Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My first sale!!

250 × 120

Whoo hoo!

My first TPT sale. So exciting.
I've been reading posts by other bloggers, stocking up my wishlist and buying products for years. Now it's my turn to say come on over to my store and check out the savings! Everything is 20% and then with the extra 10% from the TPT3 promo code you'll get a total of 28% off!

I promise by the next sale I'll have more products...LOL

Have fun shopping. 

Link up and check out the other sellers who are joining in on the fun.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Announcing....I have a TPT store!!

Wow! Oh Wow!
I did it.
I finally bit the bullet and opened a TPT store.

I am so excited...and so nervous.

There's not very much there...yet.
But I'll be working on it. Promise!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sorting by Two and Three Attributes-Math Huddle/Three-Part Lesson

The Three Part Lesson- Revisited
Math Workshop Series Part 4B

Please read Part 4- The Three Part Lesson here first!

I love Math Huddles and the Three-Part Lesson. It is definitely my favourite way to teach a math concept over the course of a week. This is a post from last year, but I've added some details to help you see the three-part lesson in action. 

As we transitioned from our data management unit into our geometry unit, I thought it would work well to combine the concepts of sorting using 2-3 attributes with attributes we would be studying about 2D shapes. 

Part 1: Minds On

First I handed out a bag of attribute blocks to each pair of students and we brainstormed the types of attributes the blocks had. Notice the geometry vocabulary that popped up- all from the students, I swear! The question I posed is written on the board and the student answers are on the paper. 

Part 2: 

Then I gave students this prompt and let them go. No directions about how to sort, tools to use to sort, etc. Just totally open ended problem solving.

And not surprisingly most students created some type of chart. It was very interesting to see which attributes the students choose and how they organized their chart. At the end of the lesson we debriefed (Part 3) their sorting and created some anecdotals- you can see those written on the cue card in the green marker. This is where bansho (board writing comes in). 

Then over the next few days I introduced the ideas of sorting using a venn diagram for both 2 and 3 attribute sorting using the three-part lesson format.

For the Minds On we revisited our work from the previous day and built on our knowledge. Then for the Working On it we worked with a different type of venn diagram everyday. 

 It took some work and discussion but we got there. During Part 3- the debrief/consolidation- I would put up all the work done by all the students and then we would discuss whether their sorting followed the rules we created. If the venn diagram wasn't accurate enough or didn't fit, it was removed from the display. In this way I feel that my students are constantly a part of the creation of their own learning, the display of work in the class and that they see the importance of reviewing your work and making it better if possible. 

At the end of the week we listed all of the important ideas or big ideas we had learned. And boy did we learn a lot!

Once you try a three-part lesson you'll love it, and probably discover that you've actually been teaching this way for awhile. The biggest benefit is the amount of time the students are actively involved in constructing their own understanding. It's a change in the traditional role of the teacher at the front of the class giving the information, but I promise you will discover that your students learn so much more!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Math Workshop Series: The Three Part Lesson

I know I have been MIA lately and I apologize...but with a 3 month old baby, a three year-old daughter and an online course things have been just a little busy! But I promise you that I have forgotten about my Math Workshop Series and I am back with some new learning from my course.

Today we will be looking at the Three-Part Lesson. In my opinion this is the best way to teach a whole class lesson in order to capture the interest of your students. There is a ton of research out there on the Three-Part Lesson and it's something we've been looking at quite deeply in my online math course. 

The basic gist of the three-part lesson is this:

Minds-On: A hook to grab your students' attention, a chance to revisit a previously learned concept, an opportunity to get your students thinking about the concept they will be working with during the lesson. Essentially, this is the time to activate your students' brains!

Working On It/ Activation/ Problem Solving: This is the biggest part of your lesson and it will be where your students are most actively involved in solving a problem. Students will most likely be working in pairs or small groups during this time and should be given the freedom to choose their own strategies in order to solve the problem you have presented them with, however, it will be up to whether you are using an open-ended problem, open-rooted problem or a parallel task. 

Consolidation/ Debrief: The class will gather together in order to discuss the problem that was solved, the learning that took place and the big ideas about math that can be taken away from the lesson. This is also where you may choose to use the bansho method of sharing ideas. 


As part of my course we had to read this article and it was amazing!! It outlines the constructivist theory of teaching mathematics and really helped me cement in my own mind the importance of teaching through problem solving. It's definitely a must read!

I would love to hear about any experiences you've had using the three-part lesson in your own classes, or questions you have about it. I am hoping to get some sample lesson plans up soon and a three-part lesson template. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Organizing Your Math Workshop Materials- Part 3 (plus a freebie)

If you are just joining me...

So, you've spent some time thinking about Math Workshop and how you want to run things in your class..but how are you going to organize all your materials?

Since I am currently on maternity leave I don't have any pictures or personal references to share with you but I do have some ideas as to how I'd like to organize my materials. I can also show you some of the blogs I've visited to help me cement the ideas I'd like to implement in my class next year. 

What I've learned:

1. Have your materials visible and easily accessible!

The more accessible your materials the more often your students  (and you!) will use them. The numeracy committee at my school created manipulatives carts last year for every class in my school as well as a central hub for each grade level. It was amazing because we each had access to the basic math manipulatives we used most frequently. The carts we used were simple plastic storage drawers for our manipulatives.

Photo via

I recently purchased two of these for my daughter's toys and I think they'd make great shelves for a classroom. The bins are so easy to grab and go...a few more might be in my future when I return to work!

Photo via

2. Commonly used materials

From all my blog reading, Pinterest pinning and freebie gathering in preparation for Math Workshop I've compiled a list of the most commonly used materials for math workshop games/activities/etc

  • dice
  • playing cards
  • dry erase markers
  • white boards
  • calculators
  • glue sticks (for Math Journals)
  • scissors
  • measuring tape/ rulers
  • manipulatives- base ten blocks, pattern blocks, snap cubes, clocks, 3D solids, calendars, counters, cuisinaire rods, fraction circles, fraction strips, money, grid paper, place value mats, etc
Examples of How Others Have Organized Their Materials

Here are some great blog posts that show how other teachers have organized their Math Workshop Materials.

1. Rockin' Teacher Materials has a fabulous post with lots of pictures. I especially love the tubs that she has created so that each group has their own set of the most commonly used materials. 

2. One of my favourite, favourite, favourite bloggers, Kristen (!) has an amazing post to show how she organizers all her math games over at Ladybug's Teacher Files.

3. A Differentiated Kindergarten has a very well organized post with pictures, descriptions and a linky party! 

If you want even more example, follow this link to my Math Workshop Pinterest board.

And now for a FREEBIE!

Everyday I find more and more and more great math games and activities on blogs, Pinterest, and TPT. I made this chart to start documenting the materials I've found and which month/focus I want to use them for. 

I am currently taking an Math (Part 1) Additional Qualifications course through York University and one of our assignments was to review a picture book that could be used to teach math. For a long time now I have been wanting to use more picture books in my math lessons. I created the above organizer to start keeping a list of all the books I find (and want to buy). You could also use it to inventory the books you already have in your library.

Next Up: 

Last but not least.... don't forget to head over to A Class*y Collaboration to link up with your February Freebies!

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Ahhhhh....Saturday nights.
Hope yours is great!

Most of these are self-explanatory...but my lie is #3!! No more babies for me, especially when this one is only three months old.

Link up with Farley here.

If you've tried before...

Sorry about the link not working!! All fixed now.

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