6th grade

Back to School Blog Hop and Giveaway: Do This, Not That Tips for Teachers

5th Grade Back to School Blog Hop and Giveaway August 2015DO THIS:  Assign your students numbers.

NOT THAT: Label everything (cubbies, mailboxes, lockers, etc.) with student names.

My big tip for heading back to school is to assign your students numbers at the beginning of the year.  Here’s why:

FIRST:  You can easily number your student mailboxes, cubbies, folders, and more and not have to re-label everything each year.  It saves a lot of time!  Plus, you don’t have to wait for your class list to label stuff.  If you teach upper elementary, consider using roman numerals.  Then students HAVE to learn what those mean!  Imagine NOT having to peel name stickers off of everything at the end of the year and instead just putting up those circle dot stickers they sell at Walmart once every few years.

Colored Dot Stickers for Teachers

You can get these guys at Walmart for about $4.00. There’s tons of them in a pack and they are a lot cheaper than individual name tags.

SECOND:  Finding out who is missing an assignment is so much easier.  One of my classroom jobs is “paper manager.”  Their job is to collect all papers and put them in number order.  I teach students to write their number very large in the top left hand corner of every paper at the beginning of the year.  The paper managers can quickly find who is missing an assignment and gather it from the student.  If the assignment isn’t done, or a student is absent, the paper manager writes a list on a sticky note and puts it on the stack before paper clipping the bundle of assignments together.

Teacher Humor Teacher Meme Lost Assignments

THIRD:  By about week three I have my numbered list memorized.  It helps a ton during emergency drills and field trips.  I can call my class list out from memory to see if anyone is missing.  Yes, most of the time I have my gradebook and can look at my list, but if I’m ever without it, I’m fine!

You might be saying, “But I want my classroom to be personal.  Students should have their names on cubbies!”  I have used this system with success for over a decade.  Even with first graders!  A veteran teacher shared this tip with me and I’m quite grateful!  Some students truly want their name on stuff and here is my suggestion:  Let them!  Students can decorate an index card with their name and use a piece of painter’s tape to affix the name to the cubby/locker/desk.

Now for the giveaway stuff… you’ve worked hard setting up that classroom!  Would you like to win a $25 Amazon gift card from The Pensive Sloth to spoil yourself (or buy something for your classroom)?  Of course you would!  Click the link below to be taken to Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway.

My giveaway terms:  To be eligible to win, you must be a teacher or homeschooling parent in the US or Canada.  Verification may be required.  Once a winner is chosen and contacted, he/she has 24 hours to respond by email.  If a response isn’t received in the time frame, a new winner will be selected and contacted.  If something seems fishy, I reserve the right to use Rafflecopter to select a new winner.  Only one $25 Amazon gift card will be given away.

 

More great giveaway stuff…Click the NEXT STOP image below to see what Miss Stefany has to share and giveaway!  There are nine teacher bloggers in this hop, each giving away something fantastic, so don’t stop here.  Keep going!  You can do it!  After you hop through, you’ll land at the Lesson Deli page where you can enter to win a $100 gift card to TPT.

5th Grade Back to School Blog Hop and Giveaway August 2015

Click the NEXT STOP button to head over to Interactive Learning with Miss Stefany!

Test Prep Blog Hop–11 Top Reading Test Prep Tips

Test Prep Blog Hop for 4th 5th and 6th Grade

Welcome to the Test Prep Blog Hop from the ladies at The Lesson Deli!  Here is how it works.  You will hop through a few blogs, pick up some freebies and maybe learn some test-prep tips, plus enter Rafflecopter drawings for some great prizes… Such as a Starbucks gift card to perk you up during testing season or an Amazon gift card to buy a few books for your classroom (or something for yourself!).  The Rafflecopter contest runs from Thursday, August 26 through Sunday, March 1, 2015.  Get to hoppin’ and have some fun!

Oh, and if you’ve got a great test-prep tip, comment below!

–The Pensive Sloth

5th Grade Reading Test Prep Tips for STAAR, FCAT, COMMON CORE, PARCC from The Pensive Sloth

Here’s my close reading FREEBIE to help with test prep…  Are you teaching students to analyze persuasive texts, identify examples of persuasive language and the effect that language has on the reader?  Want to give students concrete examples of comparison, causality, parallelism, misleading statements, exaggerated statements, and contradictory statements using a high-interest text?  Look no further!  Here’s a new lesson, “A Baby Boa?,” with embedded test prep.  The close reading passage is FREE below.  Just click the image to download.  You can find the foldable, skill activity, poster, vocabulary activity, and standardized test-prep reading comprehension questions that go with the passage in my TPT store.

5th Grade Persuasive Text Study Baby Boa Passage from The Pensive Sloth

Click the image to download this FREEBIE close reading passage.  For the foldable, skill activity, poster, vocabulary activity, and reading comprehension test prep that go with this passage, visit my TPT store.  This passage can be used to teach persuasive techniques such as comparison, causality, parallelism, exaggerated statements, misleading statements, and contradictory statements.

Ready to WIN a treat for your classroom?  You can order books or spoil yourself with this Amazon gift card! You’re a teacher.  You work HARD.  You deserve it!

