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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday Linky

Today I am linking up with Forever in 5th Grade for Show and Tell Tuesday. This sounds like a fun linky and I'm excited to link up for the first one ever.

I've been taking an algebra class for the elementary classroom and I was trying to get my kids to think algebraically about a task. I wanted them to come up with equations that would help them come up with an answer for any number, not just create a huge input/output table. Here's the task:

The jar starts out with $3.00 in it. Each time my family watches a movie, we put $1.50 in the jar to help us save up for a new projector.  It was a great task and everyone worked hard on it. Here is a sample of one fifth grade student's work. She didn't get to $1000, but there is a lot of math here. 

I have always wanted to have a student made math word wall. It's not as far along as I wish, but it's started. Now I just need to keep going with each new math concept and the vocabulary we are using.
I love integrating a little math into writing with this percentage poem. The idea came from our literacy coach and I gave it a try in December. I think it would be a lot of fun to write these again. Maybe for Black History Month or we just finished reading biographies, so everyone could write one about the historical figure they have been studying.
This last one is just for fun. We found this fabulous 1965 Volkswagen and we towed it home for my almost 16 year old. She had no idea it was coming. My parents had her out front helping them with the holiday lights when we pulled up. She didn't even look up until we honked. The look on her face was priceless. She dropped the lights and ran off the porch (running out of her shoes) with the biggest smile I've ever seen.

If you head over to Forever in 5th Grade, you can see what others have for show and tell too.

Monday, January 11, 2016

January's What Are You Reading?

I'm linking up with Focused on Fifth's What Are You Reading January linky to share one of my favorite professional math books. If you are teaching fractions or decimals, this book is for you.

Clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon.

I am just starting my fraction unit and this book has already been so useful. It is loaded with useful information, task problems and student thinking. If you want to read more about it and how you can use it, check out the post I wrote last year about teaching fractions with the help of this book.  For more great book suggestions, you can visit Focused on Fifth. You can also link up with us. Happy Reading!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Introducing Algebra in the Elementary Classroom

Back in December I came up with a great holiday based task for introducing my students to algebra. (You can see it here.) But I knew I needed a task that wasn't centered on any holidays, so I came up with this task.

It introduces students to several algebraic ideas: function tables, expressions with variables and graphing linear functions.

If you are interested in introducing your students to algebra with this inquiry based task problem, you can grab it for free at TpT. It includes a student recording sheet, graph paper, discussion ideas, and answer keys. Just click here or on the cover above.