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Thursday, December 29, 2011

600 Follower Giveaway!!! $25 LakeShore Learning Gift Card

It feels just like a few months ago I was celebrating just 200 followers
and now look...600 FOLLOWERS!!! 

In order to celebrate the New Year and reaching the 600 follower mark... 

I am giving away one $25 LakeShore Learning Gift Card!!

To enter, make sure you are a follower and leave a comment below answering the following question:

What are you most looking forward to in 2012?

You must enter by next Friday (1/6) midnight. 
The winner will be announced on Saturday! 
I will post the name of the winner here, so be sure to check back to see if you won.

Thank you for all your support over these last few months! 

Good Luck and Happy Entering!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Math Word Wall Posters: Featuring Types of Lines

Math Word Wall Measurement Posters

Hello Guided-Math readers!  I have a set of 8 new Word Wall Posters for you today. 
These posters focus on lines.  You will get posters for...

1.  Line
2.  Line Segment
3.  Ray
4.  Intersecting
5.  Parallel
6.  Perpendicular
7. Horizontal
8. Vertical


Monday, December 26, 2011

Math Game- Counting and Probability

Clear the Board

I found this game on Kidscount1234.  It is called, Clear the Board, and covers skills such as counting and probability.  The object of the game is simple... Students place 10 cubes on the numbers they predict they will roll..  Students take turns rolling two dice.  If they roll a number that they have covered, they take the cube off that number.  Students keep on playing until someone has removed all their cubes from their game board.

The great part is that they have a free downloadable game board already made!

Thank you Kidscount1234 for the great games!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Math Game- Elimination

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

One week of winter break FLEW by!  All my shopping is done (I think) and now I can relax... just for a second... I now I have to finish wrapping and then start cooking for the party tomorrow.  Ok, not like Holiday Sangria is considered cooking, more like slice and dice and pour. :)

The game board I have made for you today is a very simple.  It is a two player math dice game called Elimination. 


Here are the directions and free downloadable game board...


Number of Students: 2

Materials: Two dice, game board, markers (as in chips, place holders)

How to Play:

1.  Students cover all 12 spots of their side of the game board with a marker of some sort.

2.  Students take turns rolling the dice.

3.  They may use any operation to get answers.

4.  The object is to be the first to remove all the markers off their side of the board.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sending Math Games Home as Gifts

I've come across some great Pinterest ideas this morning... (doesn't that website just suck you in sometimes, I am trying to clean out my walk in closet, my spare bedroom is scattered with closet stuff and here I am on pinterest, HA)

I'm posting the links to two blogs.  Each blog has a post and free printouts of mathy games you can send home with your students.  It doesn't even have to be as a gift, these would make a great home school math connection.  I was just recently telling a parent to have their child show them the math games we do in class.  These handout booklets would be perfect to send home, a way for parents to learn all about the math games they play in class.

The first one comes from Ms. Fiorni's Stadium...  Click here to access the printable.

The second one I found comes from Dot's n Spot's... Click here to access her printable.

As I come across a great idea from other blogs, I will post it and share the blog I found it on.  I am all about not reinventing the wheel sometimes.  There are so many great blog/teacher authors out there with great ideas, this is my way of paying it forward.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you enjoy your day and have some great food!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Measurement Word Wall Posters

I am on a roll and decided to continue my math word wall posters! 
This week I focused on measurement, specifically the concept of length.

This is a set of 10 posters containing the following vocabulary words:


Check out the free download here:

Math Measurement Word Wall

I hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Angle Posters

Hello Readers!

I have a goodie for you today!  I created a set of 5 posters that highlight angles; right, acute, obtuse, straight and reflex.

Each poster has the definition, picture of the angle and a real life example picture. 


Here are what the posters look like..

Monday, November 7, 2011

Clean the Money - Math Money and Coordinate Game

I came across this fun game, Clean Up the Money, on the Internet this past weekend.  It seems like fun and can be a great review for money and would help to reinforce coordinate grid concepts.  The instructions and game pages are already created. Bonus!  I don't have to reinvent the wheel here!

