A Math Focus and A Few Halloween Ideas

Lately I have been so focused on my math instruction I think I am saying my multiplication facts in my sleep! I mean I can't let the kids so me up now, can I? So with this in mind I have been searching for ideas that gets the students using math in every day scenarios.  Let me tell you, it is challenging to find!! I just want my students to get outside of the math book and problem solve! As much as I know the importance of repetition and fact fluency, my ultimate gold is to make them problem solvers! So here is what I have been using/creating/researching/implementing!
Oh and I am so excited to be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and her Five for Friday! It is my first Five for Friday! Yay!
 First up I wanted to share a great real world connection for arrays. This activity my students LOVED! They were like little civil engineers building an array city! I first came across the idea over at the blog Looking from Third to Fourth. Her Multiplication City was awe inspiring! I have to admit she had her students literally build the city! This is awesome, but I simply don't have that time! My math block consists of word problems, direct modeling of new strategies, small groups, and then I wanted to squeeze in an activity! I know my partner in crime thought I was crazy!  So I created some building templates and sheets of my own. Below you can find my unit that allows students to use arrays (building windows) to solve multiplication! If you click on the product covers you can see all that is in the unit under the product preview.

 The second resource I would like to share with you is one I am still putting the finishing touches on. We have been working really hard, I mean REALLY hard on being able to determine when to multiply or divide as well as understanding how multiplication and division are related or work together. So I have been using a few activities to help get them motivated to think through some tough problems. That is when I came across this book by Jerry Pallotta.

Have you all seen this book? Well I used a few pages from this book to get my students excited about fact families and they ate it up! It might have helped that I brought in some real Hershey's Kisses! Hey, a little sweet treat never hurt anything... Anyway, I have been putting together some resources I have used over the past few weeks. (I even dug deep into the files from last year)I wanted to create a unit that allows the files to be used for both addition and subtraction fact families as well as multiplication and division. So I have a few different resources that are blank templates that can be used for both! I wanted to make it versatile!  So be on the look out for the unit below! It is in the works!!
   Also, I included all the Hershey Kiss fun I used with the book in this unit! I am hoping to h ave it posted tomorrow!

 Alright, onto another little math unit. I told you I have been ALL about the math lately! I don't know if it is because I am teaching a new grade this year or what but I have been totally obsessed with it! So in the spirit of Halloween and giving a little love to one of my creative students, this unit was created! Have any of you ever taken inspiration form your students? Well, I do it All. The. Time. Especially since I looped with my kids, I have been inspired more and more from them these days! One of my adorable little boys came into class and shared this idea of a multiplication mummy with us. So of course my wheels started to turn and BAM.... A little unit was created!

 Multiplication Mummy! It is a little mini book that students can create to help them see the pattern of multiples! It allows them to create pictures to represent multiplication sentences while at the same time skip counting through the multiples! I'll tell you our little student and I made a great team on this activity! Not to mention, he was grinning from ear to ear! The little mummy character in all the pictures is what he brought to school to explain his idea! Too cute. I know.

 Okay, so I know I mentioned Halloween. Well last year, I don't know if you all remember my post about their monsters? Well if not, you can check that post out here. You can also just take a look at my I Need My Monster Unit. I'm telling you they still talk about their monsters with me this year! The activity went down as one of the best. This was really a fun Halloween activity and goes wonderfully with the book I Need My Monster. If you have not read this, you definitely should!

Well, like I have said before, same kids means I need to spice it up! So I was looking for something fun to do with them this year when my reading coach, Christina came up to me about starting a TpT store of her own. To make a long story/process short =) I will just get right to the point, she made a super fun unit for the kids! I just love collaborating with others! Don't you?
We just finished them this week and let me tell you we had a lot of fun writing these stories. I also found a great text to accompany this activity! It is called, The Monster Diaries! It was hilarious and gave them some ideas on what they could do once they turned into their monster. They couldn't wait for me to turn the next page. If you are looking for a Halloween activity you should really go and check this out! The best part about this product is she made an intermediate version as well as a primary version of the unit! Check them out, Christina really has wonderful ideas to motive students and make them all feel successful!

As my night comes to an end I have one last fun idea to share with you. We have been up to our elbows in fluency this year! When I say elbows, I mean ELBOWS! We have been tracking their fluency this year as well as setting goals in fluency. The kids are loving it. I am well, still feeling a little overwhelmed this year and this is just one more thing to get done during the day. I know that isn't the best thing to say, but hey, I am being honest here. If I want to really get the most out of my new journey, I feel like I owe it to myself to be honest. Reflecting throughout this process is what I want to make time for. I hope you all appreciate it and don't think I am horrible for it. (You really don't have to answer that) =)
Anyway, now that I totally got side tracked, I wanted to share our little fluency tool!

 WITCH fingers! We are working on accuracy right now and they are all giddy and excited over these plastic fingers! You would think they were magic! One little boy of mine said, "Mrs. Moyer, I think this finger is making me read the words correctly and quickly. I don't loose my place anymore. Muahhaha!" I am not even kidding you! If you want to get this for your students you can pick them up at Target. twenty-four came in one pack for I think $3.00. They were in the Halloween section.

Well I think that about does it! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!


  1. I have been wondering about getting some of those pointer fingers for my kiddos, but I wasn't sure if they would think they were too old for them. After seeing your post, I think I am going to get them.

  2. Kelly, I am telling you my students are loving them! I also made a challenge with them. I told them if I see all of them working towards their next goal, I will let them read with the lights off and then their fingers will "glow" in the dark on Halloween! They are so MOTIVATED! I hope your students love them too!


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