Mathematics Materials for Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade

Common Core Aligned

Under the Common Core state standards, during grades third through fifth students work with mathematics using models, standard algorithms and in the context of word problems. By doing so, students develop a deep number sense that prepares them for algebra and beyond and the real world application of mathematics to everyday problems. Boom Learning has a range of materials to help you teach, review, assess or prep on these topics.

Operations

Between third and fifth grade, students are expected to master addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. For a fully developed number sense, they must be able to identify the unknown number in an equation, perform word problems, and understand the identity, commutative, and associative properties. Finally, they should be able to identify operations based patterns. Success with operations necessitates a firm foundation in place value. Authors Evil Math Wizard, Simone’s Math Resources, Wise Guys, Shelley Rees, LittleStreams, I Heart 4th Grade, White’s Workshop, Teachers Features, Mercedes Hutchens | Surfing to Success, and more provide a wide variety of operations Boom Cards.

Untitled design.jpg

Fractions

For fractions, students in these grades first develop their concept of a fraction as a part of a whole, including learning to convert whole numbers to fractions. Working with models, such as fraction wheels and number lines, deepen students understanding of fractions. Students learn to recognize and generate equivalent fractions. Finally, students master applying the four operations to fractions, which prepares them for conversions and unit rate applications in middle school. Wise Guys, Simone’s Math Resources, Little Streams, Miss Mindy, I heart 4th grade, Crockett’s Classroom, Meredith Anderson – Momgineer and Pink Cat Studio make colorful and engaging fractions Boom Cards.

Copy of 3-5 Math Fractions.png

Decimals

In fourth grade, students learn to relate decimals to fractions and the number line. They also learn to perform the four operations on decimals and to represent decimals using models. Finally, students learn to apply decimals in real world situations, which prepares them for percentages and interest in middle school. Look for decimals Boom Cards by Wise Guys, Shelley Rees, LittleStreams, I heart 4th grade, Simone’s Math Resources, and Stress-Free Teaching.

3-5 Math Decimals

Geometry, Measurement and Data

For geometry, students master the most common geometric shapes and begin to understand concepts of area and volume. For all three concepts, students master the concept of units and apply them to solving a variety of problems. Finally they begin to understand graphing as a way to represent mathematical problems. These skills prepare them for advanced geometric manipulations, conversions, probability, and statistics in middle school and beyond. Look for Boom Cards by Making the Grayd, Garden Full of Knowledge, Little Streams, Catia Dias, Amber from TGIF, and Fishyrobb.

3-5 Math Geometry measurement data.png

Assess and Review Middle School Mathematics

Whether you are assessing understanding, preparing for Common Core or similar standards-based tests, recommending summer retention or credit recovery, or are looking ahead to fall, we have a few resources to help your middle schoolers solidify core skills. You can find our collection of mathematics materials for middle schoolers here.

MiddSimoune's Math Resourcesle schoolers are expected to extend their understanding of operations to all rational numbers, including negative numbers. Everyday reasoning about the meaning of negative numbers provides a solid foundation. Simone’s Math Resources’s Comparing Integers can be used as a pre-test, assessment, or practice of student ability to understand the applicability of negative numbers to real world problems.

A firm grasp of absolute value is an essential foundation to performing operations on mixed negative and positive numbers. Miss Mindy has an Absolute Value lesson plus practice deck bundle. You can use it with the student who needs extra or with the student reading to jump ahead.

Middle schoolers must develop increasingly sophisticated skills in working with expressions and exponents. We have several items from Joan Kessler, LittleStreams, Simone’s Math Resources, Jean Adams, and Misty Miller to evaluate how well your students are working with Expressions and Exponents or to assign extra practice.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 10.05.32 PM

ELA Test Prep (or Teaching) for Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade Standards

Whether you are squeezing in last-minute test prep or thinking ahead to fall, we have a variety of materials to help third, fourth, and fifth graders meet standards. You can use these materials to evaluate progress, practice and teach, or pre-test.

LANGUAGE ARTS

bjm4jho6vwyhwc7zg-bundle-reMastering the conventions of standard English can be a trial for many children. We have a variety of materials for you to teach, assess, practice, or remediate these crucial skills. The Revising and Editing Bundle by Rosie’s Resources is a handy set for last minute test prep.

