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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.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


We finished up our Holiday Cookie Exchange today.  The final step was to use a set of prices to help us find the total amount we would spend at the grocery store in order to make our cookies.

We spent the remainder of time working on finishing up work that was due or Khan Academy while we listened to Pentatonix W music!

No math tomorrow.... Christmas parties!!


See you next year!




Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Holiday Cookie Exchange (day 2)


Today, my classes used their ingredient list from yesterday to determine how much of 6 different ingredients they would need to purchase.  This was limited to 6 to help with time management!  The classes were able to complete this pretty quickly.  So, they had plenty of time to finish their Countdown to STAAR for today as well.

With the extra time, I wanted to make sure they were caught up on other class work, so they could work on their Social Studies crossword puzzle, their Reading Me Book page(s) and journal, and finally get onto 5th Grade Khan.

We will finish up our Holiday Cookie Exchange activity tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Cookie Exchange


We started working on our faux Holiday Cookie Exchange today.  We are not actually going to be making these cookies, which is sad, but it's fun to get to work with math that is found in real life!  


Today my classes chose 3 cookies to "make".  Before we can make the cookies, we have to make sure we have enough of the ingredients on hand.  So, I gave my students the recipes to choose from and a table that had a list of ingredients already filled out (they may have needed to add an ingredient or two that were missing from the list).  They had to go through the recipe(s) and record the amount of each ingredient needed.  After doing this for all three, they had to add the ingredients together to find the total amount of each ingredient needed.


At this point, I took up the pages to check their work.  I want their totals to be accurate before moving to the next step tomorrow.

To finish out our math class, we worked on a Countdown to STAAR.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Industrial Revolution Presentation with a Smidgen of Math


Our main goal today was to present our inventions as though we were trying to convince investors to back us financially.  I had students come up in the same order that they had selected their invention last week.  As students came to the front, they gave me back the grading rubric and I opened up their Google Slide presentation.  Each student presented their invention using their script and slides.

While each student presented, 4 other (randomly chosen) students posed as investors and used a rubric to assess the Content, Preparation, and Presentation.  This rubric assigned a monetary amount to each item.  I will tally up the investor input and reveal the winning invention tomorrow!

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Once all of the presentations were finished, we moved into a quick math time.  We discussed a "would you rather" and completed our first estimation180 in a few weeks.  The kids were glad to get back to it!

It has also been a while since we have worked on a Countdown to STAAR, so we used our last 20 minutes on 8 math problems.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Benchmark Data and Industrial Revolution



So today, we began with graphing our benchmark data.  I had originally hoped that students would see a +10 improvement from their 4th Grade STAAR to this 5th Grade benchmark.  However, after viewing the results, I changed my own thinking.  With only half of a year's TEKS taught, it was much more appropriate to look for 50% of the test passed.  This revelation also allowed my classes to breathe a sigh of relief!  

We spent about the first 30  minutes adding our data from our benchmark to our 5th Grade Data sheet.

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Today was also our final day of working toward completion of our Industrial Revolution Shark Tank Project from  teachsocialstudies.com .  By the end of class today, I wanted each student to have completed:
  • research
  • script
  • Google Slide presentation
I printed each student's script for them to take home over the weekend to practice.  Presentations will given on Monday.  After viewing a few of the scripts... I can't wait!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Industrial Revolution and Math Test


Not much new to report today.  We began by completing our Personal Financial Literacy math assessment.  I wanted everyone to have all of the time they needed.

As students finished the assessment, they worked on researching their Industrial Revolution invention.  I had placed all of the items they need to complete the project on our Classroom:


The first item is the assignment page and rubic that I gave the classes a hard copy of yesterday.  I have this there for their information.

The second item is their research page.  This is what they needed to work with today.  They opened their own copy and began answering the questions.

They will have the entire class period tomorrow to work on their Industrial Revolution Shark Tank Presentation.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Industrial Revolution and Personal Financial Literacy Test


Today we began by reading a newspaper article titled "An Industrial Revolution Begins" and answering 6 questions based on our reading.

