Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Masters of Learning

The students are now masters of division! 

They can solve division problems by applying one of these strategies: repeated subtraction, drawing an array, or making equal groups. Our last week on division was spent discovering how it relates to multiplication and creating multiplication and division word problems.

One activity was rolling a die in a die -- it is just that, a die inside another die -- and drawing the number of circles represented by the outside number and drawing stars in each circle represented by the number inside. Then, a multiplication and division sentence was written. 

For example, when the dice was rolled a 3 showed on the outside and a 6 showed on the inside. 3 circles were drawn and 6 stars were drawn in each circle. The multiplication sentence, 6x3=18 and 3x6=18, is written along with the related division sentence, 18/6 = 3 and 18/3=6.

As a review before the test, students played spin and divide. Each pair was given a spinner with numbers, a whole sheet with quotients, and assigned a number to divide by (2, 5, 9, or 10). Each partner took a turn spinning to find a number, divided that number by their assigned number, and found the quotient. The quotient was covered with a chip and the first partner to cover 20 squares won.

This week we begin fractions and I can't wait to share our learning! To prepare, the students colored fraction strips so I can laminate them. They will cut them and use in future lessons.

We read chapters 4 - 6 in Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Our skill for the week was comparing and contrasting. To practice the skill before applying to the book, students compared (similarities) and contrasted (differences) an apple and an orange using a Venn diagram. Then, they again used a Venn diagram to compare and contrast themselves to their partner.

Venn Diagram

Finally, the students compared and contrasted the two sisters from the story ( Ramona and Beezus ).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beginning of A Fantastic New Year!

As the end of our first week back from winter break comes to an end, it is time to share what we have been learning.

We started reading a new novel, Ramona Quimby, Age 8.

Each day we read a chapter and identified characters and settings. After each chapter, we sequenced events. 

To review the three chapters we read, and prepare for the Reading test, the students created a movie highlighting two important events from each chapter. The first two squares were used to illustrate the most important events from chapter 1. The next two squares were used to illustrate the most important events from chapter 2. Finally, the last two squares were used to illustrate the most important events from chapter 3. The sequenced events were then viewed through their cut-out television.

For additional sequencing practice, students were given 3 small pieces of construction paper with the letters A, B, and C. A short passage was read and a sequencing question was asked. With their partners, students discussed and justified which answer they thought was correct.

When time was called, students held up which answer they choose.

In English, we learned to combine sentences with different predicates using the word "and." First, they were given ample practice taking two sentences with the same subject and a different predicate and combining them. Then, students were given a cut-up sentence and instructed to put the words in order, creating a combined sentence. 

In Math, we were introduced to division. Many division strategies were taught: creating equal groups through sharing, repeating subtraction (with and without number lines), and making arrays. To begin the unit, we read The Doorbell Rang.

As I read the book, students showed parts of the story using Cookie Crisp cereal. The mother in the story baked 12 cookies for two children. The students divided their 12 "cookies" by 2 and discovered that each child would receive 6 cookies. But, before the children in the story could enjoy their cookies the doorbell rang. Two more friends showed up and now the children had to share their 12 cookies between 4 children. Again, the students divided their 12 "cookies" by 4 and discovered that each child would receive 3 cookies. The doorbell rang again and again in the story and the students continued to divide their "cookies."

Once the story was complete, we practiced other division facts using the cereal.

Tomorrow I will reread the story and students will sequence events on a sheet of paper divided into eights. With each event, the students will write a division sentence representing the event. 

Louisiana state facts were learned in Social Studies. Each student was assigned a state fact (state bird, state motto, state tree, etc) and on an index card, identified the fact and illustrated. The index cards were taped onto a map of Louisiana and displayed in our hallway.

The third graders are also rockin' the hallway with their New Year's resolutions. 
Check out our bulletin board!

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