Thursday, December 22, 2016



The past few weeks we have been reading Hatcheta great piece of writing by Gary Paulson. It's a story about a young teenage boy struggling with his feelings about his parents' divorce and fighting to survive in the wilderness after a freak plane crash on his way to visit his father. To introduce the story, children were asked to make a list of items they would want if they were stranded in the wilderness. But there was a challenge, they couldn't use any technology. They will revisit these lists today.

Every week, the students are met with a reading inventory highlighting five vocabulary words they could easily add to their own writing. They read them over and decide their familiarity with the word. Extra boxes are given for other interesting words they encounter.

These words are given to them as classwork. Every student writes sentences that are at least 7 words long living up to their newly developed personalized writing goals. The definitions are on the page and they have the direct link to these words in Quizlet. They can use Quizlet to study, take practice tests and play quiz-like games. 

Later in the week, groups are given one of these assigned words to demonstrate using a part of speech, definition, synonyms, antonyms and finally a drawing. These words are later added to a classroom student alphabetized dictionary. 

Throughout the week, we listen to the book on tape as we follow along on the iPads. The iPads have vocabulary words highlighted and linked to their definitions, questions for discussion and the opportunity to answer embedded questions. The responses can be seen by all students encouraging all members to work toward the best responses. Students have received direct instruction regarding how to answer who, what, when, where, why and how questions. 

As the book ends, students are asked to revisit their initial lists and finally write a persuasive piece trying to convince the reader to bring along the most perfect survival item. What item would you bring?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Explain the Remainder

Explain the Remainder

Suppose you have 134 stamps in your collection.  You want to display them on 5 pages of an album with about the same number of stamps on each page.  About how many stamps should go on each page?

To solve, first we have to estimate. There are many different estimates. 150/5, 135/5 and even 130/5. Any of these estimates are reasonable. To check your work you can do the real division which results in 26 r 4. This meant that 4 of the 5 pages would have 27 stamps and one page would have 26 stamps.

This week, please write your own word problem that
  • uses division to solve
  • requires estimation
  • requires the actual answer
  • results in a remainder
  • requires an explanation of that remainder
Make sure you write the problem and do all the work!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

How Do We get from Here to There?

Latitude and Longitude

Students have been working with latitude and longitude throughout the course of the week. We reviewed terms such as compass rose, Prime Meridian, cartographer and more. Many children were able to determine coordinates out to minutes and seconds. 

As the week ended, we were trying to determine how to get from one side of the globe to the other by going in the opposite direction. Some children went straight to math while others drew pictures. One even tried to map it out as if they were going on a road trip. 

All of the children were happy to get up to the board and work out their thinking as a group.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Decimals Surround Us

Greetings Math Class

Mrs Lynch is redoing the floors in the bedrooms of her house. She has one bedroom that is 9.5 ft by 10.4 ft. She also has 3 bedrooms that are 8.4 ft by 9.35 ft. The amount of flooring is determined by finding the area of all four rooms. Write an equation to show the problem that needs to be solved, use a variable that helps tell the story. Explain your variable. How much flooring does she need?

(9.5 * 10.4) + 3(8.4 * 9.35) = s 
s = square feet of flooring

(9.5 * 10.4) + 3(8.4 * 9.35) = s 
     98.8       +  3   (78.54)    = s
     98.8       +      235.62     = s
              334.42                  = s  
             334.42 sq. ft

Your turn. Use the comment box to write your own word problem similar to the one above. Make sure to ask the same questions and include the answers using the same format. Type this ahead of time in a document. notes, etc. Then copy and paste it into the comment box. 

Special notes: 
  • * means to multiply
  • parenthesis next to a number means to multiply
    3(4) = 3*4=12
    or 3(9-4) = 3*5=15
  • Do not forget the order of operations