Find the Area: Guest Blog Post from education.com

Introduce the concept of area to your third grader with this fun card game. You’ll show your child how to determine the area of any object and help him begin thinking in terms of units as you create shapes out of playing cards. Count the cards you use or try applying multiplication to find the total area. Once you’ve got the hang of the game, assign different values to the cards!

What You Need:

  • Deck of cards
  • Several players

What You Do:

  1. Decide on the unit value of the cards. If you decide on the number 2, each card will amount to two units and players will have to keep this value in mind when calculating the area of the figure you’re building.
  2. Have the players take turns placing one card at a time face down on a flat surface. Every card placed down should touch the side of another card. Cards should not overlap.
  3. Every so often, interrupt the game and have one of the players calculate the area of the figure.

education.com

Helpful Tip: You may want to guide the players to build rectangles as they’ll make it easier to calculate the area. Stop the game at intervals when rectangles have been completed. Then, introduce the formula for finding the area of a rectangle: length x width= area.

Play this game multiple times and assign the cards several different values in order to get as much practice as possible.

TeacherTalk4all would like to thank education.com for being a guest blogger on our site and for sharing this activity with us. We think this game is engaging and a great way to introduce area at home or in the classroom. We are a supporter of education.com and thank them for all their dedication to helping teachers and students.

 

A New Character With Autism On Sesame Street

Last month, a new character with autism was introduced on the show Sesame Street, which created a positive reaction from individuals around the world. Julia, the newest character of the show, has autism and acts in a stereotypical manner of many peers in the classroom.

sesame street, inclusion, tv and disabilities

For example, Julia is seen flapping her hands, repeating words, and not responding to a greeting by Big Bird. Alan, the narrator, explains that Julia is not trying to ignore Big Bird, but instead responds to people differently than Big Bird himself. He says, “She does things just a little differently, in a Julia sort of way.” It may take her a bit longer to respond, but it’s okay.

Sesame street does a great job explaining some of the behaviors Julia demonstrates and does an even better job at explaining an appropriate way others can respond to such behaviors. For example, Julia is sensitive to loud noises. She repeats things that were just said by her friends and avoids eye contact. Although she acts differently than her peers, Julia fits right in and is part of the show. An example showing Julia and Elmo playing or Julia and Abby playing can bring tears to an eye of an educator or parent who is constantly striving to create this type of peer interaction and play environment.

Julia’s arrival of the show comes at a unique time in history. As society is progressively becoming more understanding and tolerant of differences, Julia’s presence on the show showcases how an inclusion setting can operate within the boundaries of love, patience, and understanding. It also teaches children at an early age to accept individuals who behave differently within the classroom environment and community.

I applaud Sesame street for including Julia in their show and for accurately depicting some common social situations that can occur in a life of a child with autism.

 

Thinking Blocks-Visuals for Solving Math Word Problems

When teaching children how to solve word problems, many teachers model how to solve the problem on the board with a diagram and think-aloud (going through each step/thought process). A great digital tool to use is a site called Thinking Blocks. It allows teachers to model how to draw/label a diagram for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. As the website states, word problems are easier to solve when you build a model first.

math world problems, visual support, math manipulatives

Helpful Educational Websites

Online resources are becoming increasingly popular in this digital age. A lot of online sites help teachers individualize learning and present material in a more visual, and interactive way. Below are some of my favorite sites I like to use in my classroom.

All Subjects:

  • BrainPop
  • BrainPop JR
  • Discovery Education

Reading:

  • RazKids
  • Achieve 3000
  • Study Island
  • StarFall
  • TumbleBooks
  • Wonderopolis
  • ReadWorks
  • Digital Read Works
  • NewsELA
  • Scholastic
  • Time For Kids
  • Learn Zillion
  • The Emergent Reader

Math

  • ST Math
  • IXL
  • Study Island
  • Khan Academy
  • Learn Zillion
  • EnVision

Assessments:

  • Thatquiz
  • GoogleForms

Curriculum Resources:

  • SuperTeacher
  • CommonCoreSheets

The History of Autism (A Summary)

Autism was official discovered 60 years ago. Although still puzzling to many, professionals are learning more about autism everyday.

Some facts:

  • Early accounts of individuals with autism are unclear
  • The concept and definition of autism has greatly changed over the years
  • Socio-political views as well as treatment available has evolved and continues to grow
  • Symptoms may have been confused with schizophrenia in the past

Timeline:

  • 1960s-Michael Rutter’s comparative study comparing the features of autism
  • 1960s-1970s: Kolvin distinguished autism from schizophrenia
  • 1970-Hermelin and O’Connor explored the “savant”
  • 1971- first association of autism as a specific medical condition (Stella Chess was the first to discover that autism can be associated with a neurological disease)
  • 1975- US Developmental Disability Act included individuals with autism
  • 1981- Lorna Wing’s seminal paper discusses Asperger’s Syndrome
  • 2000-Gillberg added to the knowledge of epidemiology, genetics, and clinical management

Early Accounts/History Records:

