Tropical Storm Isaac Welcomes Us Back to a New School Year

After a smooth first week of classes, schools will be closed on Monday due to Tropical Storm Isaac. Now we just sit, wait, and pray that this storm does not cause much damage and that everyone stays safe. I also hope that this storm is not the beginning of an active hurricane season for us. I remember just a few years ago when we had an active season at the beginning of the school year. The school year began similar to this year… excited and anxious students arrived on the first day of class to see who their new teacher was going to be and to find out which friends would be in their classroom. Then a few days later, we found ourselves preparing our classrooms for Mother Natures own welcome back celebration. We covered computers, removed items located near windows, we stored important papers and books in closets … we reviewed safety tips with our students and did the best we could to keep them calm. Then their parents picked them up and we all went our separate ways and the waiting began. We waited… waited… and waited some more. And that year, we went through that same scenario multiple times.
Well that’s where we are right now… In the middle of the waiting game… Let me just say that one of the hardest parts of going through any storm or hurricane is the waiting process and not knowing if you will lose power, suffer damage, or how long it will be until all of this is over… and so we WAIT!

While we wait I thought I’d keep myself busy by sharing a few pictures of my Math Notebook and what we’ve been working on this week. 

math notebook cover
The first thing we did this year was to decorate the first page with the word MATH and anything that came to the students mind whenever math notebook cover designthey think of the word MATH.  As you can see my page is not all that snazzy, but the students seemed to enjoy be told to use markers, crayons, and drawings during math class :0)
The next thing we did was setup our Table of Contents page. Another simple page to do. table of contents

… and after that was when the FUN really began. Once our table of contents was set and we had numbered the first 5 pages in our math books it was time to bring out the colored paper, scissors, and glue. No it was not time for Art Class… it was still MATH TIME! We were getting ready for some FUN FLAPS time… At least that’s what I call them… FLAPS. The first flap we made this week was our operations flap. 
operations flap revised
operations flap open revised
This flap is where the students will keep track of key words that will help them solve word problems. In the center of the yellow flaps is a word bank. As the school year progresses, we will highlight new words we learn and then write those words under the correct flap. For example, just this week we encountered the word in all and its meaning. So the students highlighted the word in all and rewrote it under the flap for addition. Also, since we will be using this Fun Flap quite a bit this year, we glued it to the cover for easy access. The students had a BLAST making this flap and it is going to come in quite handy this year. If you would like to download this flap simply click here.
The next FUN FLAP we worked on this week was for graphing. I  introduced Tally and Frequency Tables and we discussed the difference between both. Then we cut, folded, and glued our 2-door flap. (This flap has a “door” on the top and another on the bottom)tally table closed revised We then created our own class Tally Table. (top door)
I had a white foam cup with 5 different colored cubes inside. As I randomly walked around with the cup and had students take out a colored cube, we added tallies to our table. We then discussed the outcome and the benefits to using a tally table. Our next step, was to take that data and transfer it to a Frequency Table and discuss the reasoning behind creating a frequency table. (top left flap/door) The next tally table open revised morning, students worked in groups to copy and answer a group of 5 questions concerning the data we had collected the day before. (I wanted to see how well my students understood the data and if they were familiar with terminology such as least, most, in all, etc…) We discussed the answers and reviewed the importance of locating key words and information when given word problems. Later on in the day, they worked with a buddy to record a new set of data for 4 different colored cubes. (bottom flap/door)With their partner they created a tally table, frequency table, and answered questions. As I walked around, I was pleased with what I saw… I then knew it was time to move on to PICTOGRAPHS. As you can see from the picture above, we used the information we had already gathered to create 2 Colored Cube Pictographs. So far so good… If you would like a FREE copy of the FUN FLAPS click on the pictures above.
Next week we tackle bar graphs and line plots. So stay tuned…

What fun or interesting activities do you use to teach graphing to your students?

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  • Reply
    courtney shiffrin
    August 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Is there any way to get a copy of your graph fun flap? This is perfect for what my students need to work on.


    • Reply
      Melissa Yalesias
      August 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      Thanks to your request I've added the link above. Simply click on the pictures and it will take you to my TPT store to download for FREE. Stay tuned because there are more flaps coming soon…
      :0) Melissa

  • Reply
    Tammy Holliday
    August 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! I would love a copy of your tally table fun flap, as well. I am really trying to do a better job using math notebook this year and you have inspired me to "get going." Where in FL are you? I am in Pasco county and we are the only county in our area still open tomorrow.

    • Reply
      Melissa Yalesias
      August 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Glad to hear that I've inspired you! You've made my day.
      I'm in Miami Dade County… Stay safe during the storm!
      :0) Melissa

  • Reply
    Kristin Gre
    August 27, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Thanks for the tips .one of your TPT items was featured on my most recent blog post "10 weekly TPT and Blog finds"! Thanks for being a follower of my blog 🙂
    Take a Walk on the Teaching Side

    My Teachers Pay Teachers Store

  • Reply
    Jen (Hello Mrs. Sykes)
    September 4, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Super organized!! Love this methodical setup, and all of the vocab structures you're putting in place. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Hello Mrs Sykes

  • Reply
    March 5, 2013 at 6:32 am

    I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

    Tally Classes in Chennai

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