Sunday, September 28, 2014

Five for Sunday Scoop :) Multiplying and Dividing Fractions Frenzy!

Happy Sunday!  I'm doing a double link-up today to talk about my past week!  Normally I link up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching on Saturday at the latest, but today I'm pulling a 5 for SUNDAY--eek.  

We are still hard at work using our homework notebook strips!!  This is still one of my most FAVORITE products and ideas that I have ever had!  If you follow me, you know that I have talking about this a LOT, but I can't help it. :)  It has just saved me SO MANY copies this year already, but still giving my students worth while homework that is challenging, and allows me to give them higher level word problems, too---AND not have to lug around a giant math text book (which I still haven't TOUCHED yet this year!!).

So far I have an entire unit done under the Number Systems strand for the CCSS for 6th grade:

You can use these strips for ALL SORTS of things--they don't JUST have to be homework.  They are also perfect to put into interactive notebooks for a proof or independent practice, exit tickets, or classwork!  This unit is only 5 pages of actual SHEETS of paper--it's a condensed version of over 15 worksheets!!!!!  Now THAT's a saving of copies right there!  So, there are over 150 questions packed into strips to save YOU on copies (WITH answer keys!!)!  It also keeps all of the students work in ONE spot instead of having separate worksheets shoved in a million different places.

If you're interested, I plan on adding the rest of 6th grade CCSS strands throughout the year!  On the item listing on TPT, I have also listed what TOPICS I cover in case you do not use the CCSS. :)  

I will be updating this file soon with some Number Systems spiral review strips, which will make this packet over 200 questions (an equivalent to 20 worksheets), so be sure to get it when the price is low! :)
This week we worked, and worked, and WORKED on multiplying and dividing fractions!  The concept of multiplying and dividing isn't really a new thing for them, but they were struggling.  So we played some fun review games with cards:
 They played a sort of "War" card game, flipping over two numbers, creating a fraction, then multiplying or dividing (depending on what they decided on), working out the problem and saying the answer in simplest form.  First person to say the correct answer won! :)  They really loved it, and the room got LOUD (in a "we're all learning" way). :)

Then, we moved on to WORD PROBLEMS...yikes.  This was a struggle.  Sooo, instead of moving on to LCM/GCF like the plan was, we spent a few days with this.  I made some task cards for the students to use.  They were a MIX of multiplying AND dividing fractions, so they had to decide what operation they would use.  This was a challenge!!!  We really got into some good discussions of number sense, practicality, and the students did some GREAT discussions with each other!  It was great!  

We played Showdown for all of you Kagan buffs out there.  We plan to finish up Monday, because they did not finish on Thursday.  There were really some higher level questions, and these cards would be great for grades 6-9 depending on your students.   They are a mix of proper fractions, whole numbers, AND mixed numbers.  Some are division and some are multiplying. It makes it a challenge for the students when they don't know the operation outright.  You can get theme HERE if you're interested, or by clicking on the picture below. :)

I'm also linking up with The Teaching Trio today for their Sunday Scoop! 

So, here is mine! :)

So, since I worked on that earlier, I have accomplished number 3 on my HAVE TO list:

If you follow me on Instagram (@immixingitupinmiddle) you will have already seen that picture. :)

I'm in the process of gearing up for my FIRST science unit test as a 6th grade teacher!  Tomorrow we will be playing Jeopardy to review.  I'm super excited!!!  I'm also excited to next week post my Halloween decorating pictures, so STAY TUNED!  Also, us NC teachers have an exciting Facebook hop planned soon (I have also recently updated my Facebook Fan Freebie, so be sure to follow!), so be sure to keep in touch for more details!!!

Monday I am also getting a new student in my class that is from my home state of MICHIGAN!  So I am very excited about that!!!!  Have a great week everyone!!!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Five for Friday on Saturday...again. :)

Well, here we are again...a Five for Friday on a Saturday. :) That's my new trend lately. It was ANOTHER great week with my middle schoolers...STILL loving it!!!!! If you have always thought about giving it a try I HIGHLYYYYYYYYYYY recommend it!  Thank you as always to Kacey for a GREAT link up over at Doodle Bugs Teaching!

 This week we finished up learning about graphing points on a coordinate grid.  I remember in the past I used an Angry Birds activity (if you follow me on Instagram:  @immixingitupinmiddle you already know this), but I searched HIGH and LOW and COULD NOT FIND THEM!!!!!!  I had pinned them, and the link was no longer working.  However, after much searching I found an activity on Mrs. White's Blog that had them on it.  They had a blast...and they were REALLY challenging for them to do!

