The post Math Rotations – Tech Time Ideas appeared first on Team J's Classroom Fun.

]]>The four components of my Math Rotations are Teacher Time, Seat Work, Tech Time, and Game. Today’s post is brief and will share a few ideas for Tech apps you could use during Tech Time rotation.

The Tech Time rotation is easy to set up and can use apps or math websites you already know about. You do not have to be a 1-to-1 classroom to do this rotation. Since you have a small group at this station you’ll only need enough iPads, laptops, computers, or Chrome Books for your group size.

Below are a few apps that I have seen used before during rotations. Many of these also have websites. I’m not going to go in to great detail, but wanted to give a few suggestions. These obviously depend on your grade level, but there are many great math websites out there.

**IXL**– This app is my favorite since you can tailor specific assignments to what you are teaching and can see real time on your computer how kids are doing. But, it does cost a pretty penny!**MobyMax**– This has a free and a paid component. Students will take a math test and then instruction will be differentiated for them based on their results – this can happen in the free version!**Math Curriculum Site or App**– Students can work on the website or app that goes with the math resource your school has. Many curriculum resources have computer programs with games or practice for students.**Xtra Math**– This is free and a great way to build fact fluency skills.**Khan Academy**– I do not know as much about this one, but I know some people absolutely love it!

If you missed my past posts from my Math Rotations Blog Series, click below…

- Why I Use Math Rotations
- Creating Groups
- Initial Set-Up
- Mini-Lessons
- Management Tips
- Teacher Time Ideas
- Seat Work Ideas

Check back Thursday for ideas for Game/Activity Time.

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]]>The four components of my Math Rotations are Teacher Time, Seat Work, Tech Time, and Game. Today’s post will share some ideas with you for activities and things I have my students do during the Seat Work portion of rotations. The biggest key thing for me to stress is that seat work needs to be something that students can work on independently so that you are kept free to work with the small groups. Below are a few ideas for activities I like to include as my options for seat work. I do not use each of these things every day, but pick activities based on the skill we’re currently covering and try to give some variety.

I love using task cards at the seat work station. I try to make sure I have differentiated sets of task cards so that I am able to meet the different needs of my students when they are at this rotation. Task cards are great because they can cover the current skill or be review for a past skill. Students are held accountable because they fill out the recording sheet as they answer the questions. After math rotations I look over the recording sheets and I’m able to see how they are doing with the skill.

Constant review of past skills is important to do and spiral review pages help with that. I created the page you see below to fit the skills that we taught and needed to spiral and practice at my school. Students would complete these problems during the seat work time and turn it in. Then, I would check them and give feedback on their page.

As I mentioned in my past few blog posts I love story problems. They are a wonderful way to practice math skills and provide context for students. I will often put story problem task cards at the Seat Work rotation. Students work on the story problems and turn them in each day for feedback. These often take a few days to finish so I make sure to give feedback each day so students can go back to correct problems as needed. Story problems can be themed and can also be differentiated for your students.

Seat Work can also be a time to use practice pages from your math curriculum or other practice pages that focus on the current skill or reviewing past skills.

- Seat work needs to be able to be completed independently.
- Put seat work after teacher time in math rotations. Students will practice the skill with you in teacher time and then go off to seat work to practice it independently.
- Start your highest group in seat work first. They will either know the skill from prior knowledge or will pick it up quickly with the mini-lesson. You do not want to start your struggling kiddos off at seat work.

If you missed my past posts from my Math Rotations Blog Series, click below…

Check back Tuesday for ideas for Tech Time.

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]]>The four components of my Math Rotations are Teacher Time, Seat Work, Tech Time, and Game. Today’s post will share some ideas with you for activities and things I do with my students during the small group teacher time portion of Math Rotations. I do not do each of these activities listed below every day. I do what fits the skill and standard I’m teaching, what fits the level of the group I am working with, and try to give teacher time variety so we’re not doing the exact same thing each day. The main goal of Teacher Time is to teach that day’s skill to each group with differentiated instruction at their level.

Before I get into my ideas I have to tell you that I love teacher time. This is one of my favorite times of the school day. I love being able to work with a small group and have great math discussions with them. I also love how I can modify the lesson as I’m teaching it to them to fit their needs.