Click on the link to download the directions and game worksheets.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Trimester Checkpoint - Incentives and Boosters

Next Friday marks the end of the first trimester for my school.  It seems like I blinked and poof it was November!  We are just around the corner from Thanksgiving and then just a hop, skip and jump away from winter break!

Typically each year I do a refresher on Guided Math rules and routines when I get back from winter break.  However, this year I am finding that my kids need a refresher now.  I can't wait until January.  If you find your students starting to wander and not following the charted routines that you set at the beginning of the year, take a break from math groups to spend time to go over your expectations.  You will be grateful in the long run.

As a PBIS internal coach, if there is one thing I have learned, it is that students need reteaching boosters.  Every once in a while you need to do a climate check, see what areas need attention and create a booster to remind students of rules and expectations.

Next week I will spend the whole week reviewing the rules and routines of the card and game station. My plan is to first teach math whole class. Then I will spend the time after the lesson to create a chart of student behaviors and to practice those expectations/routines.  Just like I did at the beginning of the year.

Don't be afraid to create an incentive for the students.  Especially since the pre-holiday, can't wait until winter break craziness is about to begin soon.  One idea is to create a goal that students can work towards.  For example, students can earn points for demonstrating expectations.  For each round of guided math they can earn one point.  We have four rounds in our day, which means they can earn four points a day.  Set a goal as to how many points they need to earn to get a reward.
Do you  have an idea for a guided math incentive system or an idea for an easy whole class reward?  I'd love to hear from you.  Leave a comment below with your ideas!

I also want to give a shout out to Hilary from Rockin Teacher Materials.  She wrote a blog post here on how she took the plunge into Guided Math.  I love how Hilary took the idea and made it work for her.  As I find myself always saying, you need to make it work for you and your classroom.   Check out her blog post for some ideas and inspiration!
Happy Saturday!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The End of Molasses Classes - Part 2 Review

Good Morning!  Today I am bringing you the second of four reviews on the book, The End of Molasses Classes.  This is part of the TBA Book Club study on this book.

Part 2 of, The End of Molasses Classes, is all about the role of the parent in the success of the child.  This section takes a look at how parents play a vital role in the home/school connection. 

I have been incredibly lucky to have great parents over my 10 years of teaching. *Knock on Wood*  Even with having great parents, I still have experienced the very involved parent to the non-existent parent.  There is nothing more frustrating knowing how much more successful a child can be if only there was structure and parental support.  I do what I have to do in my short time with these children to make sure I am making that difference, however you only have to look at a child with support and see what ground you can't make up for.

I had to laugh at #30- Don't get your kid a video game system unless you are ready to be a prison guard!
A couple weekends ago my dad, holding his new granddaughter/my niece, says to me, "How do you keep kids from playing video games?"  Of course I laughed and replied, "Umm, don't buy one."  Plain and simple.  I don't think all video game systems are bad.  I grew up with Atari and the first Nintendo.  However, my life wasn't consumed by video games.  Limitations and structures are good.  You need to know your child and recognize if they have an addictive nature, are their thoughts always consumed by video games.  Great, now I am having Pit Fall and Dungeon and Dragon flashbacks. :)

#31- Show them how to study; don't expect it to come naturally.
I think as a third and fourth grade teacher, this one hits home.  These are the years that testing becomes more prevalent in the classroom.  This principle goes not only for parents but teachers as well.  I can't stand in front of the room and tell them they have a test next week and they better study.  They don't know HOW to study.  What can they do to remember the information?  It is important to show several ways of studying and let them choose which method is the best.  I think it would also be helpful to include in your newsletter to parents, tips on how to study and how they can help their child.  This might make a good foundation to good study habits for the rest of their school career.

There are 9 other great tips for parents in this section from Realize that even very good children will sometimes lie to the helicopter parent.  Check out the book to read more.

