Saturday, 11 March 2017

Hands-On Activities for Teaching Measurement to the Nearest 1/4 Inch & Line Plots

 Teaching measurement is such a fun topic to teach because it naturally lends itself to hands-on learning.  In 3rd grade, we learn how to measure to the nearest quarter inch.  I like to teach this concept after we learn about fractions.  This gives students some background knowledge about fractions of a whole.

Rulers can be a bit overwhelming to students when they are trying to make sense of all the "little lines" found between each inch.  A little trick I have learned to help them make sense of this, is to use 4 different colored highlighters to highlight the first inch.  Before passing out the rulers, I highlight each quarter inch in a different color.   

We practice measuring a few examples together, and then its time for them to explore this concept on their own.  We did an "outdoor scoot" using this activity.  To complete the outdoor scoot, I taped the bugs in various places outside.  Students went around in partner groups measuring the bugs and recording their lengths on the recording sheet. The bugs were taped in a central location to give the students enough room to move around, but not too far apart that I could not keep my "teacher eye" on everyone.  If the weather is not cooperating with you, this scoot can also be completed indoors. 

Once everyone gathered their measurement data, we created a line plot. After creating the line plot, its a great time for students to create questions that can be answered by their line plot such as, "What length was most frequently measured?" or "How many bugs measured at least 5 inches?".

Pretty fun right?  If you are in need of additional resources to teach measurement to the nearest quarter inch and line plots, you can find more hand-on activities here:

You can also find printable vocabulary posters here ( color or black and white versions included):

Monday, 6 March 2017

Win a Pot of Gold!

Hi there! Karen here...

I have teamed up with an amazing group of teacher-authors to bring you a HUGE giveaway! We are giving away not one, but SEVEN, pots of gold (one $100 TpT gift card, four $50 TpT gift cards, and two $50 Amazon gift cards). #teacherpotofgold

No sneaky Leprechauns! Just a Rafflecopter... 
So entering is easy peasy!

Hop on over to the Facebook page Kelie and I co-run by clicking here and enter via our GIVEAWAY TAB. Don't delay... the Rafflecopter closes at midnight EST March 7th. Winners will be announced on March 8th. :)

You may also choose to enter directly via this blog post below.

May the luck of the Irish be with you!
Thanks for entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Classroom Library Organization Made Easy With 2 IPAD Apps

Devouring books when I was a child was a passion of mine, so of course, I LOVE watching my little learners share that same passion!   Let's face it, we spend hundreds of dollars (and thousands of Scholastic Book points) to ensure that our students have access to books they want to read.  How do I manage that investment, using the least amount of time? I have enlisted the help of these two apps, which have totally saved my sanity when it comes to keeping my classroom library organized and readily available for my students.

To help keep students accountable for the books they checkout from my classroom library, I use the FREE app: Booksource Classroom Organizer

Booksource Classroom Organizer is a free web-based program that helps you organize and inventory your classroom library. The most time consuming part of using this app is the set up.  To catalog your books in the system, you must scan each bar code found on the back of each book in your library (a great job for parent volunteers or older students who want to "help").   The next step is to create a classroom roster.  Once these two steps are complete it is super easy to check books in and out to students! Simply scan the bar code to check out the books, and when students are ready to return their books, students show you their book.  With a click of their name and a click of the book title, the book is checked back in. 

To quickly access a book's Accelerated Reader level and point value, I use the app: BookScanner.

Our school uses Accelerated Reader to monitor students' reading levels and independent practice. By using the BookScanner App, you can quickly and easily scan the bar code off the back a book to  find any books' AR quiz number, reading level, point value, word count, and interest level.  This app has been a total time saver when I get a large book order.  It's also super useful when I'm at a book store looking for books, because with a quick scan, I can easily tell if a certain book is appropriate for my students' reading levels.  This app is $1.99 and in my opinion, totally worth the small investment.

The last thing I do to help keep my books from disappearing is: I stick a label on each book, with my name on it.  No app required for this!  Countless books have been returned to me because of these labels. 

And there you have it: a few ways to help you keep your growing classroom library manageable and easily accessible to your students.