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Every few weeks I will receive a question from teachers and parents alike about how to use the strategy of clustering to help with addition and subtraction of decimals. This strategy correlates to the Common Core State Standards for Sixth Grade (6.NS.3) and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Standards for Seventh Grade (7.3 of the new 2014 standards).
Clustering is most simply defined as a bringing together of a close group of numbers. It is important for students to know that clustering decimals can only be done if the set of decimals are centered around the same whole number.
I might just be singing from the mountain tops right now because this unit for third grade is DONE! I have been SO busy lately and feel horrible that it is done 36 hours past when I had set my deadline but yes my friends… it is SO DONE! Well, except for the photos of all the samples that I haven’t had a chance to make.
Speaking of samples, I am still working on the 5th Grade Unit 1 and I hope that you understand how important getting the content out to you is for me. I answer a ton of questions on a regular basis on when samples are coming but I also answer those on when content is coming (there are dates in the bundle posts peeps).
Some sneak peeks (because I’m in love)…
Have you purchased my Flippable Template Pack and you are still racking your brain on how to use it? Well, have no fear, I have created a video JUST for you!
Last week I talked about what REALLY were Interactive Notebooks. I wanted to follow up today with how Interactive Notebooks can benefit multiple learning types. Join me today but also check out the other blogs who are linked up below joining me as well.
Every year we as teachers are given the task of making sure that our lessons align with the learning types of each of our students in our given classrooms. We walk in at the beginning of the year hoping for the best and knowing that we will do our best as teachers. What we don’t know is the various learning styles of our students and how they will affect our classroom make-up.
For the longest time (and for sure when I grew up), the traditional method of teaching was what we saw. There was direct instruction followed by practice and then assessment. Most of the practice for students was in the form of a worksheet to make for easy right or wrong answers with little room for creativity.
Using worksheets in the classroom if not implemented effectively and monitored can be counterproductive to student learning. Worksheets do have their place to help build on retaining of skills that students already have prior knowledge. When students are left to work on a worksheet independently, or even in a group, if done incorrectly then it requires extra time to be taken to unteach, reteach and then reassess.
When we as teachers allow students to be a part of their learning and interact with the skills that we are teaching they truly take initiative to go deeper. I know that time and time again I am asked about how Interactive Notebooks can help each student in a given classroom.
This past Spring I wrote a guest post over at Minds In Bloom about the benefits of using Interactive Notebooks and how they reach each learner in our classrooms. The way that we set up lessons, make them interactive and develop their learning through output activities that they answer on their own most of the time with no definitive answer.
Take time to read the blog post on reasons to use Interactive Notebooks but also take some time to check out the bloggers below and their posts on Understanding Interactive Notebooks. I would love to hear what you have learned from the posts so please feel free to leave a comment (or two) on the blog posts you read.
If you have been reading my blog for any time you know that I am passionate about the use of Interactive Notebooks as a part of learning in the classroom. Each time I am out and about for professional developments I work with teachers from all ranges of the spectrum of Interactive Notebooks. Some of them have used them for a few years and want to get better where as there are some who aren’t even aware of what an Interactive Notebook truly is. Today I want to take some time to review what an Interactive Notebook is and subsequently what they aren’t.
When we look at the words Interactive Notebook it breaks down to:
The “notebook” part of an Interactive Notebook is something that all of the teachers that I have worked with have down because we have all worked with different forms of notebooks over the course of time. The tricky part it seems is the “interactive” portion.
Research behind interactive notebooks shows that they are most beneficial when used as a learning tool developed by students for students. We as teachers guide the input that is being put into the notebooks so that students build a solid foundation and then students develop the output to demonstrate what they have learned.
As a teacher we must determine what our students would need to complete an input activity from us as a teacher. For the most part in my classroom this was a mini lesson of sorts where my students took notes whether it be within a flippable, cloze notes or other method.
Within this mini lesson not only did my students have a flippable to match the definition and key words for Mean, Median, Mode and Range to but we also completed a class graph in the center over the hours of sleep each student in the classroom had received the night before. Based on that data we then determined our mean, median, mode and range for an example to pull from. To continue, we also created examples of Real Life Mean, Median, Mode and Range. This was all part of the input activity that I guided my students through in class.
From this students must synthesize what they have learned and organize the information so that they can apply it to build connections on their own. This could vary from day to day and student to student. I have used everything from practice problems, journals, reflections, connections, mind maps, and applying real life to what they have learned.
What does all of this mean?
As teachers we must take time to make sure that we are using Interactive Notebooks appropriately. They are not just a manner to organize teacher notes just as they are not just a manner to organize glorified worksheets. Just because we use scissors, glue and color to put them together does not mean that they should be 100% student centered busy-work.
Students must be able to take ownership of what they are learning for them to be effective. We as a teacher must realize that and guide that in our instruction and modeling so students can see that when they build their own connections it will deepen their own personal learning.
If you are interested in learning more about Interactive Notebooks in the classroom, check out my FREE Starter Pack for all subjects! And come back next week where I will have some friends linking up with me about ways they use Interactive Notebooks effectively in their classroom for student success.
It seems like it has been awhile since I created a video so today was the day! I created a video to show you where I am so far in the creation of my 4th Grade Interactive Notebook!
I am absolutely loving the pages in Unit One and already working on Unit Two that I am planning to have out as soon as it is ready!
Without further ado, enjoy the video!
Off to go checkout some other fabulous Monday Made It’s by all my bloggy friends! Thanks again to 4th Grade Frolics for an amazing summer of weekly projects!