Sunday, September 21, 2014

A few more exponent Interactive Notebook pages

          Here is another quick post with an Interactive Notebook page on exponents. My students need lots of practice comparing and ordering numbers so I made this page for their INB's. I am stressing looking for patterns right now and I love problems 17-19 and 22-25. It took lots of wait time and allowing them to struggle but they discovered the pattern for how to find a two-digit perfect square without a calculator or just multiplying it out. What was great is that they then asked, " Does this rule work with 3 digit numbers?" I started to do the happy dance when they began to wonder and want to see if this was true or not. So they worked through the problem to find the answer to their question.

     This exponent unit is going to be long but worth the time. To have the students understand the magnitude of numbers, how they compare and how they show the same value in different ways is also part of my goal this year to improve the number sense of the students. See my post on Teaching number sense to my students.

       I originally made the page below an exit slip but then wanted to have them write an explanation of the steps so I just added it to the INB instead.

By the way this rule does not work for 3 digit numbers. Just thought I would put that down here in case some of you wanted to see if it worked on your own first. LOL.

Til next time,

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Student Planner Plan and Having a Paper Trail

     For several years I was fortunate to work on a team with 4 other teachers, English, Science, US History and Science. The "Purple Team", Kathy, Erin, Kendra and Judi, were an amazing group of teachers. Everything just clicked which made it a joy to work with them. We created several great strategies to work with students who were struggling for a variety of reasons but one of my favorite is the Student Planner Plan. We developed this plan for students who are not completing their homework or projects. They are not being truthful with their parents, telling them there is no homework or that they completed it at school. (Ever have this happen?) This plan becomes a communication tool between school and home as many of our families do not have internet service to check posting online. 
      Our students have planners that they carry with them all day long and I am sure most of your students have them as well. There is a copy below of the form that we have the parents, students and the teacher sign during a conference where work completion is an issue. The contract states the responsibilities of each of the parties so there is no confusion. We also talk to the parents about immediate daily consequences. If the student does not have the planner signed or if work was not turned in, the student does not have privileges for that day. They are able to earn their privileges the following day if they have the planner signed by the teachers, have turned in the work for the day, and if they bring home any work that needs to be worked on for that evening. The parents/guardians have to look at the planner and sign it as well. For the parents that follow this plan we have had wonderful results.  

This is a page that we email home to parents/guardians.
This is the copy we use during parent/student/teacher conferences.
    Click here to download a copy of the Student Planner Plan pg 1 and Student planner plan pg 2.

      One of the most important things I learned early in my teaching career was to keep a paper trail of contacts and meetings with students and parents/ guardians. This may have changed over the years with the technology that we have now, but I still keep a paper trail.  I have never regretted taking the time to do this because when you need proof of contact, you need something in writing. At the conference I sign the contract along with the student and parents. I then make a copy for the parents so they can hang it on the refrigerator for reference. I put my copy into my discipline binder. For the parents that follow this plan the results have been amazing. For those that do not follow through, we have a signed reference that this is a strategy that was agreed to by all parties. 

     It is wonderful when this works for the student. Everyone is happy, the student learns to become organized and manage their time, the parents have the communication they need from the teacher and I am thrilled to have a tool to use in these situations to help the families. 
Til next time,

Monday, September 01, 2014

Exponents Interactive Notebook Page

     I have a quick Interactive Notebook post today on exponents. After all, it is Labor Day and I am looking forward to just relaxing. I don't know why short weeks at school always seem longer than regular weeks. Why is that?

     The top section of the right page is from math = love. I love the exponent and how you can pull it out to see the expanded form.

     I have decided this year to show the reasons behind many of our rules. We are also stressing the problem solving strategy, looking for a pattern. This page show why any number to the zero power is equal to one. Click here for Zero power graphic organizerI didn't want to hide this behind a door of a foldable, I want the students see it every time they open their notebooks to this section. So many of my kids still think it should be zero. UGH!

     The student practice page has students going back and forth between the different forms of the numbers. I am stressing that these are all different forms of the same value. See my post on teaching number sense to my students. Click here for a copy of the exponent practice sheet.  I am already having my students memorize their square numbers. so I have several on the work page. Sorry about the quality of the picture. I will try to replace it later.
     Good luck to all of you who are just starting school tomorrow. Hoping everyone has a wonderful year.
Til next time,
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