Classroom Solutions > 77 posts categorized "Math"

Beware of Bias -- Graphing With a Critical Eye


Calories Tricky GraphMy students studied graphing during our first math unit this year. Graphing lends itself to get-to-know-you activities — students can survey each other to collect data — and it provides an entry point for students of all math abilities.

Once my students understood how graphs work and how to create accurate graphs, I started to wonder how I could up the ante. How could I promote critical thinking with this relatively straightforward math unit? 

One of my students handed me the answer when he brought in a graph that he had clipped from the newspaper to add to our graph collection. As I looked over his graph, I thought, "Hey, wait a sec! This graph is downright misleading." As I pointed out the graph’s flaws to my students, their eyes widened at the idea that a newspaper might seek to mislead with a graph.

Read More »

The Challenge Based Classroom: Using Curriculum to Serve the Community

HabitatLast year I came to a crossroads in my teaching. During my annual review, I found myself agonizing over my goals for this upcoming school year. I was completely stuck. I browsed through our district's professional development opportunities with a sense of “been there, done that.” It surprised me that so early in my career I would feel this way. My classroom certainly kept me on my toes, but I was missing that spark that ignited my planning each year. An offer to explore curriculum development made me even more confused. Was I really ready to leave the classroom? I needed a teaching makeover!

As if on cue, two amazing things happened that would transform my teaching: the opportunity to be a teacher advisor here and the discovery of Apple’s Challenge Based Learning. The journey outside of my comfort zone had begun.  

 

Read More »

Comments: 6

Literacy in Kindergarten Dramatic Play Centers, Part 4

Kindergarten Weather Station CenterWhen we study weather in science, our dramatic play center becomes a weather station. With self-made instruments, hands-on experiments, and — as always — plenty of literacy, the weather station inspires the children with a sense of wonder and awe for the natural world.

Read More »

Comments: 10

Merry Math Ideas for May

Kindergarten Math Make math irresistible with three of my specialty themes popular with young children: a Counting Party, Frogs & Dogs, and The Price Is Right, Kindergarten Edition. Read on to find activity packages that make counting, number recognition, and money skills fun and exciting.

 

Read More »

Resources for the Differentiated Classroom

Mult-Sensory Teaching In a previous post, I wrote about how you can differentiate your kindergarten classroom. Here you can read up on some of my favorite resources for multisensory teaching.

Read More »

Comments: 2

Differentiate Your Kindergarten Classroom

Differentiating in KindergartenIt's a fact: every child is unique, and as teachers we know that more than anyone else. So why do we often find ourselves trying to teach every child the same way?

Read More »

Comments: 4

Stretch Your Dime and Save Your Time

Miss Bindergarten Saves Money and Time Teachers need all the help they can get, financially and otherwise. Use these tips, shortcuts, and dollar store ideas to save your budget and your sanity.

Read More »

Comments: 4

Literacy in Kindergarten Dramatic Play Centers, Part 3

Kindergarten Literacy CentersCome visit our kindergarten post office center, Terrific Tiger Post Office. It is located in our classroom at 12 ABC Street in Terrific Tiger Town, SE (Squires Elementary).

Read More »

Comments: 2

Taxing Cartoon Characters

DSC01086Teachers are always hearing how their lessons should have real world applications. You don't get more real world than taxes, my friends! Many students think taxes are hard because they see the frustrations their parents experience. I like to counterbalance those negative impressions with a lesson on how easy taxes can be if you know how to follow directions.

 

Read More »

Celebrate Reading With Dr. Seuss

DSC00415Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss's birthday are great reasons to celebrate reading. In the primary grades, we are all learning to read and love Dr. Seuss's colorful, wacky rhymes and imaginative illustrations. I have compiled tons of great articles, resources, and ideas to help you celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading. Go grab a book and join my class as we celebrate reading and Dr. Seuss all week long.

