Saturday, 24 October 2015

Division for Little Learners!

This week we've been working on the concept of 'sharing equally' in maths.  As with all number concepts, there's lots of hands-on practise to be done to make sure each kidlet really understands how do divide objects into equal groups.  I wanted to share with you a very quick and easy idea that you might be able to use with your class! (There's a link to a freebie file towards the end of the post, too.)
To start off I read the story of 'The Three Little Pigs'.  We then gave each child a piece of paper with three little piggy images, as well as one of a wheelbarrow.  I explained that the three pigs would all be working together to help build a house of sticks.  We then used matchsticks to solve division problems! :)
I would choose the number of sticks for children to load into the wheelbarrow.  We used craft matchsticks.

We would count our sticks together to make sure everyone was starting with the correct number.  Then we'd share the sticks equally between three pigs.

We'd check to make sure each pig had the same number, and then one of my kidlets would give the answer in a sentence. E.g. Twelve sticks shared into three equal groups leaves four sticks in each group.

I even introduced the idea that not all shares can be equal. We tried to divide seven sticks between the three pigs and discovered that we would have one left over.

This activity is so easy to adapt depending on the resources you have in your classroom.  Last week we used little rubber ducks from the dollar store and divided them into two groups using blue paper for a pond, and next week we will use teddy counters and 'picnic rugs'.

If you'd like to do this with your class, I've uploaded the file to my TpT store as a freebie. :)

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Term Four - No Chore! Breeze through to Summer

Hello teacher friends!

Here in Australia we have just started our final term of school for the year. I've only got 8 more weeks until Summer break! It is fun term for us, filled with lots of exciting activities for our students to conclude their year of learning. 

It is however, often a term that can be stressful and busy. I have teamed up with some online Australian blogging friends to bring you some tried and tested teacher tips that you can implement now, or begin to plan for to make this term easy to manage. 

These tips are simple and relatively easy to implement - keeping things simple and practical is one effective strategy for easing classroom craziness. 

After you have read my tip, please visit the other blogs in the link up below to find more ways to cruise through Term 4. For continued ideas and time savers, don't forget to also follow us all on Facebook and Pinterest! 

My top tip to help you breeze through to Summer is simple - all you need to do is reflect and refine! :)

As you set about tidying up you classroom towards the end of the year, spend some time reflecting on what really worked well for you this year, and what might have needed some more 'tweaking'.  Were you happy with your furniture arrangement? Were your resources stored neatly and easily accessible? Did the routine you established work for you and the children?  Make a list of those things that you definitely want to repeat in 2016, and also one that shows those things you want to change.  When you've enjoyed some time in the sun over the Summer holidays and are ready to think about school again, you'll have a ready-made 'to do' list to get you back into the swing of things and make next year even better than this one!

As teachers we tend to keep anything that we think might come in handy one day.  Problem is... lots of those things just end up taking up valuable space in our classroom or house.  If you've got 'stuff' in storage that you haven't used all this year, have a really good think about whether you actually need to keep it.  Chances are that you will collect lots more over the holidays - especially with after Christmas and back to school sales - so take the opportunity to have a spring clean and free up some space.  Another great way to make your life easier when you come back to school next year is to check that all of your games and resources are in good working order.  As you pack them up for the last time this year check that all of the pieces are there and make a note of anything that might need reprinting and laminating.  Throw out anything too sad looking and make a shopping list of bits and pieces you might need to replace.  Well-loved games do tend to get dirty and my kidlets love to peel laminate off if they find a loose corner! :)

Enjoy the last few weeks of school, friends!