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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.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Think Through Math

This has been a crazy week!  Monday, no school due to ice.  Tuesday, late start due to ice.  Wednesday, no school due to snow... which melted by 10:00 and we had a high of 60 degrees!  Thursday, finally, a normal day.  Friday, huge snow storm affecting all counties immediately north of us, but we have a chance of more snow.

So, needless to say, or school days this week have been off.  Today was no exception.  This was my week to teach Social Studies, so most of my class time was given to comparing and contrasting the roles of women in the North and South during the Civil War.  Again, we used our Cromebooks during Social Studies.  The kids were able to create a venn diagram using a Google Drawing.  We also worked on completing our crossword puzzle.

We ended class by working on our Think30 goal.  The classes have only 6 more weeks to get 30 lessons passed.  Our STAAR test is Monday, April 21.  Please get your child on thinkthroughmath.com to complete more lessons!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Want to know how Chromebooks are used in Social Studies?

I thought you might be interested in seeing how I used our Chromebooks today in a Social Studies lesson (that incorporated a little math).  Our lesson was about the casualties that have occurred in American Wars from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam.

I recorded a video without the students, as inputting so much information took quite a bit of time.  In reality, the lesson took about 30 minutes, then answering the questions took another 30.  To see the our Chromebooks in action, please watch the video:  Chromebooks in Social Studies.

We finished off our class by completing a Countdown to STAAR.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


We had a late start today due to the ice (it looks like a good chance of snow tonight!), so our schedule was a little off.  It is my week to teach Social Studies, so we spent the majority of class working on the Civil War.  Ask your child about Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco.

We determined the five most important items a soldier would have needed to carry during the Civil War.  Then use Google Classroom, students opened their assigned Google Doc to name their five choices and justify their reasoning.

However, we did a quick review using Kahoot!  We solve 12 problems using multiplication of a whole number with a fraction and division of a unit fraction by a whole number.  Then, with the remaining time, we reduced the ingredients to a brownie recipe from feeding 16 to feeding 2 (NOT a real recipe!).

Friday, February 20, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dividing Unit Fractions and Whole Numbers

Today we learned to divide a whole number by a unit fraction,

and a unit fraction by a whole number.

We took a few notes to explain the process.  To view the notes, please watch Fractions:  Division.

The we completed a page of problem, a Countdown to STAAR, and even a little Think Through Math!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kahoot and Brownies!

I wanted to have a little fun with multiplying a fraction by a whole number, so we played Kahoot!  

Basically, the kids are given a problem, 30 seconds to solve and input the answer, and then the timer cuts off any additional answers.  

Next, the correct answer is shown along with a bar graph showing class results.  

The game also keeps track of a "winner" by showing the top five scores after each round.  The kids LOVED it!  

I loved it because they were multiplying fractions by a whole number and LOVING IT!  This is not always true since there are many steps: 
  • (1) multiply the numerator by the whole number to create a new numerator 
  • (2) create the improper fraction using the new numerator and keeping the denominator.  
  • (3) Convert the improper fraction to a mixed number.  
  • (4)  See if they needed to simplify.... 
all in 30 SECONDS!

After the game, I have the classes the "Brownie" assignment.  This assignment asked the students to recalculate a brownie recipe so that it fed 60, not 15, students (It is NOT a true recipe!).  So, they took each fractional amount and multiplied by 4.  They had to take the amount to simplest form just like they had to do in the game.

To finish off math, we got onto Think Through Math.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Multiply a Fraction by a Whole Number

Today we worked on solving multiplication problems involving fractions and whole numbers.  We began by taking some notes.  First we reviewed how we used a model to represent the multiplication, but then we moved into using the standard algorithm.  I made a video of the notes, however, something within the system would not allow the video to post to YouTube, so I have a picture of the notes instead:

As you can see from number one that we would (1) take the fraction and multiply the numerator by the whole number, but the denominator would stay the same (2) we would then convert our improper fraction into a mixed number and (3) we would simplify our mixed number as needed.

We completed about 8 problems practicing this new skill.  We will continue with this topic tomorrow.

We finished our class with Countdown to STAAR 2.5 .  This is homework if it was not completed in class.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's in Math

Valentine's Day is tomorrow, so we had our Valentine's celebration this afternoon.  In the meantime, we had class!  Don't let your child fool you.... we had class!!!

To begin, we created a Google Drawing page.  I assigned a problem (3/4 x 5), and asked the students to show the answer to the problem using models.  While this was to assess understanding, it was also the platform needed to introduce the tools in Google Drawing.  By the end of the allotted time, most students had a drawing that looked like this:

Then we learned how to turn in a Google Drawing using Classroom.  We also revisited Discovery Education to get the link to their "board" that they built yesterday.  We pasted the link into our homework assignment in Classroom and submitted both projects at once!  There are a still a few glitches that I need to learn to make the process smoother, but overall it was a great learning experience.

Then, it was on to Valentine Math!  I do so love when kids love math! We explored the following problem:

Would You Rather....

This was assigned to the kids using Classroom.  Each student opened a Google Doc that had the prompt, a section for predicting, a section for data, and a section for their conclusion.  

To begin, I asked each student to make a prediction as to which they would rather have and explain why they thought it was the best choice.  I explained that there wasn't really a right or wrong, I just wanted them to explain their thinking.  

Next, I handed each student a sheet of white paper and a "dollar" and asked them to trace the dollar twice on the paper.  Then I traded the "dollar" for a "quarter".  The students used the quarter to trace around the outside perimeter of  the dollar.  Once they knew how many quarters were needed, then they multiplied this by the dime.  That was an eye opener.... they did not know how to write the notation for a dime (.10)....