 

 

Read More »

Comments: 6

I Love to Read! Surefire Ways to Create Lifelong Book Lovers

I Love to Read Month February is “I Love to Read Month,” the perfect time to assess if your students do, in fact, love to read. Are they captivated by good stories? Does reading fill them with excitement and enthusiasm? Do they play with the sounds of language in a literature-rich environment that promotes active learning through highly engaging activities? If the answer to any of these questions is no (and even if it’s yes!), it may be time to arm yourself with a repertoire of techniques guaranteed to get every child in your class saying “I love to read!”

Read More »

Comments: 10

Valentine's Day Sweets & Heartbeats Across the Curriculum

The Heart on Valentine's DayValentine's Day is my favorite holiday at school. It's easy for kids to understand.  The decorations are pretty hearts and flowers, and the focus is on friendship, love, and kindness. I like to extend the easygoing and cheerful atmosphere all day and all across the curriculum. Read on to find activities in every subject area that center around my favorite thing: the heart.

Read More »

Comments: 2

Valentine's Day

GirlHoldingRedHeart_NJ_021011
Making and giving out cards to classmates, eating conversation hearts, and decorating in pink and red are all fun Valentine's Day activities. But don't let this holiday go by without sneaking in a little bit of curriculum, too. Join me as I peek into some of the other classrooms at my school to show you some great ways of squeezing some extra learning into all of the Valentine's Day festivities.

Read More »

Comments: 2

Teaching about the Tension in Egypt

Deserto___There is a lot of excitement going on in Egypt these days. What is it all about? What would an elementary student need to know? What could you possibly connect it to? What lessons can be learned by discussing the situation? Below are some ways you might incorporate Egypt into your curriculum.

 

Photo courtesy m_bartosch.

  

Read More »

Comments: 20

Literacy in Kindergarten Dramatic Play Centers, Part 2

Kindergarten Literacy CentersOne of my students' favorite dramatic play centers is a bakery. It's not only fun, it's also full of ways to practice literacy. And with a good name and logo, all it costs is a little effort.

Read More »

Comments: 8

Brrr! A Blizzard of Winter Ideas

Winter Theme Activities for Preschool and KindergartenWhatever climate you live in, you can celebrate the winter season with these fun winter activities, crafts, games, and snacks!

Read More »

Ringing in the New Year With a Kid-Friendly Las Vegas Party

Las Vegas New Year's Party for Kids On the last day of school before Christmas break, our class had a party to celebrate the end of school in 2010. Since I teach in Las Vegas, it was only natural to have a kid-friendly version of the party that many parents and other grown-ups would experience on New Year's Eve. This New Year's party included Las Vegas-style New Year's fun and games, New Year's crafts, and New Year's resolutions for kids.

Read More »

Comments: 4

12 Unforgettable Days of Christmas

Christmas in Kindergarten and PreK
How can you celebrate Christmas for twelve days, and what makes it unforgettable? Open the link to find out. Just a peek . . . you know you want to!

Read More »

Comments: 5

Geometry Trees

Vasicek Geometry Far CroppedThe holidays are a time of excitement. The standard pencil pushing assessment just doesn't seem to fit. Below is a geometry assessment that turns into a great hallway display for the holiday season.

Read More »

Comments: 3

The 10/24/7+ Review

Blue brainThe brain stores two kinds of memories, in two different ways. One is spatial/experiential memory. This kind of memory is very easy and automatic. For example, you do not have to memorize the location of each desk in your classroom by doing flashcards. Your brain sees them and makes a mental note of the arrangement of the desks in space. Likewise you don't have to memorize how you felt the time you thought you lost a child on a field trip. You automatically remember the feeling.

The second type of memory is rote memory. This is the type of stuff you must rehearse and memorize to get it to stick. Multiplication tables and state capitals fall into this category. I try to have students experience and visualize vocabulary words to make them more memorable. Read on to see how I review vocabulary words with my students throughout the year to make sure they stick.

This post contains a video demonstration of the word wall review game. Brain image courtesy of clker.com.

Read More »

Comments: 2

Literacy in Kindergarten Dramatic Play Centers, Part 1

Kindergarten literacy centersEver get one of those catalogs in the mail from a company that sells really cool, but expensive, teaching materials? Me, too. Ever been able to afford much of it? Me, neither. Here are some ways to incorporate literacy into your housekeeping and grocery store dramatic play centers without breaking the bank.

