I have found with Common Core that there is a very large jump from 3rd grade multiplication to 4th grade multiplication.  In 3rd grade students learn repeated addition, arrays, and start to master their facts.   In fourth we jump into the distributive property, area model, standard algorithm for four digit by one digit and two digit by two digit.  All of which can be a struggle if students have not mastered their facts.

One way we work on mastering multiplication facts is with the use of a 3 minute step test, a worksheet with 50 problems and students move up levels, and a 5 minute multiplication chart test.  Last year  {when I just started this little ole' blog} I shared how we use a blank multiplication sheet to help students master their facts.  You can reread it HERE.

In 4th grade we teach ways to solve problems like this:

"Julie and Jake have the same birthday.  Julie is 12 and Jake is 24.  How many times older is Jake than Julie?"

You and I naturally would divide, well because we have an understanding of the relationship between multiplication and division. :)  Many of my students will automatically multiply 12 and 24 because they quickly identify the numbers and the word times.  One of my teammates taught me a trick to teach my students on how to solve problems like the one above.

# x G = P

#- number of times
G-number of groups

For the sample problem you would replace the G with 12, P with 24, and leave the #.  Students then solve for the #, # x 12 = 24.

This week we are in school for two days, today and tomorrow....Hallelujah!, and reviewing skills in Math and Reading.  Today we used Collaboration Cuties Thanksgiving Gobble BINGO board for Multiplication Freebie.  This was a great way to review two-digit by two digit multiplication!  The kids had fun while reviewing curriculum....SUCCESS!

I cannot wait for Thanksgiving break!  I need a little time to catch up on EVERYTHING!  The past couple of weeks we have been utilizing some Thanksgiving themed activites in my class.  Here are a few of them :)

First, we used my Reading Feast Craftivity with the story The Stranger by Chris VanAllsburg.  I originally shared the idea HERE.

I abosolutely LOVE seeing other teachers use my products in their classrooms, it is the greatest compliment!  C.H. emailed me last week telling me how much she loved my product and included pictures....best compliment!  Didn't her board turn out SUPER CUTE!?!

Monday of this week my students completed my Thanksgivig Banner freebie.  They turned out adorable!  A group of teachers in my school got together and had all of their classes complete the banner, then they hung up the banner down the hallway.  Each class copied their banners on a diffierent color sheet of paper to distinguish which class the students belong to.  It was a great idea!

My BBBs and I want to show how much we are Thankful for you with a GREAT giveaway!  Good Luck!

A bunch of bloggers have joined up to say THANK YOU.  Thank you for following us.  Thank you for your support, encouragement, and friendship.  We have learned so much from you.  

So we wanted to say thank you with a Gift Card Giveaway.  

Simply fill in the rafflecopter below and you have a chance to win one of 3 prizes. 
(You can fill in the rafflecopter on any of our blogs, it's all the same one.) 

3 lucky winners will win a $25 gift card to TPT.  

Good luck!  

During a parent-teacher conference last week I had a discussion with a parent, who is also a teacher, about another school in our district.  We both had heard that they play a cd with multiplication songs on it every morning for the entire school.

I thought this was a great idea!  I haven't found a CD I like yet, but did find a classic on Youtube...School House Rock!  The video I found goes through 0-12 multiplication facts and is about 30 minutes long.  I thought playing the video on the Smartboard in the morning while students came in and worked on morning work would be the perfect time.

This was my class this morning...it went better than planned!  They were quiet when they came in, some were interested in the video, and they ALL worked, listened, and watched!  They even wanted it played again after our morning announcements.  I did play it while I finished checking homework and preparing for the day.

I plan to play the video every morning from now until Christmas break to see if I can get a few more facts into their little brains!

What are you trying new this year in math?  Do you have any favorite multiplication songs/cds?

*I LOVE linking up with Jivey's Workshop Wednesday and didn't want to miss out on an opportunity to share my favorite chapter book to use in Reading.  I am reposting my Teaching Theme post from October.  I fell in LOVE with Wonder by R.J. Palacio this summer and knew I HAD to use it in my ELA instruction.  So far this year I have used Wonder to teach theme and point of view, continue reading below to see how we used Wonder to teach theme.

