Homework: Monday, August 29, 2016

Math: Finish Standards Practice Book 1.5. It should have been mostly finished in class today.

Daily Reflection: Please complete your daily reflection on your Edublog. We will continue this practice on a daily basis.

Writing: Please complete a total of 3 introduction paragraphs for the narrative prompt we reviewed in class.

These were the directions from Google Classroom:

Write three different introductions for the following narrative prompt: Think of a time in your life where you had to do something you REALLY did not want to do. Tell the story of the experience and what you learned from it.

PLEASE review your classmates’ sample introductions. I noticed that all the intros that were posted to the Google Classroom Stream were missing a key element: You also need to “Tell the story of the experience and what you learned from it.” You might want to hint at that in the intro.

Maybe try: “It wasn’t a fun moment in my life, but I did learn a few things about myself.”

Multiplication of Fractions is Happening!

mult fract mult methods


Photo Credit Jim Bentley


I’m working on getting chapter 6 finals graded today and this weekend. Initial results look very good! 🙂

Your kiddos are doing some SERIOUS thinking, and I want to share with you the maturity and growth I’m seeing in EACH child is showing SOOOOO clearly in class. We are thinkers…not just doers.

That said, I wanted to share with you an image.

When we start multiplying fractions, we want to understand what it means. If we take 2/9 of 27, we want to take a part of 27 and not the whole amount.

On the far left, you see 9 groups. The blue counters represent nine groups of one. If we equally share 27 amongst the nine groups, we see three counters in each group. I circled the groups to show they were together and arranged horizontally.

If we take 2 of the 9 groups, we see that 2/9 of 27 is 6.

The middle example shows the traditional algorithm of 2/9 x 27. By decomposing 27 into 9 x3, we’re not only reinforcing multiplication facts, we’re also showing that an equivalent form of one, 9/9 in this example, can be removed from the fraction leaving us with 2×3/1 which is 6.

The final example on the far right shows a method that might be familiar to many of you. It’s called “cross cancelling.”

We looked at this method today and tried to mathematically explain what it means to “cancel” or “cross out” a number and replace it with a 1 or a 3. Most students were not sure what was happening and for good reasoning.

While this method can yield the right answer, it does not explain why. It does not give a mathematical justification when looking at the syntax.

During a three year professional development program focusing on math, I learned that teaching “cross cancelling” is not the best practice to get students multiplying fractions. Syntax-wise, it’s confusing to look at. It does nothing to explain where the 27 or the 9 “went to.” They’re both just “gone.”

PLEASE, if you are helping your child at home with math, emphasize thinking and explaining and justifying each step over producing the right answer. You will help your child so much more in the long run if they understand what they do and why they do it.

We have emphasized “decomposing” numbers all year. 27 can be “decomposed into two factors: 9 and 3, and students know factors are numbers that are multiplied to produce a product. PLEASE emphasize with your child how to use the proper academic language and to show their work carefully and neatly.

Why the emphasis on syntax and deep understanding over just producing an answer? I’ll share with you a TED Talk from a high school math teacher to help explain.

Please, if you have questions or comments about any of the ideas in this post send me an email or give me a call or text. I’d be more than happy to discuss why we use multiple methods and emphasize concepts and process or memorizing steps to yield the right answer.

Homework: January 11, 2016

Math: Q’s 2-5 Lesson 6.8 Big Book

Reading: Read 30 minutes.

Reading/Listening: Okay. THIS is a different kind of assignment. Go to the Google Classroom and look for three questions:

  1. What is “linear reading?” (2:00)
  2. What is a “bi-literate brain?” (3:00)
  3. What is a “discerning bi-literate brain?” (3:48)

Each question has a link to a PRI news story, Your paper brain and your Kindle brain aren’t the same thing. You can listen to the story and you can read a summary of the key points from the story.

Notice the numbers after each question? That’s the minutes and seconds into the story where they discuss the question. You will want to listen to the entire story, however. Don’t just scroll up to 2:00 and then jump to 3:00 and then 3:48. Okay? 🙂

Next, post a comment on Google Classroom describing what you think is the answer to the question. Try to add to the comments left by other students. It’s okay if you disagree with a classmate or think another classmate has the right idea. It’s a brief answer. Not an essay. Just share your thoughts. If you’re totally confused…share that! 🙂

Please remember, no silly comments ,emoji’s or pictures of your cat. We’re trying to discuss something in a collaborative, professional way. Ready! Set! Listen and read and comment! GO! 🙂


Homework: Thursday, January 7, 2016

Math: My small group that I worked with needs to finish ODDS for lesson 6.7. You are strongly encouraged to log onto Khan Academy to continue working on your mission tonight as well if you have reliable internet.

The independent group working on math writing today need to log onto Khan Academy to work on your mission tonight.

Reading: Read 30 minutes.

Writing: Please start-if you can at home-the reflection activity related to Khan Activity found on our Google Classroom page. Remember, we are reflecting on the questions posed in the assignment. They are also listed in the Google Form. If you have questions, ask a parent first before asking me. We reviewed this in class, but I get this is new and there might be some confusion. You do NOT have to finish this all at home tonight. We will give time to finish in class tomorrow.

Homework: Monday, January 4, 2016

Read: 30 minutes

Writing: Review Compare-Contrast presentation at home. If you read through it once and finished it in class, read it all the way through again, please. Invite a parent or responsible adult to join you this time, so you can discuss it. We will begin working on a multi-paragraph compare-contrast writing project this week looking at reading online vs. on paper.

Math: Khan Academy optional tonight. How do you get to Khan Academy? Scroll down and look at the right hand side of the webpage for an image that looks like KHAN ACADEMY

Click on the picture, and it will take you to our Khan Academy Classroom. 🙂



Homework: Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Math: If you were working with me today in small groups reviewing mid-chapter checkpoint, I want you to complete Extra Practice for lessons 6.4 Q’s 1-6.

If you were working ahead today on adding and subtracting mixed numbers, I want you to complete Extra Practice for Lessons 6.3 and 6.4. This is in page 141 of Standards Practice Book.

Reading: Read 30 minutes.

Fraction Films in Full Production!

We are learning about adding fractions with like and unlike denominators. And what better way to learn something than to teach it.

Check out the Keynote created by Aidan K. and Brayden S.

They’ve written a script to explain what’s going on. They’ve recorded it using our Zoom H4 Recorder and will edit the audio with Audacity. After that they’ll import video and audio into Final Cut Pro X and assemble their instructional film.

The good news? EVERYONE in class will have the opportunity to do this! 🙂 Yes, some will finish sooner than others, but everyone will have the opportunity to showcase their learning in the medium of film.

Our learning and filmmaking will be showcased at the 2016 SEVA Film Festival as well. Deadline to enter is March 4, which is coming all-too-soon.

Why do we do this? To extend our learning, incorporate writing into math, and to think deeply about what we do and why we do it.

Kudos to all our kiddos for their hard work and thinking. They are doing amazing things in class everyday, and I couldn’t be more proud of each of your children.