Thursday, September 11, 2014

2nd Grade MaTh: CCSS 2.G.A.2 rough area of a rectangle

Hi!  It's Thursday so time for Math activity Thursday!

All this month has a 2nd grade focus.  Today's activity/lesson teaches CCSS.2.G.A.2 which reads...
Partition a rectangle into rows and columns of same-size squares and count to find the total number of them.
Activity Name: Squarin' Up Rectangles!
Concepts: Area, shapes, measurement--Partitioning anything into squares is really all about area.
Supplies: Easy--blank paper, ruler (recommend with cm measurement), pencil, and 2 colors (either 2 crayons or markers)
Time needed: 30 minutes for a class, but if doing at home it can be as little as 15.

  1. Have student hand draw a rectangle on their blank page.  You may want to remind the kids that rectangles corners are 90 degree angles (like an L shape), so when they draw their rectangle they do the best straight edges they can. (I used a pen, but students will use a pencil)
  2. Using a ruler start at one of the corners and make a mark at each centimeter. On each of the parallel sides (BTW you should use these terms with the kids--it's important to teach math vocabulary early on) make sure to start measuring at the same place.  For example, on the vertical lines I started measuring at the top and on the horizontal lines I started measuring on the left. (You could do this whole exercise with graph paper but your students wouldn't have the challenge of making a grid in their free-hand rectangle).
  3. You will probably find that not all the corners are exactly L shaped (90 degree angles) so you will need to redraw some of the sides to make them straight.  Use the ruler to draw a line between the two measured points.
  4. Explain that the columns go up and down (vertical) and rows go across, side to side (horizontal).  Most likely the rectangle will not be an an exact cm mark--just use the closest cm mark to a complete cm)
  5. Count the number of squares down each column and number them (that is how many rows there are).  In this example there are 6 squares for each column.  Kids might not be able to count by 6s (or however many rows they have with their rectangles), so we count the columns by 2s (you can count by 1s but it just takes longer and you could do 3s too).  Each time you make a slash through the blocks you write the number you are counting up to (I drew a line under each group of three numbers since that is one whole column).
    Keep going until you fill in the whole thing--finding the area inside the rectangle.
  6. Now, to double check that we did the area correctly we will also count the squares in the rows.  Label that--those are the number of columns. Mine were easy to count since there were 10 squares in each row.  Then I just skip counted ten as I marked the counting.
  7. You might want to ask the kids which way was easier for their rectangle--Counting by columns or counting by rows?  Explain to the students that they just found the area of a rectangle.  It might have been hard to do it this way, but as they progress through math their will be shortcuts to find the area.  Once they know multiplication it is just the height (vertical measurement) times the width (horizontal measurement).  In this example we had 6 rows of 10 (6 x 10) or 10 columns of 6 (10 x 6), but equal the same 60 squares.
I hope you enjoyed Squarin' Up Rectangles!

Now it is your turn to share a math activity if you want.  Here is the template and you can link up your 2nd grade activity any time this month.  In other months we will have other grades too.
I can't wait to see what kinds of activities you have!

Monday, September 8, 2014

So swamped with being busy, busy, busy!

I totally wanted to participate in the Currently linky this month but now that it is so far past the beginning of the month it kind of seems silly...

It has been majorly busy around here!  With my kids going back to school, change of tenants for the triplex we have, trying to work on my book, running critique groups for two writing groups, and just having time to keep up with laundry, dishes, cleaning, a-n-d EVERYTHING!

But it is all good!  I am feeling so blessed.  A few weeks ago I found a very plump monarch caterpillar and I took it home and that day it went into it's chrysalis.  My kids loved it! The following day I found another one and it did the same thing.  My kids jostled the butterfly house and one of the chrysalises fell.  I managed to get it back hung up with some floss and a tiny bit of super glue (but we are still waiting for that one to open--hope it's not deformed).  The caterpillar that went into metamorphosis second came out first!  It was nice enough to climb on my arm and stay for about 5 seconds before flying off.

During the last week and a half my husband and I did video for the production of The Pancake Menu--the book I will be publishing next year.  It has recipes in addition to listing the possible pancakes to order.  On the recipe page will be a QR code to go to the video tutorial on how to make the pancakes as well!  I'm super excited about it!  We did video taping over three days, (8/30, 9/1, and 9/4) to make 12 great kinds of pancakes.  I customized this apron and spatula (they will be available with imprints during the Kickstarter campaign--although they won't be hand customized : ).

What has everyone else been up to?  Has it been super hectic?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

1st grade MaTh: Throwback Thursday with number lines! Fun frogs & lillypads!

Bringing up a past post that was really cute and fun for this first grade MaTh (Math activity Thursday)!

This past MaTh was in the old format but if you want to join me you can fill out this template and link up at the bottom.

Enjoy this post from last year...
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Recently on Google+ I was reading through my Community pages (I have an Elementary School Teachers Community by the way that anyone who wants to join can be part of) and there was an article shared on one of the math teachers community about how important number lines are.  Kids often don't have a good sense of numbers and their placement.

