Thursday, December 20, 2012

Apple Nails, Birthday Wishes, and Measuring Wreaths...


One more day of school left before a MUCH NEEDED Christmas break!  The thought of flying through Chicago, aka delay flight central, tomorrow is not exciting, but remembering this week and anticipating some quality family time next week all makes up for it. :)
 
Let's begin with my nails...not just any nails, APPLE NAILS!  Cute pinterest idea...

 
Next up...birthday wishes from the fiance.  He surprised me with a homemade cake when I got home from school.  It was yummy!  After that, I got gorgeous Tiffany earrings.  Last, we had dinner at a great Sushi place.  Wonderful night, thank you Jessie! 
 

 

 
Last up, a little school Christmas fun.  A parent made our class the reindeers...so cute!  In class we made factor/measuring wreaths.  The students had to first find all the factors pairs of 18 and then decide which pair to use to make their wreath.  For example, if they picked 2 and 9, then they would measure nine slits exactly 2 inches apart.  Here's what our final wreaths looked like.  For exact directions on how to make the wreaths, click on this link. :)
 



Happy Holidays everyone!  Stay warm!
 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Division Strategies

Just like blogging, I am also new to fourth grade. There have been many ups and downs this year, but I have definitely grown as an educator. A couple weeks ago, it was time to start division. I knew I needed to make sure that my students understood the concept of division before jumping into the standard algorithm, but how to do this?  I wasn't quite sure. I started by having my students experiment with hands-on manipulatives and grid paper. Their strategies amazed me!

 
Here is the problem I posted...
 
 
Here are some of the strategies they used:
 

 
 


 


Letting my students explore division on their own really got them excited to learn more!  Over the next week, we explored other division strategies that we could use.  Together we made this poster for our classroom...
 

 
My students also liked using another strategy we called simpler parts (not yet shown on our poster). Below is an example of this strategy:
 
132/4 =
 
100/4 = 25
 
32/4 = 8
 
25 + 8 = 33
 
Therefore, 132/4 = 33
 
 
With a little more practice of these strategies, I feel that my students have build a strong division foundation.  Parents...the standard algorithm can wait!  :)
 
P.S. - If you haven't seen my multiplication strategies FREEBIE...check it out by clicking below.  Enjoy :)
 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cheese Curds...

I had an exciting weekend last week traveling all the way to Wisconsin!  I got to visit my future in-laws and go to my first PACKER game!  While the flight was not at all fun and my luggage got lost coming home, it was worth it for the wonderful memories that were created.  It was nice to take a couple personal days after getting all my report cards for trimester one successfully finished.  Yeah :)  I can't believe I ever complained when I had to write 20 comments for first graders.  Writing 32 comments for fourth graders was a lot more challenging!  Yet, I managed to get through it and so began my non-stop weekend in the land of the cheeseheads. 

What I remember most is eating lots of cheese curds!  Almost every meal included them...the fiance even had them once on a burger.  I guess that is why Wisconsin is know for cheese!  Hmmm...they are good though.


The packer game was an unforgettable experience!  Tailgating at 9am and then being squeezed in with 70,567 (see score board below) other football fanatics...priceless. Yes, priceless!
 



 
The Packers did pull off a win!  Final score...
 
Green Bay 23, Vikings, 14
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 P.S. - My luggage was recovered and delievered to my house the next day. Packers souvenirs survived...so all is good :)
 
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