 Along with coordinate graphing, the students worked this week on reflecting points over the x and y axis.  They really had trouble with this, so I thought that I would make some practice sheets for them!  However, I thought it would be more fun if the points actually made a picture (like the Angry Birds one).  So...I created a sheet for them to graph:

The students graphed the points that I gave them first (which was just one half of the picture).  They then had to reflect each point over the y-axis to reveal a new set of points!  Once they did that, they could graph the new half of the pictures! :)  Once they graph all of the points they had a whole picture!  They LOVED much so, that I am in the process of creating more of the sheets (maybe some for fall/winter themed??)  Then the students can have an activity to do for fun around that time of the year.  I also plan to keep some pictures in my sub binder for work if I am ever absent in an emergency...these would be PERFECT!!!! 

Here is my first three that have been created!  Just click on the picture if you're interested!!!

 This week, we also went to the science lab and investigated leaves.  We learned about photosynthesis this week, and plan to learn about cellular respiration this week, so as a lab Thursday, students were told to bring in a leaf.  We then looked at them under the microscope.  The students made observations, were SOOOOOOO excited, which in turn made this one of my most favorite labs so far this year!  

 We have still been working this week with positive and negative integers, and on Thursday, students played with my positive and negative task card set.  I used in in pairs/groups of 3 and had the students use it for Showdown! (for those of you teachers that use Kagan).  There are a million ways that you could use these task cards in your classrooms!  They really had they had practice with adding and subtracting those positive and negative integers with real world word problems!  It was GREAT!

You can pick them up in my TPT store by clicking on the picture below:

This week we will be reviewing LCM and GCF.  This year the students need to use this knowledge to solve real world problems, so look next week for some task cards that will focus on LCM and GCF in WORD PROBLEMS!!! :)  I will definitely be needing those in my room this week! So be sure to check back next Friday (well, let's be honest...SATURDAY) to see how I used them in my classroom! 

 Also, don't forget to check out my HUGE unit on 6th Grade Number Systems for CCSS!  It's everything you need in one COPY FRIENDLY pack! :)  I have blogged about it HERE and HERE.  I'll be adding MORE to it soon (at LEAST another 50 questions including spiral review, so make sure to get it before the price increases!).  It will end up being over 200 questions worth of copy machine friendly practice!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

6th Grade Homework Strips! Save on Copies and Save Trees!!! :)

I've made something I am REALLY proud of, so, I am linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for:

I know it's not Monday, but I am just so excited early because.....Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I finished it!!!!! :)  I blogged a bit about this on Friday, and I have worked really hard to get the FIRST set up!!!  I only have one Monday Made It (well, I've made more things, but I don't want to clog the link up. :)  I just want to put what I am most proud of!).
and only :)

I am SO PROUD of this set!  I started this system of homework strips this year in my classroom.  This is my first year with a COPY LIMIT (AHHHHHHHH!!!!).  My problems:  I do not have enough text books for my 6th graders, and I also can't write down problems on the board every day for them to copy for homework (such as word problems!) so I had to come up with some sort of system to save paper, and here it is!  HOMEWORK STRIPS! :)  This also lets me differentiate, too.  Normally questions 6-10 are harder, so if I have struggling students I can just assign 1-5.

I have fit at least 4 different nightly assignments onto one sheet (not in this case, but all of the rest have 4 :)):

Then I copy ONE sheet for my students every Monday-and tah-dah I am DONE with my copies for the week, and I have saved HUNDREDS on my copy count, paper, and saved trees!  

I then pass out ONE strip to students each day, and they complete them in their homework notebook:

In the morning as part of their warm ups, they compare answers with the students in their groups.  This gets them talking, discussing, collaborating, and peer tutoring.  I LOVE it!  Then as a class we discuss any that they had trouble with. This saves ME time, too because I am not wasting class time going over MILLIONS of homework problems while the students sit there NOT engaged with what I am doing.  It also saves time because I do not have PILES of their homework to review!!  It keeps THEM more organized because they don't have homework papers shoved EVERYWHERE!!!  It also allows the students to be creative. I personally don't mind if the students make it colorful, do their work in pen, etc.  Whatever makes them want to make sure to do their homework. :)

