Loading...

Follow Fifth in the Middle on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
I first learned of the Book Madness Tournament of Books from Catherine at {The Brown Bag Teacher}. After doing with our fifth graders for a few years, I wanted to provide an update to my {previous post} about it.

The first step is to generate a list of books on which the students will vote. I like to have student input, but you could also use circulation records or AR test results to get the titles of books your students have read. I really don't know the best way to get this information as I've used Google Forms as well as having students write down 3-5 book titles on a slip of paper. Don't forget your read aloud and literature circle books!
After gathering all of the titles, I list them on a Google Form where students can vote for up to ten. Sometimes I include the series instead of a specific book title.
Google Forms will tally the results and then I list the top 16 books in order. Sometimes I might fudge the results a little to prevent both Sisters and Smile being in the group.

There are two different ways I make the brackets, depending on what kinds of books make the top 16. Sometimes I bracket them by genre (which is good if you don't want your final four to all be graphic novels), or sometimes I'll just do a straightforward seeding.
I copy and paste the book covers into a PowerPoint and resize them to four to a page.

After the first year of cutting and assembling the actual bracket, I decided that I never wanted to do that again! Unfortunately, I had to do a new one the following year anyway. To make this one last, I did some math that ended up being more complicated than I anticipated.
  • Yellow background - Bulletin board paper cut into two pieces so that they will fit though the laminator (measure your school laminator in advance). Mine are 2 feet by 5 feet.
  • Black strips - all are 1" wide
    • 2" (16 for the far left and right)
    • 7" (22 for the rest of the horizontal and some vertical)
    • 12" (8 for the rest of the vertical; the longest vertical ones will be composed of 2 pieces - one on the upper half and one on the lower half)
  • Black place holders - 4" x 5 1/2" (make 31)
  • The font is Collegiate at font size 600 pt.
After placing the pieces and attaching them to the bulletin board paper, I run both halves separately through the laminator. After hanging them up, I put the placeholder for the winner in the middle.
After the 16 are posted, I wait a while so that students have a chance to read some of the ones they haven't read. I created another Google Form for the first round of matchups and shared it through Google Classroom. If they haven't read either of the books in the matchup, they didn't have to vote in that pairing. On my hallway display, I put a sticky note with the number of votes received on each book. This way, they could see the "final score" of each matchup. Repeat until you have a winner!
Here are the past few winners. I am retiring Wonder this year since it's usually a slam dunk win (pun intended).
These are the books that made the cut this year!



Pin for later:


Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
This game came out of the realization that I hadn't prepped the original game that I wanted to play during math rotations. As I scoured my cabinets looking for something to do instead, I found my stash of used playing cards from a local casino. (Tip: If you live/work near a casino, ask them if they're willing to donate used decks to your classroom.)

(Another tip: Take different colors of markers and mark the ends of the decks so you can find the home for the inevitably-misplaced card. Make sure you get the color into the grooves.)
The game is based on UNO. I make groups of three to five students and project the following key for the cards above 10.
Students deal out seven cards to each player and turn over the top card on the remaining stack. Play begins when the first student plays a card that matches the suit or number on the upturned card -or- an ace (any suit) or joker. To "mathify" it, students must multiply the number on the stack times the card they are playing. If they are playing a face card, then they multiply by the power of 10 shown on the projected key. For the picture below, the student playing the four of diamonds would multiply four times four to get sixteen.
Players continue using UNO rules until one person plays his or her last card. Students play in my class for about 15 minutes.

I'm sure I'll think of other ways to build in more math concepts, but students really enjoyed this twist on the classic card game.

Get easy access to all of my free resources and subscribe to my mailing list!
* indicates required
Email Address *
First Name



Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
One of my favorite things that I have created for my class is my close reading texts. I know that I've talked about them here are there, but here are the goals I had when I was creating these texts for my students.
I wanted something short and high-interest. If I was going to ask my students to go back into the text multiple times, it had to be interesting! My students really enjoy these topics, and some of the discussions that we've had were pretty amazing!
Related to that, I wanted purposeful follow-up activities that focused on specific skills. And any opportunity that I give my students to write on the text and use highlighters is well-received!
I wanted all of my students to get the same information, and I didn't want it to be obvious that students were reading different levels. I discreetly marked the texts with different symbols that they didn't really notice. I also made the follow-up activities work with all of the levels.
As part of this collaboration, I'm giving you one topic from my December set of texts. {Click here} to sign up for my mailing list and gain access to the Happy Holidays text that discusses Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

Before you leave, I'm also giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway






Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Probably one of the hardest skills of the standard algorithm for long division is deciding which number to use for "how many times ____ goes into ____." One way to help students experience immediate success with long division is to help them come up with the multiples of the divisor.
   
So in the example above (4297 ÷ 61), we start out by noticing that 61 won't divide 4 or 42 (when using whole numbers, obviously). We do know that it is enough to make groups of 61, but many of my students don't have a clue about what to do next. We talk about compatible numbers and estimating and all those strategies, but there are students who still don't quite understand how to come up with that number.

So another strategy that we use is to figure out multiples of 61 until we go over 429. They have these "cheat sheets" in page protectors so they can use them with dry erase markers. For students who really struggle, we write the multiples together so that we are all working with the same numbers and there are no addition mistakes.

You can download your copy for free by clicking the image above. If you would like access to my entire Google Drive of free resources, enter your information below!

Get easy access to all of my free resources and subscribe to my mailing list!
* indicates required
Email Address *
First Name



Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
This is just a quick flapbook to help students understand the order of operations. I made it for their binders, but you could easily just use the top two layers in your interactive notebooks.
They color code the top flaps.
Then they add the visual clues in the same colors they used on the top flaps.
Finally, work through the problem by highlighting the operations in the order they are done.