Then I used the sales pitch and PowerPoint that was given in the Industrial Revolution unit I found on teachsocialstudies.com .  This was the "hook" to show the classes the type of presentation they would be doing on an invention from the Industrial Revolution.  From here, I showed them the sales pitch assignment page and I had the kids draw for the invention they would be pitching on our version of Shark Tank.

We watched a few different sales pitches from the show to see what a good presentation would look like and what elements make a good sales pitch.  I then went over the rubric that would be used to assess their presentation.

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Well, it seems like we just did this, but it is time for our end of unit assessment on Personal Financial Literacy.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Industrial Revolution AND Personal Financial Literacy


It is my week to teach Social Studies and our topic is the Industrial Revolution.  I happened to find an activity based on the TV show "Shark Tank" that I have decided to use for this unit on the website http://teachsocialstudies.com.  The set of lesson plans will last the week and are much more interesting than basic research.  We began by reading an article from our newspaper and answering a few questions.



Then we moved onto a hands-on activity.  I modified the Industrial Revolution lesson a little, by including an American History Simulation called "Widget Assembly."  This was a fun way to introduce the idea of an assembly line.  After completing this activity, we took notes from the Google Slide presentation that was a part of the lesson plans.

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Now, it was time for math.  Today we were finally able to complete our budget sheet and find our ending monthly balance.  Once the budget was complete, I asked the kids to show their Depth of Knowledge, by answering a few questions.

How much money do you have left at the end of each month?  



What would be the responsible thing to do with this money?  Why?



How will you use what you’ve learned during this project in your life when you become an adult?

1.

2.

3.


We then attached our budget sheet and our DOK into a Kidblog post to showcase our learning:


Finally, we finished up our Personal Financial Literacy by determining the advantages and disadvantages of methods of payment (cash, check, credit card, debit card, money transfer, and automatic payments) by playing a Kahoot!



Friday, December 4, 2015

Math Benchmark


Crazy day #5!  We'll see how next week goes!  

Today we began with our school wide "campfire" meeting and then the kids headed to PE.  With all the craziness going on this week, there wasn't anyone available for read alouds until 9:30.

So, we began my math benchmark at 9:30.  Lunch is at 11:45 and I still had about 15 students who needed to finish, so they all came to my room.  The rest of the students either headed to music for the afternoon (our program is tonight) or were divided into the other two classrooms to "catch up" on things for reading and science.

We finished testing in time for recess and for the remaining kids to go to band.  The last 45 minutes of our day was "catching up" the students who had been finishing their benchmark and practicing their play.

Craziness!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Personal Financial Literacy: Variable Expenses


Crazy Day#4!  Only 30 minute classes today!

Today, we began by reviewing our +10 Goal.  Basically, I want my students to achieve +10 percentage points on their Math Benchmark tomorrow over their 4th Grade STAAR percentage.  I had students look at their goal to remind them where they would like to be!  I also explained how they would be earning STAARbucks (pretend money) based on their achievement on the benchmark.

Then we moved into our final expenses... food, clothing, and entertainment.  First, we found that our monthly variable expenses allowance should be bout 40% of our monthly net income.  After finding this information and putting it on our spreadsheet, we needed to find out how much to spend on food, clothing, and entertainment.  Due to the speed we needed to move, I showed the classes the websites I had located that gave an average monthly expenditure.

We input this information into our budget sheet and found our final balance.

We will finish up this project tomorrow!

    Wednesday, December 2, 2015

    Personal Financial Literacy: Vehicle, Insurance, Gas


    Crazy day #3!

    We took a reading benchmark until lunch.  That gave us 40 minute classes.  So, today we finished up our housing on the budget and moved into our vehicle allowance.  We are allowing ourselves 15% of our monthly income for a vehicle, insurance, and gas.  Due to our time constraint, I used the vehicle sheet provided in the project instructions.

    We were able to get everything done that I wanted to!  

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015

    The Twelve Days of Christmas Costs WHAT?!?!


    Crazy day #2!!!

