Posts Tagged Math

Iditarod Race

One of my favorite things to teach is the Alaskan Iditarod. The kids love the fact that dogs pull people over 1,000 miles in a race involving wind, snow, and below zero temperatures.  Of course another reason why I love the Iditarod is because it means I get to read one of my all time favorite books, “Stone Fox”!  Warning – Don’t read if you cry easily! (Here is my Stone Fox reading group guide)

Every year we follow the Iditarod and  keep tabs on the kids musher.  Here is a picture of our maps and jerseys.

Something brand new I implemented is an incentive to get my students reading.  March is such a hard month for us in the North because it has been a long winter and kids are just starting to get outside a bit.  There amount of reading drops way down in March.  We are having “The Last Great Reading Race” from Anchorage to Nome and they are loving it!

Here is our reading course – sorry about how blurry it is! 

We will also be doing an iditarod glyph, reviewing a power point, and Iditarod math and ELA pages. I also put together a great list of Iditarod related resources and lesson ideas.  You can find all this stuff either together in a unit or individually at my TPT store.  

Have fun,

Jason

 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Iditarod-NO-PREP-Dogsled-race-Unit-110139

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Halloween Math

All Set for Halloween? Check out my site for some great Halloween printables including three FREE Addition worksheets WITH A KEY! Students will love the fun Halloween clipart. Head on over to Power Point Maniac’s Teaching Resources for more info! Thanks!

   

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Homework Paradigm Shift

It was a simple, respectful but gutsy, short note from a concerned parent last year.

 “It took (Name withheld) over an hour to do the 28 division problems tonight.  Would it be possible next time to check for understanding with only 8 -10 problems?”  

Thanks,

Concerned Parent

I sat and thought about it for about 15 minutes.  I had nearly every emotion running through my head but eventually I got to, “Oh my gosh. What was I thinking?  I gave 28 long division problems last night and that was just in math!” I had always given homework because I was given homework when I was in school. 4th graders should have 40 minutes of homework right? (10 minutes per grade level rule) Sometimes even when I didn’t have homework to give out I would make something up.  I found my self really asking, “Why am I assigning this?”  I use to make the kids write their spelling words 4X’s each and they hated it!  What’s the point? (Let’s not get started on spelling!)

Now this year my family has gotten the opportunity to be involved in the life of an amazing 4th grade student. Wow – talk about busy!  Soccer, homework, snack, clarinet practice, good news club, dinner, reading, and shower. Of course she would NEVER procrastinate at any of these! (I need a drink, oops my lead broke, I know I got this assignment last week, but now it’s due tomorrow!!) Students are busier than I ever was!  For me, this school year is different. I’m giving WAY less homework. Sometimes the homework I do give is “Read for 20 minutes” or “study your spelling words”  Homework that can be done in the car, or at sister or brother’s game.  It just makes sense.

 Here are a couple questions for you to consider.

Who actually does the homework and is it a good representation of what the student is capable of?

 What types of students/family life really have issues with homework?

What is the real purpose of the homework? Is it just busy work?

I think the parents appreciate a little less homework this year, and I KNOW the students appreciate it!

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