Trash Can Math

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I have been wanting to share this game for SO LONG! 

 I learned this game two years ago when I was filling in for a teacher on maternity leave.  We got to spend 4 days together for transitioning (which now that I think back is AMAZING!)  I truly learned so much from her! And get this, she is also Mrs. Stahl!

Short story long: I was getting married that September so I started the school year off as Miss Fitzpatrick and then changed to Mrs. Stahl.  So I was Mrs. Stahl filling in for Mrs. Stahl.  Kind of confusing, no?  We made sure to warn the parents ahead of time so they weren’t wondering why pregnant Mrs. Stahl came back to school 2 weeks after having a baby.

Anywho.  The name of the game is Trash Can Math.  Although no actual trash cans are involved.  You could probably change that to make it more realistic but that’s up to you.

You will need:     -1 dice*
                                             -dry erase markers

The game is simple.  Tell students we are trying to make the BIGGEST number we can by rolling the dice 3 times (or 4 if you choose to include hundreds).  The catch is, we can only use the number once and we have to pick a spot for it before we roll again.  We CANNOT move the number once we picked its spot or that will be cheating.

The board set up is like this:

Chose a student to roll the dice.  Say they roll a “1”, well that’s easy—put it in the trash can.  You want nothing to do with that one because you can’t roll any lower—it’s only up from here.  But, of course, don’t reveal this thinking.  Make the kids do the work!

Then choose another kiddo to roll again.  Say this time you roll a “4”.  Well that’s a little trickier and you kind of have to gamble.  You could roll a 5 or 6 next time so maybe don’t put it in your tens place just yet.  Or maybe do because there’s a chance you will roll 1, 2 or 3.  See where I am going with this people? This is HIGH ORDER THINKING at its finest!!

Last kid rolls, and obviously you put that number in the last open spot. Let's say it is a "3".  Then evaluate if you have made the highest number or not. {Can you feel the rigor?} Congrats, you just won your first game of TCM!! 

The first few times we play as a class so we are all making mistakes or awesome decisions together.  After a few rounds, I let the kids put the numbers where they want but of course I question some of their decisions.  You always have that kid who throws out a 5 because he thinks someone will roll two sixes next.  And you ALWAYS have that sneakster who is trying to erase numbers so he “wins”.

*I use whiteboards but you could also laminate the page below and have kids write on that.  Or they could use index cards with numbers written on them.  Or something like that.  Possibilities are endless people! Click here or on the pic to get a free copy : )

*I was uber excited because I ordered these inflatable dice at the beginning of the year.  

However, I didn’t think to blow one up ahead of time.  And I was 9 months pregnant.  So blowing it up in a timely fashion wasn’t happening.  Instead, I panicked thought quickly and used this virtual dice. Which aren't actually called dice, they are referred to as "number cubes". While it’s cool, the "number cubes" only goes from 0-4 or 0-5 or something.

Overall, I love this game because it can be short or long so it’s a great go-to if you have some extra time at the end of the math block.  Once kids are experts, you could have it as a choice for centers or if they finish early.  Add the hundreds or thousands place to differentiate.  SO MANY OPTIONS!

Well I hope I wasn’t too confusing explaining that.  If you have any questions still, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  Happy Teaching, all!

Giveaway Party!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I am ALL ABOUT a celebration--especially when it includes amazing giveaways from plenty of talented teachers!! 


Mrs. Nicolau is giving away TWO DIFFERENT items of your choice!
Here are your choices (click on the link to see the dimensions and more details):

Let's giveaway a gift card!! Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $25 TPT Giftcard! Remember the more entries you have, the more changes you have to win!!!

While we are throwing the house out the window, let's also celebrate with a $21.00 gift card from the AMAZING Melonheadz!

Last, but definitely not least! I have many blog friends that have joined me to celebrate this amazing event! They have all joined me to giveaway bundles by grades!!!

The first bundle is for our Bilingual teachers!

Next is the K-1 Bundle in English!

Last is our 2-3 Grades Bundle in English!