This has been one of the best systems I have ever integrated into my classroom.  You personally wouldn't have to use the strips for could use them in a variety of ways!
-exit tickets
-quick quizzes
-bell work
-independent practice
-in their interactive notebooks as a reflection

I hope that you enjoy this idea, and if you're a 6th-8th grade teacher I hope that you can use these in your classroom!  Just click HERE to find it in my TPT store! Be SURE to follow me while you're there also, as I will be continuing to put out the rest of the CCSS in homework strip form for 6th grade.  If I get ambitious I will start to put out other grade levels as well.  If you do not use the CCSS, this packet includes things like:
*Absolute Value
*Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide Multi-digit Numbers
*Positive & Negative Integers
*Coordinate Graphing

Also, don't forget to stop by Simone's Math Resources for a great giveaway!!!  I'm one of the shopping sprees for tomorrow (9/15), so stop by to enter!!! :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Five for Friday! Games, Science Labs and More!

Happy Saturday (this is become my new trend!)!!  Maybe someday I will link up again with Doodle Bugs on a Friday. :)  I hope that you all had a great week!  I am still in LOVE with teaching middle school!  We have been having SOOOOOOO much fun!  I can't wait to share my Five for Friday with you!

 The first thing that we did this week to reinforce our understanding of finding the difference between positive and negative integers was to play a little game that I made for them.  They HONESTLY had a BLAST with it!  It also gave the students a lot of practice with adding and subtracting on to either positive or negative integers.  They almost forgot they were doing math! :)
 The class honestly kept asking to play this game every day ALL week joke!!!  They thought it was HILARIOUS when their money total was in the negative (I guess I have more to teach them ;) ).  You can grab the game HERE!

If you are currently doing positive and negative integers in your classroom, you might also like:

 The second thing that we did this week that was a TON of fun was our flower dissection lab in science!!  I did it twice with two different classes, and when we did it, I used two different flowers for each class.  One class a student even brought a flower from home.
Before this lesson we had learned about the different parts of the flower, the students drew their own flower and labeled the parts to put in their science interactive notebooks.  We also completed Case 4 of the Great Plant Escape with their Chromebooks.  The students used their notebooks during the lab to help them identify the parts and sort them onto their sheets.

We used roses AND lilies for the lab, and had a local flower shop donate them! :)  Personally I liked the lilies better because they could see the parts a lot better...however, I learned an important lesson about lilies from flower shops...and taught my kids when I learned, too.  When the flower shops first get the lilies they take the anthers off to keep them blooming longer.  The sepals are also off, so we had to do some improvisation when we sorted the parts. :)

Either way, the students had a GREAT time, and they are all ready now to take the parts of a flower quiz on Monday!!!

If you're interested in this lab you can find it HERE.

 I teach two sections of math, and one section of science each day.  It works out well, because for my first class I make an anchor chart for their interactive notebooks (which they create in their own notebook), and then for my second math class we create the anchor chart in my example interactive notebook.
We had fun this week with the checkbook activity deciding what to buy and spend money on.  We also had fun making up our own absolute value word problems (bottom left).  After we designed our anchor chart, we broke off into pairs, and the students wrote and presented their own story problems.  I told them NOT to worry about the realistic part of the question (if you want to jump out of a plane and land in the water 45 feet below sea level--that was fine!) because I was more concerned that they knew it was more about each situations distance from zero than anything.  They turned out really cute!!  I should have taken some pictures of their finished products.  They are already teasing me about how I take pictures of EVERYTHING. :)
 My teammate this year and I work so well together!!!  We are on the same page with a lot of our beliefs in education, and we both work hard to make sure that our students feel cared for and know that we believe in them.  I couldn't have been paired better this year, and I am very blessed.  

We do this behavior baseball program on our team, and when students have less than three strike outs for the week, we reward them during our enrichment time on Fridays.  This Friday we played a Minute to Win it game. :) I meant to take pictures, but we were so caught up in FUN, I didn't. :(
Just a reminder if you don't already follow me on Instagram, please do:  @immixingitupinmiddle.  I post often on their during the week with what we are doing in our classroom, then on Fridays or sometimes in between I will write up a summary of our week.  I always follow back.  I do have my account set to private (just because I teach middle school! :)) Don't forget to check out the You Oughta Know Blog Hop this week, too!!!  Lots of GREAT ideas!  I wrote about how to SAVE ON MAKING COPIES!!!!! :)