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Teaching Place Value

Teaching place value is one of the hardest concepts to teach in elementary school. I have found that you need to teach this difficult standard as many ways as possible.

The first thing I do is use place value manipulatives with the kids so they can see how 10 ones equals 1 ten and how 10 tens equals 1 hundred. Using the manipulatives makes it so much easier for the students to understand how numbers work.

Our state standards expect the students to know how to write the number in standard form, expanded form, word form, expanded notation, and pictorial models.  I make an anchor chart that explains the different ways to write numbers.

place value

I then have the students make a chart in their interactive notebook to help them remember all the ways to write numbers.  I have them write in on the right side of the notebook, I do it together with the students on my interactive whiteboard while they write it in their notebooks. We talk about each section as we write it down.

place value board

place value lesson

After the students have practiced with place value in work stations for a while I then check for understanding. I have them come up with a number and on the left side of the notebook I have them write down the ways they can write the numbers. I let them choose which way they would like to write it.

place value notebookThis is an easy way to see who is still struggling with the basics of place value. If students are still having difficulties then I can work with them in small group with the concepts they are still struggling with.

I hope I have given you some new ideas on how to teach place value. What do you do that works for your students? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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Let’s Plan a Vacation- Math Project

So it’s finally the end of the year! We have learned all the standards and now we need to figure out what we are going to do with the kids to keep them engaged. Well let’s plan a vacation. This  math project is a great cooperate activity to get your kids excited about doing math at the end of the year.

plan a vacation How it Works

This math activity is great to do in groups of 3 to 4 kids. A group of students will get a city and a budget sheet to plan a vacation for themselves and a friend. They must pick their flight, car rental, hotel, activities, and food while they are on vacation. They must do it all the activities while staying under their budget of $2500. I love seeing all the kids working together. I give each child a job. There is a mathematician that does the calculating, the recorder that writes on the budget sheet, and the checker that checks all the calculations.

vacationMy students really enjoyed this activity. We spent 2 class periods working on the budget. I am attaching a sample of the project. You can try it out by clicking on the picture below.
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If you like the sample you can purchase the full Plan a Vacation activity with all 7 cities at my store or by clicking on the picture below.

Good luck with the end of the school year. Let me  know if you tried this project with your students.

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Math Workshop Organization

Welcome to week 2 of  the “Digging Into Next Year”  Linky Party hosted by Laura at Where the Magic Happens. If you missed last week check out my post on Classroom Organization.

Titleslide1

introductionslideOrganize my math workshop

I have been doing math stations for several years. I previously taught 2nd grade and was very comfortable with my schedule and curriculum. This past year I switched to 3rd grade and well… let’s just say math turned my whole world upside down. The curriculum is much more difficult and time-consuming. I had a lot of students with learning disabilities so I had to slow down the pace of the curriculum. On the plus side, doing small groups with many of my students was the only way most of them learned. I also had another teacher in there to help with my inclusion students. Enough of that… let me tell you what I did with math workshop with my 3rd graders.

My goal was a 20 minute minilesson on the objective we were learning that day. Sometimes it went a little over. I would then start my math workstations. I had 10-11 workstations with 2 kids in each group. I learned several years ago that 4 kids in a group was a party and 3 kids didn’t always work with partner games. I like having 2 kids in a group because the noise level is much more manageable. That doesn’t mean I have 11 different activities. Sometimes I had the same activity for 2 groups. They were just in different parts of the classroom. I would just have them sit on the floor somewhere in the classroom. If you would like a copy of my math workstations click on the document to download it for free.

MathWorkstationCardsMonsterThemedFreebie_Page_1math stations

I would spend the first week or two introducing  a new workstation daily and monitoring the students to make sure they new how to do the activity properly. Most of the activities had directions that were easy to read themselves. I had all the math activities in one central location. I kept everything on a rolling shelf that was labeled with each station. The students would stay in the workstation for 20 minutes and then do independent work for 20 minutes.

While the students were in math work stations I would meet with 4-5 students to go over the standards they were struggling with. This was a great way to see the students thinking and have them see how other students worked out the problems. I had them come back to my small group table. I used this area for both my reading and math. I had all of my math manipulatives in a teal storage container to distinguish it from my reading materials. I also had white boards for the students to use to practice math computation.

math group area

changesandwhyFirst: I really need to label my tub on the outside so I now what is in there. I also need to go through the tub and organize it more for 3rd graders. I had many manipulatives that I used for 2nd grade and didn’t even use this past year.

Second: I don’t need to be so hard on myself . This past year was a huge growing year for me. The pressure of the STAAR (Texas State Assessment test) really got to me and I don’t feel like I did my best with math workshop.

Third: I am going to be reading Guided Math over the summer and plan on implementing some changes based on what I learn. Our district is really leaning towards the model found in this book. We will start implementing Guided Math throughout our district more next year.

slide6relatedproductsMath Task Cards

I use a lot of word problems during my math workstations. I make a copy of the task cards and put them in a station for the students to work on. I change them throughout the year with different standards and themes. Below are a couple of the task cards I have used in my class. Click on the cover page to go check them out.

back to school scavenger hunt_Page_01 back to school scavenger hunt_Page_03                               superhero task cards_Page_01superhero task cards_Page_04

Make sure to go by Where the Magic Happens to check out the other teachers and how they organize their math workshop. Have a great week!

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Math Word Problems Scavenger Hunt

Math word problems and a scavenger hunt! This is a different way to get kids interested in doing word problems. Whenever we look at the data from our testing, word problems are still the area our 2nd graders have difficulties with. We do a Pirate Unit at the end of the year.  During this unit I incorporate a math word problem scavenger hunt. There are 12 treasure chests that have several different types of math questions. There is addition, subtraction, multiplication, measurement, time, and money. They all focus on pirates.

math scavenger hunt
math scavenger hunt

 

These treasure chests are also in black and white and can be run on any color of tag. I laminate them and post them up and down our 2nd grade hall. They can be hid throughout the classroom or put anywhere throughout the building. I give each of the students a paper to show their work on. I have them go one at a time to answer the questions. I tell them they must show their work.

The students really enjoy working on the math word problems. When all of the students have completed the scavenger hunt we check them together. All of the 2nd graders in our school did them and they all had a great time.

math word problems math word problems

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in purchasing this Pirate Scavenger Hunt- Math Word Problems go by my store and check it out. I also have an Easter Egg Math Word Problem Scavenger Hunt that the kids also enjoy. I have a blog post about it. I hope you enjoy this activity.

math scavenger hunt

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Math Word Problems Scavenger Hunt Eggs

Math word problems are always so difficult for 2nd graders. My kids do not like working on them and I am always looking for something to keep them interested. We did an Easter egg word problem scavenger hunt last week. I made 12 colorful eggs with all different types of math questions. There was addition, subtraction, time, and measurement. They all dealt with Easter. An example is below.

word problems

I posted them up and down our hall and the students had to “hunt” for them and solve them by showing their work. I sent them in groups of two and gave them 10 minutes to see how many they could answer correctly. I sent them throughout the week when had some extra time. Some of the other 2nd grade classes sent them all at once or did it all in one day. All the kids really enjoyed it!

scavenger hunt

This could also be done during any type of holiday. Just pick some clipart and make up some word problems to put on them and post them on the wall somewhere. You could do Earth Day with recycling items or spring with flowers. Have you ever tried anything like this? What have you done?

Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt
If you like this activity I have it in my shop on TeacherspayTeachers.
Click on the picture to find out more information. I have them in color and black and white.

See you soon!
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