October 11, 2020

How to Build Home to School Connections

 


When I think about relationships in the classroom, it’s not just the ones with my students that are important. Parents count on me to be part of their team to help their children, and I count on parents to partner in their student’s education. As a parent and teacher, I know how important it is to build relationships with families. Learn how to build home to school connections with your families this year!


Make Sunshine Phone Calls and Send Positive Notes Home

If every time parents hear from you, it’s a negative thing, those home to school connections get broken easily. Yes, you will need to make phone calls or send notes home for the tough stuff, but it’s also vital to reach out to families when things are going well academically or with social-emotional well being. In addition to notes or emails, you can also make positive phone calls home. I call these “Sunshine Calls”, and it’s best to make one early in the year. Give yourself a few minutes a day to call home during the first few weeks of school. Think of a specific, positive thing you can say about their child to start building home to school connections.


Emphasize Reading at Home

Don’t wait until parent-teacher conferences to tell parents about their child’s reading progress. Send home reading conference forms with specific skills and progress, especially for K-2 readers. Focus on the student perspective and what they worked on with you that day. The forms are easy to understand and give the child a chance to talk to parents about what they read and what skills they are working on. In addition, let parents know that it’s not always about what their kids are reading at home but really that they are reading! Sometimes, parents want to focus on reading levels since that’s what we do in school to monitor progress and provide interventions. However, encourage parents to have their children read what they love at home. The very best readers spend time reading for pleasure. Also, invite parents to become partners in their student’s reading routine by suggesting titles they may want to enjoy together. Build the home to school connections by sharing resources for free books with parents. Let families know how they can access the school library, public libraries, and electronic book resources provided by the district or school. Finally, make sure you are communicating with families in the language they speak at home. Even if a student speaks English well, it doesn't mean their parents are receiving the information. My reading communication forms are available in both English and Spanish.


Fix the Math Mindset

In my decades of teaching elementary math, nothing hurts more than when I hear a parent say, “I’m not a math person” in front of their child. Everyone can be a math person! The fixed mindset of “I can’t” that comes with math often passes on to children. Communicating about the how and why of math in the classroom will help parents understand that their child can meet and perhaps even exceed expectations in the math classroom. Share math skills that you reviewed with your students and what they can work on at home with these math assessment forms. Because the forms are focused on multiple skills, they help with differentiating instruction for all your K-2 math learners!


Prepare for Testing

A lot of getting ready for state or national testing is not about the content students are studying. Many test taking strategies are about study skills and coming to school ready to take a test. This includes getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy breakfast. Parents are partners in test taking preparation as well. Share these test taking communication forms with families as test time gets close. Building home to school connections is key when it comes to test time. Relationships are key when it comes to classroom management and even getting your students to buy into content. However, it’s not just about getting to know the kids in your classroom. Parents and guardians are partners in their children’s education, and we count on each other. These parent communication resources will help you to build home to school connections with your families this year!


July 1, 2020

Entice Your Beginning Multiplication Student To Practice Their Facts with Math Games


Multiplication math facts fluency games and activities for second grade math and third grade math free      I don't have to tell you how important mastering Multiplication Math Fact Fluency is for Third Grade, Fourth Grade and Fifth Grade Math Lessons.  Some students like traditional practice methods like flashcards and paper pencil - other students enjoy computer apps and games and still other students learn best through engaging games and activities.  Personally, I like a combination of all 3 of these methods.  I say the more practice ... the better. 

Recently, my third grade son has been working so hard trying to commit his multiplication times tables to memory.  Actually, he has been impressing me with his success and has done a much better job that his two older brothers in that area. (Woo Hoo J!)  For kicks and giggles, I took out my Multiplication Math Packets and had him try a few pages independently.  One thing to know about my youngest - he is rough and tumble and a master lego builder, but if you break out the markers and crayons...he is in heaven...for about 15 minutes.  Granted, 15 minutes may not seem that long to you but for here in a house full of boys...it's delightful!

Searching for math facts in a puzzle format, sorting true and false multiplication equations, playing Multiplication Bump and completing multiplication color by number activities really helped my son master his facts for fluency and instant recall.  I call that a win!

Below, I am attaching my Multiplication Times 10 FREE Resource.  At home, I give these pages to my boys as an occasional review but at school I put them together in a booklet for students to work on during morning work or when they finish early.  Some kids actually beg for time to work in their Multiplication Math Journal.