 

 

Read More »

Planning a Turkey Dinner

Cornucopia_7It's getting close to one of the biggest shopping days of the year. The advertisements and deals are plentiful. It's time to see what sort of savvy shoppers you have in your classroom. So grab those ads and get planning a feast of a lesson.

Image courtesy of the Free Clipart Network.

 

Read More »

Comments: 2

Hats for Humanity Project

Vasicek Hat Measure 2"Say it. Mean it. Do it!" is a phrase I repeat on a daily basis in the classroom. A person is only as good as his or her word. Too often we say things we do not mean. Too often we make commitments and do not follow through. I believe that teachers need to act with the utmost integrity and model every action they suggest to students. So, when it comes to our country's Core Democratic Values (CDVs), we have our work cut out for us. This social studies lesson focuses on economics and the "common good," and has a little bit of math thrown in for some cross-curricular flavor.

 

This post contains a video demonstration of how to make fleece hats.

Read More »

Comments: 4

Learning Centers, Part 3: A Learning Carnival in Your Classroom

Carnival In "Learning Centers, Part 1," I talked about the various reasons learning centers are important for the classroom. In "Learning Centers, Part 2," I shared ideas for managing your centers. Now, here's the good stuff.

Read More »

Comments: 8

Easy Halloween Tricks & Treats Across the Curriculum

Masks As if teaching weren't chaotic and stressful enough, there's holidays to deal with. The first major holiday of the school year is Halloween, and aside from all the projects, parties, and pigging out you'll have to consider, there's also the question of whether you should celebrate at all. First of all, 5-year-olds don't always like spooky things. And second, some parents don't approve of the holiday. What's a stressed-out teacher to do?

 

Read More »

Comments: 6

Pumpkins, Ghosts, and Witches, OH MY! October Books, Parties, and Crafts

PumpkinsEvery year, in the beginning of October, the kids are abuzz with talk of costumes and trick or treating. They are beyond excited. Every day they ask me, "How many days until Halloween?"  and "Miss Jang, what are you going to be for Halloween?" Then they begin asking me about our in-class celebration. I try and harness that interest and excitement with themed activities and great books. This post includes a short video on how to make a 3-D pumpkin from construction paper. Giveaway winner announced at the end of this post!

Photo courtesy of Microsoft Word Clip Art.

Read More »

Comments: 6

Data Gleaning From Glyphs: Math in Pictures for Kindergartners

IntroGlyph12 You may have heard the words pictograph, pictogram, ideograph, ideogram, logogram, phonogram, grapheme, petroform, petroglyph, hieroglyph, etc. These are all forms of writing that use pictures or symbols to represent things such as sounds, letters, words, phrases, concepts, and data. A more general term is simply glyph. Any picture that represents something can be called a "glyph." And for your class, the construction and interpretation of glyphs that represent information about themselves and other topics is an interesting, useful, and engaging math lesson!

Read More »

Comments: 11

Differentiated Instruction

First Week Friday 002

Two words that are pounded into every rookie teacher’s head.Two words that are uttered at staff meetings across the globe. Two words that together pull up more than 324,000 results on Google. What are these two words? Differentiated Instruction. 

This blog contains two short video demonstrations of the ideas in action. Photo: Students kinesthetically learning science vocabulary. 

Read More »

Comments: 20

A Diller, A Dollar, A Nursery Rhyme Scholar

AlliePhoto
The benefits of using nursery rhymes as a teaching tool are numerous. They are short, catchy, playful, and easy to remember. They have patterns. They can be used to discuss concepts such as ethics, culture, history, symbolism, aphorisms, math, and more. Most of all, they are a great aid in any language skill you are trying to teach. Studies have shown that nursery rhymes are instrumental in teaching children to read.

Image © Dave Arns of Arns Publishing and Design

Read More »

Comments: 18

A Chrysanthemum by Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

4389159595_e25cb68cb4

A child's name is their first gift, the first thing that gives them an identity. It's placed on hospital cards. It's made official on a birth certificate. It's lovingly handwritten in baby books. It might even be announced in the newspaper. A name says "I am a specific and unique individual."

Photo © Juliana Coutinho

Read More »

Comments: 10

The 1st Day of 2nd Grade

Scholastic 010

The pencils are sharpened, the name tags are written, and butterflies are dancing in your stomach. It's the First Day of Second Grade for your new students, and you are probably as nervous as they are going to be. Every year, some things change and some things stay the same. This year, it's possible that I will have up to twenty-nine students. I've rearranged my furniture and organized and planned. Now, I'm ready. Are you?

BLOG CANDY WINNER ANNOUNCED.

Read More »

Comments: 3

Kindergarten Readiness Resources

IMG_0193
"What can I do to get my child ready for kindergarten?" Are you a teacher looking for some great resources that you can pass along to prospective students' parents? Are you getting registration packets and kindergarten orientations all setup? Click read more to find some great resources on the web that teachers or parents can use to assist students in getting a jump-start to kindergarten.

Read More »

Comments: 6

Ensuring a Tremendous End to a Memorable School Year

Scrapbook2 In just three weeks, the 2009-2010 school year will be coming to an end, and prior to then, I plan on doing a few things to ensure it is a memorable time. This week, I invite for you to read about my plans, some of which you can incorporate on your own. Some you will be able to incorporate this year; others you can try for next year!

Read More »

Comments: 3

Incorporate Math and Science with an Outdoor Camping Day Event

IMG_7646 In my parting weeks as your grades 3-5 teacher advisor, I want to advise something important to all teachers: DON’T EVER BE AFRAID TO TAKE RISKS. Last year, I envisioned having a day of camping with my fourth grade students on our school’s nature trail. Today, it became a reality as my students participated in the first outdoor camping event I ever hosted. I am grateful I took the risk. Read on to see the ideas I came up with for this year's event.

Read More »

Comments: 2

Use Personal Life Changing Events to Motivate Student Learning

IMG_0215
Carson Christopher Power born 5/2/2010!

As teachers we are always looking for creative ways to motivate our students to want to learn in a purposeful way. An easy and exciting way to do this is to involve your class in your personal life changes. Take a look at how I used getting married and having a baby as springboards for learning activities to work on writing skills and math concepts with my students.

Read More »

Students Make Videos for End-of-Year Review

PluralsWow! The countdown to the end of the year is upon us! Some of you are probably days away from the end of the year like a high school teacher friend of mine who ends right after Memorial Day. We are a year-round school and our last day is June 30, which means we're in session right up to the end! In those few weeks before the school year ends, you may find that making a video not only provides students with worthwhile review, but also provides great material to preteach or reteach with next year's students!

Read More »

Comments: 1

Linking Non-Fiction Works to Blog Posts

 
StaceyClass With the end of the school year quickly approaching, I would like to link some non-fiction literature to a few blog posts from earlier in the year. It makes sense to use good books to support some of the lesson ideas and strategies presented in these posts. The titles I have selected are all available from the Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard, and are currently in stock.

Read More »

Using Construction to Reinforce Math

School 2008-2009 090


There is nothing more rewarding than to step back and admire a job well done. Students appreciate the opportunity to apply their knowledge in unique ways. As often as possible, I try to incorporate “construction” activities of some sort into my math curriculum.

Read More »

Encourage Creativity with Engineering Activities

IMG_6840 In my six years of teaching, I have learned a valuable lesson: One cannot always provide clear-cut instructions or directions for their students on how to create something. Sometimes, the teacher has to provide a little leeway, let their students explore and determine which way is best.

Read More »

Comments: 2

Academic Spring Cleaning with Shaving Cream

IMG_0062
Writing, coloring, painting, gluing,… We give our tables a beating every day at the primary levels. It’s a never ending job of cleaning and wiping glue, crayons and pencil marks off the tables. In my classroom, my students love to help out with cleaning. Happily, I found an interactive and academic way for my students to help clean-up using shaving cream!

