Saturday, August 29, 2015

Subtraction with Regrouping- Edible Math!! Always a win!!!

Hey there!!

Do you like to use food in math?  I do.  Or maybe it's that my kids like me to...either's pretty much fun for all!!  Who doesn't love to eat AND love to do math??  ;O)

I had heard about some of the 2nd grade teachers at my school using marshmallows, pretzel sticks, and graham crackers for place value recently.  I'm assuming it's from Pinterest or something because everyone (except me) knew about it.  Well, I do love Pinterest, but apparently I missed that.  But since some super awesome teachers at my school were doing it, I still heard about it so it's really a win-win situation!

I started to think and wonder how I could use this for 4th grade because, well, even though the kids are bigger, they still like edible math.   So, I decided I'd try it with subtraction with regrouping because the common core standards do want them to understand how to regroup and what it means.  And truly, they need to actually do the regrouping to understand why they are crossing things out and making trades.  Plus, I want them to avoid becoming the Grim Reaper and slashing through numbers without thinking.

So, we have always used base ten blocks, but I thought on a Friday afternoon, we could maybe do something a little more fun.  Use food!!
So, we used small marshmallows for ones units, pretzel sticks for tens rods, chocolate Chex cereal for hundreds flats since it was cheaper than graham crackers, and big marshmallows for thousands.  I gave them 20 of each except only 5 large marshmallows, just to be sure they had enough to trade with. 

I put yellow butcher paper on the desks.  One, because it was clean and even after wiping the desks, who's to say they are clean?  And two, because I wanted them to be able to write the problems and actually work the algorithm as they did their regrouping with the food manipulatives.
I had everything bagged up and ready to go!  (Warning- it smells VERY sweet when they all get their "manipulatives" out!)!

Then, I put problems on the board.  We worked through the first few together, and then they could begin working through it on their own.
They were really excited to be able to write on the paper!  It made me laugh!!

Now, this was pretty abstract for some of them because they couldn't see how 10 small marshmallows were equal to a pretzel stick, so you'll want to do this AFTER you have worked with the base ten blocks!!  I strongly recommend it though!  They'll love you for it!!

I want to link this up with my sweet friend Joanne for her
since food always motivates kids!  ;O)

How do you make math edible??

Saturday, August 22, 2015

You're Finally Here- A Great Book to use for the First Day of School AND with New Teachers!

Hi there!

So, a year (or more) ago we had this really awesome linky called "Must Read Mentor Texts!"  Now, it wasn't necessarily awesome because we hosted it, but more so because Stacia and I are both obsessed with books and so this weekly linky fed our addiction because awesome bloggers would link up books we'd never heard of (which then led to us buying them...and...well you see where this is going, right?)

So, our sweet and wonderful friend AMC linked up an adorable book for Back to School 2 years ago in this post HERE.  And I remember thinking that the book was completely adorable!!  But here's the problem.  We already had, like, 5 books that we tried to cram into the first few days of school and so for ONCE I didn't immediately buy it. was imprinted on my brain.

Then, over the summer, I saw this pin in my feed:
And I remembered AMC mentioning this book 2 years ago!  Seriously.  2 years ago.  And I thought, well, I'll just click and see WHY people think this is the cutests book EVER. (but I already knew it was super cute because I remembered AMC talking about it...I was just feeding that addiction because now if 2 people said I have to have it...well...I'm outnumbered and I DO have to have it, right?)

So I clicked it.  The pin.  And it took me HERE.  And O.  M.  G.

HELLO???  HELLO CUTENESS!!  Do you SEE all of Linda Kamp's adorable ideas for this book?  I mean, the cuteness almost never ends ON TOP of the adorable book!!

So.  CLEARLY I needed this book.  But here's the kicker.  It's totally unavailable in the U.S. unless you want to pay, like, $70 for it.   And, although I loved the book and the ideas, I just couldn't do that.

But never fear...because that's when I realized that I have the very BEST blogging friends EVER!  I posted about Linda's ideas on our blog's Facebook page and I immediately hear from AMC.  She realizes I can't get the book and she offers to get it for me (since she lives in Canada and they DO have it for a reasonable price) and send it to me!!!!  I mean, is she not a doll or what?!?!?!  And so, like one of the best friend's I could ask for, she feeds my book addiction and sends it on down to me!!  I just love her!!