I love using story problems in general and have done many blog posts about my love for them and tips for using them. I also like to use them during teacher time. Story problems can apply to so many different math skills and it helps give context to the skill. I will often use story problems during small group for students to solve. Students will solve it on the white board or a white board table and then share their strategy with the group. This works well because it not only gives kids practice working on the math skill, but also communicating their thinking and strategies to others. I will often use story problems with each group, but will differentiate the numbers to fit the needs of the group.

As I mentioned in my Mini-Lesson post CGI and Number Talks are a great way to practice math skills and get kids talking about math. I will sometimes do a Number Talk with my small group. I will follow the same steps as a whole group Number Talk, but the nice thing is each child in the group will be able to share their strategy (since there are only a few kids in a group as a opposed to the whole class in a whole group lesson). Number Talks can also lead to great discussions about noticing similarities and differences with strategies. It can also be a time to go over and discuss math misconceptions too.

Teacher Time is another time that you can use activities or practice from your math curriculum. In the past I have taught with enVisions and Investigations. I do not always use pages from their books for small group time, but sometimes they fit in very well. The enVisions series is already differentiated a bit for you, so I would often use the re-teaching page with my struggling group, the practice page with my on-level group/s, and the enrichment page with my challenge group/s. We also had some awesome hands-on lessons and activities from the Investigation series. Below you’ll see pages from their line plot unit that we did during small group instruction.

Special projects are always fun and math special projects are no exception. I would use these as a challenge for my students who were ready to be pushed and could work on it with me, but also were able to work on it a little bit independently. I have found some great enrichment projects on TPT that the kids loved working on. We would meet and go over it and then they would work on it with their group during Seat Work time. Then, the following day we would review their work and discuss.

**If you missed my past posts from my Math Rotations Blog Series, click below…**

Check back Sunday for ideas for Seat Work.

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]]>*This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.*

Today’s blog post focus is on classroom management tips for Math Rotations. For rotations to run smoothly, classroom management needs to be strong so that students know what is expected of them and can do their rotations independently. A lot of this comes from how you set-up your Math Rotations which I talked about it my last post. Below are some additional tips for managing Math Rotations…

There are a variety of management board options out there for Math Rotations/Stations and this is an important aspect of managing rotations. Students need to clearly know where they are supposed to go and what they are supposed to do. I use the management board below. Each rotation is clearly listed, partnerships are clearly listed, and the activity is listed. Teacher Time and Seat Work are both typically run by an adult, which is why there isn’t more information there. Students know by looking at it what they are supposed to do on the iPads and what game they are playing for the game time. Rotations rotate clockwise and always have so students get used to moving from station to station in the same order each day.

If you are like me, you lose track of time easily especiallyduring small group time. I use the timer on my phone to help keep me ontrack. Each day my rotations range from10-15 minutes long so the timing changes daily, but the timer keeps me on trackso I don’t spend too long with one group and not enough time with another.

I have done an entire blog post on my love for this wireless doorbell and this is another time I use it. The chime or doorbell sound is what signals my students to rotate. I don’t need to say anything; I just push the button on the remote, the chime sounds, and the kids rotate. Now this is something to practice and model when you are introducing rotations, but after a while it should become second nature.

*If you are interested in purchasing a Wireless Doorbell, check out my Amazon Affiliate Link >>> HERE.

Those are three quick tips to help manage rotations. If you missed my past posts from my MathRotations Blog Series, click below…

Check back Thursday for ideas for Teacher Time.

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]]>Today’s blog post is focusing on how I use mini-lessons during Math Rotations. Mini-lessons are at the beginning of my math block and last between 5-15 minutes. The whole group participates in mini-lessons. I use the mini-lesson to go over today’s math skill, review rotations, and more. See below for ideas for your Mini-Lessons…

CGI stands for Cognitively Guided Instruction and it has changed the way I understand and teach math (I need to do a full post on this at a later time). When I start our mini-lesson with CGI it can include a few different things. I often use number talks focused on the day’s skill. For example, if we are doing money I might pose a problem where students need to add the money amounts. After posing the problem, students have a few minutes to think of their answer. Then, they share their strategies and I document their thinking by writing it on the board.

