroom soup, milk, and french fried onions.  I was amazed at how many must help cook because I had several volunteer what they thought went in it.  They were pretty accurate.  We talked about you might need eggs and milk to help prepare many items. 

I then passed out a grocery ad from a local grocery store.  (Go there they last night of their ad and ask to have enough for your class.)  I showed them what the ad was all about.  We talked about how big a turkey you might want and how to figure out the cost.  We did the same thing for a ham.  After that they went to their seat to make a list of items they wanted at their Thanksgiving dinner.  When they finished with that they needed to go through the grocery ad and find how much each item would cost.  I told them they had $125 to spend on dinner.  When I gave them that amount we talked about how special dinners cost more money than you normally spend at the store.  The big question was whether they could go over the $125 or not!  We then talked about what happens if you don't have enough money when your groceries get rung up.  Most all knew that you have to put something back. 

Boy howdy did they go to town!  They loved this activity.  The math teacher came in and asked what we were doing.  She commented on how loud it was but that everything they were talking about was related to the activity.  They helped each other find items in the ad and discussed what they might need to make an item.  Several asked what to do it they had extra money.  I was surprised by how many wanted to buy flowers to put on the table. :)  It is those little touches that make a meal!

When they finished they had to add it all up to make sure they had enough money.  One even asked if we needed to add tax.  :)  (It's nice to see that they do have a concept about the real world.)  They then switched with a partner and checked their multiplication and addition out.

Check it out!

   After talking to my teaching partner I think we will do this for Christmas dinner.  I had so many tell me that they loved this activity.  I think it is so important that we make sure our students are ready for the real world.  I don't think you can start to early!


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Labor Day Weekend and a Sale

I thought I'd just pop in real quick to say hi.  This has been a very packed weekend for us.  We traveled four hours for a football game.  We stayed at my brother-in-law and sister-in-laws house and enjoyed a good visit.  Enjoyed a trip to Bass Pro Shop where I found a fantastic deal on a pair of shoes.  We concluded our trip yesterday with a visit to our middle daughter at college.  Monday we get to do football all over again.  With another 2 hour ride one way ahead of us.  Good thing it's a day off for me. 

Teacher's Notebook is having a sale September 7-9th.  My store will be 25% off and if you use Kickoff Teacher's Notebook will take another 10% off!  Great time to stock up activities for your classroom.
We have been working on place value since school started.  I am working on a post about what we have done.  Look for it this week.

Have a great Labor Day and great start to your school week.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Back to School!!!

I have started this so many times!  I have lost count of how many times I've fallen asleep trying to write.  Is anyone else as tired as I am the first week or two of school?  Please tell me you are!  We have so much going on in our family this past month.  The week before school started we moved our middle daughter to college.  (Her first year and she is loving every minute of it!)  The weekend I started back we helped our oldest move back into the dorms.  Our youngest has been busy with football and school starting.    

We are almost finished with our third week of school.   I am so in love with my class as of this moment.  They are fantastic.  We are off to the best start of fourth grade since I started teaching fourth grade. 

Here are a few things we did the first week of school went.  We started off our week by getting to know each other.  We did the Get to Know You task cards.  They loved this.  They said this was one of their favorite things of the day because they were able to learn 12 things about their friends.  Check it out at my store here.

A favorite activity I have done for a few years is Numbers About Me.  The numbers are written big and then they write what it is. 

We played Boggle a few times.  I found these little wonders at Oriental Trading.  I bought them 3 years ago.  They have held up fairly well over the years. 

We read "The Principal From the Black Lagoon."  We talked about what they thought the principal does all day long.  They came up with questions to ask the principal.  We have a brand new principal this year.  He came in and let the students interview him.  He told them that a few of the questions were ones he had actually been asked during his "real" interview.  They carefully took notes.  After we finished that they worked together to make a venn diagram comparing our principal with the principal from the Black Lagoon.