If your students need more, check out these resources:

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 10.23.46 PMIn language arts, students also need to master vocabulary acquisition and use (CC.ELA.L.4, CC.ELA.L.5 and CC.ELA.L.6). This can range from the skills of sequencing, to being able to use context clues to determine word meaning. Rachel Lynette has three decks of increasing difficulty to help students master context clues. Other skills you can practice using cards from our vocabulary collection include Greek and Latin roots, parts of speech, and commonly confused words.

READING

To master the art of reading with comprehension, students must be able to determine main ideas, key details, and draw inferences. We have materials for students to practice drawing conclusions, making generalizations, making predictions, and making inferences from pictures.Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 10.29.51 PM

Barb Evans creates a variety of materials that combine critical thinking and problem solving with vocabulary building.Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 10.36.43 PM

You can find more materials here:

WRITING

Writing skills include the ability to write dialogue, sequence, and understand and craft analogies. You can find writing materials for grades third, fourth and fifth here.

Happy Teaching!

ELA Test Prep for Middle School

Middle school brings English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science testing. Today’s focus is on materials in the Boom Learning catalog that can help your students prepare for ELA testing in middle school. These materials are suitable for students in fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.

Boom Cards resources let you see at a glance how each student is progressing towards mastery and where they are making mistakes. With their cheerful bright colors and game features, Boom Cards are a welcome break from worksheets. Best of all they make sure screen time is moving students closer to standard. Give your classroom a selection of materials to practice for testing season and let students pick and choose which to do when.

Learning with Sunflower Smiles has five decks for students who need practice with Active and Passive Voice. There are two decks for mixed voices, and three additional decks for focused practice each on past, present and future tense. Assigned mixed voices for the whole class. Add focused practice if some students need more.

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 2.50.19 PM

Students who need to practice conventions can work with possessive apostrophes, commas, and pronoun case with decks from It’s a Teacher Thing, Hand in Hand, Learning with Sunflower Smiles, Deb Hansen, Rachel Lynette, and HappyEdugator. There are also a variety of materials to practice vocabulary, including Greek and Latin roots from Rosie’s Resources.

For reading skills, we have decks ranging from Advanced Point of View by Rachel Lynette, to Author’s Purpose by Deb Hanson, to Analogies Practice by HappyEdugator and many more.

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 3.52.25 PM.png

Feel free to repost and share with your teacher friends and students’ parents.

Teaching Time First through Fourth Grade Materials. Older Kids? Try Telling Time in Spanish, Italian, and French

Boom Learning materials allow you to assemble just right learning bites for a topic, with the ability to remediate or challenge. Are your third and fourth graders at standard for working with time? Is your homeschooler on track and mastering time?

In the United States, third graders in Common Core states are expected to be able to tell and write time to the nearest minute. They are also expected to be able to solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time interval in minutes. In Texas, they are expected to be able to tell and write time to the nearest minute by second grade.

To integrate Boom Cards in your teaching or review of time skills for third graders, we recommend starting with Racing Through Time by Making the Grayd to practice writing hours and minutes.Then have students move to advanced time telling with Time|One Minute Intervals by LittleStreams, which practices minutes before and after. Finally, practice adding and subtracting time to the minute with Elapsed Time by Fishyrobb. Both Elapsed Time and One Minute Intervals work well for interactive whiteboard group work.
Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 11.17.04 AM

By the end of fourth grade, students are expected to be able to work with time using the four operations. To practice these skills we recommend starting with Elapsed Time by Garden Full of Knowledge and then moving on to Speed, Distance, Time Cards by Curriculum for Autism. Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 11.17.16 AM

If you have younger students or students who need remediation, try our collections for first and second graders.

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 10.39.00 AM
First Grade Resources
Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 10.39.39 AM
Second Grade Resources

If your students are bilingual, older, studying a foreign language or need enrichment, consider assigning a deck about time in Spanish, French or Italian.

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 12.43.35 PM

 

The Research is In: Our Approach to Testing is Wrong

We used to rely upon the observations of parents, teachers, and psychologists to explain what was happening inside the brains of children.