I also use Choral Counting as another CGI Mini-Lesson. Choral Counting is a CGI strategy and great when talking about skip counting, multiplication, fractions, decimals, and more. Below is an example where we were skip counting by 8 and discussing how the multiplication facts line up with skip counting.

I use story problems in my class all the time. Sometimes I will have students solve one independently and then share their strategies with the class as a part of the mini-lesson.

I often will use the mini-lesson to create an anchor chart as a class. The anchor chart usually focuses on the specific skill and it is left up as a tool for students to use when they are at rotations. I normally have a problem or two in mind for the anchor, but the kids help me fill it all in. I’ve created anchor charts for math strategies, shapes, patterns, and more. Anchor charts are amazing!

The mini-lesson is a great time to include a whole group component from your math curriculum. Last year my school used enVisions and I would often do the solve and share activity and show the video during the mini-lesson section.

I would also use the mini-lesson time to go over the rotations for the day. If there is a new rotation, I would make sure students understood what they were being asked to do. I might model a new game, show them how to use task cards, or show them how to use a math app on the iPad.

Now, I know you might be thinking…Jordan – that is a ton of things to cover in 5-15 minutes. Please know I do not do each thing I listed above every day. If I did that would probably take the entire math block. I pick and choose different things each day to keep it fresh. I also pick and choose my mini-lesson activities based on what fits the skill the best. On Monday I might do a number talk and Tuesday we might create an anchor chart. One thing I do make sure to review each day is the rotations. By going over the rotations each day students know what they are supposed to be doing which leads to less interruptions when I am pulling small groups.

If you missed my past posts from my Math Rotations Blog Series, click below…

Check back Tuesday for more information about the Math Rotation process and management tips.

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]]>Elapsed time can be a tricky skill for students to learn! But, with the right strategies they’ll understand it and be able to master it in no time! Today I’m going to share my two favorite strategies for solving elapsed time problems. These are elapsed time strategies that my second graders loved and helped them understand and easily solve these problems. Now, I know the two strategies are very similar but they are laid out differently. Some of my kids preferred the empty number line visual and some preferred the T-chart.

When working with elapsed time I like to use word problems. I know you can give problems with a start and end time or a start time and elapsed time, but I like to use word problems. I find giving it in a story problem format helps kids visualize the problem because there is context. This then makes the problem easier for them to solve.

For empty number line, students start with an empty number line. Then, they place the start time at the beginning and end time at the end. Next, students need to make jumps on the number line to figure out how much time has passed. I suggest students always start by looking at hours since it is a larger chunk of time and then moving to minutes. Students may make jumps in different ways. For the problem below, some students might add five minutes to get to 8:00 and then make the jump of 42 minutes. Other students may make jumps in increments of ten or twenty to get to the final time. There is no “one” right way and what I like about this is students can make jumps that they are comfortable with given their math understanding. Once they have made their jumps they add the hours and minutes together to come up with the total elapsed time.

This problem has the end time missing. Students create the empty number line and put the start time on it. Then using the elapsed time given – 32 minutes – they make jumps to find the end time. Students can jump 30 minutes and then 2 minutes. Students can jump 10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10 minutes, and 2 minutes. Students could also jump 20 minutes, 10 minutes, and 2 minutes. Again the number line provides a visual strategy and then students can make jumps depending on their number flexibility and math foundation.

The T-Chart strategy is very similar to the number line, but a different way to lay it out. This strategy works better for some students. To start, create a T-chart and write time on one side and hours/minutes on the other side. In this example, the start time is written below the time side. Then, students add time to the start time to get to the end time. Students can start with hours or minutes, but I always suggest hours since it is a larger chunk of time. So in this example, the student added an hour and got to 7:55. Then, they added 5 minutes to get to 8:00. Next, they added the 42 minutes to get to 8:42. Then they added the hour and minutes together to get the total answer. Again like the elapsed time strategy students can add the times in different increments.

In this problem, the T-Chart is set up the same way as above. The start time is written down and then the student adds the elapsed time given in the problem to find the end time. The increments can be added in different ways (30 minutes, 10 minutes three times, 20 minutes and 10 minutes, etc). Once the elapsed time is added the student will arrive at the end time, which is the answer.

