Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I don't know of a student I have taught who didn't like to do patterns.  This activity I learned from a workshop I attended two years ago.  Cut your pattern block pieces from your Ellison Cutter (better cut a lot!!).  Provide each student with a sentence strip.  Students then need to choose a pattern and glue their pattern pieces on their strips according to that chosen pattern.  I also have my students write on the back of their sentence strips what type of pattern it is.  Also, for my fourth graders I don't allow the easy AB, ABC, etc. patterns.  Kids have fun...and I get a quick easy grade!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Paper Throw!!!!

I think my fourth grade students had a BlaST doing this project.  Each student was given a lined piece of papr (but it doesn't have to be lined).  They were instructed to write a 6-digit number.  Then I told them to wad (I looked up the spelling, because it looks strange to me) the piece of paper.  On the count of three each student had to throw their paper across the room...rules were firmly and repeatedly enforced.  You would have thought that Kevin Durant had walked in our room...our classroom is in Oklahoma (Go Thunder!  Even though it's not that season)!  Anyha, they were then instructed to find a wad in the classroom that they thought wasn't theirs, open it and read the 6-digit number.  Unfortunately we had to discuss what a 6-digit number was because some students only wrote the number "6" at the tops of their papers.  Next, they were to write on this crumbled piece of paper their new 6-digit number in expanded form, wad it, throw it!  Find another wad, open it and check the expanded form.  If anything was wrong they were to fix it.  Finally, write this new number in word form, crumble it, throw it.  Find a new wad, check the word form.  If anything was wrong, they were to fix it.  Now, throughout this process, we would volunteer some papers that needed help and do those together.  NO NAmEs were placed on these papers.  I didn't want anyone feeling threatened by us lookin at their paper.

Egg Carton Place Value

I saw this idea I believe on Pinterest. If not, I'm sorry if this is your original idea and I don't have a direct link...can't remember exactly where I got it. students were paired with a partner. I had empty egg cartons (duh...I know) with 12 erasers. I labeled the top of the inside of the egg carton with the place values ones through hundred thousands. Each student took turns shaking their egg carton and adding the amount of erasers in each row. The first row in the carton was for player 1 and the second row for player two.
I know it's hard to tell with this picture, but this group of players had a score of 3 player one (because there are three erasers in the one's place only) and player two 3 hundred thousand, 1 hundred twenty-two (because there are three erasers in the hundred thousand's place, 1 eraser in the hundreds place, two in the tens place, and two in the ones place.
Each pair of students was required to write their numbers in standard form.

Place Value

So in fourth grade, we learn place value to the millions...needless to say some of us are whizzing right through this. So, the curriculum I use had telephone numbers in mind. Each student was to get three different phone numbers (minus the area code and no, they couldn't have my number!). Once they had their 7-digit phone numbers, they had to write these numbers in standard, written, and expanded form. They had a blast doing this!