Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Distributive Property Mania!!!!!

We have been working for WEEKS (I'm not exaggerating) on area and perimeter, and now we are throwing in the distributive property just for fun to help explain how to find the area of rectilinear figures.

        3.MD7c Use tiling to show in a concrete case that the area of a rectangle with whole-number     side lengths a and b + c is the sum of a × b and a × c. Use area models to represent the distributive  property in mathematical reasoning.

I am discovering (as are the math teachers in most of the states in America) that the Common Core standards are MUCH more complicated than they look on paper.  We were warned, right?  Now I'm a believer! 

ANYWAY, we have done a ton of activities to become more familiar with the distributive property.

First, we used this lesson on the distributive property where students used Fruit Loops to create arrays.  I began introducing problems like 4 (3 x 4) and we made arrays to correlate with each of the distributed facts.

 After practicing (and munching) through several examples, we used pre-cut  1-inch squares to create arrays.  We went through the Break-Apart Arrays activity where students created all of the possible ways to break an array for 12 (we did 2 x 6).  The possible break-apart arrays included
                                                         (2 x 1) + (2 x 5)
                                                         (2 x 2) + (2 x 4)
                                                         (2 x 3) + (2 x 3)
                                                         (2 x 4) + (2 x 2)
                                                         (2 x 5) + (2 x 1)
We also split the array horizontally into (1 x 6) + (1 x 6).
Students wrote down all of these arrangements on a recording sheet.
 The students worked independently to record all of the possible break-apart arrays for two other products.  It definitely got easier the more that students practiced it!
Finally, students chose one of their arrangements to glue onto a piece of construction paper.  We again went through the process of writing equations with the distributive property.
                                                   4 (2 + 4) = (4 x 2) + (4 x 4)
We are continuing to work on the distributive property, but without the manipulatives.  It is definitely challenging, but I am hoping that all of our practice will make a difference in their understanding of this important property of multiplication!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Five for Friday Linky (on Saturday)

I'm joining up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday Linky!

Time for 5 random things about my week.  I know that I am posting this on Saturday, but here is the reason:

Being the party animal that I am, I was in bed by 8:30 on a Friday night.  Honestly I would rather stay up and catch up on work on a Friday night (even more exciting, right?), but between staying up for New Year's and not sleeping well on the other nights I have been EXHAUSTED!  I am feeling slightly more human today.  Now I have the energy for a busy Saturday, which includes my daughter's basketball practice and a bowling birthday party for one of her friends (I know, you are jealous of the life I lead).

2.  Homeland, my new addiction
 Have you seen this show?  Wow.  I mean, wow!  It is intense from the second it starts.  I have only watched 3 episodes, but I am hooked.  We do not have Showtime, so we have to pay to watch episodes.  That is probably a good thing, because I might not leave the house if I could watch all of it for free.  Parts of it were filmed in Mooresville, so I can't believe we waited until this week to actually start watching it.

3.  I gave my students writing homework!
Again, this is not very exciting, but I am resolving to help my students become better writers.  I don't think that any teacher feels like they do enough writing with their students.  I know that I could do more!  We've done a bit of writing so far this year, but I have decided to take a few steps back and work on tweaking some of their basic sentences.  I gave them this assignment the other night for homework.  I know that many of my students rush through their homework, so I was also hoping that this was a way to get them to slow down and check that they met all of the requirements for the assignment.  I was pretty pleased with the majority of the work that was turned in.  Some students may have had help from their parents, but that's okay!  I received no complaints, so I might just have to do this again!

4.  Area and Perimeter and Distributive Property, oh my!
The end of the quarter is almost here, which means end of quarter testing!  We have been doing a great deal of work on area and perimeter, and the students are having difficulty keeping the two concepts straight.  Throw in splitting area arrays to demonstrate the distributive property, and I am stressed!  One of my co-workers and I have made plans to create (or find) some awesome review activities over the weekend.  I'll be sure to share if I am able to make anything really great!

5.  Promethean ActivTable

This Thursday, I am going to a training session on using Promethean boards and the new Promethean Activ Tables!   How cool are these things?   I don't know that my district is actually purchasing the tables, but I cannot wait to (literally) get my hands on one of these tables!  I wonder if there is an air hockey app for them...don't they look like they would be perfect for that? 

I hope that everyone has an awesome weekend!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Currently

Happy New Year!!!!!
Ready or not, 2013 is here!!!

A new year, a new month, a new Currently!  I've linked up with Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade! for some linky fun!

Listening:  My husband and I are watching a rerun of the 60 Minutes episode on Steve Jobs.  I would love to read his biography!  I'm not sure how I feel about him as a person, but he definitely was gifted.  

Loving:  Our daughter is spending the day with her grandparents, which gave me the opportunity to totally overhaul her bedroom.  She is probably going to freak out when she sees it, but it is clean and organized (and I have lots of things ready for consigning this spring).

Thinking:  I've been pretty productive this break:  finished a few books, posted on my blog, gained a few new followers, gone through several closets, and have written (almost) all of my thank you notes.  Go, Julie!

Wanting:  I've done a lot, but there are still more things that I would have liked to have finished before going back to work.  Can I have an extra week???

Needing:  I have running shoes.  Really nice running shoes.  Have I been running?  No.  Do I have lots of good excuses?  Of course!  The reality is that I am running in a 5K in a couple of weeks and I have not been running in a couple of weeks.  This should be interesting.

OLW (love this!):  Faith.  
Faith in God.
Faith that I am where I am supposed to be.
Faith that there is a lesson to be learned in every experience (and that I will learn that lesson quickly!)

Happy 2013, everyone!