Friday, November 27, 2015

A much requested post....Math Stations and FREEBIES!

The most requested PD that teachers and districts have asked me to do is Math Stations.  My current school had a book study over the summer.  Ok...we had three but Daily 5 was by far the best of the three.  Many teachers were excited to get their five stations into action.  After they established their expectations and procedures, many asked how to incorporate a system like the Daily 5 for Math.  Let's do this!

Station 1 - Word Work (Vocabulary)
Math is it's own language and many students can compute but struggle when presented with a word problem that contains vocabulary.  This station was always focused on current unit vocabulary.

I tried not to put too many words in the station so my students were not overwhelmed and confused.  For example, if a unit covered 15 words and lasted for 3 weeks - I divide up the words into 5 per week (sometimes it would be 6 and 4 depending on what words were related to one another).  I use many different ways to do vocabulary to keep kids interested.  I often use my vocabulary package, since it contains most third through five grade vocabulary.  I do need to add a few words to it, but it contains 138 words.   The set is color-coded (word and definition) and has an example.  I like the color coordination to help my struggling students narrow down their options.

 I always want to have an accountability component to my stations, this helps my students stay on task.  Once they have matched the word, definition, and example, We add it to our math journal.  The kids love the spring definitions.

Click here to get the spring template.

Sometimes I use this graphic organizer.

Typically, I give the kids choice in which one they prefer.  I don't usually run them off on paper after I teach them how to make them.  I will give them copy paper and they fold or cut the paper depending on which method they choose.

I do spiral in terms throughout the year.  Sometimes, to bring up the level of thinking - we start with word and definition.
 Then, the challenge comes when we take out the definition and they have to connect the word and the example.
 This is the set of all the vocabulary cards (138 total).  Click on the picture to go to TpT.
You do not have to use these sorts of cards, you can use plan index cards and use the same strategy.  

Station 2 - Math Fluency (Basic Math Facts)
This station is such a necessity.  For lower grades (2-3), I used addition and subtraction facts.  Upper grades (3-6), multiplication and division facts. I typically brainstorm four to eight different activities for this station and rotate them through monthly or every two months.  This was from our PD session

I have numerous games I use but still need to upload them to TpT.  I am constantly changing up activities to get me students to practice these facts.  I do also include some division activity but I usually do that in the spring.  I really want them to have a good grasp on their multiplication facts.

Station 3 - Math with Someone (game/activity)
Typically, this is my station where I use games or engaging activities that would review skills I have previously taught.  I do incorporate ipad games/apps in this station too.

We recently did long division in fourth grade, so this is What's Left? Remainder Game. The first picture is of our staff development session

I work in a new school with furniture that is designed to be written on, so we write on our desks often (and the windows)

If you are interested in this game, click on the picture below

Typically, my accountability piece at this station is at the end of the week (once all kids have been to that station at least once) we discuss game strategies

Does it matter who goes first?
Did you pick certain dividends for your opponent?
Was there a certain number that was best/lucky to roll?
Is it better/advantageous to start in the middle of the game board?
Are there certain remainders that appear more often?
Were there any remainders that were not on the game board?

Station 4 - Math by myself (Progress monitoring/Evaluate)
This station is how I monitor student understanding or assess them.  The pieces for this station are usually paper/pencil, performance assessment, test, or etc.  If the activity is a performance assessment, I ask the kids to take a picture of their work with the ipad and chirp it to me.  This is a way to not disrupt my small group and I can still monitor if my kids are on track.
This picture is from PD.  The activity is small hundreds charts that require certain multiples to be colored a designated color.  Teachers were asking for another way for students to connect multiplication to patterns.  I do not have it in my store yet (it's on my work computer) but I'll add it to my store soon and it'll be free.

Station 5 - Math with my teacher (small group guided instruction)
This station is where I typically do my direct instruction and remediation.  I typically group my kids into four heterogeneous groups and based on personality (some kids cannot get along).  I then call the students I need from each group.  My station group is very fluid and changes based on the concept, but the groups that go to stations together typically stay the same for an extended period of time.  I spend a decent amount of time thinking about who works well with one another and who can help those in their group.  My struggling students may stay in my small group for three or four rotations if I want them to see/hear the lesson multiple times.  It all depends on their needs.  I don't use a designated time to rotate.  I constantly monitor student engagement and rotate when needed.  My group stays with me until I dismiss each student individually based on their understanding.  I do have some students who may be at my table for three or four rotations.  They need to see the skill/concept more.

