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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Guest: Adventures in 3rd Grade

Amber is my guest today. She has a wide variety of items on her website and a lot of freebies. She always seems to post just the thing that I didn't know I needed but do!

Hey Friends!  Well, I know some of you might not know me yet, but I consider everyone that is part of this community a friend! I'm Amber from Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher.

I teach third grade in North Carolina. I love teaching, movies, Pinterest and polka dots!

I am so excited to be over here writing on Misty's Fabulous Blog!  I'm on Spring Break this week, so it's kind of like I'm taking a little vacay over here in Misty's World!

I Love Math and I am very focused on creating Problem Based Math Activities and growing problem solvers in my class!  So today, I wanted to share a glimpse of math in my classroom! (Not to mention there will be some Freebies along the way!)

I think the true sign of a problem solving math lesson is all about who is doing the talking.  I have always been good at math, so when I first started teaching, I did most of the talking in math class.  That was the way that I had been taught math, plus hello, if it is easy for me, it should be easy for the kiddos.  

Man, the woes of a first year teacher. 

Luckily, the next year my county had new textbook adoptions.  They adopted Envision (no comment about that) and Investigations.

At first, I didn't know what to think about it.  It seemed so broad and open ended.  Not to mention that it was so much more preparation! Since the way I had been teaching was certainly not working, I decided to jump in and try it.  I am soooo glad that I did.  It has made such a difference!  The best part, my kids do most of the talking.  They get to explore math, explain their thinking and try new ways to solve problems. 

So here is a little breakdown of a math lesson in my classroom. It is not the same everyday, but these are some of the basics. 

Math Notebooks:  I am killing myself for not having pictures.  All my pictures have disappeared and I'm on Spring Break.  But, they are such a crucial part to my math instruction.  This is where my students write their thinking, glue in foldables and work out problems. I want it to be a tool for my students to use throughout the year.  In third grade, it is really a struggle to even teach them how to use a notebook, but I have them pretty well trained!

Jen from Runde's Room has a great free resource to help you get started with Math Notebooks. 

Ten Minute Math/Review: The students are given a problem to solve.  Usually it is something open ended, like how many ways can you make $5.00.  The most important part is that they have to "WRITE IT OUT!" I definitely sing that to my students to the tune of that rap song "Walk It Out".  Yep, I am that teacher.

 Exploring Math:  This part can take many forms.  The students may use manipulatives to explore a concept, be faced with a real life problem to solve, be given partner or table work.  We always wrap it up with a Class Discussion.  Or sometimes, we stop and discuss throughout different portions of the lesson.  

Here are some pictures of my kiddos exploring. 

Measuring Length

Group work with Fraction Pizzas

Measuring Mass

Here is an example of a Math Lesson you can download for free at my TPT Shop!

Vocabulary: I use a Frayer Model to help my kids with vocabulary 

Where do you think we put our vocabulary words? You guessed it! Our Math Notebooks! A lot of the time we do these together, or they work in groups.  The students define, draw a picture or list characteristics, show an example and a non-example.  It is so much more useful than just writing a definition and drawing a picture.  

Math Workshop/ Centers/Balanced Active Math:  They are all kind of the same thing, just called a million different things. I don't do it everyday,. maybe once or twice a week The students might do all of the activities, or just some of them. This is how I set it up.  I used to have students rotate through centers, but it was so frustrating when students took longer in one center than planned, or finished in 3 seconds.  So, I started letting students do it at their own pace.  They are usually assigned to work with their math partner or a small group.  They choose what they do and in what order.  If there is a specific thing that I want them to have done, I just make sure they get it done.  It sounds crazy, but it really isn't!  The students might work on vocabulary, play math games, work with the teacher, use manipulatives to solve problems. The ideas are endless.  I found this awesome Math Workshop board  on Pinterest that I definitely want to have in my classroom next year.  

I think I would just have my students place their name on whatever activity they are doing. 

I promised freebies, so here are some freebies you could use during Math Workshop, or during your regular Math Instruction. I was going to list all of my Freebies, but I decided to just give you guys the link to my store, because I have a TON of math freebies! Games, Foldables, and Printables!

And a BRAND NEW FREEBIE Just for you guys! A Great Activity to do whole group or in Math Workshop or Centers!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you found something you can implement with your kiddos! :)

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At April 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM , Blogger Kate said...

I love this post! Thanks so much for sharing! The BINGO is 6th graders will LOVE it!!
To The Square Inch

At April 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM , Blogger luckeyfrog said...

Oooh, we JUST finished a geometry unit. This will be great 'fun' review! Thanks!

I loved your guest post, but then again, I'm already a follower over on your blog, so I guess that shouldn't have been a surprise! :)

Luckeyfrog's Lilypad


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