Rafflecopter Test Prep Blog Hop for Amazon Gift Card from The Pensive Sloth Feb. 26 to March 1, 2015

CLICK a Rafflecopter giveaway to go to Rafflecopter’s site for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. It’s easy and fun!

 Then go to the next stop in the hop, Simone’s Math Resources Blog, to see some MATH test prep ideas!

Test Prep Blog Hop for 4th 5th and 6th Grade Next Stop Image

Talk Like a Pirate Day Math Freebie with Tape/Strip Diagrams

I’m linking up with Krista of Teaching Momster for Math Madness Wednesday in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day…

Math Madness Wednesdays Link from The Teaching Momster

“If I hear one more pirate joke I’m going to make you ALL walk the plank!”  That’s right teachers, international Talk Like a Pirate Day is just around the corner.  Friday, September 19th to be exact.  I actually really like silly holidays, so here is a math freebie to celebrate!  Students answer the decimal addition problems to solve the riddle.  But, these aren’t any old decimal addition problems, matey.  These problems are set up using tape/strip diagrams to build those algebraic thinking skills!

Talk Like a Pirate Day Math Freebie from The Pensive Sloth

Students answer decimal addition questions (in tape/strip diagrams)  to solve the pirate riddle.  Designed for grades 4 to 6.

Click HERE to download this Talk Like a Pirate Day free math activity from The Pensive Sloth!

In my last post about tape/strip diagrams, I shared some ideas for using them in upper elementary math.  Here’s another idea.  Provide students with a tape diagram with a missing part.  Then, ask them to write what they would type into a calculator to find X.  It isn’t as simple as you might think!  Depending on the location of the unknown, X, students must form an equation that will get them to the right answer.  Give it a try…

Tape Diagram But What Do I Put In the Calculator Chart from The Pensive Sloth

Put a spin on your math lesson–Don’t ask your students to just SOLVE the problems, ask them to tell you what they would type into a calculator to get the correct answer! This is a challenge when students are working with unknowns in different locations. Try it. It makes them think!

Fair winds my fellow pirates!

–The Pensive Sloth

Shameless plug–If you need some tape/strip diagram worksheets or task cards, I’ve got some for adding and subtracting decimals to the tenths and hundredths place.

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

#lessondeli giveaway intermediate middle school 4th grade 5th grade 6th grade

Listen Up 4th, 5th, and 6th Grade Teachers–

It’s time to win some super classroom resources for teaching math, science, reading and social studies!  There’s a group of us, #lessondeli, and we’re all hosting giveaways at the same time.  Hop on through our Facebook pages for a chance to win each teacher’s bundle, and when you reach the end there’s a Rafflecopter with a chance to win a bundle of ALL resources combined!  Don’t forget to follow the #lessondeli on Pinterest and Facebook.  We’ve got more in store for back to school…

The fun starts tomorrow, June 3rd, and will run through June 6th.   Details will be announced in the morning at 6AM on my Facebook page so that you can get started hopping.  See you there and good luck!

–The Pensive Sloth

PS–My giveaway bundle includes 3 things, the Bill of Rights Unit, Insect Life Cycle Sort (for complete and incomplete metamorphosis), and Pre-Algebra Puzzle Task Cards.

Meet My New Best Friend–Hands On Equations

This post inspired by The Teaching Momster.  To read more about algebraic thinking in the intermediate grades, check out this week’s Math Madness Wednesday by clicking the red badge below.

Math Madness Wednesday algebra prealgebra algebraic thinking for 5th and 6th grade

If you haven’t heard of Hands On Equations by now,  listen up.  Hands On Equations will rock your world!  Seriously! I believe this system or program or curriculum supplement came out in the mid 1980s.  In a nutshell, students learn to solve algebra expressions using game pieces like pawns and number dice.  It’s amazing, and a quick Google search will gather all you could ever want to know about it.

Hands On Equations for 5th and 6th grade algebra

Hello, I’m Hands On Equations and I’m here to make learning algebra fun and easy!

But wait, there’s more.  Because I am new to teaching math this year, I watch a lot of YouTube.  I search something I’m about to teach and watch an expert teacher before I even try it out in my classroom.  I can’t tell you how helpful this has been.  Upon searching for Hands On Equations lessons, I happened to find a teacher who…get this…has recorded all of the lessons!  Oh my!  She is an angel sent from above.  I am writing her a thank you letter as we speak.  The lessons are about 10 minutes long and I have used the first 4.  Why play the clip instead of teaching the lesson myself?  One, students love YouTube.  Two, I get to observe a master teacher.  Three, I can walk around and intervene, and the lesson keeps going.  I carry my mouse with me around the room and pause every so often to have my students work an example independently before she solves it on the video.  After each lesson (video clip), students work on 10 problems.  All of this takes about 35 minutes a day and is supplementing our regular curriculum.

If you are looking to build algebraic thinking skills with your intermediate students, here’s a link to some puzzles.

@ThePensiveSloth prealgebra puzzles for 5th and 6th grade

Use puzzle task cards to engage your students in pre-algebra activities. Great for building logical reasoning and algebraic thinking. WARNING: Will make your students think!

Thanks for stopping in!

–The Pensive Sloth