Saturday, August 31, 2013

Five For Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for
1.  We started the week off with decorating our math journals

I'll get some pics of their journals...some are very adorable.  Lots of stickers! 

2.  We started our practice with multiplication table patterns
I start the year off with practicing a  multiplication table sounds very boring I know, but I teach my kids lots of ways to use the chart to help with many skills, finding common multiplies/factors, square numbers, etc.  We practice using a blank one and filling it in daily for the first few weeks.  I show my students how to do it in a pattern so that it's not overwhelming to them.  Many of them don't realize they don't have to memorize all of them.  Here's the pattern.
So...I use my specific table because I highlight the square numbers to start.  I do take the yellow away after some time, but it helps my kids learn the pattern.
Once we learn about prime and composite, we color our prime numbers (pink).  The color key is at the top. 

If you want a copy of my multiplication table, click here.  It's FREE!

3.  We started our Factor Ts for our journal but we haven't finished yet. 
We use these throughout the year.  I teach prime/composite, divisibility rules, odd/even, factors, multiples, GCF, square numbers, reducing fractions, and so much more.  It's really important that the kids have the correct answers because we use them all the time.  It follows the same idea of factoring that most people call the rainbow method, which drove me insane since being a tad OCD, I never put enough space for numbers with many multiples (like 24) and put way too much space for those pesky prime number that were large (like 61).  I allow the students to pick one partner.  Yes, I allow them to pick a friend if they choose, but after this time, they usually pick someone other than their friend.  There's something about learning for yourself that your best friend is not always the best partner during academic assignments.  lol 

1. Partner up
2. Calculator - I allow them since the focus of this is not to see if they can multiply but to determine all the factors. 
3. Assign them a set of 10 numbers (we do 1-100)
4. Give them some time (about 30 minutes) to come up with their factors.  During this time, many of them will begin to use strategies like skip counting.  I usually circulate the room and discuss divisibility rules.
5. Depending on time it's usually the next day for me, we (the students) list their factor Ts on the board.  This is the important part of the lesson because we want all the kids to have the correct factor Ts since we use them all year.  They will often correct themselves and discuss their strategies (like skip counting)  Ps...sometimes I give them extra credit if they copy a given number's factor T on their homework.  I am sure to mention this when we are going over them on the board - just to be sure EVERYONE is paying attention.
6.  Afterward, we discuss divisibility rules again and show lots of examples.  We color code our prime numbers and square numbers.  These factor Ts are a great way for students to get a visual of prime numbers and square numbers. 

Here's some pics

Hard to see but I started them on the left in pencil.  When we do the first few together, we discuss even numbers will always have two.  We discuss that we should know we are done when we do a U-turn (by this I mean - example number 6 - 1, 6, 2, 3 - the U-turn is from 2 to 3)  You need to see it on the paper to really understand. 
pencil is not looking good...I thought I'd never say it but pen in math on these (Don't let the kids do them in pen, they will have mistakes before you go over them together)
This is the process many use while skip counting (on twos now)
Below - you'll see color-coding the prime and square numbers - this will open up the conversation of the number 1.  Kids will question why it's not prime.  Read the definition to them and have them point to the factors - it will help them understand why it's not prime or composite.  BTW....49 always throws them - they will forget 7x7 - be ready

Click here if you want these.  They are FREE!  Love these guys

4.  We discussed levels of Self-Help.  Some folks do...Ask three before me.  I put my system on a poster and hang it to remind my students that they are responsible for their learning.

Click the picture to get your copy....another freebie!

5.  Last but not least....we did our key word sort to put in our math journal to help with pesky word problems throughout the year.

Rather than just have my kids list out the key words, I have them do a sorting activity call Who Knows Key Words?
There are 58 total cards with a two doubles.  For example, the key word - Total is double since I really want my kids to realize that total can mean both sum and product.  I am always amazed by the complex and deep conversations that this activity creates for the groups of students.  Sometimes I have the groups write their answers on butcher paper and hang them up for a few days.  I did include a cut, sort, and glue evaluate piece if you needed that.  Next we put these words in our math journals,

This is just a starting list.   We add to it throughout the year, and I see my students use it often to help when they get stuck. 

I, then use it as a super cute bulletin board outside in the hall.  Which I never change until testing time.

Need this too, click the preview below

Hope everyone had a great first week back!  Enjoy labor day by doing absolutely nothing. 


  1. I love your ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas! I can see how the Factor T's take a little time to complete, but will be so useful as we get into the year.