Well here we are at the finish line! We have come so far this year and have achieved so much. My 5th grade students will take the Math STAAR on Tuesday and I could not be more excited for them! We have prepped, reviewed and they are ready for what lies ahead. On Monday I will send home a note of encouragement. I always do this the night before STAAR. I attach a package of smarties to the letter and instruct students not to read the letter until they get home.

# Blog

## Area Perimeter and Volume Lessons

This week (and a little of last week) have been spent on Area, Perimeter and Volume.

The first lesson we did is based on a little story I wrote that involves two penguins. One penguin is making a nest for his wife. He has specific guidelines he must follow in order to make the perfect nest. He keeps messing up the specific guidelines so the story encourages the students to make the perfect nest. The kids loved the little story and they worked together with their shoulder partner to figure out the dimensions of the perfect nest.

After the story, students were given a set of “nest” task cards and graph paper. Students worked in pairs to figure out how to make each nest according to the specific areas and perimeters given. I love how they have to work backwards to figure out the sides of the nests.

## Shape Activities! Using thinking maps to sort shapes based on attributes…

Before I begin with my activities for the week, I am very excited to tell you about a chance to win $150 TPT giveaway!!!

This week we have enjoyed learning about shapes. In 5th grade we take all the information we have learned from our years in elementary and use that information to sort shapes in many ways according to their attributes.

We started out reviewing types of shapes, their names, their sides, their angles and how to draw them. We created a family tree according to their number of sides. This year we made a family tree using a Google Slide Show. This worked out so well! It is so easy to share and have kids create with you.

The next day we used ipads and an app called Geoboard. We created shapes on the geoboard and then used the annotation tool to label sides and angles. I love using this digital geoboard!

Next the students used a Google Slide Project I created that allowed them to digitally sort shapes. I absolutely love using this digital platform to reinforce topics. The kids love it too!

Access my Google Activities HERE!

Finally we used my Shape Hierarchy Activity to formally practice using thinking maps and graphic organizers. This is completed like a gallery walk. Students have cootie catchers which contain poster specific questions. The questions are open ended, rigorous and relevant to the organizer on the poster. Four of the posters contain mistakes which allow students to analyze for errors. The students did very well with this activity!

Here is a direct link to this activity on my TpT store!

Next week we will learn Area, Perimeter and Volume, so stay tuned!

Peace, Love and Math-

Jennifer

## Writing Equations Using a Variable or a Letter for the Unknown Quantity

Well, we are just truckin’ along learning new topics! This weeks focus has been on writing simple equations using a variable or letter for the unknown quantity. In 5th grade we will only see a variable or letter in the solution part of the equation. To get started with this topic, we first talked about equation vocabulary. I don’t like to teach “key words” but there are words that lend themselves more clearly to one operation. For example “sum” usually means to add. We journaled common words and phrases seen in word problems and discussed their meaning.

Next we used a book called “One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab” by April and Jeff Sayre. This is a very simple book in nature, but students can learn a more complex math operation using this simple book to guide the instruction. First I read the book and the students followed along using the guided instruction part. I read and we did the guided instruction together.

Afterwards the packet instructs students to come up with their own equations using the book as a reference. The students were given a number and they had to develop their own equation to represent that number. Students then came to the board to present their findings. We went over their equations and checked for accuracy. They did really well with this!

## Dividing Unit Fractions!

This week, and last week, we have been focusing on dividing unit fractions by wholes and dividing wholes by unit fractions.

We started out the topic by showing why we can’t flip flop with division like we can with multiplication (commutative property). For example: 2×3= 6 and 3×2= 6 but 6 divided by 3 is not the same as 3 divided by 6. So we learned how to draw both types of division with wholes and unit fractions. We also acted out both types of division.

The next day we did a partner gallery walk called Fraction Division Detectives. I love using gallery walks to get the students up and moving around. I monitored and heard wonderful conversations. Students not only had to produce the math via algorithm but also draw a model to reinforce the concept and prove their thinking. You can find this activity here on my TpT store 🙂

You don’t need Google Classroom to do these activities, all you need is access to Google drive. You and your kids will love it! I have more lessons like this one at my TpT store!

Lastly, we practice the algorithm, using Connect Four! (partner games) Students practiced each type of division by playing two different versions of Connect Four!

## Adding and Subtracting Fractions- Some Oldies but Goodies and One Newbie!

This year I used two of my favorite activities that I have featured already on my blog and one new activity that I designed this year.

One oldie but goodie is my Musical Mix-Up! This is where I give students name tags with different fractions on the name tag. I play music, we dance around, and when the music stops we pair up. I roll a dice and if its even, the pair adds their fraction “names” together. If I roll an odd number, we subtract the two fractions. This is so much better than a boring worksheet! This year I went big and made actual “Hello my name is…” name tags. The students loved introducing themselves with their “new name”. I also made a recording sheet, which helped to organize their work.

To try Adding and Subtracting Fractions Unlike Denominators Musical Mix-Up click on the link to go directly to the product in my TpT store.

Next, we did a brand new activity I created completely on the chromebook. This activity uses the Google Drive and is an interactive Google Slide project. This was an amazing problem solving opportunity for the kids! Students problem solved math concepts while also learning technology applications and processes. This was rigorous and the students loved working on the technology.

I can’t wait to make more Google projects.

# Adding and Subtracting Fractions Unlike Denominators Google Classroom Activity can be found at my TpT store! When you purchase the activity you will get directions on how to share this with your students.

PS: I apologize that the font and links are doing something funky 🙂 I am trying to fix it!