Now there are more strategies than those two, but my students in the past have gravitated towards these two and found them to be the most helpful when solving these problems. These two problem types are common, but the start time could also be unknown. In that case, students can use the same strategies and work backwards to find the beginning time.

Here is an anchor chart I created with my students when learning about elapsed time.

If you are interested in providing your students with some elapsed time word problem practice, check out my two resources below.

These worksheets are easy for teachers to use because they are already differentiated! There are three different levels for each worksheet. I’ve used these as homework, practice, and formative assessments.

Task cards are a great addition to math stations, math centers, or math practice time. These are differentiated with three different sets! I love using them because you’re able to meet the needs of all of your learners and they are able to all practice the same skill, but at their level.

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]]>I have been using book studies in my classroom for as long as I have been teaching and it is a favorite time of mine and also for my students. Today I’m going to lay out how I use book studies in the classroom and why I find it to be a successful, engaging activity.

Book studies have many positive benefits.

- Provides opportunities for students to practice decoding, reading fluently, and comprehending the story
- Provides students a chance to practice writing their responses and restating the question in their answer
- Gives an opportunity for students to work independently or with a team

In my opinion, book studies can be used from first grade up. I know you’re thinking first grade seems young and they are, but I have some students in my current class who are ready and just finished their first Nate the Great Book Study – with teacher guidance of course. Now will all of my first graders participate in a book study this year….no. I have some students who struggle with reading and a book study would frustrate them.

When I taught second grade the last few years I had three whole class book studies (Charlotte’s Web, The Chocolate Touch, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) that we did together as a class. I also had multiple book studies going in small groups during literacy stations. The nice thing about book studies is there are books at a variety of levels. So even if you have high readers or lower readers there will probably be a just right book for them to use during a book study.

An important thing to keep in mind when choosing which students you are putting together in a book study is who works well together (which you think about any time you put students into groups). In addition to students who work well together, you want to also make sure you have students with similar reading levels. The goal of a book study isn’t for the higher student to help the struggling student read, but that they are similar levels and working together to read and comprehend.

You also want to consider how many students you want participating in the book study. I’ve done whole class book studies, small groups (3-4 students), partnership book studies, and independent ones.

So the biggest thing to keep in mind…

- Who works well together
- Behaviors
- Reading levels

As I mentioned earlier in this blog post there are tons of books out there that fit many different reading levels. You want to choose a book that the group , partnership, or child will be able to read independently. You also want to choose a book that interests them. I will often pull out two-three book choices and give the group a chance to vote on which book they want to read. Choice helps with engagement and buy-in so I always try to let my students choose the book.

Scholastic is a great place to find multiple sets of books. Often in the actual pamphlet/magazine thing that comes with the book orders they have options for you to order certain books in sets of 6. This is a great way to build a little book study library of sorts. You can also check out books from the library, shop at Good Will, buy them from Amazon, etc.

When starting a new book study with a small group I have the book and packet ready to go for day 1. First, I go over the expectations. I explain to them that this is a special activity that they get to do and I need them to take it seriously.

Then, I hand out the books and the students make predictions about what will happen based on the cover. We read the first chapter together out loud taking turns on each page.

After we read the first chapter we start answering the questions. I like using these packets not only because students have to write their answer, but it also gives them practice writing in complete sentences. I make sure students restate the question in their answer, include capitals, periods, etc. So not only are the practicing their comprehension by answering the question, but they are also working on their written response skills.

After we’ve gone through the first set of questions I will often send the kids off on their own. I’ve done this in 2^{nd} grade and up. I would not do this with first grade unless you have a teaching assistant, parent volunteer, older student they could work with, or if they are super mature. Students in second grade and up I then send off to read the next chapter with their partner or group and answer the questions. Once they are finished with a chapter they let me know and I pull them back to meet with them and review what was read. The nice thing about this is it frees me up to pull other groups while they’re working on the independent portion of this. This routine continues until they are finished with the book.

I’ve created a few different book study resources that I have used in my classroom including: Jake Drake series, Ivy and Bean, Cam Jansen, Nate the Great, Surprises According to Humphrey and more. To see all of my book studies in my TPT store, click HERE.

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