Until next week, when I review Part 3- Creating the Right Climate and Culture.
If you want to read more... Check out TBA's Book Club study


Sunday, October 16, 2011

The End of Molasses Classes - Week One Core Principles and Values

A couple months ago I received the book, The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark to write up a review.  At the time I got the book, I was just about to go back to work and was getting my classroom set-up.  It was a very busy time, barely had time to breathe let alone read a book.  However, with just one turn of the page, I was hooked!  I sat there and read the whole book, cover to cover.  Never had I read a book where I found myself laughing, crying, and laughing again on one page!  This book struck the core of what I am and what I strive to be as a teacher.  It was an affirmation of what I was doing right and served as an inspiration to what I want to achieve.

As a TBA author, I am joining the TBA Book Club, in order to fully review and share my favorite parts of this book.  This week the focus is on the first part of the book:

Part 1: Core Principles and Values

Share your favorite principles and thoughts from part one of The End of Molasses Classes

If I had to choose one section that I wanted to write and share about, I would have to choose principle number 10: Be Excellent!  I think this is the cornerstone to the other principles. First you have to recognize that you have to be a dynamic force in the classroom.  You have to take charge of your own teaching, internalize and scrutinize whether you are prepared to make each moment special and excellent.

Of course I just can't choose one section to write about.  There was one section that hit home, right after I had read the book and right as we were starting school.  This would be Section 2: Not Every Child Deserves a Cookie.  Our district moved to a new report card this year and yes the new system has caused a bit of confusion in the intermediate grades, forcing teachers to really look at how our new number system equates to actual student work.  Meaning, what does it mean to be a 4 (being the highest mark) vs a 3 or even a 2.  What does a 4 student look like vs a 3 student?  Just because a student turns in all their homework and gets 100% on every homework does not equate to that student being a 4.  Being a 4 means going above and beyond, expecting more than just what is given.  Not Every Child Deserves a Cookie served as a good story as to what one might expect of a 4 student.

Join in on the TBA Book Club Fun... Click here to view other blogs joining in and writing about this book.  You can even view a video, featuring Ron Clark, created just for TBA Readers!
I look forward to each week and sharing my thoughts!  Stayed tuned for next week's review!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Math Dice Game - Roll 1,000

I found an old memory stick this week.  Amazing what you might find on one!  I was going through some of my old teaching files and came across this game I had saved.  I don't know where I originally found the directions to this game.  I decided to make a player page for it.  Makes it easier for students to record down what they rolled and to keep track of their total score.  I'm passing it on to you as this would make a great addition to your math game station for guided math or math centers.


Dice 1000

Objective: To practice three digit addition and three digit multiplication skills
Materials: 5 dice

How To Score
Every ‘1’ you roll = 100 points
Every ‘5’ you roll = 50 points
Every ‘2, 3, 4, 6’ = 0 points

Three or more dice that show the same number = that number multiplied times 100

Example: If you roll three or more 2’s, then you multiply the number you rolled, which is 2, times 100. 2x100=200, so you would get 200 points. If you roll three or more 4’s, then you multiply the number you rolled, which is 4, times 100. 4x100=400 points.

1. The first player rolls all five dice and write down his score. See the bold print above to find out how to score.

2. The first player records his/her total points now.

3. The first player can either stop or roll again. If he wants to stop, he keeps the points he just earned.

4. If he wants to roll again, he must roll the dice that will add to the score or lose that turns points. That means he must roll a 1, 5, or three or more of the same number. If the player does not roll any of those, he loses all points from the last time he/she rolled. If points were earned during this roll, you must record them now.

5. Take turns rolling the dice.

How to Win: The person to reach 1,000 points is the winner.

Math Game- Dice 1,000 PDF

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Playing With Pythagoras

Playing with Pythagoras
Guest Post Written By:  Natalie Hunter

Young kids sometimes have a hard time understanding is the Pythagorean Theorem. Fortunately, it's very easy to visualize with squares put on each side of the triangle on a sheet of graph paper. A square and B square put together are the same size as C square! Kids will find this fun and easy to prove all by themselves. Getting them to understand the importance of this theorem can be a little harder though. Even adults can often remember the equation of a2+b2=c2 from their younger years, but ask them to calculate a hypotenuse and they just may throw up their hands.

