Monday, September 24, 2012

Shapes and Unit 3 Tips

Fall is officially here and boy do I wish I could go back to the hot days of July! We are just starting the third full week of school and things are really coming together in my classroom.  At the beginning of the school year I brought in another table to give students more working space.  Well, I found out that it is much harder to get to everyone who needs help.  To solve this problem I stacked 6 at three tables, 5 at the fourth, and left one for a help pull-out table.  It worked so well and the students are much more on task because I am so close to them ALL the time! 

Here are some shape resources for you to use for Unit 2 in Math Trailblazers.  I know many of you are finishing up this unit and moving to Unit 3, but they are still good to have.  The only problem I see is that my google documents now is google drive so some of the images are off.  I will look through more of my files on my home computer to see if I have the originals. 

Pattern Block Shapes 1

Pattern Block Shapes 2

Pattern Block Recording Sheet.

Before starting unit 3 we talked about the meaning of the equal sign or same as sign.  We used balance scales to show that the equal sign needs to balance on both  sides.  This is a great visual.  If you do not have a balance then check around with kindergarten or in the upper grades. 

The following pictures go with Unit 3 of MTB - Pennies, Pockets, and Parts, but can apply to any math program.  Here are just some tips I found useful when completing these lessons with my students.  Prior to Unit 3 we talked about the 

When intruducing this lesson of pocket parts I started whole group with this example.  We talked about how we could draw in the pockets to help add up the number of pockets as well as writing the number of pockets in each box.  We had to find the missing total of pockets and came up with 9 total pockets.  When we wrote out the first number sentence I wanted to see if they remembered our discussion about the equal sign and wrote the 9 = in red.  From there I asked the students what numbers would fit in the other two boxes to equal or be the same as value as 9. 

Today I also talked about part-part-whole with the class.  I like the visual model of the two squares as parts and the rectangle as the whole.  My students really caught on to the hidden pockets lesson after we saw that two parts (squares) make a whole (rectangle).  My struggling students understood much better after that lesson.

This is something I needed to do for a couple of my students to have them understand part-part-whole and writing number sentences.  I know it is hard to see, but I highlighted one part in yellow, one in green.  Then I highlighted a yellow box plus a green box to write the number sentence under the visual model.  I then only highlighted the top to see if they could set up the number sentence with less help and finally the last problem was not highlighted at all. 

Here is my math homework bag lessons for this week I wish I had time to take pictures to show you the activities, but ........

The first one from Shari Sloane ( is the shape fill-in game  Here.  Students play with one other person.  They roll two dice, add up the total, and color in that amount of squared on the shape. I make it two-sided so they get more practice!  The first shape is a star.  I also have a heart Here.

The other homework bag is a count and color activity Here.  Students roll two dice, count the dots, explain how they counted or added the numbers, and then color the box.  The goal is to fill in every box.  I usually make two copies so they can play against someone at home.  This makes it more interactive and fun for the students.

 I am not sure I told people this before, but I also have a classroom blog that I will share and explain activities I create or use for Daily 5. My classroom blog is 

I hope all is well and that these tips and activities are useful to you!

Take Care,

Tina Parker

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