Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Math T-shirts for Teachers

We have scoured the internet for you and found a collection of unique math shirts perfect for any teacher! Math may not always be a favorite subject to teach but these shirts are sure to add a smile to your face!

To purchase click here: $19.99

Saturday, April 16, 2016

State Testing Pick me up: PARCC test prep!

Next Monday we begin out PARCC testing.  This year the testing is a month long for third graders! It is a lot to handle  for those little bodies. They typically don't have enough stamina to get through the whole test performing at their best.  This year I did something to change that!

Each student made a poster with an inspirational quote on it. I told students that if they were feeling tired or that the test was too hard, they should look at their posters! Students thought it was a great motivational tool and they were excited to start.

As a class we brainstormed inspirational quotes. Students came up with an a amazing list including; you can do it, keep it up, you rock, and so much more!

Then each student got a white piece of paper to let their creativity fly!

Here are the final products! They look amazing and the kiddos were so proud of themselves. One student summed up the activity perfectly, she said "this is going to make us to happy!"

Here are a few picture books that will help alleviate student's stress!

The new school year brings standardized testing to every school and Miss Malarkey's is no exception. Teachers, students, and even parents are preparing for THE TEST and the school is in an uproar. Event the grown-ups tell the children not to worry, they're acting kind of strange. The parents are giving pop quizzes on bedtime stories at night. The cafeteria is serving "brain food" for lunch. The kids are beginning to think that maybe the test is more important they they're being led to believe. Kids and adults alike will laugh aloud as Fincher and O'Malley poke fun at the commotion surrounding standardized testing, a staple of every school's year. You can purchase Testing Miss Malarkey here. (summary and picture:  

Mrs, Hartwell is preparing her class to take the Big Test. Knowing they have studied and are well-prepared, she helps the students practice how to sit quietly, fill in the bubbles, and follow the directions. She even instructs them on proper morning-of-the-test nutrition. As her students grow increasingly anxious about the Big Test, Mrs. Hartwell realizes she has to teach to most valuable test-taking skill of all: learning to relax. Click here to purchase The Big Test. (picture and summary:

Good luck on the state testing!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Making Thinking Visible - Math Edition

Our school has been reading and attending workshops on Making Thinking Visible.  (You can purchase the book here). The text written by Ron Ritchart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison contains strategies, or as they refer to them - routines, for getting students to show their thinking.  When we know what and how the students are thinking about a topic, it helps us clarify misconceptions or expand on their current understanding.

Much of our work this year has centered around literacy.  I decided to step outside of my comfort zone, and try one of the strategies outlined in the text called, "See, Think, Wonder" during math.  I used this thinking routine as an opener for a math lesson on line plots.

This thinking routine involves projecting an image, then asking students to name what they see, what this makes them think, and anything they are now wondering.  You can do this aloud as a whole class by writing down their thoughts on chart paper as shown below, or having students complete this routine independently.  I chose to do this as a class because I wanted to see how the students thoughts would build off of each other.  Pictured is the chart that contains the student thinking based on the line plot.  Excuse the messy writing; I was trying to keep up with all of their thoughts!

It can be tricky for students to differentiate between what they see and think.  I often paraphrase what they're saying with, "Oh, so what you're thinking is that..."  Using this routine is a great way to introduce a new topic, and get students thinking about math conceptually.  We want our students to be doing the thinking, after all!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Monthly Theme: Math

This month's theme is all things math!  We will be exploring what math looks like in the classroom, around the school, internet resources, and amazing new products!

Products coming to a TPT store near you:
Area Super Pack
Place Value Pack
Division Pack
Fraction on a Number line resource

Stay tuned for more!
- Sara and Hayley