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Showing posts from November, 2013

Fall/Thanksgiving Coloring

Many years ago (I have no idea how many!) I used this coloring activity with students. I don't remember where the idea came from, and I had even forgotten that I ever used it! (The memory is really going!!) However, I was looking through an old "November" file to find some ideas for today (for the substitute to use - I took a personal day), and found the tracers and examples in my file. Once I found it, I DID remember that the kids used to really enjoy this activity. So, I gathered materials (graph paper, tracers, colored pencils, thin black markers, construction paper) and left them for the sub, with these directions: 1. Students take one piece of graph paper (I use the tiny squares, but younger students could use larger ones). 2. Place the tracer under the graph paper and trace the outline and details of the shape. 3. Color the squares with different shades, alternating light and dark (I like to use colored pencils rather than markers). 4. When finished, o

Math Pretesting

When I taught elementary school, I often pretested every math unit. During some years, it was a requirement, and as a grade level, we regrouped the students according to the pretests. Other years, it was simply something I did on my own, to guide my instruction. When I started teaching math at the middle level, I sometimes pretested, but often found that most of my students needed instruction in the majority of the skills on the pretest.  Because math classes are shorter in middle school than elementary, and because I always felt behind in the curriculum, I gradually stopped my pretesting practices. However, this year, many of my students seem to have better background knowledge and mastery of more of the skills than in previous years. In addition, my classes are smaller than normal. This combination led me to try pretesting our decimal unit, to see what the needs were. I found that while some students answered 17/20 questions incorrectly, others answered only one or two questio

Decimal Matching and Ordering (a freebie)

Yesterday I was home sick, so since we had just finished a unit, it was a good day for the sub to give a pre-assessment for our decimal unit. I wasn't able to look at the assessment until today, so I couldn't use it to plan until today/tonight. The students did do a little bit of work yesterday with writing decimal numbers in word form, and we have worked on comparing decimals several times so far this year in Daily Warm Ups book, so we reviewed those ideas today and then did an activity. The first step in the activity was to match each card with a decimal number in standard form to the correct word form. Students were permitted to work alone or with one partner, and the matching didn't really take that long. I did have similar numbers (like 9.68, 9.068, 9.0068 etc), so that the students had to read carefully and take some time to compare those similar numbers. Click to download the activity . Once they had their matches, I checked them before they moved on to or