For this reason, it's important to teach kids more than just squares on a right triangle, and one way to do this is to switch up the shapes. Pythagoras's theory has been proven to be true for any three figures of the same shape, whether squares, polygons, or even fish. Demonstrate it first, have students pick a favorite simple shape, and then give everyone some right triangles, some graph paper to cut their shapes out with, and calculators to play around with. Circles are very visually appealing and can be used to demonstrate the versatility of this theorem, but if you do not think your students can handle dealing with pi yet use other shapes instead.

Another fun exercise can be done with the whole class. For this demonstration several books, a pen, a ruler, and paper will be needed for the class, or smaller groups within the class if they can be kept on task. The students should line the books up to form the shape of a capital “L” so that a right angle is formed. The lines formed by the books should be different lengths. After the students have lined up the books, they will need to measure the sides and note how long each side was. Make sure everyone is using the same unit of measure! After the students have measured the sides they will need to add the squares of sides together, which they can do either with a calculator or by themselves if they've already learned multiplication. For most classes, calculator will be needed to calculate the square root of the result so they can find the hypotenuse, as usually the Pythagorean Theorem is taught before deriving square roots in longhand. Once they have solved the equation, have them use the ruler to measure from one tip of the books to the other and then find out if they got the correct answer.

There are also story books and videos that the parent or teacher can use in the classroom to help students learn about the Pythagorean Theorem. If the children are in online school, there are also online games teachers can give students to play with to learn this important theory. Using demonstrations, exercises, and games can truly help children grasp the Pythagorean Theorem. Visually experiencing a theorem can make the difference for a child between using an equation and understanding an equation. The Pythagorean Theorem can be a tricky concept to learn, and some students will need to learn it in different ways than other children. The next time you're thinking about teaching Pythagorean Theorem, consider one of these fun games to help them learn, understand, and enjoy math.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Call for Help - Scheduling Groups

Good Morning Guided-Math Teachers!

Very often I receive questions on scheduling guided math under time constraints.  Last week I received an email with a unique time constraint.  I decided to post her email in order to get a few good ideas from others that might be in a similar situation...

I am a first grade teacher who has been doing guided math for a while now but I am really running into a problem and could use your advice.  I need more time!!!  Currently, my students come back from activity, grab a snack and we begin whole group math. (Really it is more of a settling back in time.)   I am only scheduling that for 10 minutes due to time constraints (1:05 - 1:15).  I then have from 1:15 to 2:00 for small group instruction.  However, the first students leave at 2:00 and I really need time to get them ready to go home.  The last students leave at 2:20.  I need to fit in 3 guided math groups and  leave myself a few minutes in between to put out first grade fires.  Do you have any ideas???  I have a lot of teachers coming to watch guided math in my class and I want to do it justice.  Any advice you can give me would be so appreciated!!!

Any suggestions on how this schedule can be worked out to the benefit of all groups/students?  Please leave a comment with any tips or solutions!

Thank You!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back to School Craziness!

After taking a slight break from the blogging world, I am back!  Back to school always equals very busy!  I think as each year passes, the transition from summer to going back to school gets a tad bit harder.  I am just now starting to feel like I am getting back into the flow of things and getting my head on straight!  This is also the year I am a National Board Candidate.  It has been a goal of mine for the past couple of years and now was the time to do it.  When that blue box first arrived I got a little nervous and anxious and then went through the whole, what did I get myself into stage.  Luckily, I have calmed down and decided to take it one step at a time.

A few notes...

My first niece was born on September 11th!  I just had to share.  She is adorable and melted our hearts the moment she arrived.  I spent the day with her yesterday, loving and snuggling her.  Here is a pic of Lucy (her very cool and very stylish Auntie picked out that headband for her :)...

