Wednesday, January 4, 2017

7 Reasons to Use Sorting Activities in Math (and a Free Sample)

Students can practice choosing the correct operation when solving word problems using this addition and subtraction sort. Sorts make great activities during math block. They are perfect when students need to discriminate between two possibilities. Here are 7 reasons I like to use them during my math workshop.

1) They make a great assessment tool. You can see who gets it and who doesn't quickly. This can help you plan for the near future.

2) You can make a sort out of almost anything: a set of word problems (like the free sample in this post), shapes, greater than and less than and the list goes on. There are many different sorts for sale that can save you time but you can easily make your own.

3) They lead to great discussions. Have students sort independently or with a partner and then discuss their answers with a larger group. This works out great because you don't waste time talking about the ones everyone agrees on. The places where students disagree make for excellent math discussions and opportunities for students to learn for each other.

4) Sorts can make students slow down and focus on the topic you want. With word problem operations sorts students have to slow down and think about the operation. This brings awareness to the process instead of them just speeding through a set of problems (and using the wrong operation). They are great activities to bring out when students are making careless errors.
5) They can be easily differentiated. You can give ability groups different items or problems to sort. A group of struggling students can work with you while other groups work independently.

6) Sorts are versatile. They are great for math centers or workshop, early finishers or as an entry in math notebooks.  7) Cut and paste activities make work less tedious, provided much needed fine motor skill practice and make good displays for bulletin boards.

Click here of a free sample of the activity in the pictures.
For more freebies click on "Freebies" at the top of this page. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year Deals for You!

My friends an I have put together some great deals for all our followers! We each put one resource on sale for 50% for January 1st. Click here to the 30+ products that are part of this sale!

For this event I chose to put my Area and Perimeter Bundle on Sale. This bundle contains four resources that you can use in a variety of ways in your classroom: there are center games and printables for classwork or homework. Below you can see the 4 different products that are included in this bundle. You save $6.25 off the price of the individual products. If you don't teach area and perimeter don't fret; click here to see all the other deals. We have a great variety of subjects and grade levels.

Use these Finding Area task cards in centers, for early finishers or to play SCOOT.

Task Cards are great for extra practice during math workshop or centers. Students can use them if they finish up something early or as part of your center rotation. The cards do get harder as you go; to differentiate you can assign students a certain number of cards.

If you would like to  play a game with your whole class and get your students moving, use these cards to play Scoot (one card per desk and have students move at a specified signal to the next card) or Solve Around the Room (with cards displayed in different locations).

Skills reviewed in these task cards include:

  • area of a rectangle in square units
  • area of an irregular shape in square units
  • area of a rectangle using given measurements
  • area of an irregular shape by decomposing it into rectangles – part done.
  • area of an irregular shape by decomposing it into rectangles.

Students can use these engaging coloring sheets to practice finding area and perimeter. Different levels make differentiation easy. Use for centers, class work or homework.
These coloring pages are perfect for 3rd graders working on area and perimeter but can be used at other grade levels too. Students solve a problem on the page and check the coloring key, then they color the shape according to the key.

One thing I love about these sheets is that the coloring part makes the assignment somewhat self checking. If students are not getting answers in the coloring key, they know something is wrong. I find this highly preferable to them completing an entire sheet incorrectly. Also, it gives students a chance to try solving a problem in a different way if they don’t get the right answer the first time.

The pages in this packet are great for early finishers, class assignments or homework (if your students have crayons at home). There are so many options included that it makes it easy to differentiate! There are 24 student pages plus answer keys.

Skills reviewed in this packet include: 
  • area using a grid
  • area using given measurements
  • area using the distributive property on a grid
  • area using the distributive property with given measurements
  • perimeter using a grid
  • perimeter using given measurements

This packet contains 7 different sets of matching puzzle piece centers on area & perimeter. You can use them to differentiate or have students complete each set in order. They can be completed independently or with a partner. #1 Area Grid #2 Area Measurements #3 Area Combining Rectangles #4 Perimeter Grid #5 Perimeter Measurements #6 Area & Perimeter Grids #7 Area & Perimeter Measurements

Are you looking for a self checking center that your students will love?  This packet contains 7 different sets of puzzles (6 matches per set) that you can use as your students learn more about area and perimeter or use them to differentiate your centers so your students are working on exactly what they need to practice.

To hold your students accountable during centers, I've included sheets for them to record their answers and answer questions.

Alternatively you could print the pieces in black and white (included) and have them paste down their matches.

This packet contains 7 different sets of matching puzzle piece centers on area & perimeter. Each set has its own shape of puzzle so students are not just matching the shape, they must find the correct solution.

  • #1 Area Grid 
  • #2 Area Measurements
  • #3 Area Combining Rectangles
  • #4 Perimeter Grid 
  • #5 Perimeter Measurements 
  • #6 Area & Perimeter Grids 
  • #7 Area & Perimeter Measurements

Why I Designed These Centers
I developed these centers because the ones that came with our math textbook kept the students busy but were not self-checking. Students were getting questions wrong and continuing on to complete more problems incorrectly. Those centers were not even designed with a student answer sheet for me to check. I felt like center time was not helpful or meaningful. I designed these Secret Code Centers to be self checking so students would know if they were doing something wrong. Students solve a problem and match their answer to one on the Answer Mat. If their answers are not on the mat, they need to try again. I had two students working on one of these centers and they were solving for perimeter instead of area. They knew something was wrong when they could not locate their answers. We were able to solve the problem very quickly. After making all the matches students use their answers to decipher a secret code (their favorite part). This also helps students stay on track and work hard to get the right answers since guesses will not lead to real words.

Using These Centers in the Classroom
This download contains 4 different math centers. Each center can be assembled into file folder games. Assembly directions with pictures are included. You can choose to print in black & white or color.
  •  #1: Rectangles on a Grid
  •  #2: Polygons on a Grid
  •  #3: Rectangles with Given Measurements
  •  #4: Decompose a Polygon into 2 Rectangles

I hope you find lots of good deals in our sales event to help you in your classroom for the new year!