You can download your copy for free by clicking the product images above. If you would like access to my entire Google Drive of free resources, enter your information below!
Get easy access to all of my free resources and subscribe to my mailing list!
Email Address
First Name




Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
I find that when my anxiety gets really bad while watching sports on TV (I'm looking at you, Chicago Cubs...), it's a good time to refocus my nervous energy into something more productive.

I decided to make the math resource sheet for my students' binders that I've been wanting to do for a while now. I needed a multiplication chart that went up to 12 since my handheld ones have been slowly disappearing. I normally write the spelling of numbers on the whiteboard for reference, so I went ahead and added those here, too.
On the back, I did place value names and those pesky 10x/÷10 relationships. Number forms are something else that students never seem to keep straight. Finally, I included fraction bars to show equivalent fractions. (Note: This picture was taken before my students pointed out that the fractions near the bottom weren't equal-sized and I redid the whole chart LOL)
You can download your copy for free by clicking the image above. A grayscale version is also included. If you would like access to my entire Google Drive of free resources, enter your information below!
Get easy access to all of my free resources and subscribe to my mailing list!
Email Address
First Name





Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
As the summer is winding down, I'm finishing up a few easy projects. These sensory bottles were really fun to make (even though I detest glitter) and relaxing to watch. (Note: Affiliate links will be used in this post. Using my affiliate link will not cost you anything, but it will give me a few cents to use towards maintaining this website.)
For the mermaid tail bottle, I used the following:
- VOSS plastic water bottle (I used 330mL bottles because everyone in the free world, or at least the people who shop at my Target, uses the 850mL size. I actually like how the smaller size fits in my hand. Peel off the labels.)
- boiling water
- blue glitter glue
- various sizes of glitter in greens, blues, and purples (I bought this body glitter and it was the perfect size for one bottle. In retrospect, it made for a moderately expensive sensory bottle. Oops.)
- blue food coloring
- super glue

For the 330mL size, whisk together 3/4 cup boiling hot water with about an ounce of the blue glitter glue in a large measuring cup. Pour the mixture into the water bottle. Using a funnel, pour in the glitter into the bottle. Add 1-2 drops of blue food coloring. Add blue glitter glue, water, and more glitter until satisfied with the look and the bottle is full. More glue will make the glitter settle more slowly. Leave very little air. After testing it out with the lid on, use super glue on the threads of the lid to make it permanent.

This is how much glue was left in my new 6 oz. bottle.

For the rainbow bottle, I used the following:
VOSS plastic water bottle
- water beads in assorted colors

Soak the water beads according to the directions. Fill the bottle as desired. Add water. Easy peasy!
Note: I saw someone say that it was easier to sort the colors out of the package rather than after they were full-size. I tried both ways and I thought that it was easier after soaking. It was also easier to see the difference in color.


Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
I will start off by saying that this was NOT my original idea. A member of one of the fifth grade/upper elementary Facebook groups I'm in shared it with us, and many in the group had success with it!

I'm sure that there are many variations of it, but here is how I adapted it for my class.

Object of the Game
Students compete as teams to answer questions. When they answer a question correctly, they claim a square. Teams try to get as many three-in-a-row groupings as possible.

Set Up
I decided to make teams of 3 students. I wanted to do this for math, so I printed off multiple sets of fraction word problems so that there was one set per team. Task cards were perfect for this because the groups answer one question at a time. I quickly color-coded each set so that I knew which group got which questions. (This will make more sense later.) Finally, I cut apart the problems.
Since this was something that I felt like I would probably do again, I created a game board to be projected on my white board. You can get a copy of the Google Slide by clicking the image below. (NOTE: It isn't editable because the text and grid are pictures. If you want to change things, you'll have to delete the picture and add your own text boxes. Or cover up rows and columns with white boxes.)
Each team will also need something to write their answers on to bring to you, like a whiteboard or scratch paper.

How to Play
After dividing students into their teams of 3, I gave each team a question face-down. I gave Team 1 a question from the red stack, Team 2 from the orange stack, and so on. When I give the signal, all teams flip over the problem and work on solving it.

When they have a solution, one team member brings their question slip and answer and stands in line for me to check it. If they get it right, they get to mark a square with their team number. I give them a new problem from their color stack to solve. If they don't get it right, I give them the option to either take it back to their team to revise or trade it in for a new problem.
When a team gets three in a row, they circle their tic-tac-toe. After a predetermined amount of time, whoever has the most tic-tac-toes wins!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
First of all, be shocked that I am writing a science post. I know that I'm shocked. In case you didn't know, I will be teaching science for the first time in sixteen years. That is also a shock, but it will be fine. I hope. Anyway...

I recently took my daughter to a STEM day at a local business. They had two really great hands-on activities that I wanted to share with you.

The first activity involved making a DNA model with licorice, colored mini marshmallows, and toothpicks. {Here is a link to the materials.}
The way that was suggested was not the way my OCD daughter chose to do it. The intended procedure was to do one side in a particular sequence. Each color of marshmallow stood for either C, T, A, or G. Then they were it identify the paired chemical and complete the other side. My daughter did the correct pairings, just did a patterned sequence.

The other activity asked my daughter to use colored beads to create her name in binary code. At least part of the materials came from {this website}.
Once she got the code for each letter, it was time to count up how many beads were needed in each color. They used Perler beads for this activity.
Then it was time to string them up! She chose pink for the Xs and purple for the blanks. The dark blue are the spacers between each letter.




Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview