Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mock Rocks

It's amazing how quickly students become engaged once you put a paper plate with a mock rock in front of them!

We started our final science unit for 3rd grade, Earth Materials, today where students started making detailed observations of these mock rocks. We talked about properties of objects (shape, size, texture, luster) and students were given hands lenses to help them with these descriptions.

Partnerships then had the chance to break apart their mock rocks! Students had a wonderful time as geologists using tools appropriately.

Tomorrow we will talk about diameter, circumference, and depth and measure these using mock rocks that have not be destroyed yet.

Stay tuned for pictures and a freebie science observation record sheet!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Let's Have a Math Fight!

We finished our Spring Break Cause and effect writing pieces and I must say I am impressed in how they have turned out! My students took this very seriously and were willing to go back and revise/edit their work to make it the best possible for the time they were given. The presentations look great and the extra time spent yesterday was still worth it.

Let's Have a Math Fight!
This  afternoon my students got into a really interesting math fight during our number talk.  Here is the initial problem that they were thinking about:

Many went directly to the thought of starting the shopping at 10:05 a.m. and ending at 12:30p.m., making the shopping trip last 2 hours and 25 minutes.

The conversation really heated up when a third student interjected with:
" The real shopping didn't begin until 10:30 a.m., because picking up a pair of cleats does not count as shopping."

She desperately wanted to take off the extra 25 minutes, but the majority of the class decided to interpret the cleats being picked up as a part of the shopping experience.

Reasonableness of an answer
The idea of the elapsed time answer being reasonable or not also came about, with the idea that:

"No, this is not a reasonable answer because it doesn't take anyone over 2 hours to buy one pair of new shorts. That's stupid."

After a few giggles (and a quick talk about kind language) the math fight continued...

A few defended Marcus's long trip by saying that maybe he stopped to look at other stores or maybe "he stopped to get something to eat at the food court. "

In this short 10 minute number talk activity, Marcus was becoming a real person and  the words on the screen a real-world problem for students to solve.

After these thoughts, a few started to question the answer of 2 hours and 25 minutes because the problem doesn't have any information about how far the outlet mall is from Marcus's house or about the traffic situation on his way home from the mall. "Part of the time could have been in traffic,"  was the response given by one student.

I was blown away by the thinking and all of the connections my 3rd graders were making to the real world.  There is often so much that is hidden in our curriculum that my students are starting to uncover. It is absolutely wonderful to witness.

At the end of the 10 minutes, it was decided that the question should be rewritten to provide more information.

What's the last math fight your students had in the classroom? What was the consensus at the end? Share in the comments below.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Major F.A.I.L.

Today was the first day back from Spring Break and it was so exciting seeing all of my students! I knew they would have so many stories to share and possibly new stuffed friends and pictures to show, so I decided to be proactive and create an assignment centered around their sharing.

Spring Break Cause and Effect Web

We are learning different types of text structures in 3rd grade, so I decided to make their Spring Break events the "effects" and start the morning working on a cause and effect web.  At first, I was going to just give them a template to use via Google Classroom, but instead I decided to have them create the shapes to make their own cause and effect diagrams.  

A Major F.A.I.L.
This turned out to be a true lesson in perseverance because to my surprise, I found out that only 2 out of 25 had ever created shapes on a computer before!  Wow this still surprises me even as I'm typing. Given this information, I knew that the web completion was going to take a little longer than expected, but I knew it would be worth it. 

After demonstrating how to create rectangle and arrow shapes in Google slides, my students went back to their Chromebooks to try it out for themselves, and had a major F.A.I.L. (First Attempt in Learning). 

Students were struggling but this was the best kind of teacher as I could their brains working and their focus narrowing to figure out how to complete the tasks. What I began to notice is that my students are truly still consumers of technology. Not giving them the template, but instead requiring them to create for themselves and to use precision in their work. I was incorporating standards for math practices without even planning on it! I even got in a little real-world fraction talk with "the rectangle should take only 1/2 of your slide."

A Lesson in Perseverance
After several tries with the shapes tools, some students were successful and others began to get frustrated, which is when the standard about perseverance came into play. We talked about other strategies to use in terms of our finger placement on the track pad and about just getting something onto the slide so that we could adjust it later. It's not about being perfect; it's about not being afraid to get it wrong.  Trial and error is so easily modeled with the Google Suite and mistakes are so easily erased with a simple click of the mouse or press of the backspace key.

Once students realized how easy it is to undo mistakes, they were much more willing to keep trying and trying. Eventually we were able to get the majority of the students to completely draw and type into their web independently. Some even made it to the point of creating additional slides to expand their writing.

A Work in Progress
Because the creation of the webs took almost 30 minutes, we were unable to publish our writing today. We will finish our writing tomorrow and share with the rest of the class.

           Share your story in the comments below. 
What major F.A.I.L. has turned into a win for you?  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kid's Math Talk Blogging Challenge

5 Week Blogging Challenge!

I've started this blogging challenge to bring more energy into these last weeks of school. And no, my summer doesn't start in Michigan we go to June 16th, but I need some extra motivation now!

 When this is over we'll have another all-star blogging challenge to wrap up the year!

The Details:

3 Point System
One Point EACH day you each of the following:
1. Blog and post
2. Tag @kidsmathtalk in your post
3. Focus on math in your blog


One Extra point for focusing a  blog post on the following topics:
-Hundreds chart
-Your favorite manipulative
-Earth Day challenge
-Incorporating a spring theme into your math teaching
-something you learned from a colleague
-something you learned from a student
-Cooking with math
-math workshop
-math talk
-using technology to enhance math instruction
-math craftivity

TIMELINE: DAY 1 is April 10th and the blogging Challenge ends May 12th, 2017.

It's that simple!.

Wait....What about prizes??

Of course there are prizes! 

 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

Winners will be announced May 16th, 2017.

So who's with me?

Tag me @kidsmathtalk on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter or email  to sign up!

Welcome to Kid's Math Talk, LLC!

Welcome to Kid's Math Talk, LLC!
My name is Desiree and I am super passionate about math education and best practices for students and their teachers. Thanks for stopping by my blog!


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