    Our day began with 30 minute classes.  I had each of my three classes for 30 minutes.  During this time, we finished up working with our budget sheet and finding the balance after putting in our housing and utilities amounts.  I was able to show my classes an auto loan calculator and we spent a few minutes finding out our monthly payments on a dream car!

    At 10:30 we lost about 15 kids to the UIL competition, so we merged the rest of the classes into two groups and had two additional rotations.  This allows me to do one of my favorite Christmas activities, "The Twelve Days of Christmas Costs WHAT?!?!"



    As always, I am looking to incorporate technology activities within my lessons.  So, I assigned each student the spreadsheet through Classroom.  The spreadsheet was very generic, but I decided to do some function practice with them.  We learned how to create a multiplication function to find the total cost of each gift and the number of gifts per day.


    Once we had those functions in place, we visited the PNC Christmas Price Index to find the cost of each gift.  I kept this on the screen and we did each gift together because I love to hear their astonishment at the prices and the number of gifts!

    Once we had price totals and gift totals, we needed to find the total cost of all of the gifts and the total number of gifts needed.  This time we needed to use a SUM function.  The classes were thrilled to learn this and loved seeing the math happen right before their eyes!

    Once we determined the total number of gifts given, I asked the classes:

    If “my true love” decided that there were just too many gifts, and she decided to give one item away every day, on what day would she give away the final gift?

    Next, I decided to have them present their spreadsheets on Kidblog.  So, we opened a new post and we imported an image, titled our post, and then embedded their spreadsheet using the Drive button.  Once we had the spreadsheet in, I had them copy and paste a new set of instructions:


    I do not know where I got this activity from, but I would be glad to give credit!

    I had the students tell me where they would send each gift and asked them to Google the gifts to get some ideas, so we were able to incorporate a little research.

    Overall, the kids really enjoyed the activity!  It's always a huge hit to see just how much money was spent on "my true love" AND the number of birds she now has to care for!

    If you would like to view our Kidblog presentations, please follow the links below:



    Monday, November 30, 2015

    Personal Financial Literacy: Choose a Home


    So this week is going to by CRAAAAZZZZEEEE!  It began today with having 50 minute classes and a Science Benchmark!

    The time I did have with each class was spent working our our budget.  To recap, we had each chosen a career, we then took out our income tax to find our net income, then we divided that by 12 to find our monthly net income, and finally, we took out 10% to put into savings.

    It was time to start delving into expenses.  I introduced the day by discussing fixed and variable expenses.  Then I explained that with our expenses comes TAXES, yes, more taxes.  We defined property and sales taxes in our journal noting how each tax is used and where it comes from.



    We noted that people are supposed to determine a maximum housing (including utilities) budget that does not exceed 35% of the monthly income.  Students used their monthly net income, multiplied it by 35%, and determined their housing allowance.  My military career students were about to keep their housing budget at "0"!

    For the sake of time, I had students use the housing page given in the teacher guide to locate the house (plus utilities) that fit in their budget.  We added these to our budget sheet, but ran out of time before we were able to determine our ending balance.  So, that is where we begin tomorrow!

    Friday, November 20, 2015

    Autumn Trees


    It is the day before our Thanksgiving Break.  My students have been working hard for me and I wanted us to just take a moment and reflect on what we like about Autumn.

    So, on Thursday, I had the kids work on a paper called "Autumn Five Senses".  I had them write three things that Autumn TASTES like, SMELLS like, LOOKS like, FEELS like, and SOUNDS like.  These didn't need to be sentences, just ideas.

    Today, we took those ideas and created our Standing Tree of Thanks (I found them at Oriental Trading).  On each leaf we wrote one of our ideas (for example:  Autumn takes like dad's hot chocolate) and then used glue dots to affix the leaves to the tree.

    The kids were very proud of their creations and I hope they are proudly displayed at their Thanksgiving dinners!

    Thursday, November 19, 2015

    Personal Financial Literacy: Savings


    Last night, I opened all of my students' Personal Income Tax documents that they were working on.  I went through each and checked for accuracy of addition.  I had already checked the accuracy of their multiplication on their grid sheets (where they show their work), but used the SUM formula in Sheets to check their addition (so much faster).  On each page, as I found an error, I corrected it in red.  This allows my students to see where errors were made, but it also allowed me to input correct information to use today.

