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# Teach Think Elementary

## Responding to Wrong Answers in a positive classroom environment

How can we respond to wrong answers in a way that encourages our children to keep thinking and trying, instead of making them feel disheartened or embarrassed? Here are some suggestions for how to respond to wrong or partially correct answers. I’m writing from an...

## Area and Perimeter Relationships & Problem Solving, part 5

Area and Perimeter are difficult math concepts that kids usualy learn in upper elementary. As teachers, it can feel overwhelming to tackle all of that content. I’m breaking down the perimeter and area standards into manageable chunks in this blog post series. Part...

## Teaching Perimeter, part 4

In elementary school, one of the biggest math concepts students will tackle is Area and Perimeter. For us teachers, it can feel like an overwhelming amount of important content. In this blog series, I'm breaking all of the area and perimeter standards down into more...

## Teaching Measuring Area & Multiplication, part 2

Area and Perimeter are difficult math concepts that kids usualy learn in upper elementary. As teachers, it can feel overwhelming to tackle all of that content. I'm breaking down the perimeter and area standards into manageable chunks in this blog post series. Part...

## Teaching Area Concepts, part 1

Area and Perimeter are classic math concepts that kids learn in elementary school. As teachers, all of that content can be really overwhelming to teach. In this series, I’m breaking down the area and perimeter standards into manageable chunks. This is part 1, Teaching...

## How to Teach Subtraction Across Zeros

In upper elementary, it's pretty common for teachers to struggle with teaching fractions and decimals. They are tough concepts and kids need lots of time and quality instruction and interaction with the content to build those concepts deeply. Ask any third, fourth, or...

## Why Fact Triangles Work

When I first started teaching, way back in the year 2000, the world was a very different place. One of the first math teaching tools I found in my special ed classroom back then was a giant stack of punch out fact triangles. There were addition/ subtraction and...

## Holiday Activities to Review Geometry

Every teacher knows that even the best kids go a little loopy around holidays. And the bigger the holiday (or the more sugar involved!) the more crazy things can get. It can be super tempting to just throw on a movie or slap together some craftivities. And honestly,...

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of third grade teachers like being the first to introduce these adorable, innocent children to the world of fractions. Teaching third grade fractions can be intimidating, especially if you're a grade-change and come from lower...

## Teaching Fourth Grade Fractions & Decimals: Everything you Need to Know

In fourth grade math, the giant list of standards kids have to master can feel overwhelming, especially for new teachers (grade changers, we see you, too!). There's problem solving, factors & multiples, place value & rounding, division computation, angles,...

## Student Assessments: How to Choose

Assessing our students is more important than ever, especially post-pandemic. We need to know what they understand and what they missed, in order to know where to begin teaching. Even under normal circumstances, good teaching almost always starts with assessing what...

## Managing Chaotic School Days

Every teacher has those days. Halloween, the day before Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Parent-Teacher Conferences, the last week of school. Of course, we want these hectic school days to be semi-productive, but we also don't want to pile even more stress onto our...

## Why I Teach Geometry at the BEGINNING of the year

Most of us naturally tend to think to teach Geometry math units at the end of the school year. Most commercial math curricula leave it for last. Even the Common Core Math Standards put Geometry at the end of the list. It makes sense to our teacher brains- leave the...

## Team Points for Classroom Management: How to do it & Why it Works!

In my classroom management, I like to implement systems on three levels of accountability: hold students accountable individually, as teams/ small groups, and as a whole class.  This is how I use team points for small group accountability:  How I use team points in my...

## Teaching Teamwork in the Elementary Classroom

Teamwork is one of the most important skills we can teach our students.  It’s one of those things that they will need to rely on in almost every aspect of adult life, and yet sometimes it gets pushed aside in our busy teaching schedules.  Here are...

It can be really hard to fit everything in to our ELA instruction.  Often, it’s language and grammar that gets left out, but these are important skills that our students need in order to become truly literate.   One way to fit these sills in...

## Including Speech & Language Standards in Daily Instruction

With everything upper elementary teachers need to think about and cover, it can be really easy to let some things slide.  The speech and language standards tend to be one of those things.  These skills are important because they lead to more...

## End of the Year Awards that are Non-Academic

* leader * problem solver * fixer * engineer * peace keeper * teacher * great teammate * good sport * songbird * comedian * finder * helper * sharer * artist * referee * caring * dependable * responsible * unique * positive * hard working...

## FUN Summer Learning: 10 ideas

Did you know that kids can lose 2-3 months of learning over the summer?  No one wants to start the new school year already behind!! Here are 10 FUN things that kids can do over the summer to keep their brains sharp: 1. Play with water. Use plastic tubes, things...

## End of the School Year Ideas

The end of the school year can be a fun, but stressful time.  We want to make sure our students are learning up until the last day, but we also want to review, tie up loose ends and have time to reflect.  Here are 10 ideas for ways to have fun and keep...

## Managing Math Games: 6 Structures for Elementary Teachers

I love using math games in my elementary school classroom. But they can be difficult to organize, especially if you're trying to differentiate and manage student behavior at the same time. Here are some structures for managing math games in a way that helps everyone...

## 28 Reasons to Use Math Games

Math Games…promote strategic thinking teach cooperation allow for student choice provide an opportunity for self-monitoring are VERY motivating encourage mathematical communication help kids practice social skills/ turn taking can be...

## Math Games Checklist

I love using math games in my classroom.  I have many reasons why I (and my students) love playing math games.  But how do I decide which games to spend our precious class time playing?  What makes for quality math games?  Below is a list of the criteria I use when...