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Monday, December 30, 2013

Fun with coordinate grids - 7 simple & engaging activities!

Before we left for the break we spend a lot of time learning about ordered pairs & the coordinate grid. This is one of my favorite math topics and my sweet kiddos loved it too!

Here are some of the activities and lessons we complete:

One: coordinate grids all around us...
I started with this chess demonstration  board. Chess is big at my school. We have a big chess club and a lot of  student involvement. (Such a wonderful thing--especially in an inner city school!)

All of  my kids were familiar with this board as the chess advisor uses daily. We started by placing chess pieces on the board and naming the coordinates. (I.e. g, 3). ( I have to admit my kids were looking at me like I was crazy. They couldn't figure out why I was using the chess board during math time and they had a good laugh when I couldn't tell a pawn from a rook!) 

This was an easy first step for my kiddos since  they have all seen the chess board and many of them have used it.

Later we labeled the x axis, y axis and origin.

We also looked at a good old fashion map and the game Battleship for more examples of coordinate grids at work in our everyday life.  The kids loved exploring this during center time.

TWO:  Coordinate Grid  Whiteboard
We went on to some direct instruction. I used this board by lakeshore. I love it!

Coordinate Grid Activity Chart

This is such an easy and fun product and it comes with some fun task cards and static clings so the kids were able to practice graphing using the cards, static clings and a whiteboard marker. This is also great because the back side has all four quadrants. Great for my 5th graders and advanced 4th grader. 

Because it is so hands on, I threw it in the center rotation after I was done using it for direct instruction. This was  another favorite center time activity.

Three:  Foldables
 We also completed these foldables.

 Perfect for introducing and reinforcing that academic vocabulary!

Four:  Song
I taught my kids this little song to help them remember how to plot points:

*to the tune of the wheels on the bus

The points on the grid go over and up,
Over and up,

Over and up.

The points on the grid go over and up
All through the grid.

I found this little guy a looonnngggg time ago so I'm not sure exactly where it originated. If you know let me know so I can give credit where credit is due. 

Trust me this little trune gets stuck in your head (which is a good thing when it pertains to math!). We added hang motions too and I think that really helped my students to remember the way to graph ordered pairs. 

Five:  Riddle sheets

I love these little guys from Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6. I bought these a couple of years ago and I don't see them in her store anymore so I'm glad a grabbed them when I did. 

I just threw these little guys into page protectors so that the kids could graph and wipe off their work for the next group.  A couple copies, page protectors and white board pens = instant center. (Gotta save those copies where you can! :)) You can easily modify this for any ordered pair printable you have on hand. 

PS I just went over to check out Teaching in Room 6 and I saw that Stephanie most recent post is about another fun coordinate grid project. Check it out here.

Six: Candy Coordinate Game

A few days later we played this easy  game during small groups using that same little lakeshore whiteboard. It's so simple! (I modified my game from this idea on the Lakeshore website.) 

Just tape a handful of skittles to the whiteboard before small groups.

(Opps! Please excuse the glare!) 

Write a variety of ordered red pairs on slips of paper and place in a jar. The slips of paper should include "skittle points" and "non-skittle points").

Students take turns drawing an ordered pair from the jar and then plotting the ordered pairs on the coordinate grid. If the student plots a point where a skittle is located they remove the skittle and keep it (but don't eat it because its covered in sticky tape!).

After all of the ordered pairs have been plotted the students who have one or more skittles can choose a small prize from the prize basket.

So easy, minimal prep and the kids were begging for more.  Win- win!

This was also easy to differentiated because the back of the whiteboard is has 4 quadrants to challenge even my most advanced little darlings and the front side has a single quadrant which is more appropriate for most of my fourth graders.

Seven:  Mystery Pictures
We wrapped up our mini unit with this cute little mystery picture from Super Teacher Worksheets.

This is the start of a snowman in case you couldn't tell. :)

Again this was an easy thing to differentiate  because super teachers has graphing pictures at a basic, intermediate and advanced levels.

Thanks for hanging in on this looonnnggg post! i hope you found some helpful stuff!

What do you do to teach/practice using coordinate grids????

I know my kiddos will need a refresher course when we get back from winter break so I am on the look out for more engaging activities. :)

If you found this helpful you might also might like this post about some other math games centers we've been working with in class. 

Enjoy your Monday! (It's so much easier to say this when I'm sitting in my PJ's and enjoying come  vacation time....Hope you are enjoying your vacation time as well!) 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

Hope your spending this Christmas with your loved ones.

Sending you holiday greetings 
 from (a much younger) fact in this pic I'm the student! :) 

(My very first homemade ornament...circa 1987:) ) 

From my family to yours, 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

- Julia 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Five for Friday (A little late!)

This week was kinda crazy! Lots going on but lots of fun too. I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching  for a little recap.

One: New Book Love

I just ordered a bunch of books from the  Enchantment of the World series by Scholastic.

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Displaying photo 3.JPGMy kiddos LOVED these books! My class is VERY diverse and they really enjoyed learning about different cultures and also sharing books about their own cultures with the other students. So much fun!              

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TWO: Hanukkah

We spent some time learning about the traditions of Hanukkah. We researched the history of Hanukkah, completed a dreidel graphing project and did a lot of reading.

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Two of our favorite books were Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat and Too Many Latkes. We compared and contrasted the two stories.  (EEK! Look at that dirty board.) :)

Three: TpT Sale Goodies 

I picked up a lot of good stuff on Monday night! We even used some of my new purchases this week....

        Reading and Math Activities for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa     Reindeer Fraction and Decimal Math Tasks *Perfect for Holi     Hanukkah Thematic Unit (Intermediate) For Very Busy Teachers

Four: Tater Tot Morning Muffins

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Yup, there are tater tots in there. Basically a mini quiche with tater tot crust.  So yummy and so easy!

 I made a bunch of these over Thanksgiving break and threw them in the freezer. For the recipe  check out the adorable Ella Claire Inspired.

Five: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

Tree: Check!
Shopping: Check!
Cookies: Check!

Well, I think that is it for me. Here's
to enjoying the rest of the weekend and kicking off the Christmas season! 
Have a great one! 

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