Math Lit: Hottest Coldest Highest Deepest

Happy Tuesday! It's time for a new math lit post, and this week I'm sharing a book I used with my class near the end of the last school year. Hottest Coldest Highest Deepest is by Steve Jenkins (you may be familiar with some of his books; this one was a new one for me last spring).

This book takes students all over the world to the most extreme places on Earth. My kids were fascinated by the information about the snowiest place on earth, the deepest lake on earth, and other extremes. It's a great book for math because of all the measurements that are included in the book. This works well with comparing numbers activities so for this year I made a little activity for my students to do using mountains and rivers. They will cut out the information strips and put them in order, then glue them to construction paper. Since I made one for mountains and one for rivers I will probably use them at different times to go largest to smallest and smallest to largest.

While I made it to go with reading the book, it can also be a stand-alone activity so I'm going to share it with you. If you have the book or can get it I highly recommend it, though! The mountains have pictures, and the rivers are just black and white print for those who don't want to use color printing. Just click the picture to download your freebie!


Math Lit: The Grapes of Math

If you have never used books by Greg Tang, let me introduce you! This is one that my students always enjoy.

This is one of the books that I usually save for the end of the year. After state testing in April we focus on "Get Ready for Fourth Grade" lessons in math. I love to pull out this book and do just one or two riddles per day.

This book challenges students to think about the math problems using patterns, groupings, and other ways. Check out the video.

You also need to explore the Greg Tang website! Click on the Books tab and then this book for an online activity to go with the book. 


Week Four and Still Standing!

I'm a bit late with this post, thanks to leaving my camera at school on Friday. I really wanted to write about the Oreo Cookie Stacking Project and needed my pictures!

This was a week of becoming more exhausted; I put in mostly ten hour days, and feel that I am not even beginning to catch up. It's all I can do to get ready for the immediate lessons -- all the extra stuff is not getting done! You know, doing my self-evaluation and writing my professional development plan -- the one I'll be evaluated on, as well as looking at the data from my students more in depth and planning instruction and small groups. Most days I go home and tell my husband how horrible it is and that I need a new job (attitude much!)! This weekend I told him I'm going to Peru (I saw a getaway on Groupon). Will it get better? I sure hope so. I've got a good bunch of kids, thankfully.

So, it had been a few years since I had done the Oreo Stacking Project from Projects by Jen. Someone mentioned it on their blog, and I immediately was reminded of how much fun it always was. To make it even better, we were just wrapping up some lessons about data and graphing so I knew we could collect the data and work with it :)

 Click to go to the project info page

I had four packages of oreos, so put the kids into small groups and they took turns stacking. It's a very fast paced activity, and the onlookers were keeping count of how many cookies in the tower, so they didn't mind waiting. Here are a few pictures of their efforts:




They reported their number to me and I made a frequency table. The highest stack had 26 cookies, and the smallest had 9. The project definitely can be used for mean, median, mode  -- not 3rd grade standards, so we did not do that but I have done it in the past when it was included in our FL standards.

Their first assignment with the data is to turn the frequency table into a tally table. Next they will be creating graphs with it. They are loving this because it is their own data rather than something in a book.

Have you ever done this project?


Math Lit: Probably Pistachio

Probably Pistachio is one of Stuart J. Murphy's Math Start books -- quite possibly my favorite series of math books!

The concept for this book is probability. As Jack goes through his day he is always thinking about the probability of certain things happening. What makes it fun is that everything is going wrong for him on this particular day. In fact, the book very much reminded me Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day! You can use this book to talk about math vocabulary: probably, impossible, and certain. You can have students make predictions and talk about fractions. Follow up with your favorite probability activities (colors in a bag for example).

Math Lit: Dealing With Addition

This week's book is another one that is new to me. I'm asking my students to all have a deck of cards to practice math at home, so this book fits right in with that.

