Tech-less Tuesday: Resource Roundup!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hello everyone!

Happy Tech-less Tuesday! Today, I am sharing with you Resource Roundup, an activity that I spoke about briefly in a previous post. I created this to help students become aware of all the tools and resources around the room to help them become successful independent learners!

If you’re like me, you’re prepping your back to school lessons, decorations, and organizing everything to get ready for September! Seriously – we don’t get all summer off, we take at least all of August to plan, right? I’m going to share with you this Resource Roundup activity to help students recognize the scaffolds around the room to support them.

Resource Roundup will allow students to explore the room, manipulatives, and any tools you may have to help them be independently successful throughout the year. This is a great way to discuss the various topics that will be covered and will give you an insight as to what the students already know of the resources.

This is a Jig-Saw activity that I will use within the first few days of school. Students will have a “Home” group and an “Master” group. In their master groups, they will explore the resource they are assigned. They will discuss and take notes on the graphic organizer I created answering a few questions about the resource. When they return to their home group, they will share their findings.

The activity can be altered to fit your students of course! The worksheet can be a center time activity, a whole class activity, or an independent activity. Just be sure to give students 15-20 minutes to browse the room and see what they can find to help them be successful. Again, the way you use this activity is up to you!

Some of the resources I am having students examine are fraction manipulatives, base ten blocks, the rubrics we use and success criteria, math dictionaries and word wall, measurement tools, unit cubes, and counters. I will also allow them to walk around and look at the posters and anchor charts that may help them understand more.

An extension for this activity I am planning to do is to have each home group create a poster or advertisement of the resources. You can have them all choose one, you can assign each group a different resource, or you can have them advertise for all five resources – the possibilities are endless!

When I do this activity, I will have each group advertise one resource (assigned by me) on a poster and hang them around the room for the year so students can be reminded that they have plenty of resources to utilize before me. This is a great way to have student work up and to remind you to use the manipulatives in your lessons!

In my TpT store, you’ll find Resource Roundup, which comes with the following:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Resource Roundup Graphic Organizer
  • Assignment Checklist
  • Teacher Assessment Checklist
  • Extension Activity

How do you introduce the resources of your classroom to your students? Drop a comment below & let me know! 🙂

☆Alexandra☆

Google + Jigsaw = Engaging

Happy Sunday Everyone! 

Oh my goodness it’s been a while since I posted. I got so caught up with my online courses, grading, planning, and life that I put this on the back-burner, but I am back & ready to write all summer long! This is my favorite time of the year, not only because it’s Summer, but because I get to start planning and thinking about next year! It is a time of reflection and adjusting based on what worked and what didn’t work throughout this past school year and I can be creative and take my time planning for the upcoming school year! Since I have been absent for the last couple of months, there is a freebie waiting for you at the end of this post!

One of the online courses I took was about creating a more student-centered classroom. As a teacher I want to show them all of the amazing things that I love about math, but honestly, it’s much better when they discover the concepts and get excited about it all on their own, am I right? One thing I read up on was the Jigsaw method. I know this is usually used in the other content areas, and you’re probably wondering how the Jigsaw method works in Math – fear not my friends, I will share this with you!

The first thing I want to clarify is – what is the Jigsaw strategy? Well, it is a collaborative learning technique that gives students the chance to become masters of one specific concept or skill to teach to their home group. Here’s a visual I created to help you see what I mean:

As a math teacher, this may be difficult to picture doing. One way I plan to use this strategy in my classroom is to do a Resource Roundup in the beginning of the school year. Students are assigned a “Home Group” and then within the group, each student is assigned some classroom tools and resources to become the masters of. They look at the manipulatives and resources we are going to use in the fifth-grade and evaluate and compare them. This includes the digital resources involving the iPads and computers that we are fortunate enough to have (see my post on virtual manipulatives for an overview of what I use). Once they have mastered their resources, they return to their home group to share what they found. I plan to teach this activity over the course of two days – the first day giving students a chance to work with their master group and the second they share with their home group. Home groups will create a poster to advertise at least five classroom resources they look forward to using in the fifth grade. Once the posters are complete, I will hang them throughout the room as a reminder of the great tools we have to help us.

So now that you see how we can use Jigsaw in a math classroom, how does this relate to technology? Well, the G Suite is one of the greatest educational tools, and I have written about it in this postBesides having one of the master groups looking at technology resources, when students are with their home groups creating the poster, they can make it digital! Google Drawings is a great app from the G Suite that students pick up on in a snap! Nowadays, students are so tech savvy that most don’t even need direct instruction on how to use certain apps. Once students create their digital posters as a group, you can print them and hang them around the room to refer throughout the year.

One thing I noticed this past year is as students get older, they are more reluctant to use manipulatives and resources. Students see a word problem and immediately start scribbling down an equation to help them solve – the equation usually dealing with the current unit. Students don’t take the time to break out the resources we have in the classroom such as fraction bars, base ten blocks, graphic organizers, and even a problem-solving folder they have right at their tables! Reflecting on my own teaching, I realize I seldom used the resources and I hope that this activity will help students to recognize what we have in the room and when it can be useful to them. I also hope that the posters will be a reminder for myself to refer to the tools and resources as I am teaching my lessons.

What other ways are you thinking about using the Jigsaw method in your math classroom?

Enjoy!

☆Alexandra☆

PS – Here is a Freebie for you to do a Resource Roundup! in your classroom!

Find the full lesson plan at my TpT store here!

@TechAboutMath

G Suite Part 1: Google Docs & Slides

Hi Everyone!

So I started this blog to talk about must-have-tech in my classroom and let me tell you – G Suite is the go-to for my students and myself in my classroom. I love how the G Suite has so many tools and apps all together, and the extensions are endless! With each program in the G Suite, students and teachers can collaborate with each other in real time. Today I am going to share with you just two of the many apps with G Suite: Google Docs and Google Slides.

Google Docs

Google Docs is an online collaborating software to create and edit documents. The greatest feature is the collaborative part. Students and teachers can share documents with each other and edit them together. Most people understand that Google Docs is a great tool for students in ELA where they have to write, edit, and publish essays, but many people don’t realize how it can be used in a Math classroom. Here are some ways I use Google Docs in my classroom:

Have students create a “How To” for a specific topic. For instance – if we are doing a unit on fractions, I would have students create a poster or a “How To” with a specific operation of fractions. Teach students how to use the Math Type Add-On. It allows students to create their own mathematical equations. It’s easy and you can have students create their own questions for each other to answer.

Teachers can use Google Docs to create and edit lesson plans together as well.

Google Slides

Google Slides is a collaborative presentation program that has endless possibilities! The obvious task is to have students create presentations to demonstrate mastery of a skill. Something you can also do with Google Slides is create task cards for students to complete digitally or with paper and pencil. This will save you so much paper and time because you can assign the Google Slide right through Google Classroom, so students will get a read only copy. I also have students create their own vocabulary flash cards with Google Slides.

How else do you use Google Docs and Google Slides in your classroom? Drop a comment below to share!

☆Alexandra☆