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Elementary

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From the Blog…

Managing Chaotic School Days

Managing Chaotic School Days

Every teacher has those days. Halloween, the day before Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Parent-Teacher Conferences, the last week of school. Of course, we want these hectic school days to be semi-productive, but we also don't want to pile even more stress onto our...

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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...

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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...

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Math Games Checklist

Math Games 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 for quality math games?  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, as every teacher & parent knows, 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...

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Teaching Line Plots – Why are Line Plots SO Hard?!

Teaching Line Plots – 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 teach line...

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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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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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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 with a ruler (and how coloring inches can help): Measuring with a ruler uses the area model for fractions. 1. Measuring in inches requires a different way of thinking about fractions. The most common way for kids to think about...

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Classifying Quadrilaterals: Why it Matters

Classifying Quadrilaterals: Why it Matters

Classifying quadrilaterals is one of those skills that adults love to make fun of with those, ‘I didn’t learn anything useful, but I learned the difference between a rhombus and a trapezoid.’ jokes that teachers hate.  The thing is, when students learn to...

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Add More Measurement to Your Classroom

Add More Measurement to Your Classroom

For some reason, measurement and geometry always seemed to be the weakest strands for the elementary students in the schools I’ve taught in.  Maybe it’s because they aren’t traditional arithmetic, or maybe it’s because they tend to be left for the end of the school...

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How to Differentiate Math Games

How to Differentiate Math Games

One of the reasons I love using math games in my classroom is that there are so many ways to differentiate math games to meet the needs of the students.  Often, kids can be playing the same game, and with some minor variations, they can be playing it at different...

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Fractions on a Number Line

Fractions on a Number Line

Kids tend to do really well understanding the concept of a number line and using it to count whole numbers.  And they also are usually able to understand basic fraction concepts.  But when it comes to putting the two concepts together- fractions on a number...

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How to Use GoodNotes for Teaching

How to Use GoodNotes for Teaching

GoodNotes is an app that's mostly intended to be used for note taking and as a planner. But GoodNotes can also be used by teachers to help streamline our planning, keep track of assessment data, explain concepts to students, and much more! Here are some reasons to try...

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