Be on the lookout for a couple new posts this week!  Pictures of my anchor charts and beginning routines will be featured.

Hope you're having a great Sunday! (Go Bears)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Winners of the Math Dictionary!!

Good Morning!

The following are the winners of the Math Dictionary for Kids!  Results were determined by the random number generator at

#85 - Kelli  "I love summer, but it is time to get back to a schedule and meet the new kiddos!"

#4 - April  "I have already started getting my school brain ready... however, that does not mean I am ready for summer to be over! :)"

#17 Katie  "I am ready to say goodbye to summer and hello to a new school year! Even though I will miss sleeping late, I am excited to meet my news kids and have a great year."

Congrats to our winners and thank you to everyone who entered.  Remember you can use the discount code to get 25% off cover price at Prufrock Press.. code MATH25.

Winners, please email me at

Happy Monday!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Math Dictionary for Kids and Giveaway

Math Dictionary for Kids:
The Essential Guide to Math Terms, Strategies, and Tables
by Theresa R. Fitzgerald
Published By: Prufrock Press

I recently was very fortunate to get a copy of the newly released, 2011 edition, of Math Dictionary for Kids through Prufrock Press.  This two hundred plus page, full color edition, is jam packed with every vocabulary word and definition that is prevalent in our math curriculum.

The vocabulary/definition portion of the book is separated into math categories such as geometry, measurement, algebraic ideas, statistics and so on.  Each section is color coded and has a pretty thorough list of words that students, in grades ranging from mid-elementary to early high school, would encounter.  Each word contains the definition and if necessary an example and illustration.

The book goes above and beyond a typical dictionary.  By far my favorite features are in the back sections which include; the Quick Reference Guide, Formulas, Table and Charts, and Measurement Conversion Tables.  The Tables and Charts section has several different charts ranging from factors of numbers, fractions/decimals/percents to square roots. Whereas the Quick Reference Guide features strategies and algorithms students may need to know.  When I reading these sections, my teacher light bulb went on thinking about how I was going to use these sections during specific math units.

I definitely can see this book being utilized in the classroom but where I see the need for this book is at home.  Year after year I take part in the same conversation during fall conferences.  Parents express their frustration, because they are having a hard time with all the new math terms and strategies. They would love to help their child, but are learning it as their child is learning it.  This math dictionary would definitely serve as a great reference for both student and parent in and out of the classroom.

On occasion, when working with your guided math groups, you might not have that second to answer students' questions on what something means.  This dictionary would help greatly with answering student questions before they come to you, thus minimizing interruptions during your guided group time.

If you are interested and want more information you can find this dictionary here through Prufrock Press. 

Prufrock Press is even providing a discount for all you blog readers! 25% off the cover price!

 At the checkout type in the code: MATH25

This code is only good through Prufrock Press and is good through November 1st. 


I have three copies to giveaway!!! 

You can win a chance to get your hands on your own, free copy of Math Dictionary for Kids. Three winners will be chosen, you have until Sunday midnight to enter. 
The winner will be announced on Monday morning!

To enter just leave a comment answering this question:

Are you ready to say goodbye to summer and hello to a new school year?

Happy Entering and Good Luck!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Twist on Go Fish - Multiplication Go Fish

Almost everyone knows how to play Go Fish.  The game itself is great for young students learning number recognition.  For older students the game can be modified into Multiplication Go Fish.  Here is how you play...

Multiplication Go Fish

Object:  To collect pairs of cards with the same number on them.  Players search for cards with number that match the number they already have in their hand.  However in this version, players ask if another player has a certain number, not by calling out the number, but by forming a multiplication question.

Materials:  Deck of Cards

Number of Players: 3 or more (can be played with 2, but best with 3 or more)

How to Play:

1.  Deal five cards to each player.  The rest of the cards go in a pile in the middle.  This will be the draw deck.

2.  Players alternate turns as they ask another player if he or she has that certain value in their hand.
                               For example:  Do you have any 3 x 3's (9's)?

