Math: Ordering Numbers

math numberingHave each student label an index card with a whole number, mixed decimal, or fraction. Choose six students to stand in line with their cards so the numbers are ordered from least to greatest. Next, ask one student at a time to join the line, positioning herself correctly, until all students are lined up. Then challenge students to rearrange themselves so their numbers are ordered from greatest to least. Finally, have small groups of students order their cards from least to greatest. To check, have the groups line up one at a time. Then have the class signal thumbs-up or thumbs-down to show whether the lineup is correct.



Reposted from:  The Mailbox Activities

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Writing 5 Paragraph Narratives

5 hand essayWriting: W.4.3; W.5.3

To help students organize a five-paragraph narrative, have each student trace and cut out six hand shapes. Next, have the child staple the shapes together to make a booklet, labeling the top cutout with the assignment’s topic or title and the story’s parts as shown. Have the student label the thumb or fingers of each remaining hand with one part. Then guide the child to jot ideas for each paragraph on the matching cutout. Finally, have the student use the organized ideas to write a five-paragraph narrative.

Reposted from:  The Mailbox Activities

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Great way to organize and pack your room quickly!

160934_0_LGOrganize teaching materials for the coming year with this simple tip. Place resources in an empty copy-paper box on its side so that the spines face out and slide the lid under the box as shown. Set the box on a shelf near your desk for easy access. Then, when It’s time to pack up your room, simply slide the lid out from under the box and put it on top. Materials are ready for storage. And, when It’s time to set your room up in the fall, simply take off the lid and slide it under the box, and your materials are ready to use!

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Order of Operations Game


order of operationsORDER OF OPERATIONS

Transform a pizza box into this small-group game! Draw a 7 x 7 grid on a piece of paper sized to fit the bottom of a pizza box. Color the grid; then program its 49 squares as follows: five each of the numbers 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9, and six each of the numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5. Laminate the grid for durability; then glue it to the bottom of the pizza box. Next, label 60 plastic discs or paper circles from 1 to 60 and put them in a small plastic bag. To play, one player draws a number from the bag and places it faceup. All players search the game tray for three adjacent numbers that equal the number drawn when they multiply the first two numbers together and then add the third to or subtract it from the product. The first player to record on paper and then point out a correct combination on the tray keeps the disc. The player with the most discs after an allotted time wins.

From: The Mailbox Intermediate Activities

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Periodic Table Game

pennyPrint-and-Use Periodic Chart


“What does chemistry have to do with my life anyway?” Have students answer that question for themselves by completing this unique project. After teaching about elements and the periodic table, give each child a copy of the chart to use as a reference. Have him create a poster that features a title and a grid or chart that includes 20 elements arranged by atomic number with each element’s name and symbol. Have him also include a picture or an object for each element that represents how it is a part of his life. For example, copper can be represented by a penny and sodium by a fast-food packet of salt. Then provide time for students to share their posters with the class or in a small group.

From:  The Mailbox Intermediate Activities

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Persuasive Writing and Reading


Use this activity as a fun twist to writing book reports! After students read a book, have them pretend they are the author trying to get the book published. Instruct each student to write a letter to the book’s publisher to convince him or her to publish it. Instruct students to include in their letters a summary of the book as well as reasons why it should be published.

From:  The Mailbox Intermediate Activities

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In Support of Home School Parent Teachers

By definition, a teacher is one who can impart information in a way that others can understand it.  It means to show or explain how to do something.  So, a question just begs to be asked….  If those you are “teaching” are not understanding, are you really teaching or are you just talking?

If those you intend to teach are not understanding and learning what you are talking about, then, in my opinion, you are not “teaching.”  A person that knows and understands a certain body of information is informed but not necessarily a teacher.  A teacher must be able to break down that information and present it in a way that others understand and learn.  Learning and teaching go handing in hand.  No learning – no teaching – just a sharing of information.

Some people can teach and others can’t – it is not a reflection of your intelligence to not be able to get others to understand something – nor does possessing a teaching credential mean you can teach.  Earning a teaching credential means you have taken and passed the requisite courses, and survived your student teaching assignments.  A credential does not mean you are able to effectively able to impart knowledge.  I am not saying that we shouldn’t have credentialed teachers – we should because there must be some means of ensuring that teachers are trained, have certain levels of knowledge, and completed certain college courses.  I am saying that, we must also have a way to weed out those who have completed the coursework but are unable to actually “teach” a child.  Just completing coursework is not enough.

You don’t have to attend college to be able to teach; you do have to have a certain level of knowledge and you have to have skills to help someone else understand something. Parents do this all the time, from the time a child is born, so why not teach their child standard school subjects. The home school parents I know are all devoted to their children – they have given up that “free time” when children are in school.  They work hard to teach their children and do whatever it takes to ensure they do not fall behind – something many teachers don’t. Home school parents network and are not afraid to ask for advice, suggestions and help when their child is not understanding something and then they teach it again and again until the child succeeds – also something many teachers do not do. Are these home school parents also teachers?  You’d better believe they are.  They teach and ensure their children learn and if necessary they find another way to teach the same information until they find a way to get their child to learn what is being taught. I also believe that if the parent doe not have the ability to teach or a sufficient knowledge base, then they should probably not be homeschooling their child.

You know, that’s what good teachers – public, private or home school – do.  They teach and if kids don’t get it the first time, they find another way to teach it again and again until their students learn and understand the information.  Is this harder in a classroom of 30 to 36 children?  Absolutely, but it is still the teacher’s job.

Here’s to good teachers!  Hear, hear!


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