My goal for my stations is that each student (most students - not my struggling ones) get to every station at least once by the end of the week.

I do have some stations I rotate in during the spring semester to keep my kids loving station time.  I will do another blog post on those.  The stations involve word problems, puzzles, and target math.

If you are eager to start your stations, click on the picture below to get your free station signs

Leave me some feedback.  Ask me anything.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fun Apps

Hey All! I have been pretty busy setting up my office and going to training. Here's some pics of my

My second picture does not want to technology (when it works)

I went to some fun training last week, and got to participate in an app slam.  It was awesome.  We all researched apps that would be helpful to us in the classroom.  I found three that I really wanted to do, but we had to pick one.  I snuck mine in by using another app called Popplet.  Popplet is a visual way to create a mind map.  This is a web-based or ipad based app.  I found the features were better on the web-version.  The cool part is text, images, and videos can be embedded into your map.  Here is my popplet, which features another app called Vibby

Here's my desk

I went to some great training last week and got to participate in an app slam. I have two apps to share with yall. The first app is an iPad or web based app called popplet. It allows you or students to use as a mind map. The web-based version will save the popplet. The best feature is that it allows images and/or videos. I created one to present the app I chose. There were so many apps it was hard to choose. 
Here is the one I created

Funny part about my app slam is that Friday we received a postcard for my daughter from her teacher to welcome her to first grade. Her teacher had used an app that was presented in our slam. It's called Aurasma and it allows you to make interactive notes/images including 3-D figures. Here's a video 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bulletin Boards....What the heck will I put up this year? (You don't have to brainstorm....Here's a giveaway)

I have to say that I have seriously slacked on my blog writing this last year.  I was at a new job in a new district and opened a new school.  Can you say stress?  This summer has been flying by and I am trying to get my mind wrapped around going back to the classroom.  Those friends who know me in real life, know that I have been in administration for the last eight years.  I am returning to my beloved elementary level this year and will be a Collaborative Learning Leader.  I get to interact with students (not about discipline....YES!!!!) and help teachers with their instructional craft.  I cannot be more excited.  I truly feel that this is where I am supposed to be and utilizing my strengths.  With that being said, we are selling our house and moving about an hour south of our current house.  I am sad to leave the closeness to my parents but excited for a fresh start and hoping that moving to a small town will benefit my family and bring a slower pace to our lives.  So....we are currently selling our house and hoping to move soon, but it looks like it'll be the end of August when moving occurs.....Did I mention that I am a magnet for stress?  Gotta laugh about it, or I might cry. 

I will be going to work tomorrow to set up my new room.  I always get excited to think about what I will put on my bulletin boards.  I know most teachers think of that last, but that's my first thought.  I think I try to avoid the rest of the work. ;)

So....I am going to use my Key Words Math Sort to use as a bulletin board.  I later use it for a station activity to review math vocabulary.


When I decide to change up my bulletin board, I use the words in a station sort activity.  I don't use all the words at once since it can be overwhelming with so many. 
I always start with the easier words in the station and work our way to the words that can be used for two operations

Afterward, I use it as part of my word wall during the year

There are 58 total cards with two doubles.  For example, the key word - Total is double since I really want my kids to realize that total can mean both sum and product.  I am always amazed by the complex and deep conversations that this activity creates for the groups of students during stations.  Sometimes, I have the groups write their answers on butcher paper and hang them up for a few days.  I did include a cut, sort, and glue evaluate piece if you needed that. 

Math Journal
I use math journals in my classroom.  My goal for their journal is to be a resource they use throughout the year, and it must have just as much (if not more) of their writing in it as print out/notes I give them.  Key words, like context clues, help us to make sense of these tricky word problems.  We add these words to our journals and we continue to add words we encounter later in the year as well. 

This is just a starting list.   We add to it throughout the year, and I see my students use it often to help when they get stuck. 

Here's a preview.  It'll be on sale through Friday.  Click the preview to go directly to the item.

Or enter the giveaway, five winners will be selected on Saturday morning. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 2, 2013

Winner!!!! Cyber Monday Sale!

