Friday, November 29, 2013

Cyber Monday...and Tuesday

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving day!  For once, I did not overeat...trying to lose a little weight. I know...I'm crazy beginning my weight loss during the holidays.  Oh well, I have never done things the easy way.  :)  I am excited that I have lost 6 lbs in a couple of weeks' time.  It hasn't been difficult at all.  Yay me!

I just wanted to invite everyone over to TPT this coming Monday and Tuesday for the big sale.  I already have a MAJOR wish list going.  I have been saving my TPT points for this sale too!  I am prepared...bring it on!  

If you would like to view any items in my shop, just click on the image below.  Happy Shopping! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Version of an Interactive Notebook

I don't know about other counties and states, but, my county took our math textbooks away from us seven or eight years ago.  This upset me.  I wasn't upset about the textbooks leaving thinking I wouldn't be able to teach any longer.  I never used a textbook faithfully anyway.   I began making my own lesson plans and activities way before TPT or Teacher's Notebook came along.  I was upset because there were no longer examples of how to work out a problem or extra work for children to take home that needed extra help.  Plus, if a student was absent what better way to help him or her catch up.  I won't even go into all the parent complaints about not being able to help their child at home since there is no longer a textbook. 

Over the years, I have tried various things to make up for the loss of a textbook. Well, by golly, this year, I hit the jackpot.  I decided to have students use a spiral notebook for math, that doubles as a textbook with examples of problems, vocabulary, and problems to work out.  I absolutely love it!

The idea is very simple.  However, before we wrote one single number or letter, students had to understand they may NEVER take a page out.  It is forbidden! :)  Each child has his or her own spiral notebook.  It must be taken home each night.  (I give a daily review check each evening even if I don't assign other homework.  Therefore, the spiral notebook must be taken home too!) I bought bunches of these, (I teach 100 students a day), at Wal-Mart during summer for $0.17 each for children who could not or would not purchase their own.

We use the spiral notebooks almost everyday.  Below are a few examples of how they are used.  I guess you could call them interactive notebooks! 

Example 1 - Writing vocabulary with examples.
This way, especially when beginning a new unit, when students forget the material for the day, they can look back at it.

Example 2
Examples of work completed in class.

Example 3 - Showing how to break up the problem into smaller segments.  (We know that even students who "get it" during class oftentimes get home and are completely lost.)   Parents oftentimes have not had the same standards as we are teaching students today.  Parents appreciate the examples too!

Example 4:  Of course, there is the truly interactive activities that go into the spiral notebooks.  We worked on this candy corn during our unit about the ways to represent a number.  Students wrote the problems on the outside of the candy corn and wrote the form, standard, expanded, or written on the inside.  This particular interactive activity came form Rundee's Room, Interactive Math Journals on TPT...great resource!

The bottom picture is a rhyme I made for my NBT.2 unit on using zero as a place saver.  Students could look back at these 2 pictures when working with representing numbers various ways.

Example 5:  Sometimes I simply have students label a page with the unit we are studying and I hand out copies of the vocabulary.  They simply glue it into their spiral notebook.  We did examples on the following pages as we came to that particular vocabulary word.  The vocabulary come from my individual place value units.  (Click on the picture below to view this place value unit).  

Example 6:  Examples of rounding and a place value rhyme to help students remember what to do.
(The rhyme came from my rounding unit.  Click on the picture is you would like to view it).

Example 7:  This is from my addition unit.  Students worked out problems on grid paper.  They cut out four examples to place in their math spiral notebook.

I guess I need to come up with a cool name for my notebooks.  The kids and I are so familiar with calling them "spiral notebooks" that it easily rolls off our tongues.

I used these spiral notebooks during our parent-teacher meetings.  It was very helpful to me to have something I could show parents that they could use to help their child at home.  It was also very nice to tell parents that Little Johnny did have examples and everything else he needed to complete his homework each night. :)