Last week we wrapped up 4.NF.4 with finding fractions of a whole number.  Before common core I am sure many of you just taught the algorithm and didn't focus too much on the how and why we multiply the fraction and whole number to determine the fraction of a whole number.

While searching for resources that demonstrated or taught the concept of dividing the whole number by the denominator I found the following website

They have a wonderful interactive video for demonstrating dividing the whole number by the denominator.  They use the example of baking cakes and needed to find half of twelve eggs, 2/3 of 12, and 4/6 of 12.

My kiddos LOVED this!  They all wanted a turn to distribute the eggs or select the correct fraction.

 Click HERE to go directly to the fraction video.

I created a quick interactive math notebook foldable, again I could not find one, for my students to add to their notebooks.

As we read the step by step directions I had my students highlight the key words for each step.  I referred back to the video as we went over the steps.

Students then practiced the steps using the three foldables.  I required them to redraw the model under each flap to reinforce the steps.

My kiddos then completed four problems for independent practice.  I did not require them to draw the model three times like we practiced in their notebooks, although I did have some students who did.  You know how I LOVE my have sheets to save copies :)

I hope to create a fractions notebook, but seriously just can't find the time right now, so if you wish to add this to your student's math notebooks you can grab it as an exclusive Facebook Fan Freebie.  If you aren't a fan of I {Heart} Recess hurry over and "like" my page.  You never know when I will do flash freebies! :)  Saturday I celebrated 900 Bloglovin' Followers with NINE flash freebies & a bonus flash freebie to celebrate 600 FB fans!

Congrats to Deb P. for winning my "Gearing Up for the Test ELA Review Game"!

Happy Friday!  This felt like a long week!  Baseball season has started in our house this week, so I am back to feeling like I own a taxi and live in my car.  I just wish the weather knew it was baseball season!  It's STILL super cold here in NC!

See ALL those papers!?!  These are all of my unclaimed No Name papers for the third nine weeks!  There were so many that my magnet couldn't hold them all.  I still don't understand WHY it is so difficult to remember to put your name on your paper in fourth grade.  Even worse I don't understand why you wouldn't go check if YOUR paper is hanging up!?!  Oh, well I guess we can only hope for less of them at the end of the fourth nine weeks.
(All of these ended up in file 13.)

We spent two days learning about Joan of Arc using my Close Reading passage from my March Bundle and this book.  My kids LOVED learning about her!  I think my favorite part during our lesson was when my kids couldn't understand why skeptics didn't believe Joan of Arc heard voices from Angels and God.  Many voiced that they believed her...made my Christian heart happy :)

I created my first interactive math notebook, well part of it.  I couldn't find anything on TpT for modeling fractions of a whole number, so I made one.  It isn't in my store yet, but I plan to put it in there as soon as I finish my next Science Notebook.

I cannot believe I just registered this little guy for Kindergarten!  He is my middle son, so I have been through this before, but it is still emotional!  I am very nervous about him going to school.  He currently goes to Pre-K at my school and I love having him down the hall from me!  Next year he will be in a new school without me, and it makes me very anxious.  (He is ADHD, ODD, and has an IEP. The mother bear in me wants to protect my baby at all times.) At least I have the summer to prepare for the first day of school. :)

Have you started "Gearing Up for the Test"?  When do you complete your state assessments?  We don't test until the end of May, but have local assessments next week.  I am preparing my students with my new ELA Test Prep Review Game.  For a chance to win this click HERE to enter!

SQ3R has been around for several years, it has proven effective in my classroom for several years so it is a strategy I teach every year.  I have added a few extra details to how I use it in my classroom, and feel it has been beneficial for my students.

With the emphasis on text dependent questions in Common Core SQ3R is a great tool to use to help answer these types of questions.  Below you will see what and why I have added my "extra details".

Click on the above image to grab this FREE poster.

Scan: Students do this step naturally, they simply look over the reading material while looking for illustrations, graphic organizers, bold words, number of paragraphs or stanza, etc. Some teachers have students highlight the text features, I don't because I feel students just "color" with the highlighter.

Questions: I require my students to read the questions BEFORE reading the passage.  This is to set a purpose and get them focused on what they are looking for as they read.  I  require my students to write the skill each question is addressing.  We have been practicing this with my Reading Comprehension Question Analysis product.  Requiring them to analyze the question helps them determine the type of information they are looking for as they read the passage.  My students are pretty good at doing this.  In the beginning of the year EVERYTHING was Context Clues, this was the easiest for them to remember.  This time of year they are able to identify all the skills because we have practiced this over and over.

Read:  Students read the passage and make annotations as they read.  I teach my student to be Active Readers.  I tell them I should see them actively interacting with the text, therefore they are to annotate. To simplify it for my students they write the main idea of each paragraph for informational text and a summary of each paragraph for fictional text. For those students who don't like to write or are lower level learners they can simply draw a stick figure picture or a symbol, anything that will help them remember what the section of the text was about.

Reread: Students answer the text dependent questions by looking back into the text and highlighting the proof or evidence that helped them answer each question.  Students also write the problem number next to the highlighted evidence. 

Recheck: Students simply make sure ALL questions have been answered and they have highlighted their evidence.

