Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Peek at Last Week

This week was a short week for us, Monday being a Student Free Day. We were lucky to have the afternoon to ourselves for planning and preparation which was great.

Because we lost a day and reports are coming up, I thought I'd put out 9 review activities in math for this week and next week (one per day, after the whole class lesson/activity). Even though the content was review, the games were new so I introduced them during transition times throughout the day (on Tuesday I have math in the afternoon). By the time the afternoon came, they were itching to get started! I put the kids in mixed ability groups of 2-3 which they will stay in over the two weeks.

I have to say they had a ball! As planned, the higher/average ability kids were able to help the kids that would have struggled independently. All week they've worked a treat. I even left the classroom to visit my teaching partner next door and they didn't even notice! (Don't worry, it's just through a connecting door, so I wasn't too far away or for too long). I kept them working for about 25 mins and each time they asked if they could go onto the next activity! While they were working, I pulled kids to do some quick assessments. All of the activities are from my Halloween and Fall math packs. 

We changed up one of the activities from my Halloween Math Pack. Instead of printing out the trick-or-treating bags and candy for my Candy Sharing center, my kids used jack-o-lantern buckets and fake spiders (from Woolies) to act out the sharing problems. This was actually a great activity to act out because they had to read the card carefully to identify whether they had to work out out the number of candy/spiders each child got, how many children the candy was shared between, or how much was shared in total.

You can grab the packs these activities are from at my TpT or Teachers Notebook stores.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Direction in Math

Recently we've been focusing on giving and following directions in math. I must say, that the kids LOVE when we do direction.

We started with a little bit of review with following simple directions (left, right, up, down). With this worksheet, students had to follow the directions given for each trick-or-treater. Some students just used their fingers to follow the directions and mark where they ended up, others drew lines, dots or arrows to help them keep track. 
 Mostly however, we've been focusing on moving beyond these types of directions to using 1/4 and 1/2 turns to the left and right and moving forward. I've been asked at least 10 times a day to play a little game using these directions. You've probably played it before. Basically the whole class stands up and faces a certain wall and you call our directions one at a time (e.g. 1/4 turn to the right, 1/2 turn etc). Everyone who doesn't face the correct direction each time sits down. It's fast paced and fun. So simple, but they just love it!

We have used the Giving Directions sheet from my Halloween Math Pack a number of times. They used the worksheet as is, so they had to write directions for the trick-or-treater to pick up as much candy as she could. They used teddy counters to help with identifying the 1/4 and 1/2 turns.

The next day, I used the same worksheet but drew pictures on the board (I wasn't planning to take a photo when I drew them, so they aren't the best!). Each student wrote directions in their math journals, paired up and used their counters to follow each others directions (kiddo 1 read their directions while kiddo 2 followed them with the teddy counter, then swapped). This worked a treat because they were able to identify missing steps. Oh, and the teddy couldn't go over any piece of candy, it had to go around (meaning lots of turns!).

Finally, I used the same sheet AGAIN (have I mentioned that we don't get a lot of photocopies at my school???) but this time they chose their own beginning and ending piece of candy, wrote directions for their partner, read them out and checked if their partner was able to finish in the same space. They also started with their teddy in the same space and shielded their grid from each other. They took it in turns to give directions (which they both followed, so student 1 might say 1/4 turn left and move forward 3 and they would both move their teddy. Student 2 would give a direction and they'd both follow etc) and checked after 5 directions each if they ended up in the same space.

If you'd like any of these worksheets they are a very small part of my Halloween Math Pack.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Peek at last week

Last week we went over 2D shapes. I like one activity in the planning given to us through C2C. Students made a triangle and quadrilateral using straws they cut to different lengths and pipe cleaners cut into 5cm pieces. They used sticky tape to attach their shapes to a piece of paper.
You can see the pipe cleaners inside the straws. The pipe cleaners bend, creating the shapes. Some students made more than 2 shapes which also worked out well.

Next, they coloured in each shape they made within their larger shape. 
Finally (not shown) they labelled each of the shapes they coloured. Students were able to make pentagons, hexagons, right angled triangles, rectangles, rhombuses and just plain quadrilaterals.  The kids really enjoyed it and since I demonstrated it to the class first, it was a very successful small-group lesson for my first year student teachers to take on. The kids couldn't wait for it to be time for their group to do this activity!

Here's just a random chart....
I teach 'theme' as THE MEssage so we always talk about "The theme, or message, that the author..." Writing it like this helps them remember what 'the theme' means since the letters for 'theme' is spelled in 'THE MEssage'.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Grid Freebie

Here is a little freebie poster that I've just done up to show the little saying that was taught to me by one of the kids in my class when I taught Grade 6 to remember to read the x-axis before the y-axis (wow, that was a long sentence!). 

It is simple: You crawl before you walk! When you crawl you are horizontal so you read the horizontal axis first, you are vertical when you walk so you read that second. I thought it was pretty genius and I've been using it ever since! I'm pretty sure he learned it from a previous teacher, so thank you if it was you!
Click on the pic to download. I've done two up: one with letters and one with numbers along the x-axis. 

Edit: I often receive emails asking if I know of other Aussie blogs. Well, if you are an Aussie, or even if you're not, I've created a page that has links to other Aussie blogs. Click on the link under the blog header if you want to check out some Aussie talent!

Sunday, October 07, 2012


When I first started reading teacher blogs mid last year, I couldn't find any that were written by Aussie teachers. I'm not saying that weren't out there, but I couldn't find them! This was actually the inspiration for my blog name. Seems a bit silly now because I'm discovering new Aussie blogs all the time!

A few of us have gotten together for an Awesome Aussie Giveaway!
 Thanks to Mel for the button!

You have the chance to win some fantastic products from 13 Aussie bloggers! The giveaway is hosted by the lovely Brooke over at Teachable Moments

I'm giving away any product from my store! You might choose one of my latest products....
You have to be in it to win it, so head on over to Teachable Moments and enter now!
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