Saturday, October 25, 2014

Math Help - Decomposing Numbers to 10

One of my littles is pretty low.  I have quite a few who are struggling, but this little guy is struggling a lot.  Like to say the number 5 (word), he had to start counting at one.

He's working on the first grade program in our electronic math program, which is a year below grade level.  He's struggling with decomposing 8 into 4 and another number.  He couldn't figure out the other number.  So, here's what we did:


We pulled out the connecting cubes.  I drew a number bond that matched the direction of the numbers on the screen.  (Our math program doesn't use number bonds, which is a shame.  IMO).  The student counted the blocks that are in the dragon.  Then he pulled the number of blocks over to the left (his right).  The remaining blocks in the number bond was the number at the bottom.

This worked well, until he got distracted and forgot the process.  We started again.  Put x blocks here.  How many do you need to pull over here?  How many go in down below?

How do you help students see the relationships of numbers?  What do you do for your low kiddos who aren't "getting it"?  Especially for number sense type of issues?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five for Friday

It's FRIDAY!  I'm so glad.  This was assessment week and we have had a wacky schedule!  Actually, it wasn't that bad, and my kiddos are so flexible, so it was fine for them.

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday this week!


One

I found this cool new web site that is kinda like Facebook, but a bit different.  I posted about it yesterday.  Go check it out for some more social network fun!

Two

We've been progressing in our two digit addition!  I love that one of my lowest kiddos is "getting it".  Here is a fun Decomposing Numbers Puzzle that I've been having some students do in math stations.  It's a precursor to subtraction, but with addition and place value.  I'm loving these types of puzzles.  


Three

One of my students has severe vision problems but no IEP yet.  It only took me two months to figure out that her reading problems were vision problems.  She made tremendous growth on her assessments this week!  Now, to figure out how she can read the text!  I actually took photos of the assessment with my iPad, enlarged it, and had her read the words.  I'm thinking that I'll have to go that route with the text, too.  We'll see!

Four

We went 1:1 with iPads in our classroom!  We've had a ton of iPads for awhile, but now each student has one and I can have the entire class on the same app at the same time!  Whoo-hoo!  What are your favorite apps for a 1:1 classroom?

Five

I brought some magnetic letters home from my classroom.  My two kiddos found the largest magnetic surface in our house and promptly starting attaching letters.  So fun!


So, how was your week?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tsu - A New Approach to Social Networking

There's an interesting new web site that I was introduced to this morning.  It's called Tsu.  It's basically a social networking site, like Facebook, but gives a bit of money back to the users.  You can find out more info about it on their web site.


It works the same way as Facebook, logistically, but one major difference is the way you can earn money from it.  It's a basic pyramid structure.  People click on the ads, the ads generate revenue.

Instead of all the revenue going to the company, they kick some back to the users to varying degrees.


It's an interesting model and experiment.  That's all I'm doing with it, at this point, experimenting.

Want to join?  Here's my link & short code: http://www.tsu.co/WhatIHaveLearned

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Peek at My Week ~ Oct. 20 - 24

How was your week?  Mine was busy, as always.

Reflections on last week

We were able to get through most of what I had planned, except the Stellaluna project.  So, we'll continue that into this week.

This week

This week has a teacher professional development day on Monday.  It is also the start of our assessment window.  Luckily, our district doesn't make us do too many assessments.  They actually have a good balance.  We have to give a writing assessment, a math automaticity assessment and STAR reading and STAR math, which are both computer based.

I choose to give additional assessments to my lower students to target their reading during guided reading groups.  They're basic sight words, phonics, and one-on-one reading assessments.  Although not required, I find them very helpful in targeting instruction.  I basically assess all my kiddos on some of the assessments at the beginning of the year and then only assess those who need it as the year progresses.

Anyway . . . here is this week.  As always, click on the picture to download the PDF with clickable links.


Reading Comprehension

We're in the middle of our Stellaluna close reading project.  This is the second time I've done close reading with my students, where they've had to read a text over and over.  Actually, I'm reading it to them.  I plan on doing more work with nonfiction texts on bats next week, as a follow-up.  That also transitions us to working with nonfiction text, which we will start doing more and more throughout the winter.

Math

Last week, I was met with a lack of planning time, so I'm pulling some math worksheets from our program.  I generally don't like our math program as it doesn't promote conceptual learning.  However, now that students have a good grasp of two-digit addition, I feel comfortable using the worksheets for practice.


I've changed out most of my math stations for more complicated addition problems.  I finally finished my Two-Digit Addition Games and Activities product.


