Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Everything You Need to Know to Flip Your Class

I've been flipping my 4th grade math class for about 3 years now and I can honestly say it's completely changed the way I teach.

I love sharing how I flip my class with other teachers and I always get asked a lot of questions.
What does a flipped class even mean?
When do you have kids watch videos?
Where do you get your videos?
How do you know your students are paying attention? 

That's why I decided to create this *free* video course on how to flip your class. 

Click the picture below to sign up now!


This email course consists of 4 videos where I walk you through everything you need to know to start flipping your own class.

I'll cover Flipping 101
- What is a flipped class?
- Why do I flip my class?
- What does my flipped math class look like?

You'll learn All About the Videos
- How do you make videos?
- Where can you find videos?
- How do you choose a good video for students?


I'll tell you how to Hold Students Accountable
- How do you know students are paying attention?
- How can you have students reflect after lessons?

Finally, I'll help you Put It All Together
- I'll give you bonus tips and tricks to make your life easier
- I'll show you what one of my flipped lessons looks like so you have an example


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Hands-On Math: Base Ten Blocks

Hands-On Math is a blog series where I highlight a math manipulative or tool that I use in my 4th grade classroom. The posts will include links to purchase the tools from Amazon. Please be aware that these are affiliate links. I only recommend tools that I have used and loved myself!

What are Base Ten Blocks?
Base Ten Blocks are typically used for place value as they exemplify our base-ten numerical system. However, there are TONS of other ways to use them. Most sets will come with a thousands cube, hundreds flats, tens rods and ones cubes/units

How do I use them in 4th grade?
Big kids still benefit from concrete experiences for math. One way that I have used base ten blocks is to have students build multiplication problems. This comes at the beginning of our lessons on how to multiply two 2-digit numbers together. We use the base ten blocks to model the array model for multiplication. This provides kids with the concrete experience before moving to the pictorial area model and finally to the abstract traditional algorithm. 


We use centimeter grid paper to set up the problem. I got our grid paper from the ETA book that came with the blocks (see link below). First we outline an array to represent our problem. Then starting with a hundreds flat we fill in the array with blocks. Again starting with the hundreds block, we take away a section at a time and write a multiplication sentence for that section. Finally, we add all of the numbers up. 

Ready to try it? 
Get a starter kit from Amazon to use with your small groups. Click the picture below to check it out on Amazon!




Sunday, January 29, 2017

Tech Tools: Popplet

Tech Tools is a series where I highlight an app or website I'm currently using in my classroom. All apps or sites are free at the time the blog is published. (They may include an upgrade option). I am not affiliated with any of these apps or sites - just a fan from using them myself!

Techie Level: Beginner

App or Web: App (iOS) with web option

What is it? Popplet is a mind mapping app. It is a great tool for brainstorming and allows students to add text or images.

How have I used it? I especially like using Popplet to have students compare concepts using a "Double Bubble" thinking map, which is a lot like a venn diagram. I'm including a picture below of a student's comparison of mixtures and solutions

Student example:

Want to know more? Check out Popplet's site for more info., a demo and a link to download.

What do you think? Comment below and tell me how you've used this app before or how you plan to try it out in your class!
This blog series highlights FREE apps and sites to use in your upper elementary classroom. Perfect for teachers trying to find meaningful ways to integrate technology and take student thinking to the next level.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mastering Multiplication

We just finished up our unit on the 4 operations. When I am introducing multiplication and division with large numbers, I first focus on the skill. Then we follow up the skills with an in-depth problem solving unit.

One of the first skills I teach is multiplying large numbers by a 1-digit number. Our standards in Texas include multiplying a 4-digit number times a 1-digit number. This is an important skill because it builds on their knowledge from 3rd grade (2-digit times 1-digit) and lays the foundation needed for 2-digit times 2-digit - which comes next in our curriculum.

We spent a week on multiplying by 1-digit numbers. All of the activities that my kids did were in a Google Slide that I shared through Google Classroom. They worked through the following activities at their own pace:

They started with a video lesson, while completing a student anchor chart. The completed charts go in their math binder.

After the video lesson, they completed a sort. The sort was multiplication problems. They solved them on white boards and then sorted them by odd products and even products. {My kids LOVE to work problems out on white boards!!}

Next they used a deck of cards to create 10 multiplication problems that they solved on white boards and *their favorite part* got to check with a calculator. What! You let your kids use a calculator?? Yep! It keeps them motivated and they have to go back and find their mistake if they see that they get the problem wrong. We also spend a lot of time discussing why they really need to do the work on their own and use the calculator to check.

Finally, they complete a set of task cards. There were 10 task cards. I posted each card around the room. They walked around the room with a white board to work the problems. Then they posted their answers to a Google Form that automatically graded all their work. With a click of a button I could see which kids needed more help before their Friday math quiz (hallelujah!).

My kids love having their assignments in Google and having the freedom to work at their own pace. It also helps me pull students in small groups throughout the week.

More visual? Here's a quick glimpse of the Google slides.


Want to try it in your room? You can get all the materials I used in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Just click the picture below!

Need white boards for your class? You can find some on Amazon that are pretty affordable. This set has a good reviews (this is an affiliate link)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tech Tools: iBrainstorm

Tech Tools is a series where I highlight an app or website I'm currently using in my classroom. All apps or sites are free at the time the blog is published. (They may include an upgrade option). I am not affiliated with any of these apps or sites - just a fan from using them myself!

Techie Level: Beginner to Intermediate (depending on which functions you use)

App or Web: Currently an app for iPads

What is it? iBrainstorm is a mind mapping app. It has templates, but also allows for free form brainstorming. Additionally, you can collaborate with other iPads on one brainstorming session. 

How have I used it? I've used it a lot at the beginning of science units for students to brainstorm what they already know about a topic. We use Thinking Maps at our school and I love that iBrainstorm has the templates to match Thinking Maps. When they're done, students take a screen shot and upload to a Google Classroom assignment. 

Student examples:
I love how different these student samples are - kids always think of things differently than I do!


Want to know more? Check out iBrainstorm's site for more info. and a link to download.

What do you think? Comment below and tell me how you've used this app before or how you plan to try it out in your class!
This blog series highlights FREE apps and sites to use in your upper elementary classroom. Perfect for teachers trying to find meaningful ways to integrate technology and take student thinking to the next level.