What a great way to start our new year off.  I can't wait to see how this year turns out!  Hope your year is off to a great start!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Superhero School Theme

Each year my school has a school wide theme.  This year it is a super character theme.  Most teachers have chosen to go with superheroes.  I have been working on getting things ready for my room.  I made superhero calendar numbers and months, a welcome banner, name tags (that can be used as locker tags also), desk name tags, class rules, and superhero of the week forms for students to fill out.  I found superheroes that look like smaller children and superheroes that look like older children.  Now comes the work of printing them out, cutting everything out, laminating those that will need it, and putting it up.  I love the beginning of the year.  This really starts out with a fresh start each year.  Take a look at a few of the items I have made.  If you like them check them out in my store.

Don't forget about the Back to School sale at Teachers Pay Teachers!  Be sure to use the promo code BTS15.  You will get 28% off my store when you add that code in.  Don't forget to provide feedback on every item you have purchased so you can earn points to take even more money off!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Friday, July 31, 2015

First Week of School Ideas and Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale

I am starting to think about my first week of school.  It is a week to practice, practice, practice all the procedures of our classroom.  I will be introducing activities for math centers.  I have found that if I introduce them I don't have as many interruptions while I am teaching small groups.  These are what I have planned to practice the first week:
flash cards, Farkle, domino keepers addition (play with a partner and each draw two dominoes, add them up, and the one with the highest amount keeps the dominoes), skip counting sticks (popsicle sticks that have numbers on them and they will be putting them in order), UNO (Take out the special cards and each person draws six cards. They make the biggest number they can and the person with the biggest number wins that round.)
Most of these I have found online and made them fit my needs in the classroom.  I will add more if they are doing okay with these.  The more I introduce now and they have the procedure down of how to use them the less time I need to spend once we start full steam with lessons.

I have decided to try something new this year.  I have some beginning of the year activities to try. Most years we only have three days the first week but this year we have four days.  So I am trying to fill more time.  In my opinion it is best to get them up and moving as much as possible this week.  They tend to have a hard time getting back in the swing of things. (Don't we all!)  I have made a Find Someone Who Can for reading.  They will walk around and find someone who can answer the statement and then sign the square.  They are about different genres and characters.  I will be walking around while they are doing this and hopefully this will give me some idea of what they like.  (This will be helpful while picking out books for read alouds.)  There is also one for math.  It has them answer simple math problems.  I will have them write the answer down as well as signing the page.  They will be able to walk around with a spiral notebook to help work out problems.  They are free in my store so check them out.

This is just the beginning of my thinking for the first week back.  What do you have planned?

By the way have you heard the news?  Teachers Pay Teachers is having their back to school sale on August 3rd and 4th.  Check out my store.  When you use the code BTS15 you will be getting 28% off!!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back to School Activity

It's that time of year where my thoughts turn back to school.  I am thinking about what we will be doing the first few days of school.  I did this activity last year and I believe I will be doing it again.  It is a getting to know you activity.  The students have a chance to write something about themselves and then they get to get up, walk around, and share with others.  This is so important for those students who are new.  Let's face it, we all like to talk about ourselves!  Here's what we did last year.

We started off by doing some Back to School task cards.  Each card had a question and they answered on a piece of paper.  After doing this we did hands up, pair up, share using their answers.  I had them tell the answers to two of the questions, we thanked our partners and moved on.  I did this until they had gone through all the questions.  I kept their answers to read later.  Boy were they interesting!  I love activities like this because you get to know your kiddos better.
Click on the picture above to see it!

Are you getting ready to go back or are you one whose summer is just getting into full gear?  Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The First Step to Getting Ready to go Back

I broke down and went to school today.  We are officially not back on duty until August 12th.  Usually I stay out until about the last week of July or first week of August.  That's when the office staff goes back and they turn on the air conditioning!  They are having a small summer school at our school right now so the air was on in the morning.  It was a good thing because I might have melted! The true reason I went in today was to meet my new teaching cohort.  He had a few questions.  We went through a few things and had a nice discussion.  While I was there I decided I might as well get a few things started.  I had to pack up my library because they were replacing the carpet in the new section of the building during the summer.  I decided to move my book shelves back into place and started digging out my books.  For one brief moment I forgot that I had stuffed my books from different boxes together.  I will be sorting them out for awhile.  It felt good to get started.  I doubt I'll be back for a few days though.   Here's a little peek at my room.