March 25th is a great day in my classroom. Sadly, it fell on a Sunday, but no worry because we were able to celebrate today! International Waffle Day is now a highly anticipated holiday in my school. Why?
Three years ago after reading random Yahoo! articles, I learned that March 25 was International Waffle Day. Loving most breakfast foods, eggs NOT included, blah, I wondered how I could celebrate this delicious holiday and teach math at the same time. Capacity! In first grade before the common core standards, we had to learn all about cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. What a great way to teach it! I could measure out my ingredients in cups and show my students how it relates to pints, quarts, and gallons. Brilliant! (I was just excited that I could eat all day long. Ha!)
And that year the holiday was celebrated for the first time. Some of my first grade students had never eaten a waffle and if they had, it came from a yellow box in the freezer. After that day, I knew we'd celebrate every year.
And we did, even when I moved to 5th grade. I was excited because I could teach more with it than just capacity. I was able to teach multiplying and dividing fractions because we needed to either double or half a recipe. I was able to teach area! The main concept I taught that year was transformations! Yes. Flips, slides, and turns. Or in 5th grade language reflections, translations, and rotations. It was a stretch, but I could do it. After getting our waffle to eat, we took a bite or two then drew a picture of what it looked like. After eating the rest of the waffle, because we couldn't let it get cold, we drew our picture's flip, turn, and slide. Again, brilliant! (Again, I just wanted to eat waffles all day.)
This year was our first year teaching all common core standards. Going through the standards and looking at the calendar, I was worried that I wasn't going to eat waffles all day in math. But, alas, there was measurement: cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. I was also able to review multiplying and dividing fractions. Yes! International Waffle Day would be celebrated once again. And celebrate we did!
Monday, March 19, 2012
5th grade measurement isn't so hard anymore. The Common Core Standards says we're only supposed to know how to convert units within a measurement system. Great! Easy! We can do it! To help my students learn how to convert, I created a chart that gives the conversions for each unit. With lots of practice using this chart, I hope my students will learn the conversions. No memorizing in my classroom! We will use the conversion charts and, in the process, we will learn the conversions. I'll let you know how it goes.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Even though St. Patrick's Day is Saturday, we can celebrate anytime we want in school and we chose today. We had our homerooms participating in a bike safety class this morning at separate times so we had to keep our homerooms instead of switching. (We departmentalize in my school. I teach all 5th grade math. One teaching partner teaches all language arts and the other teaches science and social studies. It works at our school and I love it!) We had to come up with something to keep our students occupied for an hour and a half, and the Murray State ballgame didn't come on until 11:15AM. Ha! I love Pinterest and found some great St. Patty's Day ideas on there and the other I made up to go with it.
Our students partnered up, which surprisingly works well with our students this year. No fussing, no one left out, no problems!
Each group was given a blank map of Ireland (found on none other than Google! images) that they were to fill in with the county names they found online. After filling in, they had to color it without touching colors (just another challenge).
Next, they were given the assignment of creating WANTED posters for a criminal leprechaun. They had to creatively name their leprechaun, physically describe him, describe his crimes, and describe, using their map, where he was last seen and headed.
I love my kids! They did such a great job! Cooperative. Crafty. Creative. I have the best job ever.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
I just returned from a my state's technology educator conference where I got inspired to do several things in my classroom and one was blogging. I have a class webpage, but I feel I need to share what I do in my classroom with other educators. I'm not the best 5th grade math teacher, but I do have some ideas that work and my students love that I should share with others. My parents taught me to share when I was little playing with my LEGOS; it's not any different now that I'm 30 teaching 5th grade math. I hope I'm able to help someone else in their classroom with what I do in mine.