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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, January 29, 2016

Lemonade Stand: DOK and Flyer

This was our final day with our Lemonade Stand Project.  Students had the entire class time to finish up the pages from the previous days' activities.

To round out the project, I asked the classes to answer questions to show their DOK (Depth of Knowledge) based on the information they gleaned from these activities.  To cap it off, I asked them to create a flyer to advertise their lemonade stand.  This flyer was attached to the assignment in their Google Classroom and everything was submitted today.


I apologize for not having visuals to go with this.  I recreated the pages from the purchase I made at teacherspayteachers.com.  As part of that purchase, we are asked to NOT share any portion on the web.  I highly recommend purchasing this Project Based Learning activity!  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lemonade Stand: Cost Analysis

Our focus today was on determining how much a cup of lemonade and a cup of limeade would cost us to make per day.  My students then determined how much money they would charge per glass of lemonade and glass of limeade in order to make a profit.  We did discuss the need for a reasonable cost and thinking about your customers and what they would be willing to spend.

I did have students on different phases of this project, which I like.  I think it is important to have activities in which students are working through the process at their own pace.  It gives them a feeling of empowerment, knowing that they understand the work and do not have to wait on others.  There did not seem to be any underlying current of needing to hurry and finish.  In fact, my kids were anxious to begin each day and very much enjoyed working on the project each day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lemonade Stand: Gathering Supplies

We continued working on our project, much to my kids' delight!  On Monday, I asked my classes to estimate the number of customers they estimate would visit their stand each day.  Today, we took that number and divided the customers between those the kids thought would purchase lemonade and those the kids thought would purchase limeade.

Once we had that number we looked at recipes for both lemonade and limeade.  We used the recipes and our number of customers to determine the amount of sugar, water, and lemons/limes we would need daily. This gave some practice with adding fractions.  Once we knew our daily amounts, we needed to calculate our weekly amounts.  This was different per student as each one had determined the number of days they would be open each week when they filled out their Business Plan on Monday.  This part of the activity allowed the students to work with multiplying fractions.  These two elements of the project also had the students working with converting improper fractions into mixed numbers.

Once the weekly amounts were determined, the students added their information to a weekly shopping list.  This was the stopping point for today.

We spent the last 20 minutes working on a Countdown to STAAR.  Students also had the choice of taking a short spiral review home in order to earn STAARbucks to use at the school store.  We are always looking for ways to take our school from mediocre to AWEsome!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lemonade Stand: Budget Sheet

I had a sub today, but didn't want to stop our momentum on our lemonade stand project.  So, today my classes used a price list and an investment budget (given by a family member) to purchase items for their lemonade stand.  They were to focus on purchasing the necessary items, then they could use their remaining funds to purchase items they wanted.  They found their Budget Sheet on their Google Classroom.  However, they had to show their work on grid paper.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Lemonade Stand: Business Plan

We started a new Project-Based Learning activity today:  Start a Lemonade Stand (follow the link above).  I began by having the students watch a BizKids video called:  BizKids Crash Course on Starting a Business.

Once we watched the video I explained that each student would be working on starting up a lemonade stand business.  We began by talking in table groups about where we would put a stand in our town, who might out customers be, the days and hours of operation, whether or not to have employees, etc.  It was a great discussion time and the kids were full of great ideas!

Once we had brainstormed our ideas, the kids opened their Business Plan on their Google Classroom assignment.  This is where I have also placed the videos for them to watch if they would like.  Everyone was on task as they all planned their business.  As students finished, I had them watch a quick video on how to build a lemonade stand.

To finish off the day, students worked on a Countdown to STAAR.  Then, I reminded the students that our principal is always looking for students to go from mediocre to AWEsome, and their chance this week was to work on a daily spiral review.  

Each day they are to solve 5 problems and earn STAARbucks for correct answers.  They can then use their STAARbucks to "purchase" items from our school store.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Operation of Fractions and Whole Numbers Review

We will be having our 3rd 6 Weeks Assessment tomorrow, so I wanted to take time to review.  I decided to have the classes work problems using

I assigned 7 problems that required students to either add, subtract, multiply or divide whole numbers and fractions.  I had each table sign in as a group, using only one computer.  They were to work together to solve the problems.  I gave each student a sheet of paper that we divided into fourths and numbered 1-8.  This is where they were required to show their work.

I wandered around the room, stepping in as needed to provide guidance or ways of thinking of the problem a little differently if they got stumped.  They did a very good job on the review.  I am sure nerves and a fixed mindset will set in tomorrow to undermine all of their confidence.... I hate that!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Division of a Fraction by a Whole Number and a Whole Number by a Fraction Models

Today we focused on dividing unit fractions by a whole number using models:

For the first problem, we drew a rectangle (one whole) and showed it broken into fourths.  Then we took each fourth and divided them into three pieces.  Since we wanted to know how much a person would have from the WHOLE, the answer was 1/12.

For the second problem, we drew a rectangle (one whole) and showed it broken into halves.  Then we took each half and divided it into 6 more pieces.  The answer is 1/12.

For this type of problem, you begin by making 7 rectangles (our wholes) and then divide each one into 3 sections.  The question is typically "how many sections".  This leads to the answer 21.

As this is my week for Social Studies, we stopped early to continue our study of the Causes of the Civil War.

Students do have homework.  They are to complete a Countdown to STAAR tonight.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Add and Subtract Fractions with Unlike Denominators - Review

Today we reviewed the concepts we have worked with all week, adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators using models.  I decided to have students solve questions using http://quizizz.com/ .  I like using this format because

Students were required to show their work on paper and turn it in to me, as working with models was my focus.  To learn more about using Quizziz, the image credit link above takes you to a slide show that walks you through the process.

Once my students completed the assignment.  I asked them to get onto their Google Classroom account and clean off all of the "late" work they had.  There are all kinds of reasons for an assignment to have been marked "late" by the computer, but none of these assignments were deemed late by me!  Now, we can begin our second semester with a clean slate.

Finally, I asked my classes to spend some time working on Khan Academy.  We have not had much class time to do this, and Khan Academy is a great learning resource!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators using Models

Today we moved into subtracting fractions with unlike denominators using models.  There isn't much to share.  The classes moved through this flawlessly!  The process is exactly the same, so there was no frustration.

I do have students who are using the traditional method as well.  I encourage students to use the method that they are most comfortable with, however, they must be able to explain to me how it works and be successful in finding the correct answer.  This was important today, because I had students who felt that they didn't have to keep the fractions in the same order I had them.  It was an eye opener to them that when you subtract, ORDER MATTERS, yes, even with fractional numbers!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators using Models (Continued)

I opened class today with a "Which One Doesn't Belong" creative thinking activity.  There are multiple answers and students must explain their reasoning.  For example:

The top left domino doesn't belong because
  • It is the only double.
  • It is the only one that can be a spinner in dominoes
  • It is the only one that is a composite number when you add the dots.
  • It is the only one with an even answer if you add all the dots.
The top right domino doesn't belong because
  • It is the only one with a two digit sum when you add the dots.
  • It is the only one that is an improper fraction.
The kids love this activity and always surprise me with the number of different answers they are able to come up with!

We also spent time completing an estimation180 activity.  This opening activity is always a favorite.  I love hearing all of the "math talk" that ensues as students try to come to a reasonable estimation.  This is also a class favorite.

Next, I had my students complete "My Favorite No".  This is an activity I found on YouTube.  Students are presented with a problem, I choose one that is incorrect, project it and explain the part of the problem that makes it incorrect, while celebrating all parts of the problem that are correct.  I include a technology component as we use Go Formative to solve the problems.  Basically, I put the problem on this site and watch LIVE as my students solve the problem.  They are also able to explain their thinking by typing on the problem.  I then take a screenshot of the problem I would like to use, and we look at "my favorite no" together.

The rest of class was a continuation from yesterday.  We spent time working with models as we added fractions with unlike denominators.  I think the kids' favorite part is writing on their desks with dry erase markers!

I have noticed that they are much more confident working with fractions than they have ever been before!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators Using Models

Today we began our journey into fractions.... usually not a favorite of my 5th graders.  My TEK requires that my students understand the addition of fractions using models.  We began with 

1/2 + 1/4

We drew a rectangles showing one half with the rectangle broken into two pieces vertically and a rectangle broken into fourths horizontally.

Next, we recreated these same two rectangles with their fractions, however, this time, the first rectangle (1/2) was now broken into fourths horizontally and the second rectangle (1/4) was broken into halves vertically.

We had drawn models to prove that 1/2 is equivalent to 4/8 and 1/4 is equivalent to 2/8.  Now that we had common denominators, we could complete the problem.

To finish up, we had to determine the fraction's simplest form.  We decided that since both the numerator and denominator were even numbers, we could divide both by 2 to simplify our fraction.

We completed this process a few more times together and then the table groups worked together to solve a few more.  I was pleased to see that my students were able to apply their new learning on the Countdown to STAAR that we completed today and they were successful!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Prime or Composite (P.C's Ideal Job)

We began our math class by posting our snowflake and (modified) Diamonte poem on Kidblog.  This process included learning about the 
  • "Shared with Me" in Drive, 
  • Moving shared items into "my drive".  
  • Then we had to learn how to take a screenshot on our Chromebooks.  
  • Upload a header from one of the shared documents, 
  • Upload the screenshot of their snowflake, 
  • Finally we embedded their Diamonte poem.

Then we spent some time working with our prime and composite 100s chart from yesterday.

The worksheet was titled "P. C.'s Ideal Job".  It was from The Mailbox Magazine, Intermediate, Aug/Sept 2003.  

We are releasing at 12:00, so we had short classes.  I hope you enjoy your long weekend and GOOD LUCK to those of you participating in the Hamilton County Stock Show!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Prime or Composite? (Sieve of Erathosethenes)

Today we worked with the Sieve of Eratosthenes.  This procedure is a way to separate prime numbers from composite numbers.

We used a 100s chart to keep track of our information.  We began with:

  • 1 is NEITHER prime nor composite as it has only 1 factor, so we blacked it out on our chart.
  • 2 is the ONLY EVEN prime number, so we colored it and then we marked out all of the multiples of 2.  They are composite because 2 is one of their factors.
  • 3 is the next prime number.  We colored it and marked out all of the multiples of 3.
  • 5 is the next prime number.  We colored it and marked out all of the multiples of 5.
  • 7 is the next prime number.  We colored it and marked out all of the multiples of 7.
  • At this point, all of the remaining numbers on the 100s chart are prime.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Snowflake Diamonte

Today we cut out paper snowflakes!  We began by reading/looking at a pop-up book called "Snowflakes" by Jennifer Preston Chushcoff.

Then we watched a short Khan Academy video called "Snowflakes, Starflakes, and Swirlflakes."  This is a fun video to watch as all kinds of paper cutting reveals all kinds of snowflakes.  Fair warning, hang on to your seat!

Next, each student was given a template to use.  I found the templates at http://www.daves-snowflakes.com/patterns.html  Each template began as a hexagon, was folded on a line of symmetry to form a trapezoid, was folded to form a rhombus, and finally folded to form an equilateral triangle.  Now, the students cut away the black areas.  Each snowflake was attached to a sheet of black construction paper:

Finally, I asked the kids to create a Diamonte poem about the relationship between snowflakes and geometry.  A little disclaimer.... we had a very difficult time thinking of participles (words ending in -ing) for geometry.  I challenged my students to complete the Diamonte with participles for Geometry, if they could.  However, I allowed them to use attributes of geometric shapes instead:

Before leaving, I took a photo of each student with their snowflake.  I will send the picture to them and tomorrow we will take a screenshot of just the snowflake and post it to our Kidblog site(s) along with their poems.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Welcome Back: Snowflake Geometry

It is the first day back after a two week vacation and it snowed (well, what Texans call snow) while we were out.... so what better way to pique interest in math than by focusing on snowflakes?!

Snowflakes are actually very mathematical!  

Our goal today was that the students would be able to generate geometric definitions using critical attributes of a 2-dimensional figure. 

We began by reading the book:

This is the true story of Wilson Bentley who had a passion for studying snowflakes.  He even invented a way to photograph them in order to share the beauty of snowflakes with the world!

After reading the story, I showed a short video about Snowflake Bentley that showcases the photographs he began taking in the early 20th century.  The images are pretty amazing!

Finally, we began to focus on the geometry of snowflakes by working with the fact that most snowflakes are hexagonal.  We defined a hexagon by using its critical attributes (sides, vertices, angles, lines of symmetry, parallel, etc.), then we folded the hexagon on a line of symmetry and created a trapezoid.  Next, we defined the trapezoid using its critical attributes, then folded the trapezoid to make a rhombus, and finally created an equilateral triangle, each time defining the 2-d shape using its critical attributes.  I made a video of the notes that we began today entitled Snowflake Geometry.