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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Algebra 1 Math Helper

Do you teach algebra concepts to your students?  The Common Core touches on algebraic thinking all throughout the elementary grades, even with lower elementary students. In the 5th grade Common Core standards, students begin algebraic expressions:

Write and interpret numerical expressions.
Use parentheses, brackets, or braces in numerical expressions, and evaluate expressions with these symbols.
Write simple expressions that record calculations with numbers, and interpret numerical expressions without evaluating them. For example, express the calculation "add 8 and 7, then multiply by 2" as 2 × (8 + 7). Recognize that 3 × (18932 + 921) is three times as large as 18932 + 921, without having to calculate the indicated sum or product.


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So what strategies do you use to teach these concepts?  One method is to have students discuss solved problem structures and solutions to make connections among strategies and reasoning.

Some questions to help facilitate these discussions include:
  1. What were the steps involved in solving the problem? Why do they work in this order? Would they work in a different order?
  2. Could the problem have been solved with fewer steps? 
  3. Can anyone think of a different way to solve this problem? 
  4. Will this strategy always work? Why? 
  5. What are other problems for which this strategy will work? 
  6. How can you change the given problem so that this strategy does not work? 
  7. How can you modify the solution to make it clearer to others? 
  8. What other mathematical ideas connect to this solution? 
Questions to help facilitate the structure of problems:
  1.  What quantities—including numbers and variables—are present in this problem? 
  2. Are these quantities discrete or continuous? 
  3. What operations and relationships among quantities does the problem involve? Are there multiplicative or additive relationships? Does the problem include equality or inequality? 
  4. How are parentheses used in the problem to indicate the problem’s structure?
It is also helpful to review incorrectly solved problems. Can students analyze and discuss the errors? Can students fix the problems to make them correct?

Task cards are a great way to easily model algebra problems solved correctly.  Simply display a task card using the technology available in your room.  Interactive white boards work well.  Choose the 1st task card and show the correct steps and solution.  You may even want to choose the 2nd task card and show the incorrect steps and solution.  Students can compare and contrast the two examples.  You also may want to make a game out of it and have the students determine which one was done correctly. 

Here are some FREE algebra task cards to get you started:

 free algebra task cards for 5th and 6th grade


You will receive 6 Common Core task cards with a mix of multiplication and division math expressions for 6th grade. Task cards are a wonderful break from worksheets. Student can play SCOOT, have a scavenger hunt or play other games. Try them for free today. A student response form and answer key are also provided. 

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Click HERE for more printable algebra task cards and games.



Note: More Department of Education math strategies may be found here.

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Click each picture below.

 Algebra Combining Like Terms


 Algebra Addition Task Cards




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You may also like these resources from our Amazon affiliate store:

 Algebra Cheat Sheet


 algebra card game


 Algebra Mastery Game



 math brainteasers algebra



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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Financial Literacy Activities for the Classroom

What is Financial Literacy?

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Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he/she invests it (turn it into more) and how that person donates it to help others.


Financial Literacy: Mellody Hobson at TEDxMidwest

In a 2014 survey, three main questions were asked of respondents:

1. Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2 percent per year. After 5 years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow? 
More than $102; Exactly $102; Less than $102; Do not know; Refuse to answer.
2.  Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account was 1 percent per year and inflation was 2 percent per year. After 1 year, how much would you be able to buy with the money in this account? More than today; Exactly the same; Less than today; Do not know; Refuse to answer.
3. Please tell me whether this statement is true or false. “Buying a single company’s stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund.” 
True; False; Do not know; Refuse to answer.

In the United States, 38 percent of men answered all three questions correctly compared with only 22 percent of women. In the Netherlands, 55 percent of men and 35 percent of women got all three right, and in Germany the results were 60 percent for men and 48 percent for women.

In a 2016 Survey of the States, there were several key findings regarding financial literacy:

  • Since 2014, two additional states include personal finance in their K-12 standards and require those standards to be taught.
  • While more states are implementing standards in personal finance, the number of states that require high school students to take a course in personal finance remains unchanged since 2014 – just 17 states.
  • Only 20 states require high school students to take a course in economics – that’s less than half the country and two fewer states than in 2014.
  • There has been no change in the number of states that require standardized testing of economic concepts – the number remains at 16.
Financial literacy should begin in high school, not in college or even after college!

Here are a free resource to help you access your students' basic understanding of financial literacy concepts.

 Financial Literacy Vocabulary Activities

Click Free Financial Literacy to download this free resource.

 Financial Literacy Crossword Puzzle

Click financial literacy crossword puzzle to download this financial literacy crossword puzzle.


 Financial Literacy Activities

This bundle will save you money! (no pun intended!)

Click HERE for more resources from Edutopia.


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Monday, August 29, 2016

Bell Ringers Teaching Ideas

How do you handle transition times in your classroom? Transitions can be a difficult time for many students. By having clear and precise routines, students will know their exact expectations.  Many unwanted behaviors occur simply because students haven't been taught what is expected of them.  At the beginning of the year, don't forget to spend a lot of time actually practicing and ACTING out expectations.

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Note: This blog post contains products from our Teachers Pay Teachers store and Amazon Affiliate store.

 A bell ringer is a tool you may use to help focus students and jump start their thinking!  It allows the teacher time for necessary management tasks.  It also maximizes teaching time by creating structured routines.  Less time redirecting and disciplining means more time teaching and learning!

A fun bell ringer is to use the quote of the day.  Teachers may also want to create a suggestion box for students to share their favorite quotes.  Each day, display a new quote.  Students may draw a picture of the quote, describe what the quote means to them or expand on a situation in which this quote could be helpful or reflective.  Students may also explain if they agree or disagree with the quote. Students may also create their own posters or mini desk posters with their favorite quotes.

We have many posters in our store to help get you started.  Also, don't forget to use some of the quotes students submit in your suggestion box to create higher interest!







We also have many printable resources in our store like make great bell ringers.
Try our crossword puzzles HERE.



For 5 more bell ringer ideas, visit Edutopia HERE.


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Saturday, August 20, 2016

TeachersPayTeachers Blog Hop Gift Card Giveaway


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To help you have your #bestyearever, I've joined up with 20+ other bloggers for a TpT Gift Card giveaway bloghop! I'm giving away a $10 TpT gift card to one lucky winner.


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Monday, August 1, 2016

Teachers Pay Teachers Promo Code 2016

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Here are some back to school resources to get you started:







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