Critical thinking is a skill our children will certainly need throughout their lives. As educators, it is part of our job to equip young minds with the ability to analyze situations, solve problems, and to question what they see and read.
All of our students have a tremendous capacity! But, to tap into this capacity requires a gradual process that involves hard work and lots of patience. So how can we do what is necessary to help our students develop critical thinking skills? Keep on reading for some suggestions and strategies that you can start implementing at home or in the classroom today.
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I developed math mysteries to be versatile in their use. After being in a teaching role that involved seeing 220 different kids a week across K6, I initially made this math mystery range to be something that I could quickly prepare, engage, teach, be mostly selfcorrecting, and quick to pack up before heading onto the next classroom.. So, if you've seen these math mysteries and ever wondered what you can use them for, keep on reading.
When using any of the math mystery resources from my range as a class activity, I recommend pacing the case clue by clue rather than giving your students all of the five clue worksheets in one go. By pacing the clues, it will stop some students from racing too far ahead of the rest, while others are left behind. Turning a math mystery into a competition has its benefits, and certainly is still a fine approach to using these if you prefer to give all five clues in a booklet format for students to work on at their own pace. However, in this post, I aim to outline five tips with suggestions that will help set up ALL of your students for math mystery success!
The previous post aimed at providing some insight to introversion. If you suspect that you have one or more introverted students in your classroom (there's a high chance that you will at least have one), below are some strategies that you can implement in your classroom to help them thrive in school.
I used a simple brownie mix and kept it in one piece to first explain that the cake in this tin is a whole. We spoke about that it is ONE whole brownie cake.
Next, cut up the brownie cake into 20 equal sized pieces. Then discuss that 20 pieces of brownies make up one whole in this cake tin. So 20 is the denominator for our fractions in this brownie tray.
I tried my best to keep the size of each brownie the same  point out that when working with fractions each part needs to be equal.
Then to start practicing writing fractions, use some different candy to decorate the individual brownies. I used jellybeans, coins, m&m's, and monster wrapped candy.
For example in the image below: 1. Ask students how many of the brownies are decorated with M&M's? There are 5 brownies decorated with M&M's. 2. Ask how many brownies are in total? 20 3. How can we show this by writing a fraction? The number decorated in m&m's is the numerator, and the total amount of brownies is the denominator. 5 20 4. If doing this with older grades, you could also further discuss simplifying the fraction as an answer. 1 4
Then continue to do the same with different types of decorations.
And then you can also do fractions for brownies without decorations.
I didn't put icing on the brownies so that I could easily change the decorations on top and keep practicing fractions as many times as needed. Decorating some delicious treats is a fun way to help kids build an understanding of fractions. Grab a sweet differentiated fraction FREEBIE down below. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE RESOURCE 'Decorating with Fractions'
In the free download, you will receive TWO sets of the same three worksheets.
The first three are in easy mode, keeping the denominator the same as the total number for students to work with. Great for beginners.
The second set of the three worksheets, works best for students who have an understanding of equivalent fractions. The fraction rules are given in simplified form.
Find Decorating with Fractions for Free here.
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This week I'd like to share an anchor chart I made to teach addition with regrouping. I found the use of place value blocks helpful in explaining the concept of carrying the ten over.
The different colors used are intended to help highlight and show the steps throughout the process.
Step 1  Look at the ones first!
Count the one blocks to find the total. Draw them. In the chart example, there are 15 one blocks. Step 2 Explain that we can't put 15 in the ONES position, so if we have 10 ones, we must regroup them and turn them into a ten block. Demonstrate that this new ten block formed from the ones is CARRIED over to the top of the other ten blocks. In the numerical form, we represent this by adding a '1' to the top of the column. Step 3  Then add the ten blocks together (including the carried over ten block). In the chart example we have 10 + 50 + 30 90. Or 9 ten blocks which equals 90. Take the 9 (in the tens position) to sit in the TENS position of the answer. So, the answer for the chart example is 95! . If you are looking for a fun way to get lots of addition practice in, you may like to try this fun addition math mystery 'Case of The Angry Adder' Available in different difficulty levels. Click on a grade cover to find out the addition skills covered in each.

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AuthorA 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife. This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies. Opt Out of Cookies 
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