Read More »

Census Day: April 1

Photo 2 Today is Census Day (April 1st) and also April Fool's Day – go have fun! Census Day is used as "a point of reference for sending your completed forms back." See 2010.census.gov. You can find lots of different activities to use in your classroom here at Scholastic.com/census as well as www.census.gov/schools. I've briefly outlined a few ideas from these sites that I will use in my classroom when I go back on track.

Read More »

Circumference + Bubbles = Too Much Fun!


  School 2008-2009 033

Often teaching circumference can be a bit, well, boring. This time of year I try to incorporate as many manipulatives in math as possible. So when it comes to teaching circumference, I use bubble solution, straws, and rulers to ramp up the process.

Read More »

Comments: 4

Incorporating Centers in Reading and Math

IMG_5959
 For the six years I have been an intermediate teacher, I have always tried to find as many resources as I could pertaining to center rotations. When I choose centers for my students, I strive to find resources that are enriching and delve into cross-curricular areas of study. Here are some ideas that you can incorporate in either your reading or math block.

Read More »

Comments: 4

Early College Awareness in Elementary School

Collegeboard Ten years ago, it may not have seemed possible to expose elementary students to the prospect of college. However, there are many elementary teachers across the nation who have taken the initiative to discuss colleges and even have their students visit a university campus. This topic has intrigued me lately. When the Scholastic advisors met in New York City this past May and Eric Antuna, the grades 1-2 teacher advisor, mentioned a program called No Excuses that is incorporated at his school, it seriously made me think twice. Between Eric and fourth grade teacher Heather Renz in Oregon, I have become a strong advocate for early college awareness. 

Read More »

Comments: 1

Surface Area and Geodesic Domes

School 2008-2009 056
Geometry and measurement is one of my favorite units of study in math. The opportunity to build and create is limitless (time providing of course) and the experiences of constructing 3-dimensional figures generates new excitement for platonic solids.

Read More »

Comments: 3

World Maths Day 2010: Participate to set New World Record!

IMG_0759


Attention Pre-K to grade 12 teachers!

Imagine your classroom buzzing with excitement as students are practicing their math facts and connecting globally with kids around the world. It sounds like a dream right? Well, your dream (and your students’) has come true. Learn how your students can participate in this exciting FREE World Maths Day event and beat last year’s world record of two million students from 204 countries correctly answering 452,681,681 math problems.

Read More »

Comments: 2

February Activities for all Subjects

Electricity There are many intermediate teachers who enjoy publications like Mailbox Magazine because it offers convenient, easy-to-incorporate seasonal ideas. Though I have never used many of their ideas, I thought a general post about February activities you can use in your classroom would be useful. From Thomas Alva Edison's birthday on February 11th to Valentine's Day to President's Day, February is a month full of learning opportunities. Today's post will give you ideas that you can incorporate to reinforce skills your students need to practice for state testing.

Read More »

Comments: 4

Transformations, Tessellations & Ceiling Tiles

Tessellation
Working with transformations in geometry can be tough, even for the most precocious mathematical mind. Many times spatial reasoning is not the forte of every student. To reinforce the concept of transformations with geometric shapes, I often conduct a mini unit on tessellations.

Read More »

Comments: 2

Hooray, it's the 100th Day!

 IMG_0738
A giant milestone in the elementary school year is making it to the 100th day of school. (If you have not gotten there yet, I am sure you are very close.) Students love celebrating this milestone as they learn about this wonderful number. Take a look at how we celebrate the day and how I teach my students about the number 100 in my classroom.

Read More »

Teaching in a Data-Driven Society

IMG_5592 Every day in our lives, we have to face that our society is data-driven. If you think about it, everything is "ruled" by numbers: Social Security numbers, credit card statements, the time we must arrive at work in the morning, and how many minutes are we mandated to teach reading and math. Often, teachers comment that teaching is more void of individuality and creativity than it was ten or twenty years ago.

Read More »

Browse by Grade
PreK - K1 - 23 - 56 - 89 - 12
Real Teachers’ Tips & Teaching Strategies
FacebookFacebookTwitterRSS

Advertisement

The opinions expressed in Classroom Solutions are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Scholastic Inc.