I thought I would throw out a few ideas to do with number lines.  Number lines help kids visualize which numbers are closest to zero, higher or lower than each other, and the placement of where numbers fit along the line.

Many times in school we are only supposed to teach the positive numbers, but I know my own children always wondered if there were numbers going the other way.  We shouldn't be hesitant to show them that indeed there are negatives.  When we teach a subtraction problem we can show them that there is a negative in there.  5-2=3 is also 5+(-2)=3.

In college I had an amazing math instructor that taught us how to teach higher level math to young children in simple ways.  He did a demonstration in a second grade class with poker chips.  The red chips were hot chips and the blue chips were cold chips.  He used a thermometer drawing to show how the temperature would go up or down according to the chips the kids were given.  The thermometer was basically a number line in the vertical position.

At first the instructor gave the 2nd graders more hot chips.  For example: one student got 9 hot and another student got 2 cold.  What's the temperature?  The kids figured out it was 7.  But after a few of those, he gave more cold chips: 5 hot chips and 10 cold chips.  Guess what?  They figured out it was -5!  You should have seen how the kids were so excited to know they could go below zero!

So, that's one activity you could do with your students.  I would love to hear if they get as excited as the kids in that second grade class.

For today, I made a small freebie which is one page out of a packet I am made.  I'm giving away the black and white copy of the Lilly Pad Number Line!

The 12 page packet is $3 if you want the colored pages and frogs to go with it : )

With the number lines, the kids fill in the numbers on the Lilly pads and they can do some different things with them after they are cut into strips and made into a long horizontal line.  Here are some ideas...
  • With a small bean bag as a frog, see what numbers they land on and keep a record.  Have the children compare the numbers.  What was the highest number?  Which number was landed on the most?
  • Have the students keep track of how many books they have read with the number line.
  • Use the Lilly Pad Number Line for the days of school.
  • Use the line to keep track of daily points in the classroom.  You could use the negative numbers here too, but hopefully the kids are earning enough points to stay out of the negatives : )

What other things do you do with number lines in the classroom?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

First grade MaTh: Telling time 1.MD.B.3


Welcome to Math activity Thursday!  Link up your math post at the bottom.  I can't wait to see your activities!

Today mine is on telling time with the hour and half hour and a thumbs up, thumbs down activity.
Activity name: Thumbs up, thumbs down (perhaps there could be a better title, but creative juices aren't flowing at the moment)

Concepts: 1.MD.B.3 Telling time for at the hour and half hour, checking for accurate hour hand position.

Supplies: Little clock faces for each student.  I found this great 4-pack at Dollar Tree.  The little plastic hands are decently sturdy (not sure how long they will last but sure better than paper).

Time needed: 20-30 minutes for teaching, practicing, checking, and playing with the clocks.

Instructions:  Take 5-10 minutes teach. Talk about the the hour position and if they need to review which hand reads the minute and which hand reads the hour, do so now.  Explain, at the top of the hour we are just starting a new hour and the minute hand is at the top.
Digitally it looks like 1:00.  Show other hours by moving the hour hand but then come back to this one.

Explain that each of the little dots in black is one minute passing and when the minute hand passes each of the numbers we actually practice skip counting (AKA multiplication) of 5.  But for now, we are going to make the minute hand go to the bottom.  How many minutes is that?  We could count each of them or we could skip count--it's 30!  Then why do we call if half an hour?  Lets look at the clock as a circle.  If we shade all the minutes we passed from 1:00-1:30 that is half the circle.  It is half of the whole hour.  (But here is the part we don't always teach) While the minute hand is going, does the hour hand stay in the same place?  No, it advances slowly, getting closer and closer to the next hour.  So when the minute hand is at the half hour position, lets see where the hour hand points.
It is half way between the 1 and 2.  Yes, that is because it is half way through the whole hour of minutes.

If you saw a clock like this
 or this
it just wouldn't seem exactly right.
Let's see if you can guess which one of these clocks have the correct hand position.  (put two clocks side by side and make one correct and one incorrect and do this a few times).
Now you are ready to try!  Practice and play.  Play could include reading a story with times in it and the children move their clocks each time it says the time in the story.

Have fun!

Now it's your time to link up if you want.  Here is the 1st grade MaTh template.

We will be doing 1st grade math for the rest of this month and then in September we'll be into 2nd grade math.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sarah Maizes' book reading and signing: On My Way to School

Hey everyone!  I had a busy weekend but I was able to go to a friend's book reading and signing.  Sarah Maizes is an all-around awesome person and she has her third book in her On My Way series with a fun character named Livi.  Livi has quite the imagination and is reluctant to go most places the big people in her life want her to go.  Sarah is so funny and her humor shines through in each book.

It was a nice crowd gathered in west Los Angeles at Children's Book World.  It is a well stocked book store with the most children's books I've ever seen.  I didn't know this hidden gem was in LA but it was wonderful to see.

Here's a picture from the reading.

I hope everyone has a nice time as we head back to school : )
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