Fabulous in Fifth Grade

Live. Love. Teach.


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Decimal Computation Cheat Sheet

My students struggle with decimal computation. Grid paper helps with addition and subtraction, but they struggle with division and multiplication. To help, we did a few interactive journal entries from the math journal guide that Runde’s Room published. That still wasn’t quite enough, so I made this decimal computation cheat sheet for them to tape in their math notebooks. Follow this link to download it at TpT (free!).

decimal computation cheat sheet picture

 

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Equivalent Fraction name tags

A few weeks ago, I learned a shocking statistic. Fractions are traditionally the weakest area in mathematics in America. In fact, on the 2004 NAEP fewer than 30% of 17-year-olds correctly translated 0.029 as 29/1000. True to this statistic, the students in my class have vocalized their fear of fractions repeatedly to me. “They’re just hard, Mrs. B!” One girl said to me. Most of the other students nodded in agreement, supporting her statement. I was surprised to find that only three students in the class could correctly describe to me what a “denominator” was beyond “the number on the bottom of a fraction.” I took a giant step back from our 5th grade curriculum, and did a few days of fraction intervention. Today, we had “equivalent fraction day.” The students all got a name tag with a fraction on it. The students adopted this name for the day. Here is the kicker though- they had to simplify the fraction before they could say it! For instance, my name tag said 33/36, but the students called me Mrs. 11/12. How fun! Once we all received our name tags and simplified our own fractions, the students raced around the room and tried to simplify as many of the fraction names as they could. The student with the most, won some “hoot loot” – our classroom currency. We had a fun day!

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Dear student

I found this online, and can’t take credit for it, but it absolutely deserves a repost. Love it!

 

Dear Student,

Resistance is futile. I am your personal, designated brick wall. 

If you write “111” as the answer for half the math assignment, I will tell you that I only send students to recess who have done their best on the assignment…and I WILL check. If you miss every single question on the science quiz because you’re unhappy that you moved your number because of that inappropriate gesture in line, then I will calmly reply, “You know, I give science tests over and over and over and over again to students until they miss no more than 5.” I wasn’t really surprised that a student who could get every question wrong when they wanted could also ace the test when they tried. You were only 1 of 3 to receive 100%, by the way.

But most of all, my dear student, I wish I could whisper this truth into your soul: You really should let me win, because when I win, so do you.

So, tomorrow is Monday, dear student, and I’m prepared to communicate to you once again that resistance is futile. You may not know it, but I’m fighting for you.

Love,

Your Teacher


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Pencil Sharpeners

Seriously, I don’t know about you, but I have struggled to find a pencil sharpener hardy enough to survive in my classroom. As it turns out, 5th graders are tough on stuff! The electric ones get jammed up, and the manual one we had broke long ago. What’s a girl to do? The heavy duty pencil sharpeners I see at Staples are expensive! What do you use in your classroom?


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NCTM

After going back and forth for a few months about whether or not I should join the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), I finally decided to do it. I happened to send a tweet a few days ago asking for opinions on joining, and I mentioned @NCTM. Much to my surprise, they read the tweet and responded with a discount code for new members! I was happy to see that they were interested in new members, and excitedly took them up on their offer. Can’t wait to read their monthly journal, Teaching Children Mathematics, for some new instructional ideas.


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No Homework Binder

 

 

 

New year, new goals. This year, my students are going to be working on improving their study skills and discovering what will make them better students.  To help them with this, I’ve decided to implement the “no homework binder.”

No Homework

 

Each student has a page with their own name on it and a table that lists date, assignment name, and reason that the homework was not done. Every time a student does not have his homework, he will have to find his page in the binder and complete the table. Over time , we will be able to find out if there are patterns in the student’s homework completion. For instance, a student who habitually forgets to turn in his weeklong math worksheet will see  this and work on remembering to complete it on Fridays. Love this for personal accountability! It’s also a great tool to pull out at parent teacher conferences.