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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Thanksgiving Classroom Ideas

Need Thanksgiving Classroom Ideas?

Planning a Thanksgiving Math Activity?

There are great ideas for Thanksgiving classroom parties. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate party or project. Students are content and happy with a small Thanksgiving activity. Here are some tips for having a successful Thanksgiving party in your classroom. Try one or all of these tips and your students will have a great time in your classroom this year!

 Try an activity with food or with paper food.

1. Limit Food Consumption. 

Depending on your school policy for Thanksgiving and other holidays, error on the side of less is more. Students will want to have food, pie, and share in this wonderful friendly holiday tradition. In preparation have a small food related activity for students to celebrate success or good behavior (if school policy allows it). An alternative to food is a free homework pass. It's a sugar free reward system that students will find value in. 

Talk about Thanksgiving Meal Costs.

2. Place Book Bags in Front of Room. 

Keeping book bags in the front of the classroom allows for less distractions. Students are less tempted to get in their bag for more items. Your classroom will have less behavior problems, less time talking about the book bags and other items, and more time focused on learning.

Review math skills with Thanksgiving Coloring activities and games.

3. Plan a Thanksgiving Math or Black Friday Activity. 

Your entire lesson plan does not have to be Thanksgiving based, but if you acknowledge the day with a short activity, your students might be more engaged. Creating an environment to celebrate and acknowledge fun holidays is always helpful in developing rapport with your students. Would having a in class be helpful in building relationships with students? Do your students ? Try a new Thanksgiving activity with them this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

STEM Challenges for Middle School Thanksgiving

Do your students like to make things and be creative in math? 
How do you have give students time to problem solve in math? 
Every year different students ask for projects or activities to do in class. This is the first year I have used STEM challenges. I've never used them before. Honestly I didn't know how they worked. Do they work?
Yes! I have found that there are STEM challenges that work. There are students that love to make and create. They are eager to build and work with other students on STEM challenges.

STEM Challenges for Middle School 

Students create, implement, and test their designs. The STEM challenges give students objectives to follow and guidelines to stay within. Any student can be successful with these STEM activities. Here are some STEM challenges to try this Thanksgiving. 

1. Students create Corn Mazes. 

Involving problem solving and area students have to create corn mazes. Students design, plan, and test their creations. This is a highly engaging activity for students who like to create and play. 

2.  Students build a Ship 

This is my favorite STEM challenge. Students have to create a ship from a design they are given or draw themselves. Using ratios, proportions, scale drawings, and problem solving to make their pictures come to life.

3. Design Thanksgiving Dinner Tables

Students create dinner tables for Thanksgiving with proportions and problem solving. They test their designs to hold turkey platters for Thanksgiving dinner. 

4. Construct Turkey Towers

This is my favorite STEM challenge. Students make turkey towers with ratios and rates. Solving problems for an equivalent ratio of turkey towers. Highly engaging, lots of fun, and who doesn't like mellowcrème pumpkins?

Thanksgiving STEM challenges are for students to make connections to math with the STEM process. Students will practice their problem solving skills in many different areas of math. They will enjoy making and learning. 

Click HERE to download the Thanksgiving STEM activities.

Happy Teaching!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

November Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Giveaway 2019

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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Math Centers Writing Prompts

Do you use math centers?

Do you have math centers with writing prompts?

Math Centers are the perfect addition to any math class. Students can independently work at each center and complete math tasks, with a partner or the group of 4 students. Math Centers can include vocabulary and writing prompts to aide students in writing math responses for short response and extended responses.

Math Centers Writing Prompts

Math Writing Centers can be implemented with a scaffolded approach. This approach helps students learn the process of writing math, how to use appropriate terms, and make sense of the mathematical concepts. It involves a simple 3-step approach to scaffolding the math writing process. The 3-step approach goes from beginner to mastery level of math skills. Follow these three steps to help your students writing more math.

1. Use a Vocabulary List

Prepare a list of math terms for the month. Have students practice those words throughout the month until they are fluently using them. A vocabulary list should have 12-15 words. Each month change out the vocabulary list with new words. By the end of the year students will have reviewed the entire list of grade level math terms.

2. Practice Writing Sentences

Students need to have the opportunity to practice writing math. Help students by scaffolding how to write math sentences. At the math writing center, give students vocabulary sentences with missing terms. Students will use context clues to figure out how to complete the sentences. 

3. Independent Writing 

After practicing how to write sentences, students should be able to write their own. Give students a math writing center assignment to write their own sentences. Students will have to complete the four to six sentences by the end of the class. This is a great assignment to get students thinking, reading, and writing math concepts.

Writing math does not come naturally for all students. It's a skill that needs to be taught and practiced. Using a math writing center in your classroom is one way to get your students writing more math. The best time to start writing is now. Grab the FREE Math Writing Center Checklist today!

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