Who doesn't love a word search?  What about combining a word search and math facts?  Sounds great to me.  Students actually love doing this activity alone or with a friend.
Multiplication math facts fluency games and activities for second grade math and third grade math free

Identifying multiples is wonderful practice for higher math skills such as finding common denominators when adding and subtracting fractions as well as LCM least common multiple activities. 
Multiplication math facts fluency games and activities for second grade math and third grade math free
CLICK HERE to grab this Multiplication Times 10 FREEBIE

If you follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Instagram or Facebook, you know I am obsessed with color by number activities.  I find them so peaceful, fun and the pretty colors make me and my students happy...what can I say.    
Multiplication math facts fluency games and activities for second grade math and third grade math free
Playing games to practice math facts is great for cooperative learning. The students don't even realize they are actually practicing math.  Bonus! 

CLICK HERE to download this Multiplication Times 10 FREEBIE   (same link as above)
Multiplication math facts fluency games and activities for second grade math and third grade math free
What ways do you use to help students remember their multiplication facts?  Do you prefer flashcards, timed tests, fun activities or computer apps?  Or are you like me and like a mixture of it all?


CLICK HERE to check out Count on Tricia Multiplication Resources on TPT






June 6, 2020

Engage your Students with Digital Learning Division Facts Practice

Engaging and fun math Division practice freebie for digital learning and summer review for 3rd grade math, 4th grade math and 5th grade math

Just a few more weeks of school here in the mid-West.  We are continuing to work hard engaging  and motivating our students to finish off the year successfully especially considering we haven't seen each other in numerous weeks due to Co-vid 19.  

One math practice my students have been loving to gain fact power is using Boom Cards on their devices at home. Boom Cards have been an awesome way to review Division math facts for fluency and mastery in a "game" format.  They are quick, easy to use and super fun!  I personally enjoy the subtle sound effects :)

Boom Cards are great to load of platforms such as SeeSaw or even as a summer review.  Our team plans this year is to continue to have the students connected digitally all summer long especially since we do not have a clear picture what our 2020-2021 school year will look like right now.

My students love playing these Boom Card as a quick math facts practice.  I load them as a link on Seesaw and then the link directs them directly to of the Boom Learning Website.

Want to try them?  I guarantee your students will enjoy them better than pencil and paper activities.
Grab my Division by 4 FREEBIE HERE
Engaging and fun math Division practice freebie for digital learning and summer review for 3rd grade math, 4th grade math and 5th grade math

Again, these Division Boom Cards are great for practice and review.  I have even had my 5th Grade Students use them as a math warmup.


April 22, 2020

4 EASY Steps to Teach Your First Graders 10 More, 10 Less AND 100 More, 100 Less

Understanding place value is important for first graders.  Learning to add and subtract by 10 (and then later 100) can be easy to master if kids understand that only one number changes within the number.  Here's the good news...I have some fun full proof ways to help your students master 10 More 10 Less 100 More 100 Less.

10 More 10 Less 100 More 100 Less First Grade Math Free Place Value Activities

1. Spend a lot of time developing number sense in your students. 
In my classroom, we make numbers with manipulatives and base ten blocks.
We practice reading and writing numbers continually. We do it together as a group but later students do it independently during scrolling time.

2. Post a giant number grid AND give students their own mini number grids
I have a giant magnetic 120 number grid on my whiteboard.  Using this as an anchor chart, I model counting by ones and counting by tens starting from any number.
3. As a group, we begin orally figuring out 10 More and 10 Less of a number using the number grid as a reference.

4. Move to white board or paper and pencil
I love presenting activities in a clean organized way like this chart below.
10 More 10 Less 100 More 100 Less First Grade Math Free Place Value Activities
Would you like a copy of this for your students? Grab this 10 More 10 Less HERE
10 More 10 Less 100 More 100 Less First Grade Math Free Place Value Activities

5. Who doesn't love coloring? Add a little fun by incorporating color by number activities.
As an extra challenge, I ask students to use some of the same strategies they used to figure out 10 more and 10 less, to then figure out 100 more, 100 less.  I love providing extra practice for my students with math color by code worksheets.
10 More 10 Less 100 More 100 Less First Grade Math Free Activities
How about another FREEBIE for your students?
Grab it HERE (same link as above)
10 More 10 Less 100 More 100 Less First Grade Math Free Place Value Activities


6. End introducing 10 more and 10 less by playing a fun song while children begin working independently.
Who doesn't love Jack Hartmann? My kiddos go crazy for his lyrical upbeat rhyming tune!  Checkout this Jack Hartmann song on YouTube:

I hope you found these 10 More 10 Less 100 More 100 Less tips useful. 
If your children liked practicing 10 More 10 Less, 100 More 100 Less with these freebies, I have more activities available in my store!   Check out my other 10 More 10 less, 100 More 100 Less resources!


