Monday, April 27, 2015

The Mathematics of Gomoku

Over the last several months, I have been sharing a series of five in a row games called Gomoku.  The rules of the game are simple: roll two dice, perform the given operation, find a square with the answer, and the winner gets five squares in a row first.

This is also a way to introduce the number system to students.  The first three games use whole numbers: Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication.  The next two games use rational numbers: Simplifying Fractions and Improper Fractions.  I included an enrichment game with integers to introduce negative numbers.

Gomoku Games: Five in a Row is available for free at Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ode to a Video Game: Free Poetry Printable

Ode to a Video Game was originally published on Poems of Silliness February 9, 2013.   In case you don't know, Poems of Silliness is my poetry blog.  I have posted over 1000 poems which are searchable by topic and tagged by form. 

An ode is a ten line rhyming poem.  There are various rhyme schemes, but the one in this poem is ABBACCDDEE.

(I don't mind if teachers use these poems for their personal lessons, but please don't use them in commercial products.  Thank you.)

To download the free printable poem, Ode to a Video Game, click here.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Maybe I'll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight by Debbie Levy

When I was searching for new poetry books to share, I found Maybe I'll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight and Other Funny Bedtime Poems.  Debbie Levy understands children and the way they take things literally.  I enjoyed the humorous look at bedtime this collection presents.

For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I Predict a Teacher Shortage

My colleagues and I are predicting a teacher shortage.  I don't know what it's like in your area, but here north of Seattle, we often have substitute jobs that go unfilled.  At our school a maternity leave has been filled with someone without the correct endorsement.

Everywhere I went over spring break, I saw help wanted signs.  More than one employer has told me recently that they are having trouble filling jobs.  As the stress of teaching continues and teachers see other options, I predict we will have more than just substitute jobs going unfilled.

What's it like where you live and work?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Quote of the Week -- April 19, 2015

"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling."

Margaret Lee Runbeck

Have a good week,


Friday, April 17, 2015

Writing the Five Paragraph Essay -- Free Organizer and Rubric

Last year and this year I have been working on teaching my fourth graders the five paragraph essay format.  The freebie I'm sharing today is my latest version of the printable forms I use to teach and grade this form of writing.
Using the gradual release of responsibility model, I had my students write a five paragraph essay about school.  We filled in the graphic organizer for three activities we do at school.  After we filled in the information for the body paragraphs, I modeled how to create information for the lead and conclusion. 
Next, I modeled how to take the information and put it into paragraphs.  More advanced writers used their own information and worked ahead at this point.  I use yellow legal pads for student rough draft and have them copy onto notebook paper or type up their final copy.
At the beginning of the year, I collected all the rough drafts and edited myself.  As we are nearing the end of the school year, I am asking students to peer and self-edit.
Here is what my rubric looks like.  By giving similar assignments throughout the year and evaluating them using the same rubric, I can easily record my students' growth in writing.

Click here to download Five Paragraph Essay from my TPT store.
Click here to download Five Paragraph Essay from my TN store.

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