Estimation Jar


     I've used an estimation jar in my classroom for several years.  My students love it: the competition seems to motivate them and, up until this year, so did the candy treat for the closest estimate!  :)  This year, I'll try more "inedible" treats like I've seen on TpT and Pinterest (passes to sit with a friend, extra computer time, etc.)
     I fill the jar with whatever we're estimating.  Sometimes it's something to count, sometimes how many tablespoons of salt or a liquid, sometimes how many feet/yards of yarn I've stuffed into the jar.  I often tape a tablespoon to the jar to help students visualize.  A pail of blank papers and a pail for each homeroom class completes the arrangement.
     Practicing estimation skills and the discussion that goes with it does strengthen math skills.  Start counting!
Pat McFadyen
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Attendance/Lunch Choice


     I'm trying this idea to take attendance and count lunch choices in one step.  On the side of a filing cabinet, I taped the "School Lunch" and "Lunch Box" signs, plus the dividing lines.  I wrote student names on colored craft sticks and added a piece of magnetic tape to the back. 

     As students arrive each morning, they will place their craft stick in the correct area.  I'll know who is absent if a stick is not moved.  We'll see how it works!
Pat McFadyen
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Drop a Note for a Friend!


     Our classroom "Drop a Note for a Friend" box gives students a low-risk way to share concerns about any bullying incidents they may be aware of and, just as important, any instances of unkindness. The incidents can be directed at the reporting child him/herself or someone else.
   The anti-bullying program at our school teaches that "silent witnesses", the ones who are aware of bullying incidents but don't report them, are just as harmful - and accountable - as the bullies.
     The box is in an out-of-the-way spot by my desk, so students can let me know what is happening to them or to others by dropping a note into the box without others seeing them do it. This serves two purposes: 1) The reporting student feels safer, and 2) being aware allows me to keep an eye on specific situations and do a little friendly questioning.  Will I get some unsubstantiated claims?   It's possible, so being aware is even more important.  I like knowing that my students can communicate with me on this important issue.
Pat McFadyen
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Easy and Affordable: A 21st Century Lesson


     A good way to integrate math, social studies, and global awareness is to display several clocks, each representing the time in another time zone.   It's easy and affordable.  The large clock in my classroom is the one provided by the school.  The smaller ones were $4 or $5 each at a dollar store or Wally World.  Choose several different spots on the globe and find the time on a site such as www.timeanddate.com.  Add labels and you're done!

     Discussing time zones and calculating time can be several lessons.   It can also be a brain break when you ask questions such as (using my clocks below):  When we go to lunch, what time will it be in London?   What do you think students in California are doing right now?  When students in Beijing go to bed, what are we doing?  What are we doing when English students are having lunch?  The possibilities are endless and fun!

(Looks like California is losing a little time; need to fix that!)





Pat McFadyen
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Getting Ready


     It's time to get ready for the new year!  This interactive bulletin board in the hallway outside my classroom displays inspirational quotes.  The bottom sign encourages students to write their feelings about any quote.  You'll see a little "pen pocket" to the right.
     Last year, I used a "Math Graffiti" theme for the whole year and changed out the question every few weeks (pics below).  I got a lot of interesting responses all year long!
     Have a great weekend!




Some of my favorite quotes!






Students (and teachers) can add their thoughts below.







Other captions might ask: What's your favorite number and why?  Write a fact about yourself that uses numbers. 










Pat McFadyen
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New Web Design


How exciting!  Thanks to Designs by Christi for the great web design!
.
Pat McFadyen
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Hello!


Hello and welcome to my blog "Growing in 5th Grade"!  My goal is to share what I do with other teachers because others have helped me so much.  Collaboration is the key to excellent preparation.

As my blog grows, please check in with me at my Teachers Pay Teachers store:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Patteach

My products could be useful in your elementary classroom.
Pat McFadyen
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