Place Value Review

It's that time of year for many schools, teachers, and students - the dreaded standardized test! We don't use Common Core at my school and I teach at a private school, but we still have a standardized test that we take at the end of the school year - the CTP4.

The week or two leading up to the test I like to review especially our math skills from the entire year! I wanted to make it fun for the kids and to keep it interesting so I decided to first break each area down. I decided to focus on a different strand/topic/whatever your school calls it each day.

So, the first day I reviewed place value.  For place value, I created a Place Value Around the Room.  It is in my TPT


This Place Value Around the Room covers writing numbers in standard, word, and expanded form, adding numbers using expanded notation, being able to read a place value model and draw a place value model, and comparing numbers (using < = >),  This pretty much covers everything we focus on for place value and focused mainly on three-digit to five-digit numbers.

Check out a few of the cards....

What standardized tests do you take at your school? How do you review?  Write your answer in the comments section!

Quick Teaching Tip - Multiplying by Multiples of 10

I have a super quick math CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) tip to share with you today...

Recently my students were working on multiplying by multiples of 10.  We started off by first discussing what a multiple of 10 was - 10, 20, 30, 40, and so on.  Now, I know there is the way we learned where the teacher taught us to just multiple the two numbers - so in 8x60 - 8x6 and then add 0 to the end - so 48 and 0 would be 480.  While technically this works, it doesn't really show students where the numbers come from and what they represent.

So, I did a quick visual for my kids. We talked about 8 x 60 means you have 8 groups of 60.  So we drew 8 groups of 60 (6 tens sticks for each group) and then counted up by 10s until we got to 480. 

Then, I also showed them that you can use your basic facts to help you. Since you know 8 x 6 =48 then 8 x60 would be 480. So while I do show them the "trick" I also do many examples with the drawing of the place value model so they really see where the numbers are from.  Some of my students who need visuals actually prefer to draw it out.  It helps them to see all of the numbers.  The visual especially works for the kids who are still learning their multiplication facts.

Hope you find this quick tip helpful!

Five for Friday - April 21

The week after Spring Break is always tough. Hard to get back into the routine after an amazing week off! But, we did it and I'm back linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Here's what we were up to this week....

My school does a large Earth Day celebration every year! It's a lot of fun and the kids get to go to different rooms and learn about all kinds of things surrounding the topic of Earth Day!  I decided this year to also have my students do some writing about Earth Day and ways they can help make the Earth a better place.  Their answers were pretty cute! I especially like the above one - "if you ride in a car... you can pollute the air...and it's your fault." Too funny!  This writing prompt and five more can be found in my TPT Store - Earth Day Writing Prompts.

We learned all about coordinate grids in math this week. We started by watching a Brainpop video and then created the above anchor chart. To practice plotting points, the kids played this fun game called Gridlock from MathWire - it can be found here...

We finally finished our Map PBL this week. The final part of the project had students creating their island using some of the landforms we discussed. They also buried treasure on it and had to write directions for how to find it. Their maps turned out amazing!!! 

Where have I been? I've seen many people posting and writing about Epic books, but I never looked into it. I remembered yesterday trying to find something for my Earth Day class and it is wonderful! It's full of so much information and fun books - I can't wait to dive into it more!
On Monday, I presented to some of the teachers at my school about Differentiation in Writing Workshop. It went well and we had some great discussions.  Stay tuned because I'll be doing a blog post soon on some of the ideas for differentiation in writing!

Have a great weekend!

Earth Day Writing Prompts

Earth Day is a huge celebration at our school! We have the whole day dedicated to celebrating Earth Day. The students get to attend classes on different topics around helping the environment, nature, plants, etc, and they always have a wonderful time!

To help capture some of the things they learn and have learned about Earth Day, I've created these Earth Day Writing Prompts, which are now available in my TPT Store.

They include the following writing prompt questions:

  • Why do we celebrate Earth Day?
  • What is recycling?
  • What items can be recycled?
  • Why is it important to recycle?
  • How can you help the Earth?
  • List 3 ways you can keep the Earth Clean.
This product is perfect for students in grades kindergarten - third grade! The writing paper is differentiated.  

Paper Options:
3 lines and large picture

8 lines and a medium-sized picture

All lines and no picture

All paper options are printer friendly and you have the option to print them with no graphic or with a black and white graphic.

You can check it out in my TPT

Earth Day Writing Prompts

Check back on my Instagram and Facebook page later this week to see my student's examples!

