October 20

Problem-Solving in Math

Problem Solving

To first tackle a word problem, such as our recent pumpkin problem, students must learn how to READ and understand the problem. We are learning how to highlight or underline important information–identifying what we know and what we need to find out.

Check out some pictures of partnerships solving a word problem.

Here, a student acts as a spokesperson for his group and shares how his partner and himself worked through the problem.

Students As Coaches

Before our first Math Test, students worked with a partner to help each other prepare and review. They used their whiteboards and markers to ask each other questions and coach one another if someone was stuck. Peer coaching helps to build skills and confidence and nurtures learning. Plus, it’s fun!


October 4

Positive Math Mindset

Sometimes students need a little positive boost and cheer squad when it comes to learning math. Some students come to class with their minds made up already that they can’t do math.

Firstly, in our class, CAN’T is considered a swear word.

Second, to help with building a positive mindset, we’ve created a math mantra in our class. What’s a mantra?

man·tra–a statement or slogan repeated frequently

Below is a picture of our math mantra from our Smartboard. Students also wrote it into their math notebooks and decorated their page. Having a positive attitude is so critical when it comes to achievement in math. Research has shown “that kids with a positive attitude toward math performed better in the subject”. Perhaps our math mantra will help with that this year 🙂


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February 6

Measure Me!

We measure many things in our world, some of which include:

  • time
  • ingredients
  • distance
  • temperature
  • mass
  • area
  • perimeter
  • capacity…..and so much more!

We are learning about telling time and getting plenty of practice with clocks and playing games such as Bingo. Grade 4s also need to know how to measure elapsed time. Recently, our Grade 4s learned how to use an open number line (see video below) to help them understand one way to find elapsed time.

Students have been busy estimating and measuring different lengths of items around the classroom and getting a hands-on approach to the difference between cm and mm and km. Getting more familiar with our rulers along with measuring tape, including how to read them properly, has been a lot of fun. Check it out!


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December 12

Angle Tangle

As part of our 2D Geometry unit, our class has been angle-hunting around the classroom and assembled a collage for you to see their thinking.

We had some fun hunting for obtuse, acute, right, and straight angles. We also learned the word perpendicular which means two lines that meet at 90 degrees. Have a look at our work below!


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September 19

Quiz Me

Quiz Quiz Trade–This is a great way to review ANY learning from class and gets students up and out of their seats, interacting with each other.

We began math class recently by playing this ‘game’. It begins with each student holding a card with a math question on it–all related to place value. Students start walking around with their hand up. The first person they come across they high 5 and the taller person reads their question first (answers are on the back). They can coach their peer if needed and also praise. Next, the 2nd partner reads their question and afterwards, they trade.

Finally, they begin to walk around in the same manner and continue to ask questions of each other. If needed, they are allowed to use their notebooks to assist them. Check out a few snapshots of the action:

June 26

Do You Like Board Games?

A fun way to wrap up a school year is giving students the challenge of creating their own board game. And boy…were these grade 3s up for it!

We wrote down the success criteria together and knew the game had to involve math in some way. The students completed their board games, playing their own game several times and then play each other’s.

The level of detail was incredible! Several groups even crafted their own playing pieces! Wow.

Have a look at their hard work!

Finally, we were pleased to see our poetry anthology arrive to our classroom. The students were delighted to see their published poems in a book that they can keep forever. What a great job everyone did!

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May 26

What’s the Chance?

Over the last while, our students have been learning about probability.

What is PROBABILITY? It is the chance of something happening.

What better way to understand “chance” than by playing games? We started off by playing a Horse Race game which involved rolling 2 dice. If you rolled your horse number, you got to move. If someone else rolled your horse number, your horse moved. The first horse to cross the finish line wins! After examining patterns across each group’s board, we noticed that horse number 6,7,8 seemed to be winning the most. We learned that it wasn’t “luck” that made a horse win…it was math! Probability!

Last week, we also played a probability game called Race to the Top. Students used a spinner and recorded the results in a table/chart. Whomever made it to the top of the chart first wins! We first used a spinner that showed equal chances of winning. Then, we used a spinner that did not show equal chances of winning. Take a look at the fun we had!


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May 16

In a World of Robots

Recently, as a culminating activity to our 3D Geometry unit, students designed their own robots and presented them to several other classrooms. Using an assortment of recycled materials, students loved making their projects and were proud to show off their hard work. They were asked to give their robot a name and write a paragraph explaining the features of their robot and the 3D shapes they used.

May 6

A Classroom Shopping Spree

What can one buy with only $10.00 to spend on various items around the classroom? That’s exactly what students had to decide when shopping around the room for various items with price tags. The rules were they had to spend more than $4.00 but no more than $10. Some students commented on the bargains to be had! It’s interesting to see the shopping habits of these young students already emerging 🙂 With clipboards and pencils poised, students carefully tabulated their totals. When we gathered back together to discuss and share, we also learned how to calculate change with a subtraction strategy.

We discussed what we could buy for  $10.00 outside of the classroom and the fact that in reality there is tax to be included in most things as well.

How would you spend $10…or would you save it?

April 1

Spring Has Arrived!

After March Break, time always seems to fly. We are in the season of Lent, moving closer to Easter. The students in our class have been working incredibly hard on their school work. We have been diligently studying and practicing our times tables. Mrs. Sullivan has been impressed!

As a class, we’ve been pushing ourselves to strengthen our Word Study test scores overall and the results have been outstanding!

Several students have been challenging themselves to achieve silver certificates in Mathletics. Wow! Who will earn the first gold?

We continue to move along nicely in our newest writing unit called Realistic Fiction where we are gathering ideas.

Take a look at some of the activity in our room as of late:

What do you like the best about Spring?