Monday, July 28, 2014

More on Math Stretches

So some of you may know that I recently took part in a book study about Guided Math.

In fact, you can still win an Erin Condren Teacher planer as our final giveaway for the book study......the contest is almost closed! But there is still time to enter if you click HERE

Okay, so one of the things discussed in the book Guided Math by Laney Sammons was Math Stretches.

I recently got my hands on this book....by the same author Laney Sammons.

Daily Math Stretches
Daily Math Stretches K-2 {and there is Daily Math Stretches 3-5 too!}

There were so many good ideas that came from the book study...

Well, here is the thing. They can all be awesome... but what can you start doing now? What can you implement given your resources and what your state or district require of you?

In an ideal world we would do all of the things Laney Sammons suggested.

I thought that math stretches would be an easy place to start. In fact, you may already do some stretches and not even know.

Math stretches are not supposed to be scary and no one should feel they are being put on the spot. They are a warm up for your brain. They are designed to guide students to learn how to think more deeply about math.

You know, metacognition, where you think about your thinking.

Here is a quote from the Shell Education Daily Math Stretches K-2  book itself: "Well-planned stretches encourage young mathematicians to make connections, communicate their mathematical ideas, gain more precise understandings of mathematical vocabulary, and revisit mathematical concepts."

So, they got me... okay.... I am on board for math stretches, but want a little help. I do a lot of these things already and maybe just don't call them stretches.... but I don't think I structure them with enough conversation and asking the students to prove their thinking.

In THIS POST from June, I shared some math stretches I use in September. Then what?

Well, then you can start using ideas from this Daily Math Stretches book.

I like these pages that are provided:

A visual sample to get me going. You could pick up this book and use any of the ideas... and then you could make small changes to each one and have a million more ideas.

The book also gives sample dialogues you can have with students. Sometimes things like this drive me nuts... you know, super scripted Teacher Editions. Yuck! 

But in this case, they provide scenarios that may come up and offer sample dialogues that sometimes give you ideas of how to steer little ones in the right direction so they feel successful {remember no one should feel like they are in the hot seat} so I wouldn't mind glancing at one of these before I start my math stretch. 

As summer winds down I have to start getting serious about what my goals are for this coming school year. And one will definitely involve math stretches, as well as other areas of guided math. What about you? Do you already use math stretches?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Weekend Warriors: July Teaching Tips

Weekend Warrior time!

Do you remember what this is all about? Well, I hope so! We are back again this month!

Really, as teachers I think we are all weekend warriors.... right? {but hopefully, not every weekend!}

Today I am going with teaching tips....

I am going to start by saying this is nothing terribly earth shattering or crazy, but something that I think makes a HUGE difference in my classroom.

I learned this from my master teacher a million years ago.....

When you start a new school year make it a point to contact each and every parent in your classroom for a POSITIVE message or note.

Okay...so like I said... this may not rock your world. But let me tell you... it helps. It helps to start off on the right foot.

Now back when this trick was first suggested to me....there wasn't email {yep..I'm that old} but I still did it.

Now, I find it easy to send a short personal message about something good the kid did in class, how they followed the rules, helped a friend, etc etc....

The kids LOVE it and often will say, "My mommy told me you emailed her!"

And then in the future when you have to email or call someone for a not so good thing it isn't your first point of contact with them. Right? And even though you may have introduced yourself on the first day, sent a newsletter out.... the personal connection on a positive note that you make early on can save you later.

And for the kids that are ALWAYS good and sometimes they don't get special recognition...what a nice treat for them, too!

I work in a school where the parents are highly active and this little gem of a trick helps me build relationships and trust more quickly. 

And if I can do it with 29 kiddos... you can do it too!

My second trick is one I shared last year.... another important one in kindergarten...walking quietly in the hall!!

Or maybe not even "quietly" maybe just "walking in the hall and not being that loud and obnoxious!"

The FULL POST IS HERE from last summer....and it includes a mini FREEBIE to create that little Wonderful Walkers kit above..... and explains it all a bit more in depth.

On the other side it has this poem:

I'm choosing someone in my head.
To see if you face straight ahead.
Are your hands down by your side?
Do you walk with a quiet stride?
Is your voice off as you walk,
Not a bit of any talk?"


This is has helped me to curb the volume a tad.

Another way to to do that is by using a little something called, "Catch your bubble."

When you are walking your class you can ask them to "Catch a bubble" and they can't let it out until you get to your destination.

We all inhale and grab that bubble.....then as we walk they literally want to keep that bubble in their mouth.

Try it!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Guided Math: Time to Make This Happen!

So it ends here my friends....

This is the last week of our Guided Math Book Study.

Today we are just reviewing how to have it all come together... how to teach our students that
*They ARE mathematicians
*They can solve challenging problems

To make sure we are empowering them to understand this and hope they will enjoy the problem solving process.

Um, could this be a more difficult task. Seriously?

