Monday, February 27, 2012

Teaching Multiplication and Division

My students have been BEGGING me to learn multiplication and division. So, I caved. :) I just introduced the concept last week using fruit loops and little construction paper squares. (These were simply the items that were available to me - I would recommend using a mono-colored cereal, some of my students were focused on color sorting the cereal instead of multiplying/dividing)

 Hopefully this is pretty self explanatory, but here's some examples. 

Division: For a problem like 6 divided by 3, I told my students to first count out 6 fruit loops. Then they were to divide the 6 fruit loops equally between 3 of their squares. So, how many fruit loops are on each square?  
Teaching Division with Fruit Loops {Breezy Pink Daisies}

Multiplication: For a problem like 3 times 3, I would tell my students to put 3 fruit loops on each of the 3 squares. Then, count how many total fruit loops you have on the squares. (Sorry, I don't have a picture of this one)

 And one of my students grabbed some sticky tack and I found this on his desk :) 
Kellogg's Fruit Loops
I also created a worksheet with some word problems and space to solve them using this type of visual method, and so far it's working great!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Thumbtack Thief

Now for a very special teaching moment of the week brought to you by Breezy Pink Daisies :)

It was brought to my attention that a (green) thumbtack was placed right on the bench by a certain student's locker, let's call him Evan, who another student often likes to tease. Now, this would be a pretty serious matter, placing a thumbtack so that someone would sit on it, so I wanted to get to the bottom of this.
 
Evan sometimes collects colorful classroom treasures, so I talked with him first.

Me: Evan, did you take a thumbtack from my room to PE class?
Evan: NOooo!!!

Me: Hm, okay. What color was the thumbtack you took from my room?
Evan: It. Was. green.

BUSTED!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Facebook Wall for my Classroom

The words "Facebook wall" have never been so literal...or actually maybe not, because our Facebook wall is actually a Facebook door...but still! I created a Facebook wall for my classroom. A lot of my students are working on social skills especially starting (and continuing conversations). 
Facebook in the Classroom - status updates 

A few morning each week we start our day with updating our status (by sharing anything that's on your mind) or leaving a comment. This has also been a good activity for students who finish early. Facebook in the Classroom - status updates and comments 
With some students I focus on spelling or verb tense, other students I focus on them starting their sentences with capital letters and ending with punctuation, and even other students I just focus on the ability to get their thoughts out on paper, no matter how difficult it might be to read!
Facebook in the Classroom - status updatesFacebook in the Classroom - status updates 
The Facebook strips were simple to create. I just wrote each students name on two sentence strips, put the Facebook logo on it and got them laminated so that we could use them over and over again. (I thought about using individual pictures, but wanted to work on my student recognizing their classmates names as well.)

Oh! And posting my messy classroom last week motivated me enough to organize my back counter and bulletin boards. Tada! So much neater now: 
Special education bulletin boards organized - Breezy Pink Daisies 
Thanks for stopping by on this lovely President's Day!  :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Classroom Update - 6 months into the year!

I have been teaching for almost six months now and I haven't posted a picture of how my classroom looks since August! So here's my desk area and the back counter/bulletin board area. Seriously, no matter how often I try to keep it organized, by the next day it's a disaster again!
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If you remember my previous classroom post, I've moved some things around. My desk is now by my computer - which is wonderful. And I got a table just recently which inspired the desk move. I love having a table as a work space for students. Now I just need to figure out a better way to organize that back counter!

As you can see, my bulletin board has a lot of papers on it. That is where I store some of the work I have planned for the upcoming week, or something that we have started as a class and haven't had a chance to finish yet. It's functional, but not all that pretty! Hopefully by posting this mess I will motivate myself to think of a better way to organize it all!

So enough for classroom organization. Here's something fun that I created after seeing the idea on pinterest: an All About Number... poster. Here's the original:
I loved the idea so I created my own version on Word and had it printed poster sized and laminated.

Sometimes we do this as a class activity, and other times, like the one you see here, I have two students work together to complete the poster (See the color marks on the side - that shows students which ones to do). I really like making this a small group activity, because I've noticed the students helping each other out with the more difficult aspects like spelling the name or tallying!
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The number we use is usually the date, or a countdown to some special event.

If you would like to use this in your classroom feel free to leave your email address in the comments and I'd be happy to send you the document!

Happy Monday!
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