The website for the interactive TBB has been moved to the following address:
I have been using this interactive website prior to using a real TBB with my students, and it has made a huge difference in the ability of my 5th graders to read the balances accurately, esp with the 10ths place value.
The values are randomly generated and the students get instant feedback as to if they read the balance correctly or not. Sometimes, the answer is in the 100ths place, but I tell them that its impossible to really know what the hundredths place value is, and as long as their 10ths place value is correct, or close (0.78 = 0.8 g) their answer is ok. They have updated the activity, last year, almost every answer had a value in the 100ths place. So I was happy to see that change.
Here is the worksheet I use with the website:
Last year, I used to hand out pencils whenever students needed one. The school has pencils we can give them, but it go to the point where I would literally go through boxes of pencils in a few days.
This year, we really stress that each kid should have a pencil-case that they carry to every class. On my desk I keep a cup of sharpened pencils, when a student needs a sharpened pencil, I will swap with them. They give me their dull pencil, and I give them a sharpened pencil. If a student doesn’t have a pencil, they can borrow from a friend or use one of the colored pencils we keep on the tables. So far, this has worked well and I don’t have students sharpening pencils during class time, which is noisy and distracting.
When needed, a 5 minute recess detention can work wonders. My 5 minute recess detention consists of sharpening the colored pencils we have in our table baskets… manually with an old-school wall mounted sharpener. I am not a big fan of electric sharpeners. If a student misses a 5 minute detention, they have to serve 10 the next day, and so forth. On Fridays, we have an activity period last period which is when we have our clubs. If a student misses their 5 minute detentions, they serve that time last period on Fridays with the teacher who in charge of detentions.
Some reasons a student may serve a 5 minute detention are: forgetting hw assignments, being unprepared, not having a quiz or test signed and returned, fooling around in a lab, behavior issues, etc…
I added using too much glue in their notebooks as one of the newest ways they can hang with me and sharpen pencils… after 5 weeks of constantly telling them NOT to use more than 4 dots of glue, some kids just can’t help themselves. I tell them that we are not building bridges (which they do in 8th grade out of toothpicks and glue) and 4 dots is REALLY ALL THAT they need =). Otherwise, the notebook gets really soggy and the paper rips when they write on it. Plus I must have the glue last all school year. I can’t buy them for 25 cents in March, only in the summer when Walmart has their sales.
Wanted to point out a fellow science teacher’s website that I found really helpful. I am using some of his metric skill sheets such as using a ruler, volume, and reading a graduated cylinder.
Thanks for sharing!