3.  If that player has that number, he or she must give it to the person who asked for it.  That person puts the matched pair down in front of themselves.

4.  If the player does not have that number, he or she says "Go Fish", the player who asked for the card must draw a card from the draw pile.

5.  If the card drawn matches what they asked for, they may put the match down in front of themselves, if no match, he keeps the card and the next player goes.

6.  Play continues until one player is out of cards. 

How to Win:     Players count up their pairs.  The player with the most pairs is the winner.

Have Fun and Enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

And The Winner Is...

Congratulations to comment number 22, Tonya! 

22Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Tonya is the winner of the game, Head Full of Numbers!

Tonya, please email me to claim your prize!

I started this giveaway to celebrate my 200th follower.  I could never imagine while doing this contest that I would surpass my 300th follower also!  Thank you to everyone for your support and kind comments.  Be on the lookout for other giveaways coming soon!

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Last Day to Vote...

Just a reminder that today is the last day to vote for the Really Good Blog contest.  Remember that you can vote once a day, today being the last day.

I would appreciate it if you could take a moment to vote today.  You can find me under the specialty category under Guided-Math.


Tomorrow is the last day to enter my math game giveaway.  See this post for details and how to enter.  The winner will be announced on Saturday!  Good Luck!

Thank you and happy voting!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A 200 Follower Milestone Giveaway

In order to celebrate being nominated for the Really Good Blog Contest (vote here) and having reached 200 followers and because it is a holiday weekend...

I am hosting my first of giveaway!!

The winner will get this game....

Head Full of Numbers

This is a favorite math game in my classroom.  It is great for either primary and/or intermediate students.  Students roll the dice and then using the numbers given they have to create equations.

To Enter Follow These Steps...

1.  Become a Follower (if you already are, just complete #2)
2.  Leave a comment on this post.

You have until next Friday to enter.  The winner will be announced on Saturday.
(Contest is now over, congrats to Tonya for winning and thank you to all those who entered)

Also remember to vote for my blog (vote)! 
You can find me under the specialty category- Guided-Math.
You can also find the latest news and updates on my Facebook group page...

Have a great 4th of July Weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Voting Has Started - Please Vote

My blog was nominated for the Really Good Stuff blog contest.  Can you take a moment to vote for my blog? You can find me in the specialty category, under Guided-Math.  You also have to vote for a K-4 blog and 5-8 blog as well.

Happy Voting and Thank You So Much!!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Watch this Place Value Game Video

I am passing along a video that I discovered this morning. It shows a great idea for an easy place value game. 

I think a trip to the Dollar Tree is on my to do list.  If you can't find a three compartment snack tray, I think three bowls would do the same trick.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Place Value Game - Cards or Dice

This is a simple place value game that several teachers might already know and have taught.  It helps to reinforce place value.  You can teach students of many levels, since you determine what the highest place value that will be used.  You can also determine whether students are playing to create the highest number or lowest number.

Place Value Mat
One dice or playing cards (no face cards)
How to Play

1. Each player takes a turn either pulling a card or rolling the dice.

2. The player determines where on their place value mat, they want to place the number. They write that number in the designated column.

For example: A 5 is pulled out of the deck of cards.
The player chooses to put the five in the hundred column.

Ten Thousands

3. Play continues until each player has filled up their place value mat.

4. Students compare numbers. The person with the highest (or lowest) number wins.

Notes and Modifications

*Note that when using dice, the standard die will only have numbers 1-6 but playing cards will give you 1-9 (and if needed you can use the ace as a 0).

* For younger students you can use the a few place values, whereas older students, you can go up the millions.

*To go even more advanced, for those students who need a bigger challenge, have students create the highest number they can, record it down. Then make the lowest number they can, record it down. The players then subtract the lowest number from the highest number to get their new total. The player with the highest final number wins.


Math Place Value Game PDF

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yahtzee for Multiplication

Happy Monday Everyone!

