Sunday, August 6, 2017

3 Reasons Why Divisibility Rules Rule

One of the things I teach early on in fourth grade (and review with my fifth graders) is divisibility rules. I run it right behind factors and multiples, and while it may seem like one more (choose your own naughty word) to get done, and it isn't on the test, having them down will make life simpler for you and your kiddos down the road. How's that, you ask?

1. They make multi-step long division less intimidating. If a child can know that 4,392 divides evenly by 2, 3, 6, and 9 without any arithmetic, doing 712 divided by 3 seems not so bad. Also, a kid can know pretty quickly if any division problem you set is going to have a remainder, which makes a nice control of error. It's helpful, too, when the fifth graders are doing the really big problems and they have to estimate before they multiply.

2. They make simplifying fractions easier. Being able to quickly find factors of large numbers can make fraction work go soooo much faster! That's a skill that does a lot for kids' math self-image, too, at a time that they really need it. Fractions can be overwhelming; any tool that helps with that is a teacher's friend!

3. They feel like a cheat,which makes them fun! My kids love taking great big numbers and being able to tell me by what numbers they can be divided. It gives them a sense of power and a laugh because it's so easy. They're also a go-to strategy for some of the complex Math Olympiad problems I set for their group work.

So, what are these rules?  Since mine is a flipped classroom, I put together a video lesson on them:

You'll find lots of resources online for the kids to practice with. In my room, I use (Note: these aren't affiliate links and I don't actually know these sellers. There are the things I really use!):
a set of ChiliMath task cards I really like (Find them on TpT here.) 
a pick-and-flip center I found here I love the instant feedback on these!
and an inexpensive game my kids really enjoy here.

I also created a set of task cards that include a deck of Boom Cards, paperless, self-grading task cards. Click on the card below to try a preview of the Boom deck!
Still like printable task cards best? You'll find them in my store, here.
Divisibility rules make life easier! Don't forget to pin this for later!


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wait...Digital Task Cards That Check Themselves? Boom!

Holy cow, I'm in love.

I've been diving into getting my math stuff ready and into Google Forms, Drive, and Classcraft and creating menus in order to up my differentiation game. I was tooling around on Pinterest and noticed a definite uptick in pins about using digital task cards. I was curious. (You know, because I really need more stuff to manage right now. *Insert eye roll*) But then...


I clicked through a blogpost and found On it I found not just digital task cards, but a system that monitors my kids' progress for me and rewards them for their work. For free.

I've been looking for a replacement for IXL. One can only bootleg so many free trials before someone catches on. I do pay for a teacher Quizlet account and like it, but I need something that gives me a little more specific feedback on who gets what and who doesn't. Boom Cards can do that.

We're 1:1 in my district, but if we weren't, the Boom Cards work on the interactive whiteboard as well as on things with iOS and Android systems (for you with BYOD). Like I said, there's a free option, but the paid versions are very reasonably priced. With multiple classes, I can create a classroom for each of my math teams (and reading group, if I get that ambitious) that allows me to differentiate. Woo-hoo!

A teacher can find Boom Cards on TpT and in the store that's part of Boomlearning. I played with some freebies and found others that were cheaper than what I'd pay for a set of printable cards (which would have to be printed on cardstock and laminated). There aren't a ton of sellers yet, but more are sure to come. Even the free version gives you access to the studio that lets you make Boom cards of your own.
Update: I gave the studio at try! Click the card to try a preview!

Don't forget to pin this for later! You'll be glad you did!