Saturday, April 28, 2012


Things have gotten...well...crazy around here!
First of all, I am sorry that I have not posted for quite a number of days but hopefully when you hear what's been going on you will understand.

1. I learned last week that my teacher performance appraisal will be taking place from the 30th of April to the 2nd of June. That's right...three days! One day with a meeting with the VP, and 2 days of being observed for a math and language lesson. I've been unit planning, lesson planning, room tidying, assessment binder organizing, etc all in preparation.

2. My husband and I were invited to a friend's wedding in Mexico over next Christmas vacation. We really want to go so we have been crunching numbers and analysing budgets in order to make this decision....not to mention rounding up grandparents to babysit for a week. And, yes we are going!!!

3. We've been in talks lately about selling our house, buying a new house etc. All of a sudden it became more than just talking, we met with our real estate agent, viewed some houses and put in a offer today...what??? Crazy! Now we have to get our house ready to list and be viewed...and of course sell it!!

Needless to say I have been busy, stressed and frantic. I promise to be back very soon with some good know, when I get my sanity back.

Thanks for understanding,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Elapsed Time...a race to the finish!

We have been working on elapsed time in math class recently and I have discovered that my students are pretty good at converting between digital and analog time but are struggling with how to solve elapsed time word problems.

So last week I paired (and three-d) everybody up and we played The Amazing Race...Elapsed Time version! I posed 7 different problems around the room with a basket under each problem.

The students were given 45 minutes to race through and complete as many of the problems as possible...but!! They had to leave their work behind in the basket and they had to make sure that every member of their group understood the strategy they used to solve the problem before they moved onto the next one.

My plan was to gather all of the solutions left behind and be able to assess them for my student's current understanding of how to solve elapsed time problems. What I found was that many (too many) of the groups were doing stacked subtraction and borrowing to attempt to find elapsed time. For example:


Obviously this won't work because time doesn't have the same place value as most of the other numbers we worked with. So I put an example problem on the board using the exact numbers I have displayed above. I showed the answer using stacked subtraction and a second solution using a number line.

I once again split of students into groups and asked them to tell me which answer was correct and why....thankfully, this time the majority seemed to see that the stacked subtraction just wasn't working. We discussed place value and what it means to borrow and why we can't borrow 60 minutes across a column of numbers in a time question. 

Each group was asked to come up with another strategy for solving this same problem and I collected their answers and created an anchor chart (which I didn't take a picture of...sorry!)

So then I sent them out to look over the answers from the previous day's amazing race. I had posted them up together with the correct answers on one side and the in correct on the other. Each student was given 2 post-it notes. The pink one was for them to share what they liked about how the group solved a problem and the yellow was for a suggestion of how the problem could be solved differently in order to find the correct answer. 

And that was that...I asked each of the students to pick 2 activities they do during the day and find the elapsed time between them using 2 different strategies in their math's hoping they didn't use stacked subtraction!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Glow and Grow

Jen over at Runde's Room has done it again!!! I originally posted about a self/peer/teacher formative assessment strategy that I learned at a workshop here, but today Jen took the idea and RAN away with it. Right into the land of fabulousness!!

Head over to Runde's Room to check out her anchor charts and 2 column reflection sheet. I LOVE IT ALL!! I am totally going to be "stealing" all these great ideas and using them to beef up my own student's use of the Glow and Grow strategy...I even have the perfect assessment piece! The Money Passports my students have been creating during the money stations I posted earlier today for the Bunny Hop Freebie.

What a great day it has been!

Bunny Hop Freebie

Welcome to Freebie #!

Thinking of Teaching is hopping down the bunny trail along with my fellow TBA authors!! We hope that you join us for this fun celebration.

My contribution to this shindig is a set of math stations I created for my class' unit on money. As I teach in Canada I am using Canadian money as manipulatives for my students but it would be just as easy for you to adapt these stations to the currency used where you live.

There are 11 stations and I had my students meet with me as a 12th station so I could have a one on one conversation with each of my students and assess their understanding using anecdotal observations.

Click on the picture below to pick up this freebie for yourself.

The clipart used in this freebie is from Scrappin Doodles.
The fonts are from: Kevin and Amanda and Sugar Frog Fonts.  

Once you have downloaded the math stations freebie you will need to do a little prep before using these stations in your own classroom. I went to to create the money manipulatives and coin/bill counting sheets you will need for the stations! I would have posted mine but I used Canadian money and that won't be useful to many of you! You will also need to collect grocery store flyers, toy store flyers and pizza place flyers. 

Have fun!

Click on Egg #6 to keep on bunny hopping on to the next freebie. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Behind the Scenes Of Thinking of Teaching

TBA is celebrating our first fabulous year with a look behind the scenes of the authors and their blogs! Here's a quick peek into my life...

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