Are you excited enough?! We sure hope so! Stop by Mrs. Nicolau's blog to enter on all these great prizes!!!
While you are there, drop a note to her. She LOVES hearing from her readers! :)

Five for Friday: Labor Day Weekend

Friday, September 4, 2015

EEK! It has been so long since I have linked up for F4F.  I am hoping to do it much more this school year with actual school-related things.  But since I am currently on maternity leave, it will be a modge podge of school AND baby stuff ; ) 
So....I had a baby!!! 6 days ago, to be exact.  He is THE BEST. Seriously pinching myself for how lucky we are.  He has been getting up only once at night.  He sleeps so soundly and only cries when we change his clothes or diaper.  We are IN LOVE! Did I mention he is absolutely adorable!?

Harrison James  7 lbs. 4 oz.  20.5 inches born on 8-29-15

Love seeing my boys cuddling : ) Hubs has been home all week with me and it has been ah-maz-ing.  I am going to be so sad when he goes back to work : (

Loves being all snuggled up!! He has been letting us sleep for 4-5 hour stretches at night!

Obsessed with his hands!

Before baby, I started and completed a full week of 2nd grade : )  It was SO nice to get some time in with my new kiddos even if I was exhausted being 9 months pregnant (Thanks goodness for AC!!)
A few classroom pics.  The room isn't quite done.


While at the hospital Sunday, my phone was blowing up with texts, of course, wondering about Harrison.  But then I stopped to check my TPT email and realized I had a product featured in the newsletter!! It was a double whammy of excitement : )

I have even found the time to work on the Growing Bundle of Holiday Close Reads which is at its lowest price right now $5.00.  As soon as I add the next, the price will go up so get it now!!

Next up is Columbus Day which should be done by today if baby keeps sleeping : )

While in school last week, we did a lot of fun things.  This was a super simple activity that kept the kiddos engaged for quite a while which I was ALL ABOUT since I took any chance to rest my aching, swollen feet.  (I may or may not have been rolling around in my chair all day). We read "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" and they drew a picture from their summer on puzzle paper.  Then, they cut it out and swapped with a partner who had to put it together.  Once it was complete, they told their partner about their picture.  Simple, easy, time-consuming ; )
This could totally be adapted to "draw about your weekend" or "your holiday break" or "what you ate for breakfast" ; )
  If you'd like to do it, click the pic below for a free copy of the puzzle paper

One other favorite activity was an intro to our math tools.  I picked out 5: geoboards, base 10 blocks, unifix cubes, dominoes and two-sided counters.  I let each group have 3-5 minutes to explore then we switched.  At the end, we talked about each one. 

And of course we had to review expectations and rules.  I used a cut and paste from "What's in Your  Math Toolbox?" pack.

Overall, it has been the most exciting, rewarding, eventful two weeks of my life!! 

Can't wait to read about your week : )

#teacherweek15 5 Fun Facts

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hey there!! It's been a little while and LOTS has happened.  Let's catch up with some fun facts : )

1. On Saturday, I became a MOM to my precious baby boy, Harrison James.

We came home from the hospital yesterday and it has been wonderful! Luckily, the hubs is off all week and he is being super dad helping me out as we adjust to life with a newborn.

2. Just a week ago, I started my first week of school as a 2nd grade teacher : ) It was a tough week being 9 months pregnant and all but we got off to a great start and while I am obviously not ready to go back quite yet, when I do I know we will have an awesome year!
{I snapped this while the kiddos were at Library on the morning of the first day}

3. RANDOM: For my 18th birthday, my parents and I went to see Saturday Night Live in NYC.  It was one of the coolest experiences ever :)

4. I have shared this before BUT it's too good not to re-share.  I always had the entrepreneurial itch and in college I started a business selling grilled cheese sandwiches late night on the weekends for $1 in my apartment building gaining popularity as the "Grilled Cheese Girl". 

5. My husband and I will be married for 2 years this month.  He is hands down the most amazing man and now, father, a girl could ask for.  I truly feel like the luckiest woman on earth : )

That's a little bit about me! Can't wait to read about you : )

Head back to Blog Hoppin' to link up!

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