Theme is a large focus of our 4th grade Reading curriculum, and a skill students often struggle with.  We have spent two weeks working on theme and I am impressed with how well my students are grasping this skill, one week using poetry and this past week using literature.

I started with Nicole Shelby's Reading Interactive Notebook to teach the concept of theme, if you have not purchased this product I HIGHLY recommend it!  I usually start all my reading lessons with Nicole's notebook, this is what we do the first day and refer back to the information as we work on the skill.

I also used two sets of theme task cards this week in whole group, guided practice, and small group.  {I used Rachel Lynette's Find the Theme Task Cards & Deb Hanson's Theme Task Cards} On the second day I glued a task card to the center of a very large post-it note that was given to me from my BBB Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching.  Each student wrote down what they believed the theme was and provided evidence from the text to support their thinking.  Teams then shared with the class their task card, theme, and evidence.

On the third day I provided students a copy of "The Summer Table" from Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  {We are reading this aloud and my kiddos LOVE it}.  Students silently read the passage circling any unfamiliar words.  We then discussed the words and they read the chapter again with their partner.  Pairs then determined the theme of the chapter and supported their thinking by finding evidence from the text.

The fourth day we read "Weird Kids" from Wonder and followed the same steps as the day before.  Using these two chapters we then compared themes.  Again, my kids did great!

On the final day, I had a sub, and left her passages to use with my students to review the skill.  Learnzillion.com has some wonderful videos/power points for teaching theme as well.

What are some strategies, resources, books, etc. you use to teach theme?  Here are a few of my favorites!

Themes in Literature Activity
I use Nick's Themes in Literature for independent practice.


We will revisit Theme after Christmas Break using my Runaway Ralph pack.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Great Mentor Text for Theme

Check out this post to see a resource I used for teaching theme of a poem....Freebie included!

First, I want to THANK all of our nation's Veterans on this holiday.  I want to give a BIG "THANK YOU" to my hubby who has made many sacrifices for our country.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
John 15:13

This week we used a variety of math center so review skills.  I like to keep a spiral review emphasis in my math instruction to ensure students have mastery of a skill.  Here are a few of the centers we used this week.

For Number Sense students used a deck of cards to create a number, they flipped over 5 cards.  Students then compared their numbers to determine who had the greatest number.  The student with the largest number one that round of war.

For 4.OA.1 students used multiplication flash cards to play a game.  One team member chose a card from the deck, everyone solved it on their white boards, and those who answered correctly moved up one space on the game board.

Students practiced solving word problems with these Thanksgiving themed task cards.

Students played "Spin to Win" to practice using the area model of multiplication for multiplying two-digit by one digit.

Do you use Math Centers in your classroom?  What are some of your favorite games or resources?

I am linking up with Ideas by Jivey's Wednesday Workshop.  This week's focus is teaching fractions.  We are not there yet in our curriculum, but wanted to share what we did last year.

Here I used fraction cards from Super Teacher Worksheets to teach comparing and ordering fractions.

Here students brought in items to identify fractions of a set.

For Dr. Seuss Day we used food to create fractions and order them using benchmark fractions.

Adding Fractions Freebie I created for my class

 Last week my fourth grade team put on a Math Fall Festival for our students.  We each reviewed a different math skill and tied it into a fall activity.

I created a craftivity to review measuring angles, 4.G.2.  Students measured the angles on a given circle using a protractor.  I had to remind them that their papers were NOT glued to their desk and to turn their papers to make it easier to measure all of the angles.  Some of them looked like they were going to break their necks :)
 I also used this activity to review how students could check their measurements, they ALL remembered that a circle measures 360 degrees and they could add up their measurements! SUCCESS!

Once all angles were measured students cut out their angles to create candy corn pieces.  They then taped them onto a piece of string to create a pennant banner.  Some students turned them into necklaces too.  I heard one student say she was going to hang it on her bedroom door.

For those who finished early I gave them a candy corn number sense sheet to practice writing numbers in standard, written, and expanded form.  I added the candy corn crafitivity to my Fall/Thanksgiving Math Practice pack.  This includes 24 task cards with a Thanksgiving theme for reviewing 4.NBT.1-6 and two practice sheets.

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