Welcome to my math blog! The purpose of this blog is to help you stay informed about our learning and experiences that have taken place during our math class. I have also included links your child (and you) may want to use in order to supplement math learning in 5th grade.

## Friday, May 30, 2014

### School's Out

Have a GREAT summer break!

## Wednesday, May 28, 2014

### AR Carnival

Celebrated reading today at the AR Carnival!

## Tuesday, May 27, 2014

### Me Book Make Up

We spent our class time today working on Me Book pages for:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

## Thursday, May 22, 2014

### Natural Resource Day and Transition Day

Natural Resource Day @ Jayson Harris Pavillion

---------------------------------------------------------------

Transition Day:   Junior High

## Wednesday, May 21, 2014

### Titanic Day 5: The Rescue

Today, our final day using math facts about the Titanic, our focus was the rescue of the Titanic survivors.

I did not want to reinvent the wheel, so I found a few websites that helped me with facts and questions:

I took the information and questions from these two sites and turned them into a Hollywood Squares game using a template, created by Mark Damon,  that I also found on the web:

We played the game with two teams.  I did have large groups, but each person had to show their work on notebook paper and turn it in.  By working together, they were able to think aloud and explain their thinking to each other to justify their answers.

## Tuesday, May 20, 2014

### 5th Grade 1st Class Titanic Luncheon

Wow, what a day!  Our girls were beautiful, or boys were handsome and a great time was had by all!

Thank you to our parents for making our day so special!

## Monday, May 19, 2014

### Titanic Day 4: The Iceberg

Today our focus was iceberg facts regarding the Titanic.

I did not want to reinvent the wheel, so I found a few websites that helped me with facts and questions:

I took the information and questions from these two sites and turned them into a Hollywood Squares game using a template, created by Mark Damon,  that I also found on the web:

We played the game with two teams.  I did have large groups, but each person had to show their work on notebook paper and turn it in.  By working together, they were able to think aloud and explain their thinking to each other to justify their answers.

## Friday, May 16, 2014

### Titanic Day 3: Set Sail

Today our focus was setting sail on the Titanic.

I did not want to reinvent the wheel, so I found a few websites that helped me with facts and questions:

I took the information and questions from these two sites and turned them into a Hollywood Squares game using a template, created by Mark Damon,  that I also found on the web:

We played the game with two teams.  I did have large groups, but each person had to show their work on notebook paper and turn it in.  By working together, they were able to think aloud and explain their thinking to each other to justify their answers.

## Thursday, May 15, 2014

I did not want to reinvent the wheel, so I found a few websites that helped me with facts and questions:

I took the information and questions from these two sites and turned them into a Hollywood Squares game using a template, created by Mark Damon,  that I also found on the web:

We played the game with two teams.  I did have large groups, but each person had to show their work on notebook paper and turn it in.  By working together, they were able to think aloud and explain their thinking to each other to justify their answers.

HOMEWORK:  Countdown 7.7

## Wednesday, May 14, 2014

### Titanic Day 1: Building A Ship

As we prepare for our 1st Class Titanic Luncheon scheduled for Tuesday, May 20, I have decided to use our next few math classes to work with Titanic facts.  Today our focus is the building of the Titanic.

I did not want to reinvent the wheel, so I found a few websites that helped me with facts and questions:

I took the information and questions from these two sites and turned them into a Hollywood Squares game using a template, created by Mark Damon,  that I also found on the web:

We played the game with two teams.  I did have large groups, but each person had to show their work on notebook paper and turn it in.  By working together, they were able to think aloud and explain their thinking to each other to justify their answers.  It was very interesting to listen to!

I found one misconception when it came to converting gallons to cups.   I had students who were convinced that this was a division problem!  The reasoning was that you are pouring one gallon of water into 16 cups so you are dividing the water....  I explained that that was true, BUT you are pouring all of the gallons into a plethora of cups.... how many cups?  That was when they realized they needed to multiply.  INTERESTING!

We also worked with finding the area and perimeter of a First Class Suite and a Third Class Double-Berth room.  We used the information to compare the luxury of the two rooms.  Most would prefer the First Class Suite!  We also found out that there were only two bathtubs for Third Class Passengers to use (one for men and one for women).... there were 1000 Third Class Passengers!

I found this activity on Teachers Pay Teachers:

Homework:  None

## Monday, May 12, 2014

### How to Be a Fifth Grade Math Student

Today, we visited the computer lab for the final blog topic.  I wanted the classes to think about their year as a 5th grade student and share what we have done.

I almost used the writing pattern that goes with the poem "If I Were in Charge of the World" by Judith Viorst.  However, I didn't want it to sound like my students hated everything about math.  If you visit with them, they don't hate math, but there are elements that they are not fond of!

So, I remembered a writing pattern from The Mailbox Magazine.  The example given was "How to Be An African Elephant."  Students were to research something and then express their "like" and "not mind" ideas.  I decided to use this format.  So, we did "How to Be a 5th Grade Math Student."

Before going into the computer lab, we brainstormed some of the math we have done this year.  Then, a student suggested we use our math journals for additional ideas.  To read about being a 5th grade math student, please read through our blogs at:

I did not assign any math homework this evening.  I have some students who will be retaking the STAAR math test tomorrow and just didn't think they needed homework!

## Friday, May 9, 2014

### Toilet Talk (Day 3)

Our final day with Toilet Talk!  Today we discovered:
• The volume of a value pack.
• The square footage in a value pack.
• How long this would last a family of 4.
• The number of Americans who do not wash their hands every time they visit a toilet.
• The percentage of Americans who are injured by toilets.

• The number of times we could wrap the Earth with the amount of toilet paper Americans use each year.
• The number of rolls it would take to reach the moon and back.