Did you know that Yahtzee is a great game to play during math stations?  I have a game for you today that is an abbreviated version of Yahtzee.  The regular game would last too long to fit into your guided math game station, this abbreviated version would fit in perfectly.  This game helps to reinforce multiplication and addition skills.

Yahtzee for Multiplication

- Score Sheet for each player
- 9 Dice

How to Play

1.  Each player gets 7 turns (of three rolls) to complete his or her score card.  Player one rolls the dice.  That player will decide what denomination to Keep.
                              For example the player rolls:  4  6  8  2  5  4  3  4  9
                              This player might decide to keep the fours, since there are three of them.

2.  The players sets the Keeper dice aside and re-rolls the remaining dice.

3.  If more of the same Keepers are rolled, they set them aside.  The remaining dice will be re-rolled for the third and final time.

4.  The player records the number Keepers rolled and records them down in the corresponding number column.

5.  Play continues around the group until each has had seven turns of three rolls. 

6.  Students then multiply the columns.  They take the number in the dice column times the how many column to get the last column.  So if they rolled the # 2 dice... 5 times.... the last column would be a 10.

7.  Once all columns are multiplied across, students add the numbers going down to get their grand total.

8.  The player with the highest score is the winner.

I have created the Score Card and have included printable instructions on how to play...

(laminate the score cards for repeated use)

Enjoy and Happy Playing!

Math Game Yahtzee

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What to do with Fast Finishers

Every class always has those students, the fast finishers.  Without direction on what to do next these fast finishers can quickly turn a quiet working classroom into free time.

Jill recently posted a great comment and asked what do my students, who are done with their independent work, do next?

My students have a couple of options...

1.  Independent Math Game
2.  Brain Teasers
3.  Extra Review Math Packet

There are several great resource books out there, such as Take it To Your Seat by Evan Moor.  With a little assembling you can make an independent math games for students to grab as they are finished with their math work.  TCR has a series of great books here that are Math Brain Teasers. They come in different grade levels.  I have a couple grade levels, for the different abilities in my classroom.  I copy the pages and laminate.

**A good tip is to mount the pages on construction paper before laminating.  Designate a color for the challenge level.

For example:  Purple equals HARD
                      Blue equals HARDER
                      Yellow equals HARDEST

This ways students can easy spot which puzzles are more challenging, just right or too easy for them.**

These pages go into a bin.  As students finish their math workbook pages they are to grab either a game or brain teaser.

Also Suduko or Kukuro are great math logic puzzles you can teach your students.  Teach students the most basic level first and they themselves will move up to more challenging as they are ready.  You can copy puzzles off the internet and laminate for repeated use.  I bought a book for kids that has four levels.  I teach the first level as a whole group, so they can grasp the concept.  I copy puzzles from various levels and have them on hand for fast finishers.

For each math unit I also put together a packet of pages that help review and practice the concept I want them to master.  This is a packet that they work on after the math book pages.

REMEMBER.... you have to teach students about this option.  You will have to model and practice getting, cleaning, and returning the materials.  Make a chart that lists what they can do when they are finish with their math independent work and display it in a spot where they can see and be reminded of what to do next.

I hope this helps!

What are some of your favorite fast finisher activities?  Feel free to share in the comments section.

Really Good Stuff Blog Contest

This is for all my fellow bloggies. I just read this over on TBA and thought I would pass the information along.

It’s time!  Time to submit your favorite classroom/teacher blog for the 2011 Really Good Classroom Blog Contest!  We are looking for the best blogs around.  They could be ones that amuse you, help you, provide ideas, or highlight the happenings of their class.  With three categories to highlight (K-4, 5-8, Specialty) there is a great chance for your favorite blog to be spotlighted.  Simply click here to nominate the blog you feel has the stuff to be a 2011 Really Good Classroom Blog!