In the above picture you can see how my student uses SQ3R.  I do have my students write the letters S, Q, R, R, R on their papers to help them keep the steps straight.  This student did not write the problem number next to each highlighted evidence but did a fantastic job on his annotations/summaries.

 I like how this student labeled the parts of the passage and organized his work with the lines.

This student followed all the steps, he did not have a highlighter so he underlined his evidence.

The next two pictures show how my students label their questions.  Some questions you do not know the skill until the passage has been read, but they can still write what they believe it is.  I do this step to get them thinking about what the question is asking for.

Using this strategy has helped my student's reading comprehension.  It requires them to be active readers and to show their work and thinking.  I teach the strategy at the start of school so by the time testing comes around they can follow these steps in their sleep :)

I recently finished up my new Gearing Up for the Test ELA Review Game!  I am excited to use this with my class as we get closer to testing. We don't test until May, but it's never to early to start gathering some fun resources to prepare for the test.

This game reviews review the following Common Core Reading Skills:
Context CluesThemeMain IdeaText StructureText FeaturesInferencingPoint of ViewCharacter TraitsIncluded: COLOR & BW Versons (16 pages each)Directions, Game board, Game pieces, 66 Review Cards

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Next week we will FINALLY be in the month of April!  I cannot wait to say good-bye to March, it's over welcomed it's stay!  April of course is Poetry Month!  I have spent the last couple of days gathering the resources in my room to prep for the upcoming weeks.
My all time favorite book for poetry is Giant Children by Brod Gagert and Tedd Arnold.  You can read about how I used this book earlier in the year HERE.

This year I am going to try to go outside of my comfort zone and use poetry books I normally don't go to.  I personally like the fun, silly, and entertaining poems like those in Giant Children and Where the Sidewalk Ends.  Requiring myself to go outside of my comfort zone will result in exposing my students to a wider variety of poetry.  Every year I have students who think ALL poems must rhyme.  My goal is to expose them and introduce them to a variety of poems that do not rhyme.

 For example Popcorn by James Stevenson (top right in picture) has a variety of poems that do not rhyme, some are written in different fonts, and all are illustrated.

Image from

 This is a perfect example of a poem that doesn't rhyme.  I am already thinking of some text dependent questions for this specific poem. :)  Popcorn also has some examples of shape poems :)

For our poetry unit I am having my students create Poetry Journals.  I am using Pinkadot's Student Poetry Journal, which by the way is included an exclusive Educents Poetry Bundle.  I can't wait to see the poems my students come up with! 

There are ELEVEN INCREDIBLE products in this bundle!  Click on the image to check it out!

How do you ensure your students aren't forgetting math skills they have previously learned?  Today I wanted to share with you how I consistently review previously taught skills with my students.

1. Accelerated Math
Our school uses ACC Math and it is Amazing!  Students complete math questions which have been assigned by me based on the standard we are teaching or reviewing.  Students do not move onto another objective until they have mastered the ones that have been assigned.  I love this program because it is based on the students abilities.  In the beginning of the year I had two students on two-digit multiplication months before I taught it.  ACC Math is a great way to challenge my high achieving students and a great tool for reviewing skills for my average and lower leveled learners.

2. Monster Math
Last year I created my 4th Grade Spiral Review: Monster Math product.  I assign students a new sheet each week, they are to complete it for homework and turn it in on Friday.  Each Monster Math sheet has five questions, one for each Common Core Standard.  I use this as a tool to determine what I need to review more with my kids and as a test prep tool.  As the year progresses the problems become more rigorous. From last week's Monster Math sheet I was able to quickly determine that my kids needed a quick review on how to read a protractor.  About half of the class read it backwards, so we pulled out our protractors and did a quick mini-review lesson.

For a FREE 4 page SAMPLE of my Monster Math click on the above image.

3. Morning Work
Each morning my students are to complete their ACC Math and a math review sheet.  I will use any math practice sheet I can find, and one I haven't used yet, for morning work.  Since we have been working on fractions lately, my morning work has been multiplication and division review.  I try to choose standards we have already covered for morning work to continue our spiral back.

4. Games and Task Cards
Towards the end of the year I use more games and use previously used task cards for games.  Students roll a die or spin a spinner, move their game piece, and answer a task card question.  This is a great way to revisit skills using all the wonderful task cards again. I have created a FREE task card game board for you!  Just click on the image to download this freebie.

It's March and that means it's the month to celebrate AMAZING Women!  There are so many inspirational and courageous women we all admire, why not celebrate them with a good book!

One woman I always focus on this month is Amelia Earhart, the first woman of flight!  Living in North Carolina, the home of the first flight, this seems like a no brainer :)  In our extremely old text book we have the story "Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride".  The students love this story every year. The illustrations are beautiful and the the tale of two friends flight in their evening gowns is wonderfully written.  Every year my kids are amazed that the two women left the White House in their ball gowns to go on a night flight.  

There are several books that tell Amelia's story.  I believe children are drawn to her story because of her determination and mystery of her last flight.  My students have recently fell in love with the "Who Was ___?" series, and I have already seen the Amelia Earhart book floating throughout my room. :)

With only eight days left in March I am marking my March Close Reading Passages Bundle down to $5 for today only!  There is still time to teach your students about some of history's inspiring, courageous, loving, and strong women! I hope they will inspire your students to be AMAZING themselves!

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