Category : Sixth Grade

Christmas Math Puzzles

I love the holiday season especially Christmas!!! It’s probably my favorite holiday, at least after October 31st it is. I think it’s awesome if children can celebrate holidays in class without missing out on pivotal math topics. I’ve made a lot of different math and literacy for different holidays just for this reason.

One Christmas unit that I really love is Christmas math puzzles. There are several different types of puzzles. Most children love the math stories the most. It’s a fun way to let math dictate the story. There are also graphing puzzles, drawing puzzles based on math questions, number search and more.

The great thing about my math puzzles is that I’ve made them for first through 6th grade. This allows young children enjoy them, as well as, older children. Depending on the grade level, the math skills are practiced for that particular grade.

You can check them out here.

Teaching Tolerance through Teaching about Religion and Cultures

In today’s world everything is constantly changing. We as teachers have to ability to teach tolerance through teaching about different cultures and teaching about different religions. It’s not about trying to convert anyone, of course. It’s about to understand the differences between people’s religion. Many religions do have common threads and with these common threads we can teach tolerance and empathy to our students.

I know when I was young, I didn’t know anything about any other religions and just a little about a few different cultures in Europe and Mexico (I lived in Texas). I really didn’t learn much about these things until I went to the University of Texas in Austin. I learned some through the classes I took, but most from the people I met. I took lots of foreign languages because I was so interested in learning more about these neat cultures. I took Malayalam, Japanese, Russian, French, Czech and Latin. I guess you could say I was a little bit obsessed. I embraced learning about the differences.

Today with the dawning of the internet, we can teach our children so much earlier when their minds are open to learn about new cultures and religions. One of my favorite things to make for my students and Teachers pay Teachers are units on different countries, religions and ancient civilizations. I hope you can use some of these products in your classroom to help teach about tolerance! We all can help make the world a better place to live together!

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks in Your Classroom

What is an Interactive Notebook?
I’m sure you’ve heard about Interactive Notebooks by now, but let’s just review a bit in case you haven’t heard about them yet. Interactive Notebooks are a way that your students can interact with the subjects you are teaching them. They can cut, paste, draw, expand and really experience the subject they are learning. No two interactive notebooks are created equally. Some may say they are interactive, but they aren’t. Some may have too much cutting and pasting, which will interrupt your lesson plans. The best way to judge them is to look at previews and read all of the details before you purchase one.

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks
1. Review and Test Prep – A lot of the reasons I started making and using interactive notebooks is because if you have a printable you use with your students, the students finish it and toss it into folder never to look at it again. With my interactive notebooks, the activities are designed to have the students come back and review what they’ve just learned. There are flaps, envelopes, yarn, brads and more all specifically used to help your students redo activities for test prep and to show their parents what they’ve learned.

2. Confidence Booster – Using an interactive notebook, your students can keep all of the things they’ve learned throughout the year in one place. Students can look through all of the different things they’ve learned and feel achieved.

3. Introducing New Topics – You can use the activities in an interactive notebook to help students learn new topics. Sometimes students are scared about learning new things. A fun activity will help relax them and allow them to learn new topics (especially fractions which can be frustrating for students).

4. Assessments – You can use the activities to finish up a unit. Instead of or in addition to a quiz, you can have students do an interactive activity to make sure they understand the concepts that you taught in the lessons.

5. Spice Up Lessons – If your students get bored with a topic (you know it’s bound to happen), you can pull out an interactive activity and use a little art and interactiveness to spice up your lessons.

If you’re interested in looking at my interactive notebooks, you can find them here. They have the perfect combination of low prep and high interactiveness.

Here are a few of my best sellers, you can click on the picture to see more information and a preview about each:

Learning about the American Revolution

History is really interesting to me, but I know some students get bored in history classes. My kids really enjoy learning about history with interactive notebooks. It combines history with hands-on activities and a bit of art.

Here are few picture of my American Revolution Interactive notebook in use.

I think it’s great to actually get the students excited about History and present it in a different format than they are used to. If you’d like more information you can check out my American Revolution Interactive Notebook on TPT.

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Interactive Notebooks with Higher Level Math Classes

prealgebra interactive notebook

Some people might think interactive notebooks are only for younger students. Some people believe that learning pre-algebra, geometry and algebra should be taught through worksheets and videos and other means. I think that Interactive Notebooks have their place with these upper grade classes as well. Here are my three reasons why I think you should use higher level math subjects.

1. Many students today are young when they take pre-algebra, algebra and geometry. When I was in school students didn’t take algebra until they were in high school. Today, students start take algebra as young as 11 and 12 years old. They are still young and would enjoy learning in a fun and interactive way.

2. Even students in high school are still young at heart and would just love some school work outside of the norm. Sure, there might be some students that might roll their eyes at the work, but they probaly would roll their eyes at anything.

3. It gives students a sense of accomplishment. Students can reflect on what they’ve learn and can also study for test using their interactive notebook.

Here are some of my own Interactive Math Notebooks for higher level math classes:
8th Grade Math
Pre-Algebra
Algebra
Geometry

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interactive algebra

Four Reasons Why Interactive Math Notebooks are Beneficial for Older Students

Interactive notebooks have been the rage for the last few years, mainly for younger grades. I think they are actually beneficial for students from Kinder through 12th grade and here are my reasons.