Entries must be received before 9pm EST on June 30, 2011.  All blogs who are nominated and whose authors agree to participate in the contest will be required to place a badge on their blog with a link back to The Teachers’ Lounge.  All submissions will be reviewed and blog authors contacted within 48 hours.  Voting will take place July 1-7, 2011 and one winner from each of the three categories will be chosen.
How it works:
  • There will be three separate categories.  Entries will be accepted for K-4, 5-8, and Specialty (counseling, reading, etc) blogs.  The blog should focus on events in your classroom and other teaching related topics.
  • Entries will be accepted June 13, 2011 through 9pm EST on June 30, 2011
  • Once the blog has been reviewed (to be sure that it qualifies as a class/teaching blog), a contest badge and link back to the contest voting page will be sent.
  • Voting will be from July 1st – 7th, 2011.
  • One winner will be announced for each category on July 8th.
  • Winners receive top blog roll placement, badges that indicate the award, a Teachers’ Lounge blog feature, invitation to guest post on The Teachers’ Lounge, and a $75 Really Good Stuff gift certificate.
  • Runners-up get Teachers’ Lounge mention, link backs, and a contest badge

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Going to Boston - Addition Dice Game

Yes, the name of this game is Going to Boston. I didn't make it up, I found it a couple years back and well I think it's a clever, catchy title that kids will always remember.

Going to Boston
A Dice Game

Materials:  Three Dice
                 Recording Sheet

Number of Players: 3 or more

Skill:  Addition or Multiplication

How To Play:

1.  Have each player roll one die, the highest number goes first.

2.  Each players takes a turn rolling all three dice.  After the first throw, the player will remove the die with the highest number and puts it aside.

 Example:  Dice 1: 4
                 Dice 2: 2           The player would take out dice 3 that had a 6.
                 Dice 3: 6

3.  Roll the remaining two dice and again take out the highest number and set aside.

4.  Roll the last dice and add up the numbers on all three dice to get the player's score for that round.

5.  Record the total of the three dice on the recording sheet.

6.  Continue to take turns, each group member going once.  The highest score for the round wins!

Students can play for a set number of rounds and add up the combined totals to find an all time champion.

** Play with two dice for younger students
** Keep the lowest numbered die instead of the highest.
** Increase the number of dice to four for more complicated addition skills
**  Use multiplication by taking the sum of the first two dice and multiplying it by the third.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Math Dice Game - Shut the Box

Shut The Box
dice game

I have another game for you tonight!  This is a traditional dice game that comes from France many many years ago.  You can buy the Shut the Box game boxes in stores but I have created a sheet that mimics and serves the same purpose.... for free.

This game can help reinforce addition, multiplication and mental math skills.  Laminate the playing pages or put them in sheet protectors for repeated use.

Number of Players: 2 or more
Materials: 2 dice, Shut the Box Sheet, nine or 12 counters

Goal:  To achieve the lowest score
Skill:  Addition for the 9 box game, Multiplication and Addition for the 12 box game

How to Play:
1.  Players roll the dice to decide who goes first (highest score)
2.  Player 1 rolls the dice and adds them together.  The player places counters on any boxes which add up to that total. They choose one combination of their choice.

For example:  rolling a 5 and 3 (5 +3 = 8)
Player one can cover any one of the following combinations:

Usually a player will try to cover the higher numbers (7, 8, 9) first. 

3.  Player One then throws both dice again and tries cover any remaining boxes with the new total. The combination must add up to the total on the dice.

4.  Player One continues until they cover any boxes using combinations which add to the total thrown. At this point, Player One finishes their turn with a score equal to the total of the uncovered boxes.  Numbers 1, 4, and 3 are left then the player total would be 8 points for the round. If she has covered every number (a score of zero), she has "Shut the Box".

5. All the counters are then removed. Play continues in a clockwise direction until every player has had a turn. The player with the lowest score wins that round.

The game can be played for any number of rounds or for a certain time limit. The overall winner is the player with the lowest total score over all the rounds.

Variations:  The 9 box game is used for addition.  The 12 box game can be used for multiplication and addition.  If you rolled a 5 and 4, 5x4=20.  A player could place a counter on the 12 and 8 which equals 20.