Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mastering Those Pesky Math Facts

Recently there has been some great discussion centered around the lack of math fact fluency in our elementary kiddos. I have a couple of great resources for that!

1. Happy Numbers
Happy Numbers is a great website that allows students to practice math skills Grades k-2. All of the skills are Common Core Standard Based and have a visual representation and on-screen hands-on learning. You can put students in up to five groups and assign certain standards to each group. You can get a 30 day free trial and can load multiple classes under one username. If you choose to purchase, it is only $59.00 for the year! It is so engaging and very simple to check student progress and differentiate with!

2. Kahoot!

This is a WONDERFUL free resource and something that you could use of skill practice besides just math! It is a game-based practice tool. The teacher can load their questions and answers in and the students can play as individuals or on teams. The best part...after the game is finished, you can get a spreadsheet report as a teacher, so you know exactly what each student got right/wrong and what they answered! The kids LOVE this website!

Both of these resources are web-based, meaning that you can use a mobile device, a tablet, an iPad or a computer! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Collaboration on Student Led Conferences

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been collaborating with teachers on ideas for Parent Teacher Conference. Many teachers want to make sure they address concerns related to the new PARCC Assessment, while others want to make sure parents are well informed on the Lexile Levels of their students. One teacher in particular was interested in a way to get his students more involved in the process, so I suggested Student Led Conference, or SLC, as it has become known to the students in his classroom.

I found a template online and modified it a bit. When I shared it with Mr. McGuan, he altered it a bit more and took it a step further that just traditional student led conferences. Students in his class will actually be giving a Student Led Conference Presentation to both Mr. McGuan and his or her parents. Students have been working hard during the past week to reflect on their learning this past quarter. Students created a presentation in Google Slides where they embedded work, as well as their personal successes, struggles and goals.

When Mr. McGuan turned it into a presentation instead of a traditional conference format, I thought it was a great idea to tie in the Speaking and Listening Standards (see below for more detail). Students have really taken off with their presentations and will even be dressing up for the event, they are SUPER excited! And why shouldn't they be, they have all accomplished great this so far this school year! I am trying to get my hands on one of their presentations to share, but until then, click here for the template used by the students to create their SLC presentations.

Speaking and Listening Standards Grade 5

Comprehension and Collaboration:
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1.A
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.

Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 5 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)