Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cyber Monday, Marshmallow Fractions, and Sentence Fluency

Happy Cyber Monday Everybody!  
Get your carts ready to be filled with wonderful products from teachers all over.  TPT Cyber Monday and Tuesday are the perfect time to purchase the wishlisted items you've been saving up for!  Everything in my store is marked down 20% and TPT is GIVING (early holiday cheer I suppose!) and additional 10% off the total in your cart!.  
When you check out, use the code:  TPTCYBER

I've been up to lots of things in my classroom.  My unannounced observation window opened about a week and a half ago, which makes me up my game a bit more.  I'm not saying that I slack off, ever, but I've definitely been putting in some serious hard-work into my lessons and activities.  This past month we've been working on on sentence fluency and fractions.  That means we've been playing with marshmallows and coloring.

No... REALLY. 

As a person who has always loved to write, I think I struggle with teaching kids how to write.  The 6 traits are wonderful, but how does one explicitly teach what sentence fluency is?  I didn't even know what that was until I became a teacher.  So over a night of planning with one of my teacher buddies, my idea for Coloring & Sentence Fluency. Click here for the anchor chart I created with dos and don't for writing with Sentence Fluency.

When I did this lesson I had my students read examples of all the mistakes we make with sentence fluency.  They watched as I modeled how to highlight and gave feedback about how we could change it to make it better.  Then they broke off into groups and had to work collaboratively.  Finally I wanted to give them a chance to reflect and assess their own understanding.  Now... the most exciting part about this lesson is that the next day, I had my students write to a prompt "Cats Vs. Dogs, Which One is the Best?".  After our timer went off they traded and provided feedback based off sentence fluency.  Holy smokes was I floored by how comfortable they were with applying their knowledge!!!  These 3rd graders surprise me daily.  Check out the activity during my lesson and the feedback one received during the free write!
Check the whole product out at my store on TPT.

 Besides coloring we've also been playing  learning with fractions and marshmallows.  

Raise your hand if you like fractions of a group/set.  Raise your hands if you like multi-colored marshmallows.  Raise your hand if you like both at the same time.  If you raised your hand at-least once you'll love the activity I made to teach my kids about fractions in a group.

After modeling the smart steps of identifying fractions in a group
I modeled how to sort and create fractions using the marshmallows as manipulatives.  Holy smokes were my third graders impressed.  Once we'd completed the partner activity we took turns using the marshmallows as talking chips for feedback time and self assessed.  Talk about engaging!  I wish I could teach that lesson everyday.  I took lots of pictures and even videotaped the process just so I could remember how to do this activity for next year.

Check it out in my store!

  Happy shopping and goodnight all!

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