Five for Friday - April 14

I'm at the tail end of my Spring Break and I can't believe how fast it has gone! Why do weeks off fly by and weeks working go slow sometimes?? I'm linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday. Check out our week below... not as many educational pictures today since it was break...

This has been one of my spring break projects.  On Monday, teachers head back to school for a PD day, but the kids are still on vacation.  We have our Differentiation and Ed Tech Fair on Monday and I'm presenting about Differentiation in Writing Workshop. So this week I've been putting together the presentation so I'll have everything ready to go Monday morning!

This blog post has been in the making for awhile. And, with Spring Break finally here, I had time to write it.  In my Graphing Project blog post, I blogged about an awesome project I do at the end of my graphing unit. Check it

I decided to use this week off to re-dedicate myself to my fitness goals. I really want to get into better shape and having the time off this week has provided me a chance to start some better habits. If you want to keep up with my fitness journey - check out my Instagram - jjohnsongetsfit.  I'm also on Fitbit! If you are interested in doing a Fitbit Challenge, write in the comments or add me on Fitbit -

We've also added a few things to our home this week. I've been eyeing these bar stools forever and we finally purchased them last weekend from Target. We also got some cool lights for our walkway! I love doing some home decor shopping!

And, what would spring break be - without some pool time! The weather in Vegas has been beautiful and I've been lucky enough to get out and read at the pool a few times this week!

Hope everyone has a great Easter weekend!

Graphing Project

I'm so excited to share my graphing project with all of you! I've used this for the last few years as a final project to our graphing unit and now finally have it as a product up in my TPT Store

Here's how the project works...
This project can be completed in small groups, partnerships, or independently. I've always done it as a group project with groups of 3-4.  Each group gets together and first works on their planning page. The planning page is where they plan out what their survey question will be, decide what type of data they are collecting, and also decide on the graph they'll use to represent their data.

Planning Page

Then, after the group completes the planning page they move on to collecting data.  I have a page for that in the packet where students may collect the data using words, numbers, tallies, etc.  I let my students ask our neighbor 2nd grade class the survey question as well as our class so they have more data. You also could go class-to-class and come up with some amazing data too!

After they collect the data, they compare it with the rest of their group to make sure they have the same numbers and then they create their graph.  They have three graph choices - Bar Graph, Pictograph, and Line Plot.  Each page is available in my product with two page options (one for 3 categories, one for 4 categories, and the line plot has two different pages depending on their information).

Bar Graph Option

After completing the graph, each student comes up with 4 or more observations about their data.

Last, each group presents the information they learned to the class. We project their graph on the board and each student shares an observation or two.

My students always look forward to this project and I hope your students will enjoy it too! It's now available in my TPT Store - Create Your Own Graph Project!

Create Your Own Graph Project

It's also bundled with two of my other graphing products - Learning About Line Plots and Graphing in 2nd - Graphing Galore Bundle

Graphing Galore BUNDLE

Happy Graphing!

Five for Friday - March 17

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!! I'm linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for another week of Five for Friday!

We recently finished Bend 2 in our Opinion Book for Units of Study. Students have been writing opinion letters about their favorite books, favorite characters, opinions of characters, etc. At the end of Bend 2, students edited their letters using a checklist and published their final letter. This week during Morning Meeting Share, students shared their letter under the iPad (then projected) with the class. After each student shared, two students from the audience gave a compliment. They did an awesome job! I love seeing how much progress they've made with their writing since August.

I love basketball. I'm a huge basketball fan and my husband is also a college basketball coach. I decided to bring a little March Madness fun to my classroom in the form of story problems.  This story problem set includes 16 problems. Most of the problems are addition and subtraction, but there are a few multiplication and division.  This can be found in my TPT

Oh...editing...such a difficult concept for 2nd graders. While in my first entry post for Five for Friday I mentioned we edited their rough draft letters, we still struggle. So, I decided to have a Morning Meeting Activity and Message focused on editing. Students first answered the message writing down things to look for when editing. Then, students worked first individually and then with a group on editing a letter.  We'll keep practicing until we get it!

This week in reading we worked on the prefixes - re, pre, and bi. In small groups, I had students do the quick activity above. I gave them a word. They then underlined the base word and circled the prefix. Then, they wrote the definition and used the word in a sentence. Finally, they drew a sketch to go with their sentence. This was a quick activity, but provided practice on prefixes, which was the goal.

Oh our planners! Check out my blog post from this week on my Planner Challenge! It has greatly improved the kids writing and spelling in their daily planner entries. Check it