Monday, June 8, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Creating Math Graphic Novels

Thank you for stopping by to see another Behind the Scenes blog post.  I am always working on multiple projects simultaneously and wanted to provide a sneak peak of the process of creating illustrations.

My eleven-year-old daughter Jaden is the artist this time.  Just like me, she loves to draw.  She is creating the mock up for a short graphic novel book about ratios that will be released soon.  

She did her overall sketches.  Then, she added specific details.

Next, I will use Adobe Illustrator to outline, scan, and color the images.  Or, I might use watercolors.

If you are interested in drawing or creating your own illustrations, I would highly recommend gouache.  They are commonly used professionally to create children's book illustrations because they produce vivid and bright colors.

I highly recommend using high quality watercolor water as well.  This is my absolute favorite ~Blick 140 lb. paper.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Background Information Students Need to Know to In Order to Solve Word Problems

What do students need to know in order to effectively solve word problems?  This blog post will provide helpful tips and strategies.

Understanding the Parts of a Word Problem

Some students get lost in all of the information.  Drawing a chart can be helpful.

STEP 1:  Draw a chart to represent the information.

Background Knowledge that is Needed in Order to Solve this Problem:
1.  Be able to translate percentages into decimals.
2.  Identify key words and their meanings. More than requires a problem solver to add (20 +2).

(Special note:  Having students practice these two things before they begin percentage and decimal word problems is very helpful.)

STEP 2:  Add the two amounts.  Dawn has 22 books.

Sometimes a word problem gives vague information.  What I mean is the specific amount of objects is not known to the reader.  Look at the next example to see what is meant.

This problem does not give information about the exact number of books that Mary has. One of the main goals is to help students understand how to write an equation that can be used in order to find the answer.

Background Knowledge that is Needed in Order to Solve this Problem:
1.  Know that a variable can be used to represent an unknown number.
2.  Any variable can be used.
3.  Be able to translate percentages into decimals.

Why is Knowing How to Solve this Type of Word Problem Important?
1.  A word problem that provides vague information like this one helps to determine whether or not students truly understand math concepts and whether or not students know when to apply them.
2.  This understanding also sets the stage for Algebra 1 in the later school years as well as ACT and SAT preparation.  I notice "theoretical" word problems like these on ACT and SAT tests.  It reinforces why this understanding is so important at the elementary and middle school grade levels.

Solution:  Dawn has 1.1x books.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Free Chart Words to Describe the Tone of a Text

Tone is an author's attitude about a topic. There are several words that are used to describe the tone of a reading passage.  Use this free chart to describe the tone of a passage.

Free Common Core Literacy Center Planing Form

Hello Everyone!
I am back with a free planning form.  Can you believe the year has moved by so quickly? As you begin to plan for next school year, I want to provide a free literacy center planning form.

Click Here To Access It

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Writing Tips

There are many strategies that students can use to make their writing sound smoother and more interesting.  Add this free handout to student notebooks to serve as a writing guide.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Week Sale

Thank you for all that you do.  Teachers make an impact in the lives of so many students.  I hope that teacher appreciation week has started out very well for you.

Literacy and Math Ideas is having a teacher appreciation sale from May 5th-6th.  Save even more by putting in the code:  ThankYou. Save on Daily Commmon Core, task cards, stories, and even more resources.Click Here To Visit Literacy and Math Ideas' Store.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Guided Reading Task Cards That Are Organized By Lexile Level and Guided Reading Level

Just released!  Thank you guys so much for the feedback about the task cards.  As a fellow educator, I understand what it is like to look for materials that meet the needs of each student.  

These task cards are unique because they are organized by guided reading levels.  Plus, they are also organized by Lexile levels too. This makes it much easier to monitor student progress and help students at their individual levels.  Click the link to access these task cards and more at other levels too.Click Here