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

Teacher Notebook Store Sale this Weekend

Just a quick post to tell you that everything in my Teachers Notebook Store is 20% off. 

Reading Strategies Pinterest Board

When I first started teaching, I was a substitute for several years.  I loved visiting other classrooms and collecting ideas for my future classroom.  This was before computers in every room, no internet, and no Pinterest.  (I could never go back to that.)

Lately, I have been collecting and creating anchor charts and graphic organizers to teach and practice reading comprehension. I have collected far more ideas than I will ever use. While a few of the items are paid products (full disclosure here), many are free downloads or amazing charts created by some talented teachers.

Follow Mary Bauer’s board Reading Strategies on Pinterest.

I would love to have you visit my board and maybe find a strategy or two that will work for you.

Using a Meter Stick as a Number Line Part 2

Six weeks ago, I wrote a guest post for HoJo’s Teaching Adventures about using a meter stick as a number line.  

For awhile, I had the meter sticks out and several sets of clothespins for students to practice ordering fractions and finding equivalent decimals. Then I realized what other math concepts I could teach with this model.

I know I am not the only fourth grade teacher who has students who struggle with rounding.  I wrote this post about rounding whole numbers with a 100s chart and it is one of my more popular posts. 

Later in the year, we started rounding decimals to the nearest hundredth, tenth, and whole number.  Because we had already used the meter stick as a number line for decimals, I used it again as a model for rounding. The whole meter is one.  Decimeters are tenths, centimeters are hundredths, and millimeters are thousandths.

Now that I have a class set of portable number lines for decimals, I also use them for adding and subtracting.  I still teach adding and subtracting the traditional way, but I have an additional model.

Can you think of other uses for meter sticks beyond measuring?

Teacher Appreciation Sales

This weekend, May 3-5 Teachers Notebook is having their Teacher Appreciation Sale.  Sellers will discount their stores and there will be an additional 10% discount site-wide.

I will discount my  Teachers Notebook store  20% off this Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  Here are some bestselling items from my Teachers Notebook store.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, Teachers Pay Teachers is hosting their site-wide sale.  Use the promo code TPTXO to get 10% off of everything there.  Many sellers will offer additional discounts.

I will discount everything in my Teachers Pay Teachers store 20% May 6-7.  This includes my best selling items listed here.

The Teacher Who Laughs

The Teacher Who Laughs

I am the teacher who laughs
And my students laugh with me
Because learning should be fun
Not this scripted curriculum
Not that box of materials
Let’s do an experiment
Let’s read under our desks
Let’s write poems of silliness
Childhood is too important
To only learn how to take tests.


During the month of April I did two poetry challenges, one for students and one for adults.  One of the adult challenges was to write a self-portrait poem.  This was my result.