Saturday, 21 January 2012 17:45
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The Symbol & Landmark Project (Part 1) (2nd in an Occasional Series Featuring Engaging Classroom Projects) (Teaching Tip #56)

Each September when my students complete our beginning-of-the-year Enthusiasm Survey of the various curricular areas, social studies ranks among the least popular subjects. Author Lee Jenkins once commented that since social studies is about people, it should be one of the most interesting subjects in school because people are interesting. Traditionally, though, the way social studies is taught in schools doesnâ€™t seem to resonate with children because it is difficult for students to see how the content connects to their lives and to find the relevance in what they are studying.

Saturday, 14 January 2012 17:45
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Fraction Creatures (Part 2) (1st in an Occasional Series Featuring Engaging Classroom Projects) (Teaching Tip #55)

Below you will find pictures of several Fraction Creatures my students have made in recent years. As you can see, the kids create a wide variety of creatures, ranging from the cutie pie dog to the ferocious teddy bear. Though the photos show only animal creatures, students also create machines, aliens, flowers, and fantasy creatures. One of my favorite parts of teaching is that I can give directions at the beginning of a project like this, and even though each child is hearing the same instructions, everyone creates something truly unique and different. That fact needs to be celebrated.

Saturday, 07 January 2012 17:45
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Fraction Creatures (Part 1) (1st in an Occasional Series Featuring Engaging Classroom Projects) (Teaching Tip #54)

Before winter break I posted a six-part series on the Math Problem Solving Menus my students work on after they finish the primary math activity of the day. In February, when we begin our Fractions unit, we put the menus aside for a couple weeks, and when my students complete their primary activity, they move directly to their Fraction Creatures.

Student enthusiasm for this project is as high as it is for any project we do all year, and it provides the children with an authentic opportunity to grapple with many of the skills featured in our unit: comparing fractions, finding equivalent fractions, adding fractions with unlike denominators, and determining simplest form. The artistic aspect of the project fosters creativity and promotes the habit of craftsmanship.

Saturday, 17 December 2011 17:45
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Math Problem Solving Menus (Part 6): Checking System (The Supermarket Analogy) (Teaching Tip #53)

The Teaching Tips will focus on the topic of Math Problem Solving Menus during this six-week period.

Week 1: Math Problem Solving Menus: An Introduction

Week 2: Problem Solving Solution Sheet

Week 3: Sample Problem Solving Menu

Week 4: List of Problem Solving Strategies

Week 5: Scoring Rubric

Week 6: Checking System (The Supermarket Analogy)

Saturday, 10 December 2011 17:45
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Math Problem Solving Menus (Part 5): Scoring Rubric (Teaching Tip #52)

Week 1: Math Problem Solving Menus: An Introduction

Week 2: Problem Solving Solution Sheet

Week 3: Sample Problem Solving Menu

Week 4: List of Problem Solving Strategies

Week 5: Scoring Rubric

Week 6: Checking System (The Supermarket Analogy)

Saturday, 03 December 2011 17:45
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Math Problem Solving Menus (Part 4): List of Problem Solving Strategies (Teaching Tip #51)

Week 1: Math Problem Solving Menus: An Introduction

Week 2: Problem Solving Solution Sheet

Week 3: Sample Problem Solving Menu

Week 4: List of Problem Solving Strategies

Week 5: Scoring Rubric

Week 6: Checking System (The Supermarket Analogy)

Saturday, 19 November 2011 17:45
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Math Problem Solving Menus (Part 3): Sample Problem Solving Menu (Teaching Tip #50)

Week 1: Math Problem Solving Menus: An Introduction

Week 2: Problem Solving Solution Sheet

Week 3: Sample Problem Solving Menu

Week 4: List of Problem Solving Strategies

Week 5: Scoring Rubric

Week 6: Checking System (The Supermarket Analogy)

Saturday, 12 November 2011 17:45
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Math Problem Solving Menus (Part 2): Problem Solving Solution Sheet (Teaching Tip #49)

Week 1: Math Problem Solving Menus: An Introduction

Week 2: Problem Solving Solution Sheet

Week 3: Sample Problem Solving Menu

Week 4: List of Problem Solving Strategies

Week 5: Scoring Rubric

Week 6: Checking System (The Supermarket Analogy)

Saturday, 05 November 2011 17:45
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Math Problem Solving Menus: An Introduction (Teaching Tip #48)

The Teaching Tips will focus on the topic of Math Problem Solving Menus during this six week period.

Week 1: Math Problem Solving Menus: An Introduction

Week 2: Problem Solving Solution Sheet

Week 3: Sample Problem Solving Menu

Week 4: List of Problem Solving Strategies

Week 5: Scoring Rubric

Week 6: Checking System (The Supermarket Analogy)

Saturday, 29 October 2011 17:45
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Providing Just the Right Amount of Help (The Bench Press Analogy) (Teaching Tip #47)

When assisting students with their math activities and other academic work, it is often difficult for teachers to know how much help to provide. If we donâ€™t offer enough assistance, studentsâ€™ struggles are likely to continue, and they may become frustrated and discouraged. They may even shut down. On the other hand, if we provide too much assistance, students may complete their work successfully, but, in the process, we may deny them opportunities to think for themselves and develop as independent thinkers and problem-solvers.