Saturday, February 15, 2014

{A Late} Five for Friday---

Happy Weekend all!  I am late to the party this week, but still wanting to share, as I had a really great week.  It was a long one with late night conferences on Thursday night and V-Day on Friday... also not to mention I'm back to my 1st trimester feelings again of needing a nap right after school and not feeling the greatest.... so that's something to look forward to for the last 2 and 1/2 months..... but we won't dwell on that!! :)  It's all for a great cause.

Today I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the weekly linky party: Five For Friday! I just love reading through all of the blog posts from this linky and hope you all had a great week.

A few weeks ago, while reading blog posts, Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching wrote about some motivating things to get her students reading.  I really loved her idea of using an estimation jar, to have students take guesses on how many items were inside to after each reading quiz they took.  Check out her post here.  I took a slight different spin on this, but with Valentine's Day this week, I set up with the help of an ESL aide that works in my classroom---- 5 different estimation jars.  Each day students had the chance to guess the number of items in a jar, and then win its contents.  The last day, Valentine's Day was the BIG jar, and was filled with a special Valentine Day treat. 

The cool thing was to have students figure out in various ways how to split the jars up when there was a tie.  We had a tie 3 of the 5 days!  They were really great at problem solving.  Although some of our guesses were WAY off, it was pretty amazing after all of the rounding and estimating we were doing in class how many of the students were getting the hang of it.  I'm for sure going to continue doing this! Thanks for the great idea, Joanne.

In math this week we talked about various addition strategies to use.  We reviewed the 'old' way with students on regrouping above and then introduced the show all totals method, and the regroup below method.  A lot of my students surprisingly LOVED the show all totals method. They start with the hundreds and write that total under first, then the tens and ones.  It usually involves little regrouping so I think that's why they loved it!  :)  I enjoyed having multiple strategies to give to students and let them explore with them!

One activity I worked on this week was a review activity on main idea.  I have had these task cards for several years now, and I have to say that I forgot where I got them from, so if it was you I say THANK you for the idea, and all the credit is yours.  I used it as a center this week between doing all of the odd and end things that we needed to get done.  Students are given a response sheet, to record and there are several bags of labeled main idea questions.  Each bag contains three details, and three possible main ideas for the details together.  They need to read through all of them ( most of the information is non-fiction too!) and then choose what the best main idea for the three details are.  The kids love it! :)

I've been working with my group this year a lot on writing.  You've heard me tell about my adventures, and how much support I've been getting!!  It's been a long road, but we've really embraced this and have taken it to all subjects. This is an example of a writing in math activity that we did this week.  We haven't done one in awhile, and students really had a rough time answering all of the questions.  What we did was went through and highlighted in different colors each item in the question that needed to be answered.  They then wrote and tried to answer all of the questions.  When I corrected the work, I highlighted their answers in the same colors that we used above for the questions.  In order to have their assignment complete they had to have all 4 colors down in their answer.  The color-coding really helped, especially with my ELL students. They could separate and focus on one thing at a time. 

Photo Credit: Zak Smith
Location:  Yerkes Observatory- Williams Bay, WI

This week I celebrated my 4 year anniversary with my husband!  I had late night conferences, but came home to a coke in a bottle (its just so much better from a glass bottle) and some McDonald's french fries. Don't ask me why, but I am a sucker for french fries from McDonalds!  It was a great day!!!

I hope everyone had a great week! I'm excited to read about them!


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