Saturday, February 22, 2014

Two new Subtraction Stragegies & a New Product Reveal!

Everything in my store will be 28% off on Thursday (2/27) and Friday (2/28) - even my newest products.  Two of those show previews down below.  I have another almost ready... It will be up by then, and with this great sale, it'll be a great price!  I have already started my "shopping list"!
Now is the time to buy!
After President's Day our teachers had a professional learning day which was divided up into several segments.  One of the segments introduced two new subtraction strategies.    They are simple and can really help those who seem to always be off by 1, or those who just take a really long time. 

The first one is called "Down Over Ten".
It looks like this...
Click on image above if you would like to download this as a teaching tool in your classroom.

Here is the second one.  It is called "Take Ten".
It looks like this...
Click on image above if you would like to download this as a teaching tool in your classroom.
My favorite was the first strategy.  This second was great for some problems, but there were some that I felt like it was more complicated to use the strategy than working the problem out another way.
I want to switch gears here and tell you what I've been doing in my classroom these last couple of weeks.  At this time our school has 6 weeks left before state testing, which blows me away that this year has flown by so fast.  Anyway, I did some assessing to see what previously covered material I needed to revisit at some point.  I was a bit surprised at some of the results... some positive and some not so positive. :-( 
My assessment was in two parts, math and grammar skills.  In math, I was happily surprised that my kiddos did well with fractions and for the most part with multiplication and division as well.  What surprised me was their poor performance in telling time, not even elapsed time, but simply reading a clock!  Needless to say I have pulled some small group and done some intense reteaching. 
In language arts, I was happily surprised at how well they did with affixes, prefixes and suffixes, except for a couple of my ELL sweeties.  We're still working on that.  But when it came to identifying subjects and predicates, which we worked on for four full weeks, many still struggled.  Their error was identifying verbs that were not action verbs.  I know we worked on linking verbs and on helping verbs, but this action verbs have been drilled so much in the earlier grades, that they flip out whenever they are confronted with sentences that don't have them, but other verbs like "is" or "are" instead.  More small groups as well.  
I automatically pulled out my Verbs: Grammar Games which provides a lot of practice with these exact helping and linking verbs.   My remediation has been interrupted with all the snow/ice days, even down here in the south, but we'll be using them all next week! These are the verb grammar games I use.  Notice the cards on the left hand side.  There are a ton of these included (actually 30), and the answers are on the back.  These are my kiddos favorites, and they go with the game board shown below them (only half of the game board is shown in this preview).
I am adding a daily review component as morning work, which has them practicing a small amount of each of these skills and other key 3rd grade troublesome concepts.  After lunch, I review this using the document camera, and as I circle the correct problems, they are to either put a small check with their red pen if their answer is correct, or they are to use their red pen to make the proper corrections.  Afterwards, they write at the top, "Review with parent tonight and get parent signature."  The next day the ones who returned it get a Skittle or an M&M.  Small treats, but I have 100% participation almost every day!  My parents love this too, because it provides them specific skills to work on at home.  Of course there are those who won't, but they have been informed and offered opportunities to help, and most parents sincerely want to help, but often don't know how. 
Her is an example of the daily review component I am using.

 So far, I have made a set for both month of February and March.  I added seasonal clipart to make it even more enticing for my students.  Normally when work is finished, they must read or do other unfinished work, but with these, I will allow them to color I the clipart pieces.  They love this so much that they don't let me forget to hand out their morning work each day... I'm loving that!
Here are the two products where you can find these pages and more like them.
 Both of these products offer answer keys for each page that you can easily slide under a document camera, or just have for your benefit and save you time.  
I'd love to know your thoughts, whether its on this post, the math strategies or these skill products. 
Remember to find time to enjoy teaching your students!
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Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

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