• And... if I were to use 50 rolls a year.... how many sheets?  how many miles?  how many square feet?  and the cost?
To finish off the lesson, I asked the kids to explain to me, mathematically, the reasons I should do this activity again next year....

## Thursday, May 8, 2014

### Toilet Talk (Day 2)

Today our Toilet Talk focused on how much toilet paper we use.  We discovered:

• How many sheets a 12 year old has used (minus the two years before being potty trained).
• How many sheets we will use in our lifetime (based on an average lifespan of 82 years).
• How many rolls of toilet paper a 12 year old has used.
• How many rolls of toilet paper an 82 year old used.
• The cash value of the rolls of toilet paper.
• How many times a 12 year old has visited the toilet so far and how many times an 82 year old will have visited the toilet.
• How many years we sit on a toilet in our lifetime.
• How many gallons of water we have used as a 12 year old.

• How many times we could go from LA to NY using the number of rolls of toilet paper used in a year at Disneyland.
• How many 12 packs of toilet paper Disneyland purchases and the cost of all of those 12 packs.
• How many square feet of toilet paper Disneyland uses in a year.
It was a lot of higher level thinking in math, but it was very interesting to learn and the kids always love using calculators!

HOMEWORK:  Countdown 7.6

## Wednesday, May 7, 2014

### Toilet Talk

Our topic yesterday was handshakes.  Today our topic was toilet paper!  Once again, I found the activity "Toilet Talk" on the Hungry Teacher website.  I knew that anything involving toilet paper would interested my kids!

There are three sections to the lesson from Hungry Teacher.  We focused on the "beginner" lesson today.  We found:

• the length and width (dimensions) of a square of toilet paper
• the area and perimeter of a square of toilet paper
• the length of a roll of toilet paper in inches, feet, and yards
• the total area of a roll of toilet paper
• the diameter and radius of a roll of toilet paper
• about how many pounds of toilet paper one tree produces
• and the percentage of people in the world who do not have a toilet

To finish the lesson, I had the kids complete a 3-2-1 exit ticket.

3 things I learned
2 things I thought were interesting
1 thing that surprised me

We will continue our Toilet Talk tomorrow!

## Tuesday, May 6, 2014

### The Problem with Weak Handshakes

I found the activity "The Problem with Weak Handshakes" at the website hungryteacher.com.  The website is committed to finding highly engaging lessons for teachers to challenge their students.

I have come across this lesson before in the book About Teaching Mathematics:  A K-8 Resource by Marilyn Burns.  I had attempted the lesson before with some success, but my students weren't interested in pursuing the lesson to its full fruition.  However, in Marilyn Burns newest edition About Teaching Mathematics:  A K-8 Resource (Third Edition), Marilyn Burns goes into an indepth explanation of the patterns and formulas to be found in this activity (pp. 343-347) which will allow me to guide students to a more complete explanation.

So, using the format from "The Problem With Weak Handshakes" and the information from About Teaching Mathematics, today we discovered the answers!

I began by asking what three things make up a good handshake?  (firm grip, eye contact, smile)  I proceeded to go around the room and demonstrate this by shaking the hands of the students in the room.  I then asked them to also get up and shake the hand of everyone in the room, BUT not to shake anyone's hand a second time.

Once everyone returned to their seat, I asked them to tell me how many handshakes had occurred.... Obviously, I got the unreasonable guesses, but no one seemed to know how to get to the correct solution.  So, I asked the classes how we could work to solve this problem.  One suggestion is that we line up, then one person at a time, walk the line, handshake and sit down and keep going until everyone was seated.  So, we did this.  We found that we could find the answer by adding consecutive numbers.

It was also suggested that we use a table to show our work.

We created a t-chart labeled:   people/handshakes.  I asked one student to stand.  We determined that there was 1 "people" and 0 "handshakes".  I asked a second person to stand.  We determined that there were 2 "people" and 1 "handshake".  We discussed the fact that we would not say that there was a handshake per person... there was only one handshake.  We continued this until all of the people in the room were accounted for.  By the end, we had kept a count of the number of handshakes for each person AND a total number of handshakes.

Now, I posed the question, "What if all of our students were in the room... how many handshakes would that be?"  The classes knew they could either do a consecutive sum (which meant lots of numbers which could easily mess you up), or they could continue the table (which takes time and effort).  Since they were a little hesitant to do these two options, I asked if they thought we could use the information from the table to help us figure out a formula for solving the problem.

They noticed that every time we added a person, the number of handshakes that person had was one less than the number of people.  So, they determined that we should take the number of people, subtract one, and multiply.  However, when we did this our number wasn't reasonable when we compared it to the chart.  At this point, I had to remind them that when we multiply like this, we are counting BOTH my handshake with you AND your handshake with me.  AHA!  Immediately, someone in the room would say.... we need to divide by 2.  This worked!

S0, if there were 20 total classmates, we would multiply 20 x 19 (taking yourself out).  This was 380 handshakes.  We needed to divide that by 2 (since two people have only 1 handshake).  So, the total number of handshakes for 20 students was 190.

Next, I reminded them that we are having a First Class Titanic Luncheon in about two weeks, so I posed another question....  What if you shook every 5th grader's hand at the luncheon... how many handshakes will take place?  It was much easier this time:

56 x 55 = 3080/2 = 1540 handshakes

I asked the classes if we could turn our new knowledge into an algebraic equation.... Of course we could!  We used our above answer, to set up the equation:

P x (P-1)/2 = H

To check for individual understanding, I asked them to solve one more problem, use the formula, and explain their thinking:

If there were 101 people meeting for the first time,
how many handshakes would there be?

The answer:  101 x 100 = 10100/2 = 5050 handshakes

HOMEWORK:  Countdown 7.5