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From the Blog…

Adding Language Skills to your Read Aloud

Adding Language Skills to your Read Aloud

It can be really hard to fit everything in to our ELA instruction.  Often, it’s language and grammar that gets left out, but these are important skills that our students need in order to become truly literate.   One way to fit these sills in...

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FUN Summer Learning: 10 ideas

FUN Summer Learning: 10 ideas

Did you know that kids can lose 2-3 months of learning over the summer?  No one wants to start the new school year already behind!! Here are 10 FUN things that kids can do over the summer to keep their brains sharp: 1. Play with water.Use plastic tubes, things that...

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End of the School Year Ideas

End of the School Year Ideas

The end of the school year can be a fun, but stressful time.  We want to make sure our students are learning up until the last day, but we also want to review, tie up loose ends and have time to reflect.  Here are 10 ideas for ways to have fun and keep...

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28 Reasons to Use Math Games

28 Reasons to Use Math Games

Math Games…promote strategic thinking teach cooperation allow for student choice provide an opportunity for self-monitoring are VERY motivating encourage mathematical communication help kids practice social skills/ turn taking can be used to develop meta-cognition...

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Math Game Checklist

Math Game Checklist

I love using math games in my classroom.  I have many reasons why I (and my students) love playing math games.  But how do I decide which games to spend our precious class time playing?  What makes a quality math game?  Below is a list of the criteria I use when...

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Pictograph & Bar Graph Surveys

Pictograph & Bar Graph Surveys

I love teaching graphing and data.  Kids are naturally curious, and they get very excited about collecting their own information about the world around them.  It's really fun for them to have the opportunity to choose their own question to ask, then to...

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Why are Line Plots SO Hard?!

Why are Line Plots SO Hard?!

I don’t know about your class, but my students have always had a harder time understanding line plots than they did with pictographs and bar graphs.  Line plots just didn’t seem to make sense to my kids, so I started thinking about why that is and how to...

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Engaging Computation Practice- Really!

Engaging Computation Practice- Really!

Reciprocal Learning is a cooperative learning technique that works really well for material that students need to review and/ or practice.  In reciprocal learning, students work in pairs to coach each other through problems.  Ideally, the ‘just...

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Using Folding to Teach Equivalent Fractions

Using Folding to Teach Equivalent Fractions

Finding equivalent fractions can be a confusing concept for students.  It’s counter-intuitive to change both the numerator AND the denominator, especially if students have been working on composing/ decomposing fractions or adding and subtracting...

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Geometric Attribute Sorts

Geometric Attribute Sorts

What is a Geometry Sort? A geometry sort is when students are classifying shapes into categories based on the geometric attributes of those shapes. Why Geometry Sorts? -Geometry sorts help students focus on the identifying geometric attributes (number of sides,...

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Writing ABC Books with Upper Elementary Students

Writing ABC Books with Upper Elementary Students

I love using ABC books with my upper elementary students.   I like the organization of them and the familiar patterns.  Some of the letters are easier to find ideas, and some push the students to think more deeply and creatively.  But the thing I LOVE about using...

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Common Core Math Capture Games

Common Core Math Capture Games

What is Capture?Capture is an old, very basic card game for two players.  Sometimes it's also called "war."  It's a comparing game that can be used to practice just about any value- based concept in math.  If you can compare two things and find which is...

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Student Portfolios

Student Portfolios

With testing season also comes the question: When we test in the mornings, what do we do in the afternoons??  We don't want to further stress our kids out or place high demands on them.  But we also want to maintain order, and we definitely don't have time...

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No More Computation Errors

No More Computation Errors

Tired of your students making the same computation errors over and over?!! Here are 5 ways to help them understand, find, and correct their own errors: 1.  Look for patterns.  Sometimes, kids are making the same kind of mistake over and over because of a...

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Measuring with a Ruler: Try Coloring!

Measuring with a Ruler: Try Coloring!

Why kids struggle with measuring inches (and how coloring rulers can help): 1. Measuring in inches requires a different way of thinking about fractions. The most common way for kids to think about fractions is the area model- where a space is divided into equal...

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Empowering Students with Assessments

Empowering Students with Assessments

Assessments can be a stressful event for students.  They can feel like punishment for not learning ‘enough’ or being ‘smart enough.’  Students can develop low self-esteem and feel unmotivated if they think that they “should’ be able to do everything perfectly, all the...

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