Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I'm Having A Sale!

We have two back-to-back staff days in our district this week.  AMAZING!  We had Monday to finish up grades for report cards and Tuesday is used for whatever your school decides.  My principal has given us the second day to use however we would like.  How perfect is that?!  Time to work in my classroom and get paid for it?  What a thought!  
Yesterday, while typing up my report card comments, I was finding myself a bit flustered.  How can I help my parents help their kids?  This is only my 2nd year teaching, my 1st year teaching second grade, but I just needed to figure out something!  I often put together take-home reader folders for my struggling readers.  I put 1-2 leveled books in the folder with a correlating organizer.  The student is to read the book each night for a week and fill out the organizer.  When it returns on Friday I listen to them reading to make sure they have been practicing their fluency at home.  This has been WONDERFUL for some of my little friends, but some parents need more.  When I taught Kindergarten last year I had found a bookmark to send home with parents to assist them in their discussions about the texts read at home, but the one I had used was too basic for my second graders.  
That's the back story of how my newest product was made.  I am looking forward to putting these together at school today and sending them home on Wednesday.  We have 1/2 of the year left so it's time to hustle!  This product, as well as my addition scoots bundle, is on SALE in my TPT store until TONIGHT! Go and grab yours today!

 *PLEASE respect my property that I have spent time to create and do not manipulate.*  Click on any picture to take you to my store to purchase!

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Math At Home

This year our district was chosen to test out a program, First In Math.  If it is received well then we will purchase it for next year.  I have read a little bit about it and tried to teach myself the ins and outs by myself, but quite honestly I just don't have the time to become an expert on it on top of everything else I need to do.  Our Math Specialist spoke pretty highly of it so I decided to introduce it to my kids.  I have been quite impressed with how much they enjoy logging on.  

The students earn stickers instead of points for their completion of different games and benchmarks which seems to interest my highly competitive class.  As the team leader I am able to see each students' last log in date and the amour of stickers they have earned.  On my homepage it displays the Top 5 Players as well as a Player of the Day.  I have started to incorporate First in Math into my Dojo behavior management system since I allow them to log in after they practice their fact fluency on FASTT Math during Math Centers.  The Player of the Day receives 1 weighted point which is actually worth 2 points, each Top 5 Player receives 1 Dojo point, and students can receive 1-2 points for logging on over the weekend.  I slapped together a cute little button for the Player of the Day to wear so they can proudly brag as they walk around the building (pictures to follow).  This incentive is new to our room so I am excited to see how this impacts them.  

In addition to being able to see how many stickers each student is earning I am able to see the Top 3 teams in our building.  My kids often ask if I can log on throughout the week and show them the Top 3 teams.  First In Math does not display teacher or student names so we are not quite sure which classes are in the lead, but we know our team name so we check for it.  

First In Math has a place on the site where they break down how the activities correlate with the Common Core Standards.  Virginia is not a Common Core state, but the standards that our district teaches to are similar in some ways.  In my attempts to really understand what my kids are learning and practicing when they log on I went to this page to check it out.  I love being able to see how the activities correlate with what the students are learning in the classroom.  (Click the picture to check it out!)

What at-home computer programs do you or your district use?  

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