A 5th Grade Update!

Hey guys! So I have made it almost three full weeks of 5th grade! I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed it! I'm so excited to be focusing only on math, my favorite subject, and getting to know my students. We hit the ground running by learning procedures and expectations while also working on our fluency multiplication standard! We did a Kahoot.it quiz to review expectation and procedures! --- The kids LOVED this and are BEGGING me to do it again! I can't wait to find something else to use it for---

We have also started into our new math series that will help us prepare for the new state test TNReady. We are currently working on multiplying and dividing with powers of 10! Here is my first Anchor Chart for the year! --- Actually it's my first anchor chart ever!!--- 


I hope to make some new 5th grade products for my teachers pay teachers store once I have a little free time!!

Preptoon.com Giveaway!


Last week I did a review of preptoon.com. Click here to read the review!  This week we are giving away 2- 1 year subscriptions to preptoon, which includes 1 teacher license and 20 student licenses worth $99!!!! AWESOME!! Check out the giveaway below! Giveaway will run until Sunday, August 16 at midnight EST and winner will be chosen Monday, August 17th! Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Updates and I Can Bulletin Board

 Hey guys! So life has been CRAZY!!! After 6 years in 4th grade I found out this summer that I was moving to 5th grade math. I am very excited about this new adventure, but it has thrown me for a bit of a loop. I had to learn new curriculum and move classrooms, in what felt like a very short amount of time! I just finished my room and will do a blog "show and tell" of my new accommodations. Here is a preview...



Since I had to move classrooms, it has given me an opportunity to try some things I haven't had a chance to yet. For example, I have wanted to make an I Can Bulletin Board for my I Can statements and standards for 2 years. I found a super cute one on pinterest from 3rd Grade Pad that I loved and had to try it! I only teach math, so I just used a small bulletin board, but here is how it turned out!

I have also spent some time this summer updating some of my teachers pay teachers products. Here are the ones I've had a chance to work on...
    Area War

Comparing Fractions War

 Decimal War (Comparing Decimals)

Our first day of school is Friday!  This is going to be a fun new adventure and I can't wait to share some ideas! 

Review of Preptoon

Hey guys! Today, I have the opportunity to review a new math program called Preptoon! I am very excited to share this website with you! Next week, we will be doing a giveaway for 1 FREE year subscription to Preptoon, so make sure you come back to enter! Let's get started...

Preptoon is an online math resource for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. The website uses engaging videos to help students better understand math concepts. Below you will find some of the features that I really enjoyed!

  • Everything is very organized. You can easily find a video that goes with what you are teaching. You can search by grade and by topic, for example, 5th grade Measurement. You can even search for a specific standard under the Common Core Standards tab. Being organized is highly important to me! I don't want to spend a ton of time trying to find one video to use with my students. Preptoon quickly allows me to find a video that is relevant to what I am currently teaching. 
 In this picture you can see tabs at the top, which allows for easy searching. 

This is a video I found after searching 5th grade measurement. I love that the standard is clear! 
 

  • The videos are animated and I think my students would enjoy them. My only complaint is I wish the narrator had a little more inflection in her voice. This is very nit picky coming from an overly animated reader! (I tend to have 20 different voices and all kinds of hand motions while reading.) The videos are based on real life situations. This is great for helping students to understand how they will use math in the real world!
Here is the beginning of a video, you can see the standard is easily visible again!  


  • The video pauses every so often to ask questions. Sometimes these questions will be multiple choice and sometimes they will be fill in the blank. It then gives students instant feedback as to what the correct answer is!  I love that it asks both kinds of questions and I love that it gives instant feedback! I think feedback is vital to students making and correcting mistakes!
Here is an example of a question the video's would ask. 

  • After a video is completed they can be asked additional questions to help make the math concept more concrete in their mind! 
 

Over all I was highly pleased with the program. You could use this whole class and discuss the questions together, or you can create individual student accounts and have them do the videos independently. If you create student accounts you can see student responses to questions! This program is interactive with students, engaging to watch, and is highly aligned to common core standards. I can't wait to use this in my classroom this year! 

For more information you can watch this quick 2 minute video! 

 
I hope you have enjoyed! Don't forget to check back next week because we will be giving away 1 free year membership to Preptoon!

So You've Lost Your Voice and You're A Teacher... Now What?


Hey guys! I don't know about you, but recently I have been watching Hack My Life on TruTV. If you weren't aware I am a major nerd and love education/informational TV. (Not to mention my Doctor Who and Sherlock obsession!) On Hack My Life they do a segment called "Now What" where they give different scenarios of hacks. So today I ask you.. So you've lost your voice and you're a teacher, NOW WHAT?

When your a teacher, your voice is one of the most important tools. When it's gone, it can be very difficult to instruct, question, and to maintain good behavior management. I know I can't just take 5 days off to "rest my voice" like my doctor always seems to recommend. Adapting is the name of the game and here are a few things I do differently when I've lost my voice.


Getting Their Attention:
On a normal day I love a call and response attention getter such as the famous "Class, Class..Yes,Yes". When I've lost my voice this seems nearly impossible! In this case, I love to use a service bell. I ding my bell twice as a replacement of my normal "class, class". This works well because it's loud enough that they can hear it.

You could also use preemptive measures by not using a call and response attention getter. You could implement the clap call and response, where the teacher claps and the students echo the clapping pattern. If this was already in place, the teacher wouldn't need to change anything. I personally just prefer a vocal call and response!

We try to make quick transitions between one activity to another. Our goal is to be at our new destination and ready in 7 counts, but we have to 10 counts before we get in trouble. (See The Essential 55 by Ron Clark) I usually count out loud the numbers, but I have been known to just count using my hand. I use American Sign Language to count to 10 because it only requires 1 hand. The kids love it, and I don't have to strain my voice to count!

Behavior Management:
Class Dojo is a great behavior management tool that works whether you have a voice or not! Some things I love particularly when I don't have a voice are;
                           It gives a noise when you give or take away a point which reminds the kids about 
                           their behavior.
                      
                           I can display it on the ActivBoard so students can monitor how they are doing.
                      
                           I can give or take points on my ipad and it shows up on the active board.
                      
                           One thing I love, whether I have a voice or not, is that when I'm teaching, Class 
                           Dojo is not up on my board, but will still make a noise when I give or take points
                           Students  have no idea who I am giving or taking points from, but they automatically
                           begin self monitoring their behavior!


Teaching:
When you don't have a voice it's a great time to use peer tutors. I love using peer tutors often anyway, but it comes in handy to let them help me "teach" their neighbor the concepts!


These are just a few ways that might be able to help you! Don't forget to drink lots of hot tea! Do you have any hacks that help you get through a few days with no voice?



Teachers Are Heroes Sale!

My whole store will be an additional 20% off the teacherspayteachers sale! Just use key word "HEROES"!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Amanda-Mcdonald

Christmas Bookmark Freebie

Hey guys! As the holiday season draws near I wanted to share with you a free Christmas bookmark you can use in your classroom. I hope you enjoy! 


                                                   Click Here for the Free Bookmark!



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