    So, today, we used the total amount of taxes found yesterday and subtracted it from our GROSS income.  I explained that the difference (answer to the subtraction problem) was the amount of money they actually got to take home!  Students were not pleased to see how much their income decreased!

    I also had to explain that this is not the amount of money we take home each month!  Our next step was to divide our net income by 12 to find our monthly net income.  I did check both their subtraction and division numbers as they completed them since I wanted correct information placed on their Personal Income Tax form.  I was very pleased with the number of students who divided PERFECTLY even though they were dividing a HUGE (by their standards) number by a TWO-DIGIT divisor... oh the horror!  We placed this information on our budget sheet to be used as we contemplate our month expenses.

    At this point, they were able to "turn in" their completed document and we finished taking our notes about gross income vs net income.  I even showed them a pay stub to see how gross and net income were shown as you receive a paycheck.  To finish off this part of our day, I asked the kids to answer the following prompt:

    Summarize what you have learned by explaining
    the role TAXES play in your gross and net income.

    We also worked with the idea of keeping a savings account.  To begin, we talked about the necessity of a safety net for unexpected things that happen in life.  We referred back to the information we had seen that suggested putting 10% of each paycheck into savings.  So, our next step was to find the amount of 10% of our monthly net income.  We added this information to our budget sheet and subtracted from our beginning balance (monthly net income).

    To show how savings can grow quickly, we found out how much we would save over 6 months and then 1 year.  We also discussed putting the money in an account at the bank where it could accrue interest.  They were very "interested" in the idea of getting free money, even though .04% a month is not much.  However, they did realize that, since they received this monthly on the new balance, this added up pretty nicely!

    This project is terrific!  It is of such high interest to my students they do not complain about the amount of math they are completing!  

    Wednesday, November 18, 2015

    Personal Financial Literacy: Personal Income Tax


    I very much enjoyed today's lesson on personal income tax.  Yesterday, my classes had chosen a career and found the average salary for that career.  Today, we started chinking away at that salary by finding the income tax they would be due.


    The Project-Based Unit (above) is very timely and used the 2016 Tax Brackets to make this even more pertinent.  To begin, I had students find 10% of their salary to take away for various payroll taxes.  Next, we began to find their income tax.  Now, this part of the lesson got a little touchy as every child had a different salary.  So, we all began in the same place.  We all had a salary higher than the 10% tax bracket, so we were all able for find 10% of $9225.  Then we had to subtract $9225 from our salary before heading to the next tax bracket.  In the second tax bracket, the salary goes to $37,450.  If students salaries (after taking out the $9225) were below this, then they took the difference and multiplied by 15%, it it was over, we had to find 15% of $37,450 and subtract again.  For some students, their salaries were finished after the 2nd tax bracket, but I did have a handful in each class that went to the 5th tax bracket!  These students were a little more self-paced and able to work without my immediate help.



    After finding all of the taxes taken from all needed tax brackets, we added up our taxes (including payroll) to find the total amount taken from our gross income.  Then we subtracted the taxes from the gross to find our net income.  This was more painful than I thought, as I had students who have gotten used to not lining up the decimal when they multiply, so they didn't line up the decimal numbers when they subtracted.  It makes quite a difference in the answer!!!

    We stopped at this point as we were out of time!  We will pick up right where we left off tomorrow!.

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015

    Personal Financial Literacy: Taxes


    We continued our Project-Based learning activity on Personal Financial Literacy today.



    Last night for homework, I asked the students to choose a career they are interested in pursuing.  I explained that the difference between a career and a job is the training, usually through college, you receive.  Once everyone had shared their choice, we looked up the average salary for that career in Texas.  I explained that some jobs pay more in other states, so we want the salary for Texas.  I also explained to my boys who wanted to be pro ballplayers and golfers that they would not begin as a Napoli or Spieth.  I asked them to find the average salary of the average pro (if there is such a thing).

    Once we had our salaries, I explained that this was their Gross income.  That this amount (split over the year) is what they would receive BEFORE taxes were taken out.


    I began by explaining about payroll taxes.  I explained that they are taken from your check monthly by the federal government (IRS).  I began with income tax and explained that this money is used by the government to pay for government jobs, buildings, memorials, etc.  Them we moved on to Social Security and Medicare.  I explained that these taxes were taken from our paycheck each month and held for our use once we retired.  I also explained that employers also match these funds, helping them to grow more quickly.

    I then revisited income tax.  I pointed out that income tax is taken from paychecks monthly, but that if the government determines that enough income tax was taken out of your paychecks, you may have to pay an additional amount on April 15.  We also discussed some deductions that are available to help keep the owed income tax down or result in a refund.

    At this point, we ran out of time.  So, we will continue with Gross vs Net income tomorrow.  

    Monday, November 16, 2015

    Personal Financial Literacy: Budgets


    We began our Personal Financial Literacy unit today.  I  found a Project-Based Learning activity on Teachers Pay Teachers that I am excited about using:


    Basically, we began our project by discussing budgets. We talked about the need for a budget and the importance of a balanced budget.  We talked about budgeting for needs vs wants

     I also had the kids create a budget spreadsheet on a Google Doc.  I decided that teaching them some of the tricks in a Google Doc is easier than introducing them to Sheets right now.  Maybe later this year.  Since my additional focus will be adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals, I did not want to show students how to use a formula in Sheets just yet.

    The homework was to decide on a career that they are interested in having as an adult.  We will use this information tomorrow.

    We finished our day by answering the prompt:

    What conclusions can you draw about the importance of keeping a budget and maintaining a balanced budget?

    After finishing the prompt, students worked on completing a Countdown to STAAR. If they had time, they began researching career ideas.


    Thursday, November 12, 2015

    Decimal Operations: Multiplication and Division Word Problems


    Today we had to put our thinking caps on!  It began with a "Guess My Number" warm-up question.  The students have to use a set of clues to determine the number.  Then we moved on to our estimation180 problem.  Today's picture showed a roll of dimes in a glass container.  The students needed to remember that a roll of dimes is $5.  They also needed to remember the number of rolls of pennies that filled the same container.  Using this information, they should have been able to come to a very reasonable estimate of the value of the dimes in the glass container.

    Our activity today was to work with multiplying and dividing decimals found in word problems.  As always, I am working to keep students interested in solving math problems and handing them a worksheet seems to shut off their brains!  However, I did have a group of students in each class that needed a little more attention, so they took their problems to our Content Mastery to help conquer division.  The rest of the class found these same problems on quizizz.com .  

    Once students had completed the questions online, they were to create a word problem of their own using the Ticket Prices from the word problems they had solved.  They were also asked to write the equation for their problem and solve the problem showing their work.

    Finally, we worked on a Countdown to STAAR and then on either multiplication or division of decimals on Khan.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2015

    Decimal Operations: Division by 2-digit divisor



    Division....'nuf said!

    I did my best to make division "fun" today.  Division is not fun, not to a 5th grader, so I had my work cut out!  I know that division is hard, in the minds of an 11 year old, so I knew there was no way that I was going to assign a set of 20 problems from a worksheet.

    So, I took a worksheet called "On Board with Columbus" from The Mailbox Teacher's Helper Oct/Nov 2011 edition.



    First, we did problem "A" together as our example.  Now, keep in mind, my students have been dividing all year.  We have done whole number division and now decimal division.  I wanted practice, this was not an introduction.  So, I had each student pull a card that had been labeled B-T.  This was the letter they were to start with on the worksheet.



    Once they had solved their problem, they were to go into the hall and find the little piece of red paper with a QR code with their answer on it.  When they found their answer on the piece of paper, we used my phone to scan the code to determine the next problem to solve (kind of like a scavenger hunt).  The final piece of good news was that they were only being asked to solve 5 problems.  The kids really enjoyed this activity!  They liked the "chance" involved and willingly worked their problems.