Fractions Mats: FREEBIE

Monday, September 26, 2016
Teaching fractions can be TRICKY! It's difficult for students to conceptualize fractions and find their true value. I created FREE Fraction Mats with fraction strips to guide student understanding of fractions!

I printed out enough fraction mats for each student in my small groups. Then I printed each page of strips onto different colored card stock. Of course, I laminated them and cut them all (a bit of a pain, I won't lie, but so very helpful). Here you can see how students can line up the fraction strips in order to find equivalent fractions.

Students can pull out the strips of fractions they need for various problems. In the beginning of fraction lessons, I often make my students show their work using the mats to build that conceptualization of what a fraction truly means. Once students have built that, students can then show their work in different ways.

  I store the strips in the amazing photo storage container I snagged from Michaels! You can grab them HERE at Amazon too! :)

I have to say these fraction mats have made a world of difference! Grab your FREEBIE now!

Introducing My Classroom Library

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Classroom libraries can be tough to manage! Tons of books, tons of bins and so often I have to go back and reorganize the chaos! I started introducing my classroom library thoroughly at the beginning of the year so students could get a strong handle on what what types of texts were in the library, how to organize the books and how to choose just right books for them.

I start the year by only revealing a small portion of my classroom library.

During my reader's workshop mini lesson, I introduce the bins on the shelf that are uncovered. We discuss the different types of books in each bin and I pull out a couple of high interest texts from each to get students excited.

I then give each pair of students a stack of books - 1-2 books from each bin (I prep this ahead of time). Students have to look at the books with their partner and sort them by deciding which bin they would go into. The students must then come to me and give an explanation as to why they would belong in that bin before putting them away appropriately.

Once students are finished sorting, I give them a few minutes to choose books for their book box. Students then go right into independent reading practice!

Introducing my classroom library generally takes 3-4 days at the start of the school year. I go back occasionally throughout the year to reteach how to use the classroom library and show students when I've added new books - then the students can choose which bin it will go in. I also often get books that can go in more than one bin. (Example: Jackie Robinson biography can go into People and Places or American History.) Students get to decide!

How do you introduce your students to the classroom library?

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