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teacher

Multiplication

I’m starting to teach multiplication strategies this week! It is one of my favorite units of the year. I use four strategies to teach multiplication when we first start our unit: equal groups, drawing arrays, repeated addition, and skip counting.

 

First, I always start with equal groups.

Second, we learn how to draw an array.

Third, we talk about how multiplication is the same as repeated addition.

Last, I teach my class how to skip count.

Skip counting is the method I like them to use ALL year long. The other three methods are great for the beginning, but in the months to come, skip counting is what helps them get the most quick and accurate answers. It also helps them transition and memorize their multiplication facts quicker!

During each unit, I teach my mini-lesson and whole group lesson on Monday. This means we glue each of the strategies into our interactive notebooks on Mondays. We also do some independent practice that day. This helps me decide who will be in each of my groups during math centers the rest of the week (Tuesday through Friday). For the rest of the week, they get to play games and enjoy math centers that help practice the skills we learned on Monday.

Third Grade September Math Centers

I also include some of my Third Grade September Math Centers in my rotations to help spiral review the skills we learned earlier in the year.

Additional Math Centers

I also use these multiplication math centers that practice all of the strategies we have learned. They are easy to understand and great for extra practice.

Skip Counting Posters

I also put up skip counting posters on the wall during the first two months of our multiplication unit as something the kids can refer to as a reference. This helps them start to learn the skip counting sequences by heart.

Other Games

I also want to mention two games that are perfect for teaching multiplication strategies! The first one is called Back to School Problems: Multiplication Strategies. Students have to collect school supplies each time they solve a multiplication equation.

The second game is called Introduction to Multiplication Strategies Sort. The students sort the cards of equal groups, arrays, picture forms, and repeated addition equations to match the correct multiplication equations.

Multiplication Quizzes

After we’ve been practicing these methods for several weeks, I also introduce them to our multiplication fact quizzes because these quizzes help show me who is starting to learn their facts and who needs more practice. I also have an ice cream party with my class at the end of the year for anyone who passes all of their multiplication facts (passing their division facts earns them extra toppings too!).

Finally, here are links to all of the products I talked about above!

How I Teach Multiplication Using Equal Groups

How I Teach Multiplication Using Arrays

How I Teach Multiplication Using Repeated Addition

How I Teach Multiplication Using Skip Counting

Multiplication Strategies BUNDLE!

Third Grade September Math Centers

Multiplication (3.OA.1) Centers

Skip Counting Posters

Multiplication Quizzes

Back to School: School Supply Problems Multiplication Strategies Game 

Intro to Multiplication Strategies Math Sort

 

 

How do you teach multiplication each year because I’d love to hear about it!

Math, Uncategorized

Tires in the Classroom

Instagram is my newest obsession lately. There are so many inspiring ideas on the site! I found the idea of painting tires for my classroom on @cootiesandcuties Instagram page. Using the tires in the classroom has been a big hit!  I posted about how my tires came out and lots of people had questions about how to do it.  Here’s my step by step guide.

How to Paint Tires to Use in the Classroom:

Step 1: Lay a tarp in the back of your car. You don’t want grease from the tires in your car!

Step 2: Call car repair shops and ask if they’ll donate old tires to your classroom. When I called a local one, they said they had over 100 to choose from each week and I could have the pick of the lot! It was awesome!

Step 3: I took them to the local car wash and put in $5 to get 10 minutes worth of suds. I hosed them down till all the grease and grime was gone.

Step 4: Let them dry out for 24 hours.

Step 5: Buy your spray paint. I got the brand shown in the picture above. It worked fine on the pink, yellow, green, and blue tires. The purple tire was a little off. More on that later.

Step 6: Put your tires up on a piece of wood or a brick so their not flat on the ground. Make sure you spray in the yard and not on concrete! I spray painted the top at about 1:00 in the afternoon and flipped them over at 4:00 pm to do the bottoms. I let them dry in the yard for 24 hours. It only took one can of paint for each tire. I bought two for each tire and got to return half of the spray paint to Home Depot!

Step 7: After the first 24 hours, I let them dry for a week on my screen-in-porch. I wanted to make absolutely sure that those tires were not going to get paint on my kiddos’ clothes but it was hard to wait to bring those tires in the classroom!

Step 8: A week later, the tires were ready to go! The tires in the classroom look FANTASTIC! The only issue I had was bringing in the purple one. It was flaky and the paint was peeling off though I hadn’t done anything different to it. I had my kids take it out to recess one day this week and shake it, throw it, and pummel it a bit to make sure all of the excess paint was off of it. Though the bottom of the purple tire’s uncolored now, it’s been doing fine since we did that. I’m guessing the purple tire was different because it’s a larger tire and probably a different brand than the others. The paint reacted different on it and didn’t bond quite as well.

Overall, the project only cost me about $35 total! Both my students and I LOVE the new additions to our classroom! They make great alternative seating when we are working around the room and are very popular when we are doing independent reading.  I think that it doesn’t matter what kind of paint you get at the store too! I did a lot of reading online before tackling this project and all sorts of brands work. Painting tires seems to be a kind of guess and check system to see if the tires you get will work with the paint you buy. If you decide to take this on, best of luck to you!! 🙂

Follow me on Instagram for more teacher tips and ideas! @TheLifetimeLearner

Classroom Organization, Reading, Uncategorized

Teacher Toolboxes

Teacher toolboxes are all over the web. I first saw them when I was teaching my first year and I fell in love. I made one for myself and for every teacher on my team to thank them for being so amazing!

Here are the ones I made for my third grade teammates: a two-toned purple theme, a crazy polka dot theme, a blue and purple theme, a green and white polka dot theme, and a NC State one for a NC State fan 🙂

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The pictures aren’t the best quality since they are from 2013!

 

Here’s the one I made for myself. I still have it today! It’s blue and pink with polka dots!

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I struggle with organization a lot. So a few weeks ago, I decided to grab two more to make things run a little smoother in my classroom. This time, I got larger toolboxes with drawers that have equal-sized containers.

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The first teacher toolbox I made was filled with coupons that students earn each time they reach 100 dojo points on Class Dojo. For the past three years, I’ve kept them on a list in a drawer. When students got a coupon, I had to dig through a big box to find the one they wanted. My students love the new system and it’s very easy for them to choose the coupon they’d like.

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The second toolbox I made was filled with my student’s technology supplies. My class always seemed to forget their passwords to the different sites we use, lose their earbuds for technology centers, and library tags got lost or broken on a daily basis when I used a pocket chart to organize their tags. When I realized a toolbox could hold all of those things, I was eager to move forward with the idea.

My students now keep their earbuds, library tag, and a list of all of their passwords inside their number. It’s made my life easier already!

Now that the idea of using teacher toolboxes for all types of supplies has dawned on me, I may end up making a few more this year! Have you ever used a teacher toolbox for something other than its original purpose? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Classroom Organization, Uncategorized

What is Year-Round School?

 

About Me

Hi! My name is Lindsay and I teach at a year-round school in a small town in North Carolina. I’m about to finish up my third year in third grade in t-minus 7 days. I love third graders and the material I get to teach! It’s the perfect age. The students are old enough to be able to work independently and handle more responsibility while they are still young enough to appreciate the “fun stuff”. 🙂

I graduated with a dual bachelor’s degree in both Elementary Education (K-6) and Special Education (K-12). I’m also certified to teach Middle School Mathematics. I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, spending time with my miniature dachshunds, and I enjoy creating TPT products in my spare time. My store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Lifetime-Learner

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What is Year-Round School?

I teach third grade like many teachers around the country, but my school is always interesting to the people I meet because of the way we operate. I work at a year-round school that over 1000 students attend.  We teach for nine weeks, and then we get three weeks off. There are four tracks of students that are all going to and from school at different times of the year. We do not get a long summer break, but shorter breaks throughout the year.

I’m on Track 3 at my year-round school, which means I get three weeks off in August, November, January, and April. Different tracks get different time periods off. Only three tracks go to school at a time. Each time I track-out and get a vacation, another track is coming back from their vacation. When I come back from my track-out, another track will get to go on their vacation/track-out.

The Good and the Bad

It’s an interesting schedule to have. There are pros and cons to both a year-round schedule and a traditional schedule, but I personally  prefer the year-round calendar. There are two teachers on every track at my school on each grade level. That means there are eight third grade teachers on my grade level. Every three weeks, one track goes out and another comes in. It can get a little hectic having to change things every few weeks, but it also keeps us organized. We test our remediation students every three weeks to see what skills they will need to work on. We change who takes notes at PLT and who has certain duties every time a track comes in. We also help the teacher tracking in each three weeks to re-set-up their classroom year-round.

Every time a track comes back from a track-out, they are moving into the room of the teacher that is about to track-out to go on vacation. This means that we change classrooms every nine weeks after each track-out or vacation. When it’s time for my track-out, I pack up my room (all of my supplies, books, my classroom library, math stations, and personal teaching supplies) and move them into an empty classroom called the track-out room. The teacher tracking in then moves all of their things out of the track-out room and into my classroom. At first, it bothered me a little. But after a year, I realized that packing up my room every nine weeks was helping me stay organized year-round and not become a hoarder. 🙂

Third grade at my school teaches in a POD. This is a large module of six classrooms that are all attached together (like a big trailer with 6 classrooms and a bathroom inside). We only need six classrooms because just six of us are tracked-in at any time. We meet as a team for PLT every Wednesday and plan/talk about data together. My third grade team is awesome and I love working with them. At a year round school, who you’re working with changes every three weeks so everything and everyone stays very fresh. The only person you see year-round and that has the same schedule/vacations as you is your trackmate. This is a person who is on the same track as you and is on the same grade level. I think it works nicely that each of us on the four tracks has a trackmate who teaches with us the entire year and then five other teammates that we see for 3/4 of our time over the course of the year.

Our school starts at the beginning of July and ends at the end of June. This means that my third graders will finish third grade next week, have the fourth of July week off, and then begin fourth grade the following week! We call it cl-opening at my school because we have to close up the last year and prepare for the new one in only one week before our new third graders arrive for their first day of school. Talk about a quick turn around!

Every track is a little different during this crazy time. One track gets some time off in July before they start in early August. One track got time off in June so they feel fresh as well. I’ll only have a new batch of third graders for three weeks before I get some vacation time. It’s crazy and weird and strange and hectic and yet, I love it. 

Have you ever heard of year-round school? Do you prefer traditional or year-round? Leave a comment below!

Uncategorized