Amber from TGIF (Third Grade is Fun)
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Tips on Teaching ROUNDING to the Nearest 10 and 100

Teaching rounding.  Gulp.  This is one of those concepts that some kids just magically gravitate toward and others S T R U G G L E!  So, how can we support those that struggle to learn rounding to the nearest 10 and 100 while keeping the others who "get it" engaged?  I am sharing some easy, peasy tips with you!

Teaching rounding to the nearest 10 and 100 can be challenging for third graders, but with the right approach and tips, it can be made easier. Here are some practical tips for teaching rounding to the nearest 10 and 100 to 3rd graders:

Tip # 1 Start with a visual approach: Use manipulatives such as base-10 blocks to help students visualize the concept of rounding.

Tip #2 Use real-life examples to introduce the concept: Use money as an example.  "If something cost $2.99, what is that closest to in whole dollars?"  

Tip #3 Break it down: Teach students to round to the nearest 10 first, then move on to rounding to the nearest 100. Practicing in math centers or during intervention time allow students to practice each concept of rounding the the nearest 10 and rounding to the nearest 100 individually and then when they are ready, they can move on to mixed rounding concepts.  These Rounding Triangle Sorts allow individual rounding and mixed rounding practice.  They even include a rounding to the thousands place for those students who need a challenge.  

Tip #4 Use a number line: Use a number line to help students visualize the concept of rounding. A hands on number such as the FREE number line I have available below, helps students get a better understanding of midline numbers (350 is halfway between 300 and 400) and getting a visual of if number 28 is closer to 20 or 30 by physically placing the numbers on the line.  

Tip #5 Make it fun: Use games and math crafts to engage students and make the concept of rounding more enjoyable.  Math crafts are double duty because not only do they allow for differentiated practice, but they also are just so much fun for the students AND they double as an amazing math display to show off the standards you have been working on.  This "Donut you Think: Rounding is Sweet" math craft is perfect on a bulletin board.

You can differentiate by supporting students who need it with numbers "in order" (above) like on a number line or students who are ready for a challenge with mixed numbers (above) which takes a considerable amount of concentration.

Tip #6 Repeat and reinforce: Repeat the concept several times and reinforce it through practice problems.  These place value and rounding math fact tents allow students to practice with a partner and repeat the practice again and again until they master the concept.  

Tip # 7 Use technology: Use technology such as interactive whiteboards or online games to help teach rounding.  Have students make their own number line in Google Slides or even using the good old, faithful whiteboard and dry erase marker.  

Tip #8 Be patient: Rounding can be difficult for some students, so be patient and provide extra support to those who need it.  When most students have mastered the concept, don't be afraid to move on.  Just continue reinforcing rounding through a quick daily review or in your intervention time to continue reaching out to those students who struggle.  

Easy Spring Math and Art Activities for 3rd Grade

It is finally time to take all the snowmen down and put winter away until next year!  Spring is on its way and I wanted to put up some of my student's artwork, but I have been so behind in my curriculum this year (thanks pandemic) that I hated to take away time from lesson, so I combined math and art!  

Symmetry Butterflies

My math curriculum never once mentions symmetry!  Crazy!  So we did a quick lesson on symmetry by folding some paper to see if they had symmetry and talking about how we have parts of our body that is symmetrical (eyes, ears, arms).  Then we used white cardstock, watercolor paints and paintbrushes (you can see ours have been well loved), and a small cup of water to paint stripes on our cardstock.  We put a book on them and let them dry at the end of the day and finished our butterflies the next day.  

The next day we drew some shapes and decided how to divide them with symmetry.  Then we folded our painted paper in half and cut our butterflies.  (I did give them a quick cut out that they could trace.)  We added craft sticks for the body (I let them use markers to paint them) and used one pipe cleaner to make symmetrical antennae.  I also happened to have googly eyes to glue on (from Dollar Tree).  I did use my hot glue gun to glue the antennae and googly eyes, but liquid glue would work drying over night.  We hung ours from the ceiling, but they would also look fabulous on a bulletin board.

Comparing Fractions Rainbows

We have been working on fractions and I had introduced equivalent fractions and comparing fractions, but not a whole lot.  To practice it we colored these comparing fractions rainbows instead of doing a stinky workbook sheet!  I printed one out for myself and completed it under my document camera so they could see how it works and then I let them loose!


I also had a few students in my class that I needed to differentiate for.  One was not ready to work on fractions at all, so there was a blank rainbow that I could write in different math problems for him to compare and it worked out perfectly!  The blank rainbow and the comparing fractions rainbows can be found by click this link.  

3 Steps to Prepare for the Unknown Back to School Year

ClientmojiSchool is starting in a few weeks and I still don’t have a clue what school will look like this year. In my small school we only have one teacher per grade level. We are also offering both online remote school and in person school with the same hours as last year. What does that mean for me? At times it means I want to go cry in a corner because it now means I will be doing two jobs instead of one. But instead I’m trying to reflect on how I can tackle BOTH. Here are some suggestions that I hope will help you too.

  1. Make a list of videos for the first few weeks that you can use for both online and in classroom teaching. Thankfully our school is using the same curriculum as it did last year so I’m somewhat familiar with what I will be teaching. So I’m trying to tackle one subject at a time for a few weeks. I’m tackling math first. Since I know I will be teaching some place value in addition and subtraction strategies, I’m going onto the Internet and trying to find as many videos that are already made by some amazing teachers that will line up with the lessons that I will teach. I’m listing them by subject or by lesson and adding them to a simple document so I can copy and paste when I need them. This is going to be a huge help for me the first few weeks because I will have some already previewed videos that I can push out online and in my classroom because since we’re having to do both I’m going to need those breaks from teaching in my classroom, and hey this will also help me in future years too.
You can grab all the video and activities links for free below. 

2.  Print outs online programs that match your book curriculum. For example at our school we use IXL as an online supplemental math program and we use Go Math as our classroom math curriculum.  IXL has made a document that matches the online activities they have with out math program so I can find that information faster for when I want to assign IXL in the classroom or online to my remote learners.

3.  Meal prep like a mad woman! I actually do this every year but I try to make as many freezer meals as I possibly can for those first few hectic weeks of school. I also give myself a little bit of grace and buy some of those frozen banquet family meals and a rotisserie chicken or two with premade rice. We will all live even if we’re not eating that healthy for a little while. Actually made three videos a year or two ago titled “I hate cooking“.

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