We have a winner!!!! Kelly Malloy
My entire store is 20% and be sure to enter the code (CYBER) to get an additional discount (total of 28% off). 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Number Comparison Game & Problem-Solving FREEBIE!!!

Sorry folks, I've been gone awhile, but I've been busy with my newest game.  A few teachers asked me to come up with a center activity that would be easy for students to do without much help, and yet challenging enough to peak the interest of those GT kids.  We all know number sense is the key to success in math, therefore I play games all the time that focus on number sense.  Here is the skinny

1.Game play is ideal for two players. 

2.Players shuffle the cards (face down).

3.Players equally divide up the cards (face down).

4.Player sitting on the left is the player representing "less", player sitting on the right represents the "more" player.

5.Both players turn over their top card in their stack and lay it on the blank squares on the game board.

6.Players determine together the comparison symbol.  If the cards are equivalent, they get shuffled back in each players set that is yet to be played.

7.One player rolls the di to determine if “Less” or “More” wins the set.

8.Players stack the cards on the side that won the set.

9.Player with the most cards at the end, wins.
The best part about this game is that it is completely customizable.  I've included numerous representations of numbers, including pictorial, numeric, and word form of all cards.  There are over 400 playing cards, which I continue to add to daily.  Here's some pictures of the endless possibilities.
Number Lines
Challenge those smarties!
Some are just word form for my intermediate grade levels.
As you can see the possibilities are endless.  Here's a preview.  There are over 400 playing cards, the preview has an example of each type of card.  Click on the preview picture to get your copy!  It will be on Sale on Cyber Monday!  Until then, enter to win a copy!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

My teachers have asked me to put our math problem-solving guide on paper.  We use it daily, but I needed the break to add some sparkle to the little guy.  Worst picture ever :( no that's not laundry on my floor
Click here to grab yours today!

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Beauty of Math

I'm working on a couple of freebies for my fellow teachers.  I'll be posting the links once I get them uploaded.  But....I wanted to share this video that I LOVE

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I Got This! Token Behavior Contract Giveaway!

I bought some peppermint mocha creamer and I just couldn't wait till morning, so I am enjoying a cup of decaf with my holiday creamer.  I LOVE this time of year!  The weather is cooler (sometimes - I'm in Texas so it changes daily).  I really need to get my girls to the pumpkin patch.  My sister brings her kids too and we do it ever year, but we better get there soon before the time gets away.  I have been under the weather recently and had all sorts of tests that my doctor wanted to do since I could not beat my chronic fatigue.  I am feeling like a new woman since starting some of things she suggested.  For example, I started taking a multivitamin and a B complex.  I need to take something for my memory because since I had my girls, I cannot remember anything.  Oh...yeah....that reminds me that I need to get back on topic. 

I had a teacher request to make a behavior contract for a preK student in her class who hardly speaks.  His parents speak Spanish primarily but mom speaks English, as well.  Seeing that my background is intermediate grades, I had to draw on my mom experience.  Since my oldest is four, I thought about what would work with my girls.  I am also a super organized person (anxiety will come on like a freight train if it's not organized) I went to Target and bought a little tub and the lid locks on, it's made be sterlite
Not sure why the picture is not rotated correctly, it is when I upload it.
I wanted the chart to be a half a page so I could print two on one page, gotta save paper
I brainstormed as many rewards as I could and even asked my daughter what she wanted.  The thing with behavior contracts is that you have to find the student's currency, what will they work for?  This could change every week or daily, therefore this contract has numerous rewards to work for. 
The student first decides what they will be working for be sure to take out any rewards that you are not willing to give (example: painting or playdough).  The student attaches their reward onto the reward box

This example shows the student is working for a reward of taking their shoes off.  I chose to use a signal so that I would not have to stop teaching to tell the student they earned their token.  I use a thumbs up symbol.  When I give the student the signal, they add their token (lego with Velcro attached)
When they earn five tokens, they get their reward.  For some students, they may need to be earning tokens every five minutes, whereas others could earn all five in one day.  The key is the reward must be immediate when they earn it and that you never take a token away.  If you plan to use it on a student who needs many reminders, every time they earn their reward - they begin again. 
1.  They choose a reward (it may be the same as the last one, or completely new).
2.  Earn tokens 
3.  Reward
It's currently on sale in my store.  Click on the picture below to go directly there and grab yours today!
Or enter my giveaway to win a copy! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway