Happy New Year - Currently

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2015 will be your best year yet.

I have thought about writing blog posts all vacation, and thank goodness for Farley's Currently -- it's getting me moving :)

Listening: I have been enjoying Pandora this month!

Loving: I read a wonderful book called "Simplify" by Bill Hybels recently, and I decided to clean up and purge. I have made many trips with boxes full of items to donate. This afternoon I got the last closet done!

Thinking: I sketched out next week's lesson plans before we got out of school, but now I need to refine and also start planning for my formal eval.

Wanting: I'd love to get my current quilt finished, but I'm not going to have enough time :(

Needing: I don't like shopping at the mall -- I've avoided it for 2 - 3 years -- but one of my students gave me a gift card to Macy's for Christmas. I want to be able to tell him how I used it when we go back Monday.

Yes - I will continue to get healthier. I have not been eating as healthy this fall, but plan to get back on the wagon right away.

Maybe - I have looked into some possible other positions, including stepping out of the classroom for awhile. We'll see!

Wishing - I wish I would get my blogging act together!

How about you? Link up and share!


Math Lit: Give Me Half!

I always like to review the concept of one half when we are ready to begin fractions in third grade. There  seems to be a handful of students who really don't understand what it means. A few months ago I decided to look for a book that would help, and came across one in my favorite "MathStart" series by Stuart J. Murphy.

When we start back after Christmas break I plan to share this book with my classes to begin our discussion of fractions. It is a story of a brother and sister having to share a lunch. Sharing with a sibling is a common experience, so students will be able to relate the concept of "one half" to real life.

I blogged about another favorite book, The Doorbell Rang, here. When we begin fractions that one also comes out and we look at it differently -- instead of division, we talk about the fractional part of the cookies that the kids are sharing in that story.


Math Lit: One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab

My math coach recently mentioned this book to me, and when I read it I immediately fell in love with it. The illustrations are wonderful, and it can be used for a wide range of learners. This was one of those books that I felt I needed to make a packet to use in my classroom!

A couple weeks ago I asked her to come and share this book with both my classes. They loved the book as much as I did. I'm still putting together a whole packet to go with the book, but I want to share a small freebie with you today. In my class we used it as a springboard for multiplication, but you can use it in primary classrooms as an addition book. Check out this picture of some of the work my kids were doing:

In this example, they are working in groups of three to solve the problem at the top of the chart paper in as many different ways as they can. This one says, "Make combinations for 58 feet. You must use at least 3 different animals." They choose the animals they want to use, glue them on the chart paper, write a factor and the X to the left and an = and the product on the right of the picture. Then they add up the products to equal 58. A lot of math talk, a lot of checking and self-correcting to get to the right number of feet, lots of strategies for the multiplication problems --- and they were having a blast!

The pictures they were using were supplied by our math coach, but I made my own page to use. This was such a great activity that I plan to use it again, giving them regular sheets of paper so they can work individually. You can download my pages of animals by clicking the picture, and of course you could do this activity without the book -- but I recommend you get it if it's not already in your library!

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