I currently have 6-1/2 days until I go back to work :( Next Monday, we begin our whirlwind of teacher workdays to get ready for the new year that begins on July 15th! I know it's an early start to the year, but I will be looking forward to my 3 week break in September :) (as well as starting a new year with a great group of new kiddos and enjoying every minute of being a 9th---WHOOOAA!--year teacher.)
One of my goals this year is to create more math task cards for the concepts that I have not yet made task cards for. I started making task cards mid-year last year, so now I'm getting my task card ideas for the beginning of year together. One of my convictions with my math task cards is to make them more special than just a bunch of practice problems. I have already made task cards through different themes, but I also try my best to find ways to make them more engaging, authentic, and when I am lucky, I find those real-world connections that hopefully teach students more than just the math skills.
I am soooo getting ready for the first month or so of school, as I have just completed three sets of math task cards. Here's what's new (and ready for "Back to School!")
1. My first accomplishment is my "Summer Slide" set. I created 56 questions related to summer vacation to review 4th grade common core concepts. I was able to make questions to review Number and Operations in Base 10, Number and Operation-Fractions, and Measurement. I am excited to use these problems the first two weeks to get a really good understanding of what my students remember from 4th grade BUT OHHHHHHH SO GLAD not to be giving a traditional paper based assessment to get to know them better as math students. (These would also be good to give to an advanced 4th grade class at the beginning of the year or as a pre-assessment for 4th grade concepts).
If your students didn't have amazing summer vacations, they can look forward to experiencing some of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, a day the beach, the coastlines of the United States, and summer cookouts with these problems. (I didn't go anywhere too amazing this summer either, just the beach, but I loved researching Disney World and random summer facts to make this set of questions, so I know your students will LOVE them too! And, for those who have never visited some of the places mentioned, they can gain some of the background knowledge that other students have.)
2. My newest idea hit me when I was working on the "Summer Slide." How about learning about the 50 States and doing math at the same time? How about using REAL-WORLD data to learn some of the (silly) objectives in Number and Operations in Base 10 required by the common core? Let's compare digits, round numbers, use exponents, expanded form, word form, and more using state populations, by comparing distances from the state Capitols to the largest cities, looking at the longest rivers in the United States, and more! These products have required a lot of research to get the numbers, but it has been so worthwhile. After I get all of my "Around the USA" sets finished, I want to find a way for students to take the information to the next level with some kind of 50 states project that incorporates math but also helps us meet the requirements of our social studies curriculum.
Happy 4th of July Week!