Monday, February 10, 2014

Olympics, Snow, & Math

I love the Olympics!
In 1996, I was able to experience the Olympics first hand when the Olympics was in Atlanta. I saw the torch being carried through the streets, I actually went to watch it throughout the whole city. Living out a dream, I attended some events to cheer on the Olympians.
The Olympics is the epitome of hard work, devotion, and perseverance. All things I admire. As well as qualities I desire to see in my students.
I have enjoyed watching the Olympics in Sochi this year and sharing the excitement with my family. I love the questions that my sons are raising and watching them appreciate the amazing talents of our Olympians. One of my sons has even been bitten by the bug of extreme sports, I predict I will be asked to buy some snowboarding equipment for his upcoming birthday.
Normally I would say, honey we don't have anywhere for you to use it, but with the crazy weather that keeps whipping through our area, I can already hear his counterargument, "Mom, I can practice in the backyard every time it snows."
We are under another winter weather watch. Some are predicting 2 storm fronts to come through our area and leave us at home for possibly the rest of the week. What? Not in Georgia. Oh yes, in Georgia!
As a kid I would have welcomed more snow days. As a teacher, I am not so excited.
We are trying to stay in the swing of things and maintain our routine so we will be prepared for our upcoming tests. Making up days after testing is over is not the solution. I cannot stop the snow or weather, so what is a girl to do? Well, avoid panicking and plan ahead.
I decided that I would send my kiddos home with some extra assignments for the week in case the forecasts are correct. Thankfully, I have some awesome tools in my teacher files! I have one that ties winter, the Olympics, and looming days off together.
Diane at Fifth In The Middle created this awesome packet. It aligns with common core skills perfectly. As advertised, it is ink-friendly, and leaves you with tons of choices! Diane has created this differentiated set with a focus on major 5th grade math skills. The pages are set up with workspace, and includes a mixture of word problems and computation. I also love the reward tags included to provide as prizes for the students who complete the various levels.
I planned to use the pages as review or follow-ups during the month of February. Instead, I am copying the pages in packets and sending them home with my kiddos tonight.
To encourage completion, I am assigning it as an extra credit project for the week.
All but 1 page (conversion) will be new for my kids. However, Diane has included a conversion chart on the page to make it a little more do-able. I have done a few conversion problems with my students, but it is a weak skill for them, so that will be the hardest page.
Since I am sending it home, I chose the levels that I thought would be the least frustrating for them. I want them to spend time practicing their skills and to be successful. If I wasn't sending it home this way, I would let the kids choose which level they wanted to complete so they could earn gold, silver, or bronze for each skill.
If you are looking at, or have recently had, a plethora of snow days, I highly recommend this packet to capture the excitement of the Olympics and motivate the kids to perfect their math skills. Just like the athletes, there will be some bumps and falls, but with practice, they will all be winners!
Fingers crossed that I will be at school all week. If not, I will make the most of it and enjoy the Olympics from the warmth of my couch!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing about this! Hope that you are staying warm :)

  2. You got to go to the Olympics in Atlanta? Super jealous! I bet it was an unbelievable experience! I can just hear the counterargument too!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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