And those observations tell us children are a highly variable bunch!

Since the 1930s, we have treated testing as a valid objective measure of childhood development. We have used it to define norms and deviations from norms. Children are mapped to a one-dimensional categorical model based on age and, sometimes, gender.

With the advent of neuroimaging, we can now see inside brains as they work. New images show that development is highly variable (surprised?). Megha Sharda, Nicholas Foster, and Krista Hyde contend that conventional methods for understanding typical and atypical development are far too simple. The current categorical approach treats human variability as “noise” to be analyzed away.

Sharda writes that Twentieth Century measures miss factors that contribute to outcomes, being “insufficient, not only for neurodevelopment disorders but also for typical development.”

Twentieth Century models and beliefs about development and education culminated in the passage of No Child Left Behind at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century. Its architects believed that categorical assessment would lead to actionable information to improve student achievement.

Test Prep
Questions on sentence structure, spelling, commas, figurative language and more by the Happy Edugator. Available at Boom Learning for 200 points.

Since the passage of NCLB, the United States has slipped backward internationally in math on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and has had no change in reading. Worse, some states, such as Florida, have adopted policies directly contradicted by research, such as retaining third graders who fail to achieve a proficient level on the third-grade ELA assessment.

In 2011, National Research Council (NRC) reviewed the research and concluded that the fundamental premise of NCLB was false. Sixteen years of data later and we still don’t know how to use information from testing to improve education and achievement. We can continue on the same path, but that would be the definition of insanity.

Education is on the cusp of a breakthrough such as we have seen in economics. Traditional economics said all humans act rationally in their best interests. Newer, behavioral economic models examine how emotional, cognitive, social, psychological and related factors cause humans to behave in predictable, but not rational ways.

The Twenty-First Century growth in knowledge about cognitive development happened alongside NCLB. Human variability is not merely noise, but a contributing factor to our inability to effectively use categorical testing to improve education outcomes.

The research does not support continuing to categorically test children every year from third to eighth grade. Retaining some checkpoint testing has informational value, but there is no justification for continuing to test children every year for six years in a row.

The NRC’s review is a call to reinvest in basic research to identify measures that actually result in positive effects on achievement. That research should focus on finding sensitive windows for identifying factors that lead specific children to underachieve.

We also need tools to help us separate variability from a neurological or psychiatric disorder. And we need politicians and educational reformers to build human variability into their models for assessing progression through standards.

Reducing categorical testing and replacing it with tailored testing to catch students at risk of underachieving would better meet the goals of having our students college, career and technical college ready.

The beauty of using materials like Boom Cards and other self-grading and adaptive materials is that they allow teachers to unobtrusively and continuously conduct formative assessments and identify areas for intervention or enrichment. Rather than disrupting classroom flow they can seamlessly be integrated.

Last blog post we asked does the Every Student Success Act (ESSA) get it just right? We think amending ESSA to test for science, mathematics, and reading or language arts no more than once in each of the windows of (a) 4th to 6th grade, (b) 6th to 9th grade, and (c) 10th to 12th grade would be the first step towards a research-based assessment policy.

Drawn from

National Research Council. (2011). Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education. Committee on Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Public Education, M. Hout and S.W. Elliott, Editors. Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://www.nap.edu/read/12521/

Sharda, Megha, Nicholas E.V. Foster, and Krista L. Hyde. “Imaging Brain Development: Benefiting from Individual Variability.” Journal of Experimental Neuroscience 9.Suppl 1 (2015): 11–18. PMC. Web. 6 Apr. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4667561/

HR 610

By now you’ve likely seen a post from a friend or teacher than contains a reference to HR 610 (House of Representatives Bill 610).

The bill has not passed, nor has it been heard in Committee. Now that President Trump has issued a budget, we have a clearer picture of what HR 610 will mean for schools and for special education students, in particular.

Well what is it exactly?

Around $370 per kid in vouchers and abandonment of laws that require schools to facilitate student success for at-risk students.

Disabled little boy in wheelchair watching children play on playground

Why do we have federal funding of education? To help at-risk students.