April 13, 2020

Make Distance Learning Easier with Boom Digital Learning FREE Multiplication

School buildings may be closed right now but I know dedicated teachers, like you, are looking for a new and exciting ways to engage your Third Graders.  Have I got a great idea for you?
Make Distance Learning Easier with Boom Digital Learning FREE Multiplication Cards for second grade math and third grade math

Like you, I have been exploring numerous apps and websites, like Clever, IXL and Seesaw, to come up with ways to teach my students math during remote learning . . . and then I tried BOOM!

BOOM Learning is a great website full of digital games created by educators, like me, who want engaging and meaningful games for their students.   

Here's what GREAT about BOOM Cards
They are 
INTERACTIVE
SELF-GRADING
DATA COLLECTING
PAPERLESS
 Here's the quick down-low on BOOM and why you will GET ADDICTED to these Digital cards like I am !
*  Kids love playing them.  I have my students and my own sons playing them at home.
   
* The cards can be played on several different devices such as iPads, chromebookslaptops, and even SMART-BOARDS.  There is even a Boom App.

* BOOM Cards collect data  - what?  yes :)  - and can provide reports to you.  In these reports, you will be able to see what specific questions a student did not get correct.

* There are tons of BOOM Decks, both free and paid, on the Boom Learning Website and Teachers Pay Teachers

* BOOM Cards will always play from https://wow.boomlearning.com   This website is free for the starter version where students play without the self grading component.  If you are interested in self-grading feature for up to 50 students, the Basic membership is only $15 a year.  BUT...here's INCREDIBLE NEWS...BOOM is FREE for all levels during the quarantine unit the end of this school year on June 30th.

* The people at Boom are so helpful.  They even provide videos how to use Boom Cards with your students  https://wow.boomlearning.com/howToTeach
Boom Learning also has it's own YOUTUBE Channel for specific step by step instructions if needed.

Check out this Multiplication Times 10  I created just for you. There are 24 cards in all.

The cards begin with multiple choice of 2 for the first 6 cards 
Make distance learning easier with Boom Digital Learning FREE multiplication task cards for 2nd grade and 3rd grade math
Make distance learning easier with Boom Digital Learning FREE multiplication task cards for 2nd grade and 3rd grade math
Then the next 6 cards have multiple choice between 4 choices.  
I just kicked it up a bit here.
Make distance learning easier with Boom Digital Learning FREE multiplication task cards for 2nd grade and 3rd grade math
The next 6 cards the student actually have to type in the answer.
Make distance learning easier with Boom Digital Learning FREE multiplication task cards for 2nd grade and 3rd grade math
The last 6 cards students identify and drop/drag multiples of 10


How cute are these still photographs of the cards?  
Are you little intrigued?

Check out this video of some of the cards in action.

So don't wait any longer! Grab this FREEBIE here!



My wish is that you enjoy this Multiplication Times 10 Boom Card FREE Deck for your kiddos.  Stay safe and healthy during this time.  I am thinking of all my fellow teachers every day as we navigate this new normal together.



March 26, 2020

Measuring Angle Tips for your Fourth Graders with freebies

Measuring Angles and Identifying Types of Angles for 4th Grade Math and Third Grade Math with free angle activities

Measuring and Drawing Angles can be tricky for some Third Grade and Fourth Grade Students but with lots of practice...mastery is just around the corner.
Before I teach how to measure angles, I always begin with introducing geometry terms like "ray", "vertex" and "protractor" so the children have better understanding of this sometimes abstract concept.  Talking about the types of angles is also very important.  We do all sorts of activities to help the students remember the features of different angles.Types of Angles 4th Grade Measurement Blog Post Free Activities
   
Real Life Experiences :We also look for angles around the classroom and in our lives.  Sometimes my students are able to make connections by seeing angles in clock hands, slices of pizza or furniture design (like our flooring and desks). I love seeing them get all excited to recognize angles in everyday objects that they had never seen before!  We draw angles EVERYWHERE like in the air during math lessons, in sidewalk chalk during recess, and even on our windows with LEEHO Window Crayons.  Students even did a lesson where they went around their houses and took pictures of the angles they saw.  We then used our tablets to label the different types of angles that they found.

