A Year of Awesome - Week 9

It is time for another week of awesome classroom reflections!

Today was a professional activity day in our board, but I was home sick. It sounds like I missed an interesting day, which is too bad, but at least I didn't have to plan for a supply teacher! That's awesome!
Today we started really digging into story elements. We've added "Recognize Story Elements" to our CAFE board as a comprehension strategy, and took advantage of the season to discuss how character behaviors are affected by settings: How would a character behave in a spooky house at midnight? What about in the same house in the middle of the day with the sun shining in? You can imagine how eager the students were to discuss this one! We used the ideas in one of our story elements mini books.
You can grab this mini book in my "Good Readers" Story Elements Mini Books resource! There is a FREE sample available as well!

After much group practice, guided lessons, and anchor chart building, the students tackled an addition problem independently using the T.A.C.K. board today!
After introducing the board last week, I guided the students through solving problems step-by-step while referring to the criteria on the board so they would understand exactly how it should be used. After that, I modeled a problem to show them exactly what a math picture looks like, and what sort of labels to use. I threw some regrouping into the situation and was thrilled that everyone understood how to count up the base ten blocks accurately. The "trading" as I call it took some explanation, but they definitely understand the concept. After I finished, the students helped me label the finished product with the parts of the T.A.C.K. board that I used and we ended up with this anchor chart.
It is not at all pretty, but IS a functional example of how students can communicate their understanding in math!

Today, I gave the class a new addition problem, focused everyone's attention on the T.A.C.K. board and gave them repeated reminders to use it, then let the kiddos get to work. When hands went up to announce, "I'm finished!" I redirected them to the board to check their work and everyone added something to improve their work. Take a look at a couple of these finished problems:
Not error-free by any stretch, but they've shown their thinking in a way that I can see these students understand how to add two-digit numbers with regrouping! Awesome!
Today was a great day! Lots of productivity, and tons of slimy fun! We continued our work with the T.A.C.K. board this morning, with students working in partners or small groups to solve problems. I wanted to give them a chance to observe and learn from each other. I told them they were required to check in at the T.A.C.K. board together when they believed they were finished, and did they ever! I loved watching them go up, read each piece, and check in with each other to see whether they'd done everything! Awesome! :)
Another great part of the day was a visit to the classroom by Matt from Save The Salamanders along with some of his slimy salamander friends! The kids loved it! They heard all about salamanders that live in our area, learned about threats to their survival, and got to see some up close! Awesome!

Today was the most AWESOME of my awesome days so far!! Pumpkin Day in Mrs. Beattie's Classroom was a huge hit!!
 
It was an absolutely fantastic day!! Using one of my newest products, my Pumpkin Math Investigation Booklet, we began by observing our pumpkins in detail, then estimated and measured circumference, height, and mass.
After recess, it was time to dig in... literally! The students estimated how many seeds their group's pumpkin contained, then rolled up their sleeves and got their hands inside! This was, of course, the favorite part for most of the students. There were only a couple too squeamish to touch that mess. While one student was scooping, the others were busy separating the seeds from the slimy pulp. When that was finished, the task was to create groups of ten seeds, then combine those to make hundreds. In this way, the students calculated exactly how many seeds were inside their group's pumpkin.
Afterward, I drew names to select the new owners of these fabulous pumpkins and the seeds for roasting. Yummy! For the last third of our day we watched Monster House and ate donated treats. The parents did NOT disappoint!! Awesome!!
This doesn't even include the candy! I decided to send that home for the students to enjoy at another time! All this for only 20 students?! I hope they made it through trick-or-treating!! ;)

If you're interested in trying this in your own classroom, you can grab a copy here:

Do you have an AWESOME story to share from your week in the classroom? Link up or leave a comment below! 

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