This is full of math station activities that teaches students how to think about two-digit addition.  Except for one activity, it's not about students generating numbers and adding them together.  The activities give students directions on how to use a number line, how to break apart numbers and how to add tens to tens and ones to ones for each problem.  The activities are also repeated throughout each of the four levels so that students understand the process and can apply it to more complex problems.  Also included are a pre-assessment and quick assessments so you can target instruction based on what a student needs to work on.

Here are two of our math stations, one using a number line and the other breaking apart (ungrouping or expanding) the addends.  Answer cards are given so students can check their work.

My students have enjoyed using these activities this past week and they are so easy to print, laminate, and cut apart.  I was able to prep a new station during our lunch recess time this week!

Writing

Our writing time this week is full of our district writing assessment.

Science

We are also switching over to science this week.  Our grade level chose to focus on Physical science this trimester.  We'll use our textbook, a few resources I got from TpT and some wonderful STEM Science stations from Lakeshore.

So, how is your week shaping up?  Want to see more lessons?  Head on over to Mrs. Willis' Kindergarten for more plans!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Name Writing - PK & K

I don't teach kinder anymore, but when I did, I always had younger students who came to school not knowing how to write their name.  We did all sorts of practice, but one of the best things we did was write their name in highlighter and have them trace over it.

My son is four-years-old.  He will enter kindergarten next year.  He knows how to spell his name, how to recognize it and is beginning to learn how to write it.


I've printed his name with a dotted line font, but the dots confuse him and he doesn't know where to start.  So, I reverted back to my highlighter days and printed his name in yellow for him to trace.  He can see the letters, but the lines don't get in the way of his lines.  The thing I forgot to include was starting points.  I drew them in for him, but will go back and add those into my printed copy.  Probably in gray, so they don't distract too much.

He got through his name two times before he was done.  That's okay.  I don't want to force the issue of him writing his name at this point.  But, if I can get him to write his name two-three times a day for the next several months, he will become an expert at writing his name.

Doing a little bit of practice each day is better than doing a lot of practice only one or two days.  The same is true for math facts or any other skill that you want a child to learn.  Less repetitions at more frequent intervals will help their brains retain the information and their body build the memories.

This is also a great tool to send home with parents.  Once a week, give the parent a print out of their child's name.  Have the parent work with the child and write his name three times every night to help reinforce the skill.  Within a few weeks or months, the child will know how to write his name.

Do you have any name writing tips that have worked for you over the years?  I'd love to hear more that I can use to help my son learn to write his name before kindergarten!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Peek at My Week ~ Oct. 13 - 17

October is a crazy time of the year!  We're nearing our assessment window and I don't feel like I've gotten nearly enough time with my students and enough taught!  Isn't that always the case?  We do the best we can do!

Reflections on Last Week

Last week, we pretty much got through what I was expecting to get through, except for our Read Aloud.  We did finish Lulu and the Brontosaurs, but didn't get to start Officer Buckle and Gloria.  In fact, I'm going to put it on the back burner for a couple weeks while we dive into Stellaluna and some nonfiction texts about bats afterward.

This week

This week is a bit calmer than past weeks, except that we have our Walk-a-Thon on Friday!  So, basically, I'm fitting everything into Monday - Thursday.  As always, download the PDF below to have access to the clickable links to the resources I'll be using this week.


 Math stations are the same as they were last week.


How is your week shaping up?  Go to the link up on Mrs. Willis' Kindergarten to see other lessons.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Did you know . . .

that TpT sellers often revise products and you can download the revised, updated version?

If you click on My Purchases, under the My TpT drop down menu, you will see all of the products you have purchased.  Some of them may have big red writing at the bottom that says, Newly Revised Re-Download.  That tells you that the author has uploaded a revised document.  You can see what has been changed, if the author included that information, when you click on Description of Revision in green.

Unfortunately, there is no other notification system, like an email, that tells you when products have been revised.  You actually have to go and look for them.  Every once in a while, I'll scroll through my pages and pages of purchased products and see which ones have been revised.  Often I'll download a revised version.  Sometimes I won't.  It depends on the revision.

There are a ton of reasons why I revise products.  Simple reasons, like typos that I or another user has discovered, to more complex reasons like adding more content and activities to a product.  It's good to know that sellers are constantly thinking about how to improve their products and make them better for their own classroom and yours!