  • Book: Autism in History by Rob Houston (discusses the legal case of Uta Frith’s analysis of Hugh Blair in 1747)
  • The story of Victor “the wild boy of Aveyron”  in 1798 with Jean Itard
  • Paper: Observations on Madness and Melancholy chapter entitled “Cases on insane children” by John Haslam (discusses a boy with characteristics of autism published in 1809)
  • Book: The Pathology of the Mind chapter entitled “The insanity of early life” by Henry Maudsley (discusses a 13 year boy who shares similar characteristics of an individuals with Aspergers in 1879)
  • Ssucharewa’s account of six children in Germany during 1926
  • Hans Aspergers’s account of four children in 1949
  • Lorna Wing’s seminal paper in 1981

Outdated Ideas/Theories

  • Autism is caused by bad parenting
  • Autism is among the group of schizophrenia (we now know that autism is a developmental disorder rather than a psychosis)
  • Autism is secondary to language disorders

Interesting Facts:

  • Over 50% of children with autism are taking drugs/vitamins in the US (not the case in the UK)

Journals:

  • The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (started in 1971 by Kanner and Chess)
  • Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disabilities (started in 1985)
  • The International Autism Research Review (started in 1987)
  • International Journal of Research and Practice (started in 1997)
  • Good Autism Practice (started in 2001)

Current Books to Read:

  • “Pretending to be Normal” by Liane Willey
  • “Growing up Severely Autistic” by Kate Rankins
  • “An Inside View Of Autism” by Temple Grandin
  • “Freaks, Geeks, and Aspergers Syndrome” by Luke Jackson

Reference: 

Wolff, S. (2004). The history of autism. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 13(4), 201-8. doi:http://dx.doi.org.proxy.bsu.edu/10.1007/s00787-004-0363-5

Kid Kindness Month

Promoting kindness is a necessary skill a teacher must focus their students’ attention towards. Knowledge without applying kindness is pretty much useless since we want our learning to impact others positively. The contest, hosted by CouponBox, is an effort to help kids think of others in need. Details of the contest are below.

  • Kids aged 7-13 who live in the USA can submit an entry (with video, text and/or photos) describing how they would spend $1,000 to spread kindness or help a group of people or cause.
  • Kids can submit individually or as a group or class. Each entry must have a sponsoring organization (school, religious group, scouting group, athletics team, etc.).
  • There will be (3) winners chosen. Each winner will receive $1,000 to implement their idea and an additional $1,000 given to their sponsoring school or organization.

My class is so excited to submit our idea. Here is a link for more information: https://www.couponbox.com/kidkindness

Regrouping: Adding and Subtracting Posters

In our math centers, we have been focusing on adding and subtracting two and three digit numbers. To help my kids remember the steps, they reference these posters at our centers.

Adding:

anchor posters, chart

 

Subtracting:

math charts, resources, anchor posters

Since students need different levels of support, counters, number lines, and pictures are used to help students understand the concept. In particular, I found that using a 0-20 number line was very helpful for my students who were having a hard time. The other number lines featured can be useful if you teach students to estimate their answer.

manipulatives, regrouping

 

Story Elements

When reading, students need to think about the different elements that make up a typical story. Here is a poster we use when we do a read aloud or read a story in a small group. Students can write right on the poster or write on post-it notes. This poster uses the images found in the reading and writing program, Framing Your Thoughts, which is created by Project Read. The graphic symbols remind students of the different elements found in a story.

read aloud, comprehension, setting, characters, problem, wish, solution,

 

 

 

 

Place Value Centers

What is Place Value:

To teach children the numerical value of a digit in a number, students need visuals, models, and manipulatives to help them understand why the placement of numbers matter.

Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tips:

To introduce the concept, I start with tens and ones to help my students understand that numbers can be built with place value blocks. I teach them that ten ones (in yellow) equal one ten rod (in green). Students practice creating numbers with the ones, and then the tens and ones.

visual learning,

The board is also extremely helpful when helping students understand how many tens and ones are in a number. Students who are experiencing difficulty could build the number on the board and then easily transfer their results on the paper to help them understand the concept.

tips for teaching, visual learning

Another feature I love about this board is how it is color coded. This becomes useful when I write numbers since I can stay with the original color scheme when writing a number. Although yellow can be hard to read, orange can be used as a substitute if students are experiencing difficulty reading in that color.  Once I write the numbers, I then ask students to tell me the value of each number. This introduction to place value begins at the main teacher table (in my classroom, we have three to four rotating centers throughout our math period).

Greater Than/Less Than: Comparing Numbers

At station two, students practice comparing the value of each digit by comparing numbers. Since some students confuse the greater/than less sign, additional visuals of a gator can help students remember the meaning of the sign (the gator eats the largest number). At this station, students do a variety of activities to practice. One of my favorite includes a ‘roll and make’ game that has students roll the number, make the number, expand, and then compare the number. A free sample of the game is here.

place value, comparing, lesson ideas, visuals

Read and Write

At station 3, students practice reading and writing numbers. Students are taught to not say “and” when reading numbers. They can practice this over and over again with new numbers written by other students at the table. A great resource I love are the write and wipe boards featured below. This is a highly recommended resource when teaching place value!

elementary math tips visuals

math tips, read and write