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Monday, March 7, 2016

What Are You Reading?

I am linking up with Focused on Fifth for the March edition of What Are You Reading? You can link up a post about a book you love by clicking on the graphic above. Or you can leave one of your favorite books in the comments below because I really could use some good book recommendations for fifth grade. Chapter books, picture books, you name it and I would love to hear your favorites.

I've been trying to pull out more picture books to read with my fifth graders. I feel like the day is so jam packed and I just don't take the time to read to them as much as I want. So twice this year I have pulled out all the picture books from a favorite author and put them on display. The first author I pulled out was Patricia Polacco and right now it's Chris Van Allsburg. I have noticed lots of kids grabbing the picture books during silent reading and they are asking for me to read aloud more. So this has definitely given me the push I needed. Some of our favorites have been:

Clicking on the covers will take you to Amazon.

I love how gathering all the books from an author has given me the push I needed to read aloud more. I can't decide who else would be a good author to do. If you have an author that you think would be perfect for my next group of books, leave me a comment.

You can see more book recommendations at Focused on Fifth.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Help Me Build My Garden Boxes: Real Life Geometry

Today I am linking up with Miss Math Dork for her March Math IS Real Life linky. I am in the middle of a geometry math class for teachers (it's one of my last classes for my math endorsement) and we had an assignment to work with area and perimeter with our students. I looked through the chapters we were supposed to base our task on and there was one that compared a 5 x 7 and a 6 x 6 garden plot. Students were given the task to determine which would provide for more square feet of garden. As I'm thinking about how to make this task appropriately challenging for fifth grade, my husband texts me that he has ordered the wood for my new garden boxes. The lights go on and I have my new task.

The Task:
I am planning to build garden boxes in my backyard. I need to order the wood to build them and we can't decide who has the best plan. Thom wants to build 14 boxes that are 3 feet wide by 14 feet long. I want to build 10 boxes that are 4 feet wide by 16 feet long. Which plan will provide the most garden space?

Now for the next part of the task. Which plan will have the smallest perimeter? The wood is $0.95 per linear foot and there's no way Thom will go with my plan if it's a lot more expensive. Each box needs to be 3 boards high. What is the total perimeter of the boxes in each plan and how much will each plan cost?

Lots of great math came out of this task:
  • Difference between square feet and linear feet
  • Finding area
  • Finding perimeter
  • Multiplying to determine cost

I also had a lot of great comments:
  • "Wait, this is for real? You're making us do your bidding?"
  • "Why are we doing your math?"
And my favorite, the note at the bottom of her page...

I don't like weeding, but this math IS real life! In fact, we built the first of our boxes on Saturday.

For more real life math ideas, visit Miss Math Dork.