## Multiplying Fractions by Wholes: Lessons and Activites

Because Texas revamped their TEKS and Standards for Math a couple of years ago, I have been given the opportunity to teach Multiplying Fractions by Wholes to my fifth graders. I am slowly but surely feeling more and more comfortable with this standard.

This year I have finally figured out that there are really two ways that this standard can be taught.

* Finding a Fraction OF a Whole Number, for example: 3/4 of 8

* Repeated addition of a fraction, for example I feed my dog 1/2 cup every day for 5 days. This is 1/2 times 5 or 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2

Yes, you can do the standard algorithm for both types of problems, but that is not going to teach the students how to make a pictorial model to match both types of situations and the standard states they should be able to use a model.

So I decided to teach this standard in two parts.

The first part I taught is the Fraction of a Whole number. For this I used a foldable I created to directly instruct students. I used the “I Do”, “We Do” and “You Do” guided instruction. This was my first time using this foldable in class and it went beautifully! It really helped the students understand how to circle groups and shade them in to find the fraction of a number. The students even realized, and so did I, that we were making equivalent fractions!

Here is a direct link to my foldable I used: Multiply Fractions by Whole Numbers Interactive Guided Instruction TEKS 5.3I

The next day we used an interactive Google Slides math project. This was something I made and shared with the students. It still focused on the Fraction of a Whole Number. I allowed students to work on the project in pairs. This was an amazing and rigorous problem solving project! Not only did students work together to problem solve during the slide show, they also problem solved with technology. They had to use shapes, scribble, type in text boxes and move items around. This activity really drove the concept home!

I absolutely loved this Google assignment and I can’t wait to do another one in the future. Here is a direct link to my store: Multiply a Whole and a Fraction Interactive Google Classroom Activity TEKS 5.3I

The following day we worked on the other type of problems that they will see with multiplying fractions by wholes. We discussed, drew models and converted fractions from improper fractions to mixed. We used guided instruction and then students dove into partner work. We used my laminated work pages and fraction cards to come up with the problems to solve. We used dry erase markers which cuts down on copies. The students seemed okay on this, so we will do another day of work on this topic.

Here is a direct link to the guided instruction activity: Multiply Fractions by Whole Numbers TEKS 5.3I Small Group Partner Game

Next we practiced the algorithm of multiplying, finding an improper and dividing the improper to make a mixed. We used a partner game I created in order to have fun but still practice the problems. It is called Connect Four and the students were able to practice multiplying fractions while also having good conversations with their partners.

The kids loved Connect Four! Here is a direct link! Connect Four- Partner Game- Multiplying Fractions by Whole Numbers TEKS 5.3I

After today, I think they are ready to move onto, adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. Wish me luck!

Peace, Love, Math!

Jennifer

## Additive and Multiplicative Patterns!

UPDATED!!! NEW RESOURCE!!!

I have created this google resource to help review for the upcoming STAAR test. If you have never used Google Slides to reinforce math topics you are missing out! All you need is google drive and a way to share the link with the kids. I choose to share the link through Edmodo but could also be shared with a QR code or through Google Classroom.

This week we have been busy learning all about Additive and Multiplicative Patterns! We have learned how to create a table, an equation, and to graph it on a coordinate grid.

We started out with learning and journaling the definitions of Additive and Multiplicative. We also journaled the equations y = ax and y = a+ x.

Afterwards students completed my Out of This World Pattern Sort! This sort is perfect for looking at tables and graphs and sorting the cards based on which type of pattern was seen, additive or multiplicative. I loved to hear the students debate which type of patterns they encountered. Students then received immediate feedback using QR Codes.

## Scatter Plot Graph Lessons and Actvities

This week we welcomed in a new year! 2017 came before I even realized 2016 was over! The students came back to school yesterday and I knew they would be half awake so I decided the perfect standards to address would be the Scatter Plot Graph standards. My fifth graders must know how to create a scatter plot graph based on data and solve questions that refer to the data.

I had posted in a previous post about my Cup Stacking Activity. I have perfected the Cup Stacking Activity and have added it to my TpT store. I made this activity more STEM like and have added questions and graphs to the activity.

Students were timed in 10 sec intervals. In my more advanced class, I used 5 sec intervals.

The trio of students consisted of 3 jobs. The builder, who builds, the counter, who counts, and the recorder who records on the class graph.

Students had their own group graph too!

I like to display the class graph so that everyone can see how each group is doing. I color coded the groups on the graph.

## Winter Wonderland, Activities before Winter Break! Featuring Coordinate Grids and Crystal Snowflakes

If your school is anything like mine, there are tons of activities right before winter break. It is hard to get anything taught, let alone keep students engaged and behaved. So this week I decided to just Let it Go!

On Monday, we had Polar Express Day, which is held by our librarian, and we all were pajamas. We had shortened class periods so we began our Crystal Snowflake Experiment. I took on the role of a science teacher and we discuss the important vocabulary that would be seen in our experiment. These words included solubility, solution, boiling point, pore space to name a few. We discussed what would be occurring tomorrow in science terms. We also watched a few short videos about solutions and dissolving substances into water. The next day we put our plan in action! I had asked parents to send jars the week before and I had one jar per person. Side note, the pint sized wide mouthed mason jars as well as the common chip dip jars work the best. Bigger jars require A LOT of water and A LOT of Borax soap, so if you have extra jars like I did, I just made them trade their jar for a smaller one. We also used colored pipe cleaners instead of food coloring and it worked out amazingly!

I boiled the water and put the water into the jar. Students then put in 3 tablespoons of Borax for each cup of water and stirred. Not all the soap will dissolve and that is okay. We then put our jars in an empty room and left them overnight. The next day, Wednesday, revealed awesome crystals that students could use for ornaments on their tree!