Next, they traded their quarter for a box of candy hearts and they placed the candy hearts around the dollar, problem solving when there were not enough, and determined the number of hearts that would fit.  My favorite was the student who STOOD the hearts UP so that he could fit more around the perimeter!  One they had their number, this time they had to multiply by a nickel.  EYE OPENER... they kept writing a nickel as .5!

Once they had determined both amounts, they wrote about their data on their Doc, wrote their conclusion, and turned the assignment in.  But we weren't done...

I gave them a sheet of paper with 6 hearts on it, and the following chart:

I had them write a term from one of their candies in the first heart and determine its value.  Feeling nice, I allowed them to use a calculator!  They were looking to see if any of the sayings equaled 100.  Once they knew a heart was not the right value they could eat it!  Oh, happy day!

Overall, the kids really enjoyed the math!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Build a Math Board on Discovery Education


Our goal today was to create a board that showcased videos or pictures that explain how to multiply a fraction by a whole number using a model.  Again, this sounds easier than it was.

We had no difficulty getting to the board on Discovery Education.  The difficulty was in learning how to upload a picture (many steps involved, but once you did it, no problem) and even worse was uploading a video (you can only use the link unless using a Discover Education video).

I will say, that by third period, I had this down to an art!  

The board I had students work with was "Notebook".  It was broken into three sections.  Each section had a a place to insert a picture or video and a section for text.  

  • In the first section, I asked students to upload a picture and then explain its importance in the text box.
  • In the second section, I asked students to place a link in one text box, and then the explanation for its inclusion in the second text box.
  • In the third section, I asked students to create a Google Drawing in which they visually show how to multiply a fraction by a whole number.  (Not everyone got to this today, this is our last piece to add tomorrow).
My students really enjoyed this process (albeit there was frustration all around)!  We do need to move on though.  So tomorrow will be our last day on this assignment, whether the board is complete or not.  We will try doing this again later in the year.

We finished off math by working on a Countdown to STAAR.  If it was not finished, it becomes homework.  This will be turned in tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

It's Taking Longer Than I Thought!

Time flies.... so they say... and it couldn't be more true than when implementing new technology!  We were able to move forward with our exploration of Multiplying Fractions by Whole Numbers Using Models, but we did not get nearly as far as I had hoped.

Today, we had to enroll in Learn Zillion.   This is a free website that houses educational videos and lessons. Enrolling may sound easy, but when dealing with twenty 10 year olds, computers, and wifi.....  you get my drift.  Finally, we were enrolled!

Next, we had to test out our bookmark tabs.  We began by going to "My Drive" to open our Google Doc from yesterday that holds our video notes.  Then we had to go to the "Classroom" tab to get to Google Classroom.  This is where I had saved the link to the video.  Now that we had these two tabs open, it was time to use Tab Scissors to split the screen into two pages.  The first page showed the video and the second page showed the document where we would be taking notes.  This entire process took about 30 minutes of our class time.

With the remaining class time we had left, students watched the video and took notes about the things they thought were interesting, a new idea, or even questions they might now have.  I think that tomorrow we might be able to get to the activity!  :-)

We rounded out the day by spending 30 minutes on Think Through Math. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

More Technology in Math

Before moving into our next topic in math, I needed to to a few more "housekeeping" things with the kids and their Chromebooks.  

First, we went in and cleaned out their email.  I explained that it is important to read and then either save or discard the email once the task is performed.  There is no reason to keep all email from the beginning of time!  Then we created a bookmark for GMail to use as a shortcut!

Next, we created bookmarks for the sites that we will be spending time in:

We also edited our bookmarks so that only the icon is left, or a short reminder.  Just click on the star at the end of the URL and edit the name.  This allows them to have space for more necessary bookmarks.

Using our Google classroom bookmark, we went to our online math classroom.  The assignment was to look at an image on the screen and predict our math learning goal for the day using a Google Form.  This step focuses their mind on the goal for the day.

Then, I showed my classes how to use their Chromebook as a QR reader using QR Code Extension.  They use the camera on the Chromebook to capture the QR code.  This code took them to a link.  This link opens to a video about Multiplying Fractions by a Whole Number Using Models (our goal for the day).  

We were able to open this site AND a Google Doc and then use Tab Scissors to split the screen in two.  This way, students can watch the video AND take notes at the same time!!!

At this point, technology threw me a loop... I have to have the kids sign up for the site that we are visiting.  It is a free, educational site, and they will join based on a code given them.  No personal information necessary.  However, I have to enroll them and we have to sign up before moving forward with our goal.

I cannot wait until tomorrow!  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Technology in Math!

It feels so good to be back in the classroom!

 I have so much new information to share that I don't even know where to begin.... how about Google Classroom!?!?

 The first thing that I am implementing with my classes is "Google Classroom".  This is a platform on which we can communicate with each other.  I can assign work, students complete the work and turn it in to me electronically, I can grade it and return the work and grade to them electronically.  Ask your child about their Google Classroom site.  They can logon to the site by going to :  www.classroom.google.com.   There are all kinds of ways that Google Classroom can be used in math.  I can't wait to begin!  There is one caveat, I still need students to show their work when solving math problems.  So, we will learn some innovative ways to do this online, but there will be times that pencil and paper are the way to go.

As much as I wanted to jump right in to our new unit and implement some new technology, we needed to finish up working on the MSTAR assessment.  MSTAR is an algebra readiness assessment given to students at the beginning, middle, and end of the year.  The deadline for the assessment is Wednesday, so we completed it today.  Those students who had finished the assessment last week worked on Think Through Math.