Transportation Station

Working on getting a better understanding of non-fiction content and materials. I like to use as many visuals as possible when it comes to non-fiction text. Many students can find themselves overwhelmed by information or new words when reading non-fiction. I like to break everything down for my students to really find the meaning of our words, illustrate the words, and get all the details needed to explain ourselves using the text. 

We first started out with asking, “what is transportation?” Transportation is how people get around from place to place. I then asked, “how did you get to school today?” to begin stirring up thoughts and ideas. When brainstorming methods of  transportation, we went over and learned any words that were unfamiliar. Once we got a good list, we went on to reading the text. These non-fiction resources were found at school and include 4 sections including 2 short paragraphs in each packed with information about the different ways to travel. 

One method of transportation is the underground subway train system. A written response quests asked “why are subways found in big cities instead of the countryside?” This question definetly took some critical thinking to figure out. Some had to make a chart or even draw a picture of the differences between a city and the country to determine their answer. The facts all came down to the amount of people and how busy each place is. The countryside too big and people are too spread out to need subways, and the city is just too busy.

Here are some other short answer questions related to the text. Students got to choose between 2-4 answers to complete in their journals.

Another visual aid used to understand the timeline of events of these methods of transportation in relation to each other. These facts were taken straight from the text and required no outside resources. This lesson and materials could certainly be geared upto a higher level of thinking and include additional research. A math lesson using transportation could be done to see how long it takes to travel a certain distance using each of these methods. You could also tailor this lesson to beginning students by having them illustrate each method of transportation.  The possibilities are endless just like the world we can explore.

How will you travel next?


Multiplication is Tricky

These past two weeks we have been working on our multiplication facts in math. We have been learning the tips and tricks for solving multiplication problems in a variety of ways. We have even outlined the “rules” such as any number times zero equals zero and any number times one is that number.

It’s so inspiring to see the kids faces and hear the exclamations as they reach their “Ah ha!” moments during our lessons. A lot of them came into the unit frustrated or feeling behind, so it’s wonderful to see their faces light up and their hands raised because they now know. It has taken us a few days but they’ve really grasped the concepts quickly and I couldn’t be more proud of the kiddos.

We also read the book The Best of Times by Greg Tang which gave us a new look on some old and new tricks for figuring out multiplication problems. We worked some of them out on the board to fully understand the concepts Tang presented in his colorful mathematical picture book.

We started off focusing on the grouping of numbers by playing a game from Marilyn Burns called “Circles and Stars.” This game led us to the creation of the mushrooms, since it is mushroom hunting season it seemed fitting.

 And as always they look a good math trick so we discussed the rule of 9’s using our hands. Do you have any other “easy” multiplying tricks or tips?

 As our times have progressed we moved onto more assessment type material such as the above activity. This was a great way to combine all the techniques and equations we have learned into one single activity.