Week of 9.22.14-9.27.14

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What's going on in the classroom?

Last week we continued with more place value activities, including rounding. While we are getting better at these tasks, we still need more work in this area. We read 'Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens' by Cindy Neuschwander to reinforce the meaning of place value, which has helped. Following the story, the students worked to create numbers on a place value mat. We used snack foods to create our numbers. This proved to be a real hit with the kiddos!

When rounding at home, please stress 5 or more, add 1 more, and Zero through 4, the number stays the same. We use these phrases rather than 'round up' or 'round down' because the latter confuses the students. For example, if they say 'round down', they will reduce the number by one, rather than keeping the number the same.

I have several great activities planned for this week to help with our understanding of place value and rounding. I'm very excited to introduce these activities.

As we move forward, we will also be working on subtraction with regrouping (borrowing). A solid understanding of place value is needed in order to understand regrouping. I have found that many of our kiddos are making mistakes in their subtraction because of the way they are regrouping. Pretty much every time a mistake is made, it is due to the way they have regrouped (or borrowed). I'm trying to break this habit, so I have included some pictures below of how they are currently regrouping and how I would like them to do their regrouping from now on. You will notice in the images below that I have turned my notebook paper sideways. This really helps students line up their numbers properly.

In addition, I have found an AWESOME (and free!) online manipulative tool for students to reinforce the concept of regrouping. It's really one of the best I've seen. When this tool is used, students move the manipulatives in order to regroup (or borrow) so they can subtract. In this way, they actually see what it means to regroup. I am including the link here so you can check it out, and use it at home when needed. We will also use this tool in class.

Online Subtraction Manipulatives - Base Blocks Subtraction

*Please note: You will need the latest version of Java installed on your computer in order to run the program.

You may also continue to use the videos I've posted on our class website for rounding and subtraction.

What will we be doing at home this week?

  • Working in ALEKS Learning Mode (from the pie) - about an hour of at home ALEKS Learning Mode work.
    *DUE TO THE TUESDAY FIELD TRIP: By Saturday at midnight, students should have 2.5 hours total (class time ALEKS Learning Mode AND at home ALEKS Learning Mode COMBINED).

  • 2 Sessions of ADDITION QuickTables (approximately 15 minutes per session)
    *choose to complete QuickTables sessions on two of the following days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, or Sunday
    *Does not count as ALEKS Learning Mode time.

  • Sunday Review: This day is reserved for Review in order to prepare for the weekly assessment. Students should NOT be learning new topics on Sundays.
    *Simply click on 'Review' at the top of your ALEKS screen.

Games/Activities for HOME Use


We have been using 'The Rounding Rap' in class. Please use this with your children when working on rounding at home.

Find the PLACE VALUE and underline the digit!

Move next door and circle it --- get it?

Zero through four --- the number stays the same!

Five or more --- add one is the game!

Now, flex your muscles like a hero…

Digits to the right change to zero.

All other digits remain the same!

Yo! You’re a WINNER in the rounding game!

Place Value Identification (from last week):

You can use a deck of cards (face cards and 10's removed) OR 7 dice for this quick activity.

*Students may use their place value notes found in their binders for this activity.

  • Start by turning over 2 cards (or rolling two dice).
  • Create the largest number possible from those two cards (or dice).
    Example: I roll two dice - a 2 and a 6. The largest number that can be made is '62'.
  • Now, ask your child which number is in the 10's place, and then which number is in the 1's place.
  • Continue practicing place value, but increase the number of cards (or dice) until you have 7 places showing.
  • Mix it up a bit and ask your child to identify the different place values up to millions.
    Which number is in the Hundred Thousands place? Which number is in the Hundreds place?