Rounding is such an important math concept, yet many students find it very difficult to grasp. The early years of learning are major in mastering math concepts. Foundation built in primary grades is paramount for academic math achievement. A firm grasp of rounding leads to accurate estimation and ability of students to do mental math. Students who struggle with sense of numbers are often able to tackle math problems with limited success. This seemingly simple skill impacts all math activities from kindergarten to their last year of university. When it comes to rounding, every student needs to form a solid grasp of numbers. Some things that work with students who struggle with rounding is the use of number lines (vertical and horizontal, visual cues, and individual instruction.
“The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Demi is another beloved fairy tale. Kids love, love, love Demi’s books. We read any Demi book we can get. “The Emperor’s New Clothes” story is one of the best wisdom tales for kids. The story starts a discussion on pride, social pressure, honesty, etc.
Story sequencing; Literary Elements; Fairy Tale Analysis; Character Analysis; Reading Comprehension Questions; New Vocabulary
“America’s Schools are Profoundly Unequal” says U.S. Civil Rights Commission. When will the government stop saying such obvious things? How about, “America’s Society is Profoundly Unequal”? We don’t have a problem funding our schools. There is actually plenty of money. More money is spent in the U.S. classroom than in most other countries that outdo us in education. Throwing more money at school will not solve anything because our schools aren’t the problem. Neither are teachers. Poor schools have good teachers. Solid funding. Our schools are not failing students. Our society is failing students. If kids come to school hungry, from homes that are under tremendous financial stress, they are not ready to learn. There is no amount of school funding that will fix the lack of home funding. It doesn’t matter how many reports we make. The problem stays the same. Unless we as a society fix families and lift people out of poverty, we are holding students back. We can sit back and put all the responsibility on the parents, but in the end, if we don’t help families, we will need extra funding for future social problems.
“Every child deserves a quality of life, regardless of their zip code.”
“I Just Don’t Like the Sound of No” by Julie Cook is one of the highly effective social skills picture books. Perfect for elementary school students. Younger students instantly connect with the story, since they deal with daily frustrations when it comes to hearing ‘no’. Cook skillfully connects with the reader, then productively offers a step-by-step plan to which students quickly buy in. As younger students have a hard time considering others’ perspective of ideas, Cook’s “Say to Yes to No” club serves as a productive habit forming tool, useful for all students.
Perfect class management tool book!
5 Star 🙂
Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.
Summer doesn’t have to have a backward slide if kids keep their minds active. Learning new and different stuff will increase their academics upon return to school. The stressful tests are over, there is no more mandatory curriculum. Just summer, kids and parents.
“Bird Lake Moon” – by Henkes
“Olive’s Ocean” – by Henkes – Newbery Award Winner of 2004
“Turtle in Paradise” – by Holm
“Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” – by Megan McDonald
Learning Computer Programming This Summer – for all ages
Super fun and engaging way to learn programming. Suitable for all ages.
Learning while having fun… Apps
This app for 3rd graders is ideal during and after the school year. Kids practice spelling, sight words, multiplication, division, fast multiplication and division; earning points and prizes.
What I find the best about this app is the writing part, which kids find a bit frustrating but they all work at it. They start paying attention to their penmanship, which in third grade is still in beginning stages with most students. Summer is a perfect time for the review and this app has all the foundation that they will need in 4th grade. TeachMe: 3rd Grade app does a great job getting kids to mastery of content through a fun and captivating way.
TeachMe: 3rd Grade doesn’t feel like work. You will know that kids really like it, when they repeatedly ask to play it.
Kids today are digital natives. They learn different. Kids don’t like math. Really? Where is this coming from? Kids love math. Let them master their number sense and watch them treat it like a game. There is enthusiasm in the class during math. So, what is the problem with math? There is no problem with math. We have a problem with bad curriculum. We have a problem with Common Core standards that are developmentally inappropriate, especially for primary grades. We have a problem with a foreign company, Pearson, that provides kids with tests designed for failure. So, no we don’t have a problem with math. Students enjoy elementary math.
What they don’t enjoy is reading. As years go by, the vocabulary becomes more domain specific and increases in difficulty. This coincides with students reading less as they go from upper elementary, middle and high school. Reading is a huge part of math. If students cannot understand what they question is asking them due to dense vocabulary, they struggle with math, no matter how well they did in early elementary.
Reading comprehension effects all academic subjects. If a child struggles in reading, the odds of them graduating high school are very low. Reading is a skill developed throughout all schooling and life. What is different with this generation is that they are tasked with deciphering numerous reading formats, which makes reading comprehension skills more important then ever. Yet, today’s students spend less time reading than previous generation.
If we want to help kids like math, science or social studies, we have to help them become better readers. Reading promotes critical thinking, problem solving, and deep learning. All of which translates into math success in middle and high school.
Teaching with picture books in primary grades is one of the most enjoyable ways to teach reading, writing, character building, problem solving, while getting to know your little guys. Here are some of our favorites!
Everyone loves Penny. She has a real moral dilemma in this story. Should she do the right thing or not? Along with standard main idea, story sequencing, writing activity, and predicting, students debate the right and wrong of the story conflict.
This book is a best seller and a perfect read throughout the year. The story takes kids through a series of scenarios and discusses consequences of our actions. Students in primary grades are keen observers of their surrounding and are ready to analyze cause and effect in fiction and their own life. After reading “What If Everybody Did That?” students are able to gain better understanding of rules that seemed unreasonable or needless before.
A story of perseverance and goal setting. Amazing character building book.
Everyone wanted Ferdinand to be something he is not. This timeless story teaches kids to be who they are.
A beloved fairy tale told in a creative way that not only tells the story but teaches math and reading comprehension at the same time.
6. The Empty Pot – another beloved classic
Lesson – Tell the truth and things will work out. Perfect character building book.
Every class has an invisible boy. This wonderful book teaches acceptance and inclusion.
8. “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” – Kevin Henkes
Lilly is hilarious. She will have kids laugh and relate all throughout. She loves school until she doesn’t. Henkes masterfully describes a life of a primary age students.
In “The Giving Tree” the tree selflessly gives everything away, until there is nothing to give. Another amazing character book on making better choices.
10. Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me” – This interactive book intertwines science and language arts. STEM activity included in the lesson plan below.