We are even known to explore making angles using play doh, clay or shaving cream.  You know me, I love kinesthetic learning experiences.  If I can incorporate a hands-on tool, I am one happy teacher!
Hands on fun is an excellent way to learn.  It helps the brain connect the movements to the types of angles and students can better remember the concepts.

Lastly we begin using a protractor to understand how to measure angles with activities such as these.
Measuring Angles and Identifying Types of Angles for 4th Grade Math and Third Grade Math with free angle activities
Don't forget the protractor's tiny midpoint hole is where the angle's vertex is aligned. Keep that protractor straight with the angle's bottom ray.
I made this ANGLES FREEBIE just for you.  Grab it HERE
Measuring Angles and Identifying Types of Angles for 4th Grade Math and Third Grade Math with free angle activities
The next angles activity I created ask the students to measure angles with their own protractor.  After measuring the angles, children are asked to name the type of angle.
Measuring Angles and Identifying Types of Angles for 4th Grade Math and Third Grade Math with free angle activities

Grab this Measuring Angles FREEBIE HERE (same as above link)
Measuring Angles and Identifying Types of Angles for 4th Grade Math and Third Grade Math with free angle activities
Ending a math lesson with some musical fun is the BEST!  This Angles Song is catchy and addictive. Check out this fun song from Stacy Gray's Class on YOUTUBE 
If your kiddos are like mine, they will love it!

When my students get additional time identifying and measuring angles with hands on activities and plenty of practice, even my students who are usually challenged in math, hit a homeroom out of the park.
Click HERE to learn more about what skills and activities are included in my Angles Resource.

I hope my angles tips and measuring angles FREEBIES help you get started to a great geometry unit.
You've got this :)

March 11, 2020

3 Cool + Simple Tricks to Multiply by 9 that your students will LOVE!


It's MULTIPLICATION TIME!  My students are so excited to be practicing their Nines Multiplication Facts now! Time to bring out the multiplication games and multiplication math centers.


How I introduce the 9 Times Tables

9s are super fun because there are so many great patterns and tricks when it comes to the Nines!  The first 9s trick that I love is how the product of 9 times any number always equals nine when you add the digits together.  I love watching my students' faces when I write the Multiplication Nines Facts on the Smartboard and we work together to prove it!
Multiplication Facts free Activities for Third Grade math and Fourth Grade math


You can do this with literally any number:


Multiply 9 by any number!
Go ahead!  Try it!


Another cool trick when you multiply by nine is that we notice a pattern with the first five facts (9x1=9 to 9x5=45) to the next five facts (9x6=54 to 9x10=90). The numbers in the product are reversed. 😉




I saved the best for last!  A third awesome trick (that I would have loved as a kid) is how you can use your fingers to help you multiply by 9.  First, hold out your hands and imagine that they are numbered 1-10, like this:



Then, if you are multiplying 9x4, you put down your fourth finger.  The fingers to the left of the fourth finger are the amount of tens, and the numbers to the right of the finger are the amount of ones!  










Before and after I introduce a new multiplication family, I always begin with a pretest to see what my students know.  This helps me identify which students will need more support and additional time in my math small groups.  I use this worksheet below as a pre and post test. I'm offering it below to you as a freebie.

Grab this freebie HERE   
Multiplication Facts free Activities for Third Grade math and Fourth Grade math
Once we understand multiplying by 9 using arrays, pictures and manipulatives, we begin practicing facts for accuracy and fluency.  There are several multiplication activities that the students enjoy including tic tac toe games, BUMP, Number Puzzles and Sorting Worksheets.

Here is one of our favorite practice activities. Cut, Sort, Glue.

In this multiplication practice activity, students cut our math facts and then decide if the fact is true or false.  Some students are able to do this independently while others need to draw pictures or make an array to get the multiplication product.  Either way, the kids enjoy practicing facts with this worksheet. 
Multiplication Facts free Activities for Third Grade math and Fourth Grade math

Grab this Multiplication Times 9 FREEBIE HERE
(same link as above)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/r8b7hze2jbvm8of/Multiplication%20Times%209%20Blog%20Freebie%20PDF.pdf?dl=0

I love ending a math lesson on musical note. Check out this Multiply by 9 Song by Jack Hartmann on YOUTUBE. If your kiddos are like mine, they will be humming the tune soon :)

Bottom Line: Knowing Multiplication Facts with instant recall and accuracy is crucial for higher learning in math. Once students understand the basic concept of multiplication, looking for patterns within times tables and practicing facts in a fun way can help students achieve mastery. 

If you like these free activities check out my Multiplication Times 9 HERE on TPT.
Multiplication Factor 9 Activities and Games