Sunday, September 9, 2012

Divisibility Freebie

Teaching 5th grade math is different from teaching 2nd grade math.  Shocker!  It’s especially a big adjustment for me because I’m teaching using a different curriculum, and I used to teach math in English but now teach it in Spanish.  Do you use Everyday Math?  Does it get easier?  I feel like I read and reread the lesson (in Spanish!) and I am rarely 100% certain I’ve figured out the main idea of the lesson.
We did have an excellent lesson on divisibility yesterday, though largely due to another blog!  Shocker #2! ;)

First, Andrea from For the Love of Teaching Math, has a lovely post on a divisibility foldable.  Here is the image of my original inspiration:

The second key to this lesson came from my 5th grade teammates.  They have a copy of a mysterious table they use to teach divisibility.  They have one copy and NO idea where it originally came from.  The table breaks the rules up into three different patterns, which I liked!

See the original table:
2012-09-07 09.38.18

So with the foldable and table in mind I got to work!

When I told my students we were making a foldable for math, you would have thought they got an extra recess!   Note: 5th graders like foldables!

We color coded our foldable, and wrote the rules in the same order as the table, to distinguish these patters visually as well.  We glued them into our math notebooks and I will give them a copy of the table to glue/tape into their assignment notebooks to use for homework.

Here is what it looked like:

I’ve also created a divisibility freebie for you.  You can have your own divisibility rules table!  I had to make one for my team so we wouldn’t be fearful of losing our one and only copy!

You can download the freebie through Google Docs, or TpT.  To download through Google - just click any of the images of the actual freebie.  To download through TpT - click the green TpT button at the bottom of the post.  :)

green TPT.png
Mrs. Castro
Pin It

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Catch up and The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller

I hope the beginning of the school year has been a positive experience for all of you!  I have to say I’m amazed at how much more smoothly the start of the year goes with 5th graders compared to my former 2nd graders!  It’s a whole new world!  Thank you to all the primary teachers who work so hard to get them ready for us!

I am so happy I made the switch to 5th grade. I truly enjoy my students, and am constantly amazed at their ideas, conversations and maturity. 

However, I know everyone’s brain works differently.  I officially am a “big-picture” person.  I have a hard time wrapping my head around details until I’ve figured out big ideas, and how things work as a whole.  Consequently, I’m taking 5th grade a day at a time, putting the pieces together.  I’m making decisions slowly about how we’ll do our reading logs, use our notebooks, folders, etc.  I have to have a vision for everything until I’ll commit. 

This is why I am absent from blogging.  I don’t have a lot to contribute until I've wrapped my head around my new role as a 5th grade dual language teacher.  I hope to be sharing ideas and activities soon, but right now everything is in the very beginning stages.

One of the ways I’m wrapping my head around the intermediate grades is by reading…I’ve been reading more children's/YA books to keep my book recommendations relevant and up to date.  I’ve also been reading some teacher books.

I want to share one with you that is truly amazing!  If you teach in the intermediate/middle school grades this book is definitely for you.  Teachers of other grade levels this book is still a good read, it might just not be quite as easily applied to your classroom.

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller.  Did you ever watch/read Anne of Green Gables?  I remember the main character always carrying on about kindred spirits.  Well, I can honestly say that although Donalyn and I have never met, we are kindred spirits.  Donalyn is a teacher and a true book nerd, of epic proportions!  (She would probably say bibliophile…) 

As a teacher Donalyn initially struggled to find a literacy instruction approach that engaged students and inspired students to become true readers.  In this book she shares her experiences and methods for creating lifelong readers. 

Her book left me inspired, motivated, and wishing I had had a teacher like her!  Donalyn promotes more student freedom, choice and independent reading in the classroom.  Under this approach her students have shown incredible growth as readers, and have proven time and time again that “no single literacy activity has a more positive effect on students’ comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, spelling, writing ability, and overall academic achievement than free voluntary reading”.

This book is very reasonably priced and is an easy read!    I read it in less than 48 hours! 

What now? 

Now that I’ve read this book how am I going to apply Donalyn’s wisdom to my classroom?  It is important that I strive to be a teacher like Donalyn so that my students aren’t left wishing they had had a teacher like her, as I am now.

Here are some of the things I plan to do…

1.  READ – more books that are geared for my students reading levels.  A huge part of what makes Donalyn’s approach so successful is her knowledge and passion for literature.  She is very up to date on what kids are reading and can make recommendations to any of her students.

2.  Students will be expected to read 40 books this school year, with genre requirements built in to help them expand their lietrary experiences.

3.  Create our reading response journals…because I have about 100 composition notebooks I believe we’ll be using composition notebooks.  Donalyn uses spirals, and a former colleague of mine used three-pronged folders with loose-leaf paper.  Included:
  • Table of contents
  • Genre Notes
  • Literary Terms
  • Bridge (for dual language)
  • Have-Read List
  • Want to read list
  • Lots of space for reader response to text (letters to me, and my answers)
4.  Genre discussion with students – this week!

5.  Continue organizing classroom library by genre using Donalyn’s model.

6.  Build my classroom library – another secret to Donalyn’s success is her HUGE classroom library.  In order for students to choose they have to have books to choose from…so I’ll be working on this too.

7.  Decide what this will look like in a dual language classroom.  I need my students to be growing as readers and writers in both Spanish and English.  So I will have to set certain requirements for language.

This will be a work in progress, but I will be sure to share what works and doesn’t work. 

Have a wonderful labor day!
Mrs. Castro Pin It