Math Lit: The Greedy Triangle

This week's math lit post is about another great geometry book, The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns.

From Amazon: Bored and dissatisfied with his life, a triangle visits a local shapeshifter to add another angle to his shape. Poof! He becomes a quadrilateral. But then he gets greedy and keeps adding angles until he's completely transformed.

Students seem to always enjoy this book when I read it, and this year I had a little something special to add. Thanks to a Math Solutions training, I learned how to make a shapeshifter for them to manipulate during the story!

All you need is 4 inch squares of construction paper. Fold in half to make a rectangle, then again to make a small square. Unfold, and fold in half diagonally both ways. Then fold the corners to the middle (the students know how to do this from making fortune tellers). 

As you read the story, manipulate the opened square to make: triangle, quadrilateral, pentagon, and hexagon! I like giving the kids a chance to try to come up with the shape on their own.

We had so much fun telling the story with our shapeshifters! 


Monday Made It: March Edition

I almost forgot about this month's Monday Made It with 4th Grade Frolics! Last month I DID forget, so have been looking forward to this one. Not a lot to share -- totally immersed in preparing for testing; not a lot of teaching around the testing right now -- but I do have a couple of home items to share.

The sampler quilt that I made blocks for in 2012 is finally put together and ready to be quilted. This is for my granddaughter and for awhile I wondered if I would ever get it done! This quilt was the one I made as I was learning to quilt. I'm pretty proud of my first efforts.

 Once my quilt was put together, I made this set of place mats. My quilt guild has a wonderful teacher who gave us this pattern and showed us how to make these. I'm pretty sure some holiday ones will find their way to friends this year.

I hope by next month to have some classroom made - its ready to show off!


Five for Friday

Linking up some random things from the week!

I bought some packets from Clutter Free Classroom during the big TPT sale. This is my kiddos using the 3rd grade math vocabulary packet on the day I introduced angles. Love it! I shrunk down the cards to fit in their interactive math notebooks.

This is my  "El Gato's Hats" activity for measurement. My students thought it was amazing to have so many different hats to measure!

Bet you can't guess what this is! My classroom is in the upstairs of the building in the background; I thought this would make a great cage for unruly students :) Actually, it is a duck trap. We had a family of ducks move onto campus and animal control had to trap them and remove them.

We read the book "How Big is A Foot" and used my "king's feet" and "apprentice feet" to measure for beds.

And in keeping with the measurement theme, some non-standard measurement with craft sticks. They measured classroom objects with the sticks and with their rulers.


Math Lit: Shape Up! by David Adler

I recently discovered this book by David Adler and decided it would make a great introduction to our geometry study. On the day I used it in class my kids left saying "best class ever!" We really enjoyed it. To prepare, I got a loaf of bread, a package of sliced cheese, a bag of pretzel sticks, toothpicks, plastic knives, and paper plates. As I read the book we did some of the activities.

The first one involved the cheese; using a toothpick we made three dots in the cheese. Then we used the toothpick to connect the dots, which cut out the shape. A few examples:


I quickly learned that we needed to keep the cheese on the plastic wrapper or it would stick to the plate and make it difficult to get our triangle :) After making cheese triangles (introducing scalene triangles) we made triangles from the pretzel sticks - both equilateral and isosceles.

If you are looking for a good book to use when teaching geometry, I recommend this one. 

Neat Desk Freebie

I love motivating my kids to stay more organized with desk awards. Every few days, someone will find a little note and a treat on their desk when they arrive in the classroom. They enjoy the surprise, and someone always straightens up their own desk when they see this! This week I wanted to do something to coincide with Seuss week, so here are my current awards. Click the picture to download them.


March Currently

Time for a new Currently from Oh Boy Fourth Grade!

Listening: Every morning on my drive to work I listen to the Daily Audio Bible podcast. On the weekend I listen in iTunes. It helps get my day off to the right start, and I love that this is my 4th year of going through the entire Bible.

Loving: After a few very cold days, we definitely see spring here in Central Florida. I love it when the trees bloom. Best of all, we still have some temps in the 70s rather than all 80s (though we do have those too!).

Thinking: I started the Daniel Plan on February 1. It's a plan for living a healthy lifestyle. As someone who has been addicted to sugar, fat, gluten, etc., it's a big change. I am really loving eating healthy though! My taste buds are changing, and I'm enjoying things I would never eat before.

Wanting: After having cataracts removed in December, it has been a long and frustrating journey to be able to see! Right now I'm in the process of using monovision contact lenses -- lots of trial and error to find the right ones. I wish there was a magic button :)

Needing: Part of the Daniel Plan is fitness, and I've been trying to get moving! The last two weeks I met my goal of walking three times per week, but I need to increase in March. Thinking about whether I want to do the Couch to 5K again.

What is the question? Guesses go in the comments :)

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