Sunday, April 27, 2014

Converting Measurements {Freebie}

I can't tell you how envious I am of you all that end in May.  That's next week!  While I am not jealous that you all go back in August, I am super jealous that some of you are in the end of year count down already!

We go until the end of June.  As in, the very last week of June.  Ugh. And next week we are finishing up our State tests.  We have the State Math Test on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Joy of all joys!  A test on a Friday!  #sarcasm

For each concept that will be covered on the test, (focus is on decimals and fractions), I've done a quickie skills review and then lots of practice with multistep problems.  Here is some of the work we've done with converting measurements:

 The arrows under 10m and 1000km are a little confusing in retrospect, but this was created with the students, so they (hopefully!) heard me while I thought aloud about these numbers.  While solving this problem, I reviewed different ways to divide by powers of ten.  Whenever I see my students using long division with powers of ten, I remind them that "this is a move the decimal situation."  They know what I mean :-)  Also, you might notice that the chart is incomplete - they solved 15 yards = inches independently.
 Here is a student sample of the same page.  {This foldable was created with Lovin Lit's Interactive Notebook Templates.}  You can grab a pdf of the student page HERE.

After the quickie review, we solved more rigorous problems such as "Mary follows a recipe for punch that uses 2 1/2 cups of juice.  She plans to make 20 batches of punch.  How many gallons of juice will she need to buy?"  Not easy, right?  Determining the correct course of action is the hardest part!  I am pretty sure this is a good example of a problem that requires perseverance on the part of the problem solver.  It's also a good example of a problem that my students might see on their State Test next week.

If you are also working on converting measurements, you might want to check out Kim Miller's Measurement Conversion Fans.(TpT link)  I gave these to my students to cut and color for their homework.

If you need a set of task cards for this topic, I just uploaded a set to my store.  This set of task cards 20 cards with a mix of skills based problems and real world problems.  Conversions require students to use their understanding of place value, decimal concepts and interpretation of remainders.

Of course, if you own my Math Task Card Bundle, you'll need to download again to get the new cards!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

State Testing, More State Testing, and an Interactive Math Notebook Freebie

Hooray!  My kids took three days of state tests last week and I am sure I speak for them when I say we are so glad it's over.  I tried really hard to keep things light in the classroom, but they know that this test matters (in NYC these tests are used to determine promotion) and they really took it seriously.

I really emphasized coding text and justifying answers to eliminate incorrect choices and I am so proud of my kids that they did this on the test.  The downside to that is that the passages were so long and the questions so complex that many students did not finish the test in time.  I am a real believer that close reading should not be a timed activity, so I'm pretty upset that even my best readers (as in level Y readers) had to push hard to just barely beat the clock.

And now we are 10 school days away from the State Math Test  - and we have SO many skills to cover.  We spent last Friday reviewing subtracting mixed numbers.  This is such a tricky concept for some kids - especially if they do not understand how borrowing really works.  I showed my class how to subtract mixed numbers with regrouping and then how to use improper fractions.  Students used an interactive notebook page to create a model and a reference sheet for themselves.

If you'd like a copy of this interactive notebook page, you can grab it from Google Docs right HERE.

Also, be sure to check out my Facebook Page for a new Facebook Freebie - Sticky Mats for Reading Comprehension for Older Kids!

Here is a link to the full product on TpT as well!

Have a great week!