If you haven't visited your My Purchases on TpT lately, go check it out and see if anything you're using in your classroom has been revised and updated.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Math Help - Decomposing Numbers to 10

One of my littles is pretty low.  I have quite a few who are struggling, but this little guy is struggling a lot.  Like to say the number 5 (word), he had to start counting at one.

He's working on the first grade program in our electronic math program, which is a year below grade level.  He's struggling with decomposing 8 into 4 and another number.  He couldn't figure out the other number.  So, here's what we did:


We pulled out the connecting cubes.  I drew a number bond that matched the direction of the numbers on the screen.  (Our math program doesn't use number bonds, which is a shame.  IMO).  The student counted the blocks that are in the dragon.  Then he pulled the number of blocks over to the left (his right).  The remaining blocks in the number bond was the number at the bottom.

This worked well, until he got distracted and forgot the process.  We started again.  Put x blocks here.  How many do you need to pull over here?  How many go in down below?

How do you help students see the relationships of numbers?  What do you do for your low kiddos who aren't "getting it"?  Especially for number sense type of issues?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five for Friday

It's FRIDAY!  I'm so glad.  This was assessment week and we have had a wacky schedule!  Actually, it wasn't that bad, and my kiddos are so flexible, so it was fine for them.

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday this week!


One

I found this cool new web site that is kinda like Facebook, but a bit different.  I posted about it yesterday.  Go check it out for some more social network fun!

Two

We've been progressing in our two digit addition!  I love that one of my lowest kiddos is "getting it".  Here is a fun Decomposing Numbers Puzzle that I've been having some students do in math stations.  It's a precursor to subtraction, but with addition and place value.  I'm loving these types of puzzles.  


Three

One of my students has severe vision problems but no IEP yet.  It only took me two months to figure out that her reading problems were vision problems.  She made tremendous growth on her assessments this week!  Now, to figure out how she can read the text!  I actually took photos of the assessment with my iPad, enlarged it, and had her read the words.  I'm thinking that I'll have to go that route with the text, too.  We'll see!

Four

We went 1:1 with iPads in our classroom!  We've had a ton of iPads for awhile, but now each student has one and I can have the entire class on the same app at the same time!  Whoo-hoo!  What are your favorite apps for a 1:1 classroom?

Five

I brought some magnetic letters home from my classroom.  My two kiddos found the largest magnetic surface in our house and promptly starting attaching letters.  So fun!


So, how was your week?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tsu - A New Approach to Social Networking

There's an interesting new web site that I was introduced to this morning.  It's called Tsu.  It's basically a social networking site, like Facebook, but gives a bit of money back to the users.  You can find out more info about it on their web site.


It works the same way as Facebook, logistically, but one major difference is the way you can earn money from it.  It's a basic pyramid structure.  People click on the ads, the ads generate revenue.

Instead of all the revenue going to the company, they kick some back to the users to varying degrees.


It's an interesting model and experiment.  That's all I'm doing with it, at this point, experimenting.

Want to join?  Here's my link & short code: http://www.tsu.co/WhatIHaveLearned

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Peek at My Week ~ Oct. 20 - 24

How was your week?  Mine was busy, as always.

Reflections on last week

We were able to get through most of what I had planned, except the Stellaluna project.  So, we'll continue that into this week.

This week

This week has a teacher professional development day on Monday.  It is also the start of our assessment window.  Luckily, our district doesn't make us do too many assessments.  They actually have a good balance.  We have to give a writing assessment, a math automaticity assessment and STAR reading and STAR math, which are both computer based.

I choose to give additional assessments to my lower students to target their reading during guided reading groups.  They're basic sight words, phonics, and one-on-one reading assessments.  Although not required, I find them very helpful in targeting instruction.  I basically assess all my kiddos on some of the assessments at the beginning of the year and then only assess those who need it as the year progresses.

Anyway . . . here is this week.  As always, click on the picture to download the PDF with clickable links.


Reading Comprehension

We're in the middle of our Stellaluna close reading project.  This is the second time I've done close reading with my students, where they've had to read a text over and over.  Actually, I'm reading it to them.  I plan on doing more work with nonfiction texts on bats next week, as a follow-up.  That also transitions us to working with nonfiction text, which we will start doing more and more throughout the winter.

Math

Last week, I was met with a lack of planning time, so I'm pulling some math worksheets from our program.  I generally don't like our math program as it doesn't promote conceptual learning.  However, now that students have a good grasp of two-digit addition, I feel comfortable using the worksheets for practice.


I've changed out most of my math stations for more complicated addition problems.  I finally finished my Two-Digit Addition Games and Activities product.


