Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Here's a Sweet Treat Just For You! Valentine's Day Writing Freebie

Today was our second snow day, so I decided to create a sweet treat for all of my blog, TpT, and FB followers!  This is a Valentine's Day Writing Freebie which includes 8 different writing prompts that you can use for morning work, journaling, homework, or in centers.  Check out the preview before you head over to my TpT store to download it!  

Head on over to my TpT Store to grab this freebie!  Please be sure to leave feedback!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Introducing....TCP Clipart (The Class Pet)

I love clipart!! All kinds of clipart!!  That is why I am taking the time to introduce a new clipart artist on the scene!  TCP Clipart: The Class Pet.  
This clipart artist is special to me because he just so happens to be my son!  Brandon is a 3rd year graphic design student at the Art Institute of Charlotte.  He has created several clipart pieces for me to use in my classroom and I thought it would be a great idea for him to share his talents with other teachers out there! Not only has Brandon created clipart pieces for me, he has designed letterheads and brochures for several companies in Charlotte, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina. So please, take a few minutes to head over to TCP Clipart at TpT and show Brandon some love! 

Below is his first FREEBIE.  Head over to his TpT store to grab it!

He also has a Valentine's Day set you might enjoy!

Thanks for the love and supporting TCP Clipart!

Integrating Reading and Social Studies

Ok...Have you ever gotten behind in your plans and had to play catch up?! Well, that we me this week.  I thought, what better way to catch up... integrate some of my subject areas.  This past week the students learned all about big businesses during the Industrial Revolution through reading.  To introduce the lesson, the students first read an article on the topic.

After the students read the article, they conducted a close read.  During a close read, students jot down their thoughts as they read, underline main ideas, star important information, make connections, and summarize each paragraph of the article. Close reading is important because it is the building block for larger analysis of the article.

Next, it was time for students to discuss their new learning, share any connections, and ask any questions they may have had about the article.  Students were placed in groups for this part of the lesson.  It was amazing to hear some of the conversations the students had and the connections they were making.  I was really impressed!  After the students had their small group discussion of big businesses we then had a whole class discussion.  I generated a set of questions which required students to draw conclusions from the article.  They had to support their answers with evidence from the text.

Our final part of the lesson required students to analyze a political cartoon on big businesses. Below is the political cartoon students had to analyze.

In order to have a discussion of the political cartoon, I wanted the students to jot down their thoughts on the cartoon.  Each learning club had 5 minutes to jot down whatever they were thinking while looking at this photograph.  Students wrote down questions they had,  described what they saw, and some wrote down things they were worndering.  We used their thoughts to have a class discussion of the political cartoon.  This was a very powerful part of the lesson, because students were able to take what they learned from the article and apply it to the political cartoon!

The students really enjoyed doing reading and social studies at the same time!  They asked could they get more lessons like that!  So, I am now challenged to integrate more of my subject areas!  I would love to hear how you integrate your subject areas!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Figurative Language Craftivity

I enjoy using craftivities in my class!  My students also enjoy them because they are hands-on and it gives them the opportuntiy to express themselves creatively through their work.  A special thank you to Deb over at Deb at Crafting Connections for allowing me to try out one of her craftivities!

We have been studying figurative language.  The students have been identifying various types of figurative langauge, using it in their writing, and interpreting the meaning of figurative language. One of the activities we completed during this unit of study was Deb's Figuarative Language Adds Color and Music to our Language craftivity.  The students absolutely loved it!

First, students colored musical notes that had the various forms of figurative language we studied written on them.

Next, students cut out the musical notes and matched them with the figurative language on a musical staff.

Finally, students backed their musical notes on a sheet of yellow construction paper.  

Once students had their muscial notes matched up correctly, they then completed a worksheet to demonstrate their understanding of figurative language.  The completed product was used as a study tool to help the students prepare for their unit test on figurative language.  I was also able to use the worksheet as a form of formative assessment.  

If you like this craftivity, you can find it at Deb's TpT store, or if you are feeling lucky, head over to Deb's blog and enter her rafflecopter for a chance to win a free copy on Wednesday, January 15th!  Good Luck!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dividing Decimals

Happy New Year!  I know it's been awhile since I have blogged but this school year has been soooo busy! One of my New Year resolutions is to blog at least once a week!  So here is my first blog of the new year!

Before we got out for the break, we began working on dividing with decimals.  I was searching for creative ways to teach this concept to my students and ran across Engage NY and I absolutely loved it!  On this website New York has posted their Common Core math curriculum modules.

After I looked at their lessons for dividing decimals, I instantly knew that I was going to use them in my class!  The lessons are very challenging!  To review the two lessons on dividing decimals that I taught, I created a set of task cards, which my students love! These task cards cover the following: dividing decimals with multiples of 10, 100, 1000, estimating decimals quotients, and dividing decimals and whole numbers.
You can check these cards out in my TpT Store.

I use task cards in a number of ways in my classroom.  With this review, the task cards were placed at each desk and the students worked on task cards as space became available at each desk.  

As students work on the task cards, I walk around and monitor their work.  I am able to work one-on-one with students as I notice any errors that are being made as they solve their problems.

Students enjoy using task cards this way because they know that if they are struggling I will work with them individually without the interruption of their classmates.  

Now that students have practiced these skills, we are ready to move on to dividing decimals and whole numbers!  This will be tomorrow's lesson from Engage NY.

Below are three student videos that explain how to divide using two lessons from Engage NY.  The students will be explaining how to solve task cards #s 5, 12, and 15. 

Task Card #5 - Even though the task card only asks the student to divide by 10, this student will also explain how to divide by 100 and 1000.


Task #12 -Decomposing Numbers to Make Dividing with Decimals Easier - Notice that the student will decompose 30 to 10 and 3 to make dividing much easier since she knows how to divide using multiples of 10, 100 or 1000.

Task Card #15 - Estimating Decimal Quotients - Notice that once the student rounds the divisor he will find a multiple of the divisor that is close to the dividend in order to get his estimated quotient.

This is just the beginning of dividing with decimals! Tomorrow we use what we have learned to divide decimals and whole numbers!  What are some engaging activities and lessons you are using with dividing decimals?