Students at-risk of failing in school and dropping out include the twice exceptional, students with learning and other disabilities, the poor, and students who struggle to acquire English language literacy. Keeping them in school and learning improves our workforce and our ability to compete as a nation.

The goal of the current law is in its title: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The ESSA formula looks at how many kids are in a state and whether some are more expensive to educate than others. For special education students, ESSA is a positive step forward with its focus on

  • improving outcomes for students with literacy-related disabilities,
  • reducing disciplinary measures and student management methods that disproportionately impact the disabled,
  • ensuring homeschool and private school students can obtain special services,
  • catching reading and language challenges early,
  • supporting twice exceptional students (those who are both gifted and disabled).

How things would change under HR 610

HR 610 repeals ESSA in its entirety.

It redistributes money from states with less kids to states with more kids. It makes no effort to allocate funds to at-risk students and it repeals legislation that directs states to help at-risk students succeed.

HR 610 won’t improve outcomes from the students who need it most

HR 610 offers families about $370 per school-age child as a voucher. There is no obligation for a private or charter schools to accept a child. For many children with disabilities, whether mild or severe, this promise of choice is an empty one.

For families considering private school, $370 per isn’t likely to tip the scale. Those families can either already afford private school, or they can’t. HR 610 doesn’t make their lives better in a meaningful way.

8.5 billion fewer dollars for at-risk students

HR 610 will divert 2.4 billion dollars from public schools, assuming private school and home school enrollment numbers do not change (about 13% of school-aged children total). The proposed budget cuts elementary and secondary education by about 6.1 billion dollars on top of that diversion.

In total, this is a cut of about $170 per student. But ESSA doesn’t allocate by student, it allocates by need. The schools most in need stand to lose much more than that.

Take for example, Garden City Public School district in Michigan, 16% of its student population is disabled. Six percent have autism spectrum disorders. About 52% live below the poverty line. It’s graduation rate has improved over the last five years.

If HR 610 is passed, Garden City can expect to lose 1.9 million dollars in annual funding. They will need to let go about 20 teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists, and psychologists to survive the shortfall. In a world where there is no longer a mandate to provide services to any child who does not qualify for IDEA, these cuts will come from programs and staff that help students with disabilities succeed. Students with literacy challenges will suffer the most.

Is the current distribution and focus under ESSA just right? That certainly is worth a closer work (can you say third graders). But is throwing it out the solution? HR 610 does just that.

Next post: Let’s stop testing third graders. But in until Congress acts, try one of over 200 Boom Learning resources to help your third graders practice ELA and Math skills for testing season. These are free to try.Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 12.20.52 PM

What Changes Stays the Same

As we enter this test season, we find ourselves in the midst of uncertainty. Nonetheless, schools across the country will be testing their children in third grade and above this spring.

What will testing look like? A lot like it used to look like.

When the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law, it contained the same fundamental requirement for testing as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Students in grades 3 through 8 must be tested in reading and math once a year, as well as once in high school. Students must also be tested in science once each in grade school, middle school, and high school.

The good news is that the results of those tests will no longer be used in the flawed adequate yearly progress formula of NCLB. Under NCLB, something as simple as a single child having a bad year (hello—health issues, family challenges, new school, you name it) could result in a school be labeled as failing. Worse, it imposed penalties on schools for failing to meet its unrealistic standards.

Although testing remains a component of ESSA, tests no longer are the sole measure of school quality. Struggling schools now receive additional assistance, rather than penalties.

The nitty gritty, however, is in the details. The regulations finalized in November of 2016 are currently suspended under an executive order. Congress is considering a variety of actions, ranging from joint resolutions to legislation, that could overturn or negate the regulations and even ESSA.

What is a state to do?

The Secretary of Education advised states to proceed with preparing and submitting their consolidated plans. Absent action from Congress or the Department of Education, the November regulations will go into effect on March 21, 2017.

Expect states to stay the course. This spring will look like last spring. Unless testing requirements are repealed outright, change on testing plans will proceed at about the same pace as turning the Titanic.

To get you prepared for testing we have featured in our store right now a variety of ELA materials.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 4.00.46 PM

#testingiscoming