Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Place Value: Regrouping

We are deep into the world of place value. I'm so excited to teach this standard because I think it is going to help finally solidify a lot of my student's number sense. Here is a quick look at how our "regrouping" lesson went today. I started off by showing students this anchor chart on the carpet. We talked about how "regroup" means to take ten ones and trade them in for 1 ten. The hardest part of regrouping for my students is understanding what to do if there are ones left over. They tend to want to trade all their ones in for a ten, even if they have more then ten.

So we played this little game from Debbie Diller's book. I like introducing the idea of regrouping with unifix cubes because you can model how to take ones and actually build them into a ten. During math work stations today I taught students how to played "First to 100". There are some basic management strategies that are important to model before releasing this game into independent math work stations.
  • It helps if you teach the students to roll the dice into  a container to keep it in control. 
  • Also, I noticed today that my students had a hard time picking up the number of ones associated with the number that they rolled. (It didn't even cross my mind that this would be tough. It seemed easy enough!) I modeled how to help other members of the group make sure that they are picking up the right number of ones. 
  • Then comes the hard part of knowing when to regroup the ones into a ten. (The point of this game is to get 100 cubes.) After each person's turn I asked them if they could regroup yet? How many do you need to regroup? How many are in a group of 10? Can you make a group of 10 yet? What does it mean to regroup? Believe it or not I got a lot of blank stares to these questions. We will continue to practice!
My students didn't want to leave the table. Looks like this math station will be a hit!

This student is counting his tens and ones and deciding if he can regroup yet.
This student just rolled the dice and picked up his tenth cube, so now he can regroup into a ten.

Farmer Mack Nugget: Where would you hide your turkey?

Today (and yesterday) was one of those days! At the end of the day today I accidentally dropped a bag of money all over the floor by my math manipulative shelves. As I knelt down on the floor to pick up the coins, I realized how quiet it was with my head in the corner of the room picking up pennies. Suddenly this monotonous chore was a relaxing excuse to sit in the corner of my room. I just wanted to curl up in a ball in that exact spot. It has been one of those days.

But here is a positive take away from this hectic week. We have a retired teacher who returns to our school monthly as the "Book Fairy." She wears these ridciulously, gawdy prom dresses that she got on sale at the department store and reads a new story to each class once a month. Then we get to keep the book she reads for our classroom library! So far we have three books in our "Book Fairy" basket in the library. The children LOVE reading these special stories on their own time. We even blog back and forth with the Book Fairy in between visits. 

 Anyways, last week she read Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey. In case you haven't read it, this is the tale of a group of children who go on a school field trip to the turkey farm, and end up rescuing the turkeys by sneaking them away from Farmer Mack Nugget under their shirts. It is a very funny story and the children get a kick out of how fat the students get with a turkey under their shirt. So for writing we wrote our own turkey rescue tales. Each child got a clip art turkey and wrote where they would hide their turkey. Their writing was very cute!

This turned out to be just the calming activity we needed yesterday so we could all recover from some major and unexpected interruptions in our schedule. My children are very familiar with the word "flexible," and how to apply it to situations. Add it to the vocabulary wall!  Writing often calms me down. Perhaps why I am writing this blog post right now as I sit on my couch at home.  I hope to pass this sense of calm onto my students on days where they have a lot to process. Writing and drawing can be such a therapeutic act!

This is my favorite because this child was not writing at all at the beginning of the year. Look at that growth in concept of word and all that spacing! She would hide her turkey in the bath tub.

I would hide my turkey in the closet so my mom couldn't find and roast him. HA!

I love how this student thought to turn her turkey over so it could lay down in bed!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanks & Giving


As we enter this week of Thanks and Giving, I thought it would be a great time to sit down and blog about all the things I'm thankful for...because after all...there are many things on my thankful list. And then I found the Thankful Linky Party at What the Teacher Wants! First off, I too am thankful for Saturdays and Sundays. I love waking up to the quiet morning and sipping my coffee while catching up on my Kindle read of the moment. I feel like I wait all week to just sit still, and my body cherishes that quiet time where no one needs me and I know everything is taken care of for the moment. This morning I felt the warm sun on my face and it brought instant peace to what has seemed like a crazy life lately.

I love my family and my amazing
husband who puts up with my crankiness and crazy ideas (and I with his). I am so thankful and excited to see my sister this Thursday and spend 4 days with her. I am thankful for my mom and dad and their unconditional love and support. And I can't forget my Rocky who greets me every morning with kisses and a wagging tail.

 I am thankful for my group of students this year and that I have the opportunity to work with them and make a difference in their lives. As frustrating and exhausting as it can be, I know that my job makes a difference.  I can't imagine building a career that doesn't touch others. I feel very blessed and very thankful as this holiday season approaches!

What are you thankful for? Link up with Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants at Thankful Linky Party.