This is full of math station activities that teaches students how to think about two-digit addition.  Except for one activity, it's not about students generating numbers and adding them together.  The activities give students directions on how to use a number line, how to break apart numbers and how to add tens to tens and ones to ones for each problem.  The activities are also repeated throughout each of the four levels so that students understand the process and can apply it to more complex problems.  Also included are a pre-assessment and quick assessments so you can target instruction based on what a student needs to work on.

Here are two of our math stations, one using a number line and the other breaking apart (ungrouping or expanding) the addends.  Answer cards are given so students can check their work.

My students have enjoyed using these activities this past week and they are so easy to print, laminate, and cut apart.  I was able to prep a new station during our lunch recess time this week!

Writing

Our writing time this week is full of our district writing assessment.

Science

We are also switching over to science this week.  Our grade level chose to focus on Physical science this trimester.  We'll use our textbook, a few resources I got from TpT and some wonderful STEM Science stations from Lakeshore.

So, how is your week shaping up?  Want to see more lessons?  Head on over to Mrs. Willis' Kindergarten for more plans!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Name Writing - PK & K

I don't teach kinder anymore, but when I did, I always had younger students who came to school not knowing how to write their name.  We did all sorts of practice, but one of the best things we did was write their name in highlighter and have them trace over it.

My son is four-years-old.  He will enter kindergarten next year.  He knows how to spell his name, how to recognize it and is beginning to learn how to write it.


I've printed his name with a dotted line font, but the dots confuse him and he doesn't know where to start.  So, I reverted back to my highlighter days and printed his name in yellow for him to trace.  He can see the letters, but the lines don't get in the way of his lines.  The thing I forgot to include was starting points.  I drew them in for him, but will go back and add those into my printed copy.  Probably in gray, so they don't distract too much.

He got through his name two times before he was done.  That's okay.  I don't want to force the issue of him writing his name at this point.  But, if I can get him to write his name two-three times a day for the next several months, he will become an expert at writing his name.

Doing a little bit of practice each day is better than doing a lot of practice only one or two days.  The same is true for math facts or any other skill that you want a child to learn.  Less repetitions at more frequent intervals will help their brains retain the information and their body build the memories.

This is also a great tool to send home with parents.  Once a week, give the parent a print out of their child's name.  Have the parent work with the child and write his name three times every night to help reinforce the skill.  Within a few weeks or months, the child will know how to write his name.

Do you have any name writing tips that have worked for you over the years?  I'd love to hear more that I can use to help my son learn to write his name before kindergarten!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Peek at My Week ~ Oct. 13 - 17

October is a crazy time of the year!  We're nearing our assessment window and I don't feel like I've gotten nearly enough time with my students and enough taught!  Isn't that always the case?  We do the best we can do!

Reflections on Last Week

Last week, we pretty much got through what I was expecting to get through, except for our Read Aloud.  We did finish Lulu and the Brontosaurs, but didn't get to start Officer Buckle and Gloria.  In fact, I'm going to put it on the back burner for a couple weeks while we dive into Stellaluna and some nonfiction texts about bats afterward.

This week

This week is a bit calmer than past weeks, except that we have our Walk-a-Thon on Friday!  So, basically, I'm fitting everything into Monday - Thursday.  As always, download the PDF below to have access to the clickable links to the resources I'll be using this week.


 Math stations are the same as they were last week.


How is your week shaping up?  Go to the link up on Mrs. Willis' Kindergarten to see other lessons.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Did you know . . .

that TpT sellers often revise products and you can download the revised, updated version?

If you click on My Purchases, under the My TpT drop down menu, you will see all of the products you have purchased.  Some of them may have big red writing at the bottom that says, Newly Revised Re-Download.  That tells you that the author has uploaded a revised document.  You can see what has been changed, if the author included that information, when you click on Description of Revision in green.

Unfortunately, there is no other notification system, like an email, that tells you when products have been revised.  You actually have to go and look for them.  Every once in a while, I'll scroll through my pages and pages of purchased products and see which ones have been revised.  Often I'll download a revised version.  Sometimes I won't.  It depends on the revision.

There are a ton of reasons why I revise products.  Simple reasons, like typos that I or another user has discovered, to more complex reasons like adding more content and activities to a product.  It's good to know that sellers are constantly thinking about how to improve their products and make them better for their own classroom and yours!

If you haven't visited your My Purchases on TpT lately, go check it out and see if anything you're using in your classroom has been revised and updated.