# Articles - Page 2 of 11 - Mary Kienstra

## Choosing a Business Partner – Kid Style

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 4, 2017  in: #tlap, Engagement

There are times when students need to work together on a project for an extended period of time.  Sometimes those partnerships are just awkward.  You know how kids are – they are not always that excited about working with certain kids.  I think I found a way to make this situation a bit easier.  Make […]

## Pattern Blocks – Making Fractions Real

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 3, 2017  in: fractions, math engagement

Understanding fractions is so much easier when kids can touch the models.  Pattern blocks are making fractions real.  They are the perfect models just for that.  Today I introduced fractions to my third graders with pattern blocks.  And they got it. We started with thinking that the yellow hexagon represents one.  From there we investigated what the other […]

## Hanging on to Clothesline Math

By: Mary Kienstra on: January 18, 2017  in: Engagement, percent, proportional thinknig

Most concepts are just more easily understood when they are made more concrete.  Clothesline math is the concrete representation of percents that helps students understand.  As my students shared their thinking during one of our clothesline math lessons, I wondered why it took me so long to try this.  Now my students are hanging on to […]

## Two Words: Small Group

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 31, 2016  in: assessment, differentiation, Engagement, feedback

So many teaching strategies come and go.  There’s always a new idea or the latest gimmick to engage kids in learning.  We have endless lists of buzz words and terms that describe various aspects of teaching and learning.  Of all the strategies I’ve employed, the one that engages my students the most consistently is two words: […]

## Breakout!

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 30, 2016  in: #tlap, student engagement, teamwork, thinking

It is all that.  Breakout is the best new gimmick in student engagement.  Give a group a series of locks and puzzles and watch them go to work problem solving as a team. My class of 4th and 5th graders recently read The BFG as part of the Global Read Aloud 2016.  (See my post about […]

## Math Talk with 24 Cards

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 14, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, math discussion

The first few minutes of class are the most important for learning.  This is the time to hook your students and get them in the MATH frame of mind.  24 Cards are the just the thing to draw them in.  Students’ math talk with 24 cards shows their understanding and gives them the opportunity to […]

## Global Read Aloud for the Win

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 3, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, reading

I have to thank Pernille Ripp and the Global Read Aloud crew for the inspiration!  One of the picks for this year was  The BFG, one of our curricular novels.  That was a perfect fit!  Find out more about The Global Read Aloud here.  It’s fabulous! My students and I embarked on our read aloud […]

## Kindness: Pass It On!

By: Mary Kienstra on: October 4, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, kindness

Two novels have changed everything in my class this year.  We started the year reading Because of Mr. Terupt (by Rob Buyea) and Fish in a Tree (by Lynda Hunt Mulally) as a way to answer the question, “What does the way you treat people tell others about you?”  My students analyzed these texts and came up […]

## Hop for Order of Operations

By: Mary Kienstra on: October 4, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, order of operations

Any time a lesson can involve movement, it is more memorable than a passive listening experience.  So when I saw an example of hopscotch with the order of operations, I created it in my classroom immediately.  I knew my students would love to hop for the order of operations. The biggest misconception with the order […]

## Getting to Know You with Melvin Bubble

By: Mary Kienstra on: September 8, 2016  in: #tlap, beginning of the year, Engagement,

In the beginning of the school year, the main focus iin my classroom is “getting to know you.”  I’ve done all the regular things that teachers do, but this year, I tried something different.  In the spirit of the picture book, Who is Melvin Bubble? students introduced themselves to the class from the perspective of someone […]