Quilt Square Codes — Math Spies Episode 7

Have you visited Math Spies lately?  Math Spies is my math problem-solving website.  I post a problem a week each Wednesday.

Episodes 7 has seven problems with an extra example problem to show students how to solve the others.  I call it Quilt Square Code Problems, because, students determine the fraction of each color of a square like the one above.  They use those fractions to solve a code word.

Click here for the example problem on Math Spies. To solve the other seven problems in the series, click here. 

I made a set of task cards with these codes and 24 more available here at Teacher’s Notebook and available here at Teachers Pay Teachers.

More Activities on the 100s Chart

Update: To download a free 100 chart that will accommodate many math material cubes, click here.

Today’s freebie is really two activities that you can have students do with the 100s chart.  The first one is called the Sieve of Eratosthenes.  Students take a chart and shade in all the multiples of 2 (not counting 2).  Then they shade all the multiples of 3 on the same chart.  They should notice that all the multiples of 4 have already been shaded when they shaded multiples of 2, so they continue with multiples of 5. The multiples of 6 have already been shaded, so finish up the chart with the few multiples of 7 that have not already been shaded.
The result should look something like this:

Those that are left uncolored are the prime numbers.
Once students have completed this chart, they can use it to develop strategies for the Factors and Multiples Game.  I introduced the Factors and Multiples Game on my blog a couple of months ago.
Activity number two is a variation on the game.  Like the original version, the first player chooses an even number less than 50.  The second player chooses a number that is either a factor or multiple of the first player’s number.  Instead of using strategies to choose a number that has no uncovered factors or multiples, the students work cooperatively to create the longest factor/multiple chain.  Teams record their chains on a class chart and see who can create the longest chain.
I hope you and your students enjoy these activities.

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Math Spies Gathering Supplies — Long Division Problems

Math Spies is my math problem-solving site.  The series of problems Gathering Supplies gives students an opportunity to practice long division.  There are no remainders for this set of problems.

Gathering Supplies #1
Gathering Supplies #2
Gathering Supplies #3
Gathering Supplies #4
Gathering Supplies #5
Gathering Supplies #6
Gathering Supplies #7

Pumpkin Math — Last Minute Freebie

Earlier today, I decided I didn’t like what I was teaching for math tomorrow so I created this freebie.  I thought I would share it with all of you.  I still plan to share my usual Friday free lesson tomorrow.

 To download Pumpkin Math, click here.
May your class be peaceful tomorrow and every day until winter break.

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Quote of the Week — August 17, 2014

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” –St. Francis of Assisi

Have a great week,

Mirror, Mirror Writing Prompt

You are brushing your teeth before school one morning. You look in the mirror and instead of seeing your reflection, you see another world.

Describe what you see.

To download this one page story starter “Mirror, Mirror” please click here.

If you need something to help students edit their own work or a partner’s work, here is a set of checklists I created for the three types of writing assignments I give.

Download Free Editing Checklists from Artistry of Education @ Teachers Notebook.
Download Free Editing Checklists from Artistry of Education @ Teachers Pay Teachers.

Happy Friday!

Who Do You Teach For?

Like many places, our district is moving to a new evaluation system this year.  This new system requires formal observations of every teacher every year.  Some of us who have been teaching for awhile haven’t been formally observed in a decade or so.  I’m happy to report that I successfully made it through my first observation cycle this year.

The week before I was observed, our new assistant superintendent visited our school.  He and my principal spent ten minutes in my room while my students worked on geometry stations.  That lesson was also a success, but these visits made me wonder who I am teaching for.

Although ideally, I am planning lessons every day that move my students forward, lately I’ve been feeling the pressure to make it more of a show.  I feel like I need to please the administrators with their idea of what a good teacher does.  Sometimes I skip the step where I make sure I’m doing what I think a good teacher does.  I want to use a variety of strategies to meet my students where they are.

I am fortunate to work with a principal who is happy with my work and the assistant superintendent said he enjoyed the time with my students.  I am a people pleaser by nature, so this works for me.

So, now I turn the question to you: who are you designing lessons for?  Do you feel pressure to teach like someone else?  Are test scores so prominent, that you are teaching to the test?  I really want to know.