#1 – Students can take the time to reflect on what they’ve learned and come back to the concept at a later time to review. When I was in middle school and high school, math was easy for me. However, it wasn’t easy for everyone in my class. (And I have to admit I had other subjects that were difficult for me, but that’s another post in itself). Fractions and algebra are really difficult for some students to grasp. Once they do grasp the concepts, they are golden, but the initial hook can be difficult. Because of the difficult concepts taught in middle school and high school, I believe that interactive notebooks can help students to grasp the concepts. Many of my interactive notebooks have activities where students can review what they’ve learned and that is key especially when they are studying for end of the year (or course) tests.

interactive notebook prealgebra

#2 – Visual learners can learn quicker with interactive notebooks because they are so visual. Not everyone is visual, but many students are and interactive notebooks will help them to learn the concepts quicker due to the nature of interactive notebooks.

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#3 – Interactive Notebooks give them a sense of achievement. At the end of the school year students empty out their backpacks and look at what they’ve done. They will probably just toss out worksheets, and they may even toss out their interactive notebook, but I guarantee that they will take a second be proud of what they’ve done.

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#4 – Older students are still kids and like to have fun. Who likes to do boring worksheets? Not me and not my students, but they sure do love to do interactive notebooks regardless of their age. It’s fun to have a foldable or a cool cut-out that hides the answer or helps them to solve the problem.

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Here are my Interactive Math Notebooks for Older Grades:
Interactive Math Notebook for 6th grade
Interactive Math Notebook for 7th grade
Interactive Math Notebook for 8th grade
Interactive Math Notebook for Pre-Algebra
Interactive Math Notebook for Algebra
Interactive Math Notebook for Geometry

Have a great school year everyone!

STEM – Reflection

This is the last step in the Design Process for STEM. Reflecting is often overlooked due to time constraints, but it is probably the most important step in learning. It’s always good for students to center in for what they do well, but also pinpoint exactly what they need to work on to grow as a person. That is why I like to use two hearts and a wish, where I ask the students to think of a thing they did well, followed by something they could’ve improved upon and because it is always nice to end on a positive note, we finished this design process with a second thing that they did well.

reflection - STEM

When my nephews built their apple schoolhouse, they were really disappointed with thee final product, although I thought it looked great! So, they decided to take more time, reflect on it and create a new one. Here’s their first attempt:

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They decided that they didn’t like the way the roof looked, so they built it the second time without using the paperpalte as the roof. Here’s their final product.

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Do you think reflection is necessary in learning? Leave a comment and let me know.

To check out my STEM projects, click here: Back to School STEM Challenges
October STEM Challenges

Russia Country Study

Today I wanted to show you a little about my Russia Country Study printables. It’s a great set to introduce your students to Russia. They can even learn a little Russian as well.

All of my individual country packets have a letter written from a child from that particular country, fast facts, a crossword puzzle, word search, post card writing activity, comparison writing activity, crafts and more! Here is the ‘All About Russia page’ that your students can fill out while they are learning about Russi or you can use it as an assessment to see how much they learned about Russia.

Russia Country Study

My favorite activty of this packet is the Nesting Dolls (Matryoshka) craft. Students can create their own designs for the dolls or use the provided design.

Russia Country Study

They each sit on a ring of paper and can stand up.

Russia Country Study

They actually can nest inside of one another as well.

Russia Country Study

Russia Country Study

If you’d like more information about my Russia printables, click here: Russia Country Study

Around the World Interactive Notebook

Learning about countries is fun to do with an interactive notebook. It’s something you can work with your students several times each year, adding a country each time you use it. Each country has facts, foldables and cute graphics to color.

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My daughter loved learning about Japan. She’s really been into Japan and learning Japanese lately, so it’s been fun to provide her with activities that she loves.
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The passages about each countries provide lots of useful facts and students can refer back to these as well in this interactive format.

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My favorite country is Russia and I love teaching others about Russia and all of the great culture it has to offer!

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A variety of foldables add to the uniqueness of this packet. It’s truely interactive with flaps, foldables and more!

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This interactive notebook is designed to work with a variety of age groups.

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There are 30 countries in this packet so you can either use all of the countries or select the ones that you’d like. Countries explored include: Italy, France, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, New Zealand, USA, Canada, England, Germany, Norway, Brazil, Japan, China, India, South Africa, Australia, Thailand, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Portugal, Turkey, Albania, South Korea, Ukraine, Tunisia, Finland, Morocco, and the Netherlands.

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To find out more about my Around the World Interactive Notebook click here: Around the World Interactive Notebook

Ancient Egypt

I know I’ve mentioned in a past post about how much I love learning and teaching about other countries, but I also adore learning and teaching about different ancient civilizations. I think we can learn a lot about ourselves by learning about the past. Not only can we learn from their mistakes but we can learn how they work as a community and how to grow as a community. I think it’s hard to teach an introduction of Ancient Egypt to elementary students because you want to hit some points and you need to keep them interested. So, I created a fun high-interest packet to keep students involved in the learning process when learning about Ancient Egypt.

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There are lots of crafts since I think it’s fun to get students excited about learning through crafts, but it also has lots of more educational components like writing a comparison essay, a long letter from a child from that time period, some brainstorming activities and more – all about Ancient Egypt.

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Students will love making their own Ancient Egypt Cobra Headpiece. They can color it however they like and also add their own touches like glitter or stickers. Adding a pipe cleaner to the back of the cobra will make it stand up tall.

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My son had fun making his own Ancient Egypt Cobra Headpiece today on this lazy summer day. As you can tell, he’s a bit shy.

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Students will also love creating their own Ancient Egypt Sarcophagus!

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You can find my Ancient Egypt printables here: Ancient Egypt

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