As we discussed previously, it is at a young age that people start to say, "Oh I'm just not good at math." And we know that is not the case - they just haven't been taught math in a way that works for them. Like we said, the traditional whole group model of just sharing rote rules and procedures just isn't going to cut it!

One size does not fit all! This is true at Nordstrom and in the classroom!

One of the most important parts to guided math is the relationship teachers build with their students. Can I say that I {heart} that Laney Sammons takes the time to point this out.. I 100% agree.

If students feel safe and respected they will feel more comfortable and be more willing to take risks in their problem solving... not just in math, mind you, in all subjects. This will benefit everyone.

Teachers also need support of other teachers to discuss ways to best deliver their instruction or how to modify their teaching. The author says that establishing this type of support is critical.

This book, Guided Math, has been time well spent for me this summer. Some of the concepts were things I already know... but guess what, you need to re-read those things over and over to make sure they actually happen. And many of the idea were a fresh look on an old concept. So if you want to revamp your math approach - then this is the book for you.

Don't go before the BIG giveaway... you know how that goes, we saved the best for last! It's an Erin Condren Planner! Ooh La La...don't miss your chance for that people!


a Rafflecopter giveaway>

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Lovin' Sale {Day 4}

So we meet again.....
Today is the last day of our sumer lovin' sale.. Thankfully it isn't the last day of summer itself. Goodness no!!

Today I have my two pattern block products on sale...


First... the Ocean Animals Pattern Blocks
Ocean Animal Pattern Blocks Crayons and Whimsy math kindergarten
 And up second is the Zoo Animal Pattern Blocks:
Zoo Animal Pattern Blocks Crayons and Whimsy math kindergarten


If those little images aren't enough for you then go ahead to THIS POST where you can read a lot more about these little guys.

Or just pop right on over to Teachers Pay Teachers !! Remember they are only on sale TODAY!

I will just say that pattern blocks are one of my favorite independent math centers. And if you want a little accountability well then there is a recording sheet {actually a few to choose from} for you!


Thank you for stopping by over the last four days for this Summer Lovin' Sale - I hope you were able to get some good finds!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Lovin' Sale {Day Three}

Are you ready for Day 3?

 What?

You missed Day 1 and 2 are wondering what in the world I am talking about?

Well, it is a Summer Lovin' Sale!!
Today I am happy to share 3 items from my store ... I figured since this was Day 3....that we should do 3 items.

Then I really decided to run with the pattern of 3 thing.....so that means that all 3 things on sale are $3.00!

Not Now...they are regularly $3.00 but for TODAY are 20% at $2.40 

{that 2.40 part doesn't fit the pattern.....oh well... you can't beat $2.40!}

These 3 products you "need" for Back to School.

I love using the word need. I tell my husband all the time... I "need" those shoes... I "need" all that junk from Target Dollar Spot.....right? I sure do seem to "need" a lot.

So today each one is on sale for only $2.40.... That would be LESS than $5.00 for two of these!!! Or just $7.20 for ALL THREE....  Which is why I come to the conclusion that I think you "need" all of these :)

We have some Back to School Number Writing Practice.
Back to School Number Writing Practice

Nothing too fancy... it's simple, but in my book, necessary in September!
And there is this same number writing practice with a Halloween Theme if you want a little October practice and a Holiday one too!!


What else is on sale?

This little Apple Tree Book is one of my favorites. This little ditty comes with a full size and full color teacher version that can also be a math center... and a half book black and white fun for the kiddos.
Apple Poem Book Crayons and Whimsy

Do you know the old poem: Way up high in the big, tall tree, _____ red apples looked down at me. I shook that tree as hard as I could.....Down came the apples. Mmmmm were they good!"

The blank line is there because the kids {or you} can choose how many apples...3 apples, 4 apples etc etc.

This is a early in the year so it is a good time to practice conservation of numbers.... there needs to be 4 apples on every page. So we are consistently counting and representing 4.

Plus we are rhyming and always love to throw that in there.

 Here is a peak at one of the directions pages that tells you more about it:

P.S. Last year I was lazy... as in didn't wanna deal with paint... if that seems like a nightmare you don't have time for... green crayon works and the book is still darling! For the apples you can use stamps, stickers or the red crayon!

And some more sneak peaks:

And last up.... another good math center for back to school: Kitty Cat Button Counting and Number Recognition 

Since the title is apparently a novel in itself I think you have a good idea of what this is all about....
Somehow this $3.00 gem {NOW $2.40} is 52 pages!

So to recap:
Get 1 of the above for just $2.40

Get 2 of the above for $4.80

Or check out this equation:
The Back to School Number Writing + The Apple Tree Book  + Kitty Cat Button Center = $7.20
{as in.... that is a really good deal and I think you "need" these....wink wink}

And just FYI I have many other things in my store that are also $3.00 just some short and sweet add ons to freshen up a unit you may already have...check it out while you are there!

I'll be here again tomorrow...same place, same time!