The book talks about ways you can use cards to play math games and learn about numbers. It explains the deck and gives lots of examples of ways to put the cards together. I plan to have students work in pairs to model some of this as we read the book. (note to self - go to Dollar Tree and buy lots more decks of cards!). One of my favorite things is representing numbers with sets of cards; for example, there are 5 different ways to get a total of five with three aces, a two, a three, a four, and a five card. I plan to give students time to explore these and find all the ways to group them. We will also record pictorially in our interactive math notebooks. After each of these challenges, there is a full page picture of the solutions. At the end of the book a card game called "Dealing With Addition" is explained. We will be playing it in pairs and I will challenge the kids to go home and play with someone in their family also.

Have you ever used this book with students? What are your favorite card deck math games?


Week Three

Somehow I never got around to writing this post on the weekend, so am up early on Monday morning typing away! Week three was a short week with the holiday, but we packed in a lot like always.

First, a chuckle: We are a uniform district; one of my boys came to school Friday without his uniform shirt. Since it was the second Friday in a row that he was out of uniform I asked him why. His response: because my brother peed on all the clothes! Another kiddos immediate response: BEST  EXCUSE EVER!!

My students are so excited to start the BYOD program; we had to get their logins done first though. Over the week I was able to get all but four of the 36 students on a computer in my classroom and walk them through how to change their password to comply with district policy. Then on the weekend I spent a long time making a one page cheat sheet for each student with their log in information for most of the websites we regularly use. Today is the big day; I can't wait to see how many of them bring their mobile device!

In science we did a follow - up inquiry to find out what ingredient in taco sauce was cleaning our dirty pennies (we had already tested our hypothesis that taco sauce WILL clean pennies). We tested salt, vinegar, water, and tomato puree. Our conclusion: tomato puree by itself will clean the pennies.

I was introducing collecting, displaying, and interpreting data this week in both science and math, so I used a fantastic math text. The activity page I made (in picture) was a big hit! It helped kids track what was happening in the story and gave them practice with tally tables, picture graphs, pie charts, and bar graphs. Totally a keeper lesson! Don't you love it when something new works so well?
I have a blog post scheduled about the book on my Tuesday math lit series.

Hope your week was wonderful. I'm gearing up to start week 5, which means it is almost time for progress reports (unbelievable!).


Math Lit: How Much, How Many, How Far, How Heavy, How Long, How Tall Is 1000?

I'm sharing one of my new books with you today. This book by Helen Nolan is recommended for 5-9 year olds, so perfect for our K-3 kiddos. This is the Amazon summary:

How tall would a pile of 1000 acorns be? And if those acorns grew into 1000 oak trees, how big would that forest be? As children learn about large numbers, counting becomes less practical and understanding these numbers becomes more and more important. In this playful and mathematically sound book, children will develop an understanding of how big, how small, how long and how tall 1000 really is!

I plan to follow a suggestion from a Math Solutions (Marilyn Burns) book and show my students just the cover of the book and then have them work together to explore the number 100 first. Notice that there are actually 6 questions in the title -- that will lead us into a lot of discussion for the number 100. After that I will read the book to them, and we will talk about the number 1000. I hope to share with you in a later post about how this goes!

Have you used this book with your students? Any suggestions?


September Currently

It's September! Time to link up with Farley's Currently.

1. Listening: I saw this movie when it came out in 2007, but when I saw it pop up in Amazon streaming I immediately wanted to watch it again. Denzel is my favorite actor.

2. Loving: We had family company this weekend, so I'm grateful for the extra day (they left yesterday) to get the school stuff done!

3. Thinking: My black ink cartridge is fading; gotta get out to Staples today.

4. Wanting: I've got a groupon for a cute little restaurant; hoping we can go out later.

5. Needing: I'm doing the Work Your Workwear challenge at Get Your Pretty On. Today's outfit is really pretty, but I'm missing the print blouse - one more errand for today.

6. 3 Trips: I went to Italy and Greece three years ago. If I ever have the chance to go back to Europe I would love to visit Spain. After cruising to Alaska this summer I'm hoping for a Caribbean cruise in my future. Yes, total baseball fan! Someday maybe I can get to the rest of the stadiums :)

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