So, starting this year, I am not a classroom teacher.  I know what you're wondering.  What was I going to do with this book and how DARE I make my friend send me that book from Canada if I don't even have a class to read it to, right?

Well, I had an idea.  Since I am an instructional coach for grades 3-5 at my school, and I have a super sweet partner for grades K-2, we had a new teacher orientation coming up.  This year, we had the most new teachers we have had at my school since I've worked there.  13 new teachers!!  So, we had an entire day with them that we shared our school's expectations and some of the initiatives (close reading, etc) that are important.

I loved the idea that Linda had the kids write on post-it notes to share where they have been and so inspiration struck!  It's such an adorable book, I thought we could read the book to the new teachers (since it was a week before our pre-planning started) and then they could write where they had been on sticky notes and that was how they could introduce themselves.  Plus, we could CELEBRATE that the teachers are FINALLY our school...with us!!  And we could make a big deal about how excited we are to have our new teachers!!

So, I read the book.  I stopped and let them fill out their sticky notes and put them on the poster and then we finished the book.  Once we were done with the book, we had them share what they wrote on their sticky notes.

Then, because it was the very beginning of a long day and we wanted the new teachers to like us, we gave away 2 more copies to two very lucky new teachers!  (Again, thank you AMC for coming through on that for us, too!)  We told them that they could try the same activity with their students, AND we shared the link to Linda's blog post.
Now, you know how new teacher meetings can be.  Some teachers talked, but not a lot.  I had no idea if they thought we were nuts for reading them a picture book or if they liked it.  Until they were all preparing for the first week of school and they realized how expensive the book was and we had 5-6 teachers who needed to borrow our book.  And then we walked around and saw that the NEW teachers had shared the idea with veteran teachers and THEY were going to use the book, too.  Yay for having conversation starters right off the bat between our new teachers and the other teachers on their grade levels!

I'm not going to lie.  I was very relieved that they felt they had taken something away from the training - besides the hours of wisdom we tried to impart on them ;O).  Even if I know, deep down, it was probably that they are obsessed with cute books, too.  They ARE teachers, after all.  ;O)

So, whether you have your own classroom or you work with teachers who do, I strongly recommend you check into this book.  You can order online from Amazon Canada and get it shipped to you, you know.  I pressure...

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Light a Fire With a Good Book - and a HUGE Giveaway!

Hello hello!!!  Can you believe that we are already into August???  I don't know when you go back to school, but I am headed back on Monday!!  Well, to be truthful, I've been in meetings and staff development since July 22nd, so, I feel like I'm already "back!"

Since the end of summer is here, several of us bloggers have come together to give you some awesome ideas for Back to School Books! These books can be used to set up your classroom community, begin a good lesson, or just as a fun read-aloud.
The book I'd like to share with you is...Enemy Pie!

It's a great book for building community within the classroom!  We use it each year, and it's always a class favorite!  We love this book so much, we even made a unit to go with it!!  AND, it's JUST been updated!!!

Check out the adorable "friendship pie" that we made with our classes last year!

We have a freebie that goes along with Enemy Pie that you may want to check out!
We also just uploaded a new product that can go with ANY back to school book!!!  These interactive notebook activities would be a great way to do a quick assessment of skills your students have or haven't mastered and there would be no stress for students because they are such fun activities!

And have you heard? Teachers Pay Teachers is having a site-wide Back to School Sale August 3rd and 4th, so you will be able to get our Enemy Pie Unit and our Back To School Interactive Notebook Activities for 28% off using the promo code BTS15!
We know what else really "lights a fire" in you, and that is fabulous technology! We are giving away a brand new Kindle Fire HD6 to one lucky winner! 
Enter the rafflecopter below by hopping through each of our blogs and entering the secret word that can be found on the tablet in each of our posts. Also make sure to follow our TPT stores because the winner will be announced through a message in your TPT inbox! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We are also giving away a $25 gift certificate to Creative Teaching Press!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck! We hope you have a successful start to your school year! Click below to continue on the hop with my good friend Christy from Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road!

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