Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Check Out Our TpT Store

Oh how we are loving the support and the educational forum teacherspayteachers.com gives us. It's a wonderful sharing community of fantastic educators displaying what they do best...engaging lessons/ideas, expressing creativity and teaching. I encourage you to sign up , browse around and purchase some fabulous products. You can visit our store directly by clicking on the link in our menu bar on the right side of this blog. We have our 2nd grade GNOMe for free to download!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

There's an App for that!

Educational reform is not just happening in our classrooms, it is happening in technology too. Common Core has made its way into the App world. Here are a few Apps that can help bring the Common Core right to your fingertips. Just download them from your Apple Store. 

App: Common Core Standards (FREE)

Common Core Standards

View the Common Core State Standards in one convenient FREE app! A great reference for students, parents, and teachers to easily read and understand the core standards. Quickly find standards by subject, grade, and subject category (domain/cluster). This app includes Math standards K-12 and Language Arts standards K-12. Math standards include both traditional and integrated pathways (as outlined in Appendix A of the common core) and synthesizes Language Arts standards with the Corresponding College and Career Readiness Standards (CCR's).

App: Common Core Look-fors (Mathematics, Technology) ($2.99)
Common Core Look-fors (CCL4s) is a great app for teachers integrating the Common Core State Standards into their classroom!

http://educationappreviews.com/    *** This link is a wonderful resource for some suggested skill based common core ipad/ iphone / ipod  learning applications.
I am sure that most would agree when we say... by providing students a variety of ways to explore and reinforce their learning they stay engaged, excited and enthusiastic about their own education. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Common Core Videos

As we continue to dive in and learn more about the Common Core State Standards we found that like most things visuals are most helpful. Our state does provide a wonderful website (engageny.org) for explaining the CCSS. Although the videos on engageny.org are very informational, sometimes we want to see the "talk" in action.  

 The teachingchannel.org  provides just that ... teachers using the CCSS in their classrooms.
We found this particular video interesting. Click the link below to view. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Checking In

This post is all about student choice.
You will see Mrs. Taylor’s (one of the Work Wives) 2nd grade classroom “checking in” for Common Core 4. Mrs. Taylor’s student teacher is in charge of the check in. Here each student chooses which of the 4 independent practices they would like to work on. As a reminder the Common Core 4 independent practices include math facts, technology time, math games, and mathematical practice or what some call paper practice. When the teacher calls on each student they not only say the activity they will be working on but they also state the GNOMe strategy that they are currently focusing on. As another side note, the checking in process does not look much different at the other grade levels. As they get more comfortable with Common Core 4 you can allow the students to check their peers in. This is nice because you can choose the first student to conference with and gain an extra few minutes with individual students. In this video you do not see the teacher keeping track of the students Common Core 4 choice. However, we do keep a check in recording sheet. If we find that a student is doing flash cards too often or technology too often we guide them to make another choice. We love this process because it really allows the students to take ownership of their learning.

Third Grade GNOMe Mini Lesson

Here is a 2 part video of what a 3rd grade GNOMe mini lesson looks like. This is one of our Work Wives, Kelly a 3rd grade teacher, conducting a lesson from the Measurement category. Our mini lessons are typically short (10-15 minutes), very specific, whole group, and come directly from the Common Core State Standards. In this video you will Kelly introduce the new standard (Recognize Standard Units of Area) and then allow the students explore Area through manipulatives. In part 2 she reviews the concept and checks for students understanding before they begin Common Core 4, our students' independent practice.

Recognize Standard Units of Area 
Part 1

Part 2

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Math Boxes

Ok teachers... If it is one thing that we hate is our students' materials all over the classroom. Pencils and erasers in one location , crayons in another , papers in one corner, and math manipulative galore on the floor! Ahhh ! To solve this problem we have given each of our students a Math Box. Actually, it can be a bin or a box. These Math Boxes hold ALL the materials the students would need to work on math independently. 

We include...
- reference sheets ( some examples would be 100s chart ; fact tables; touch math ; number line)
- a ruler
- a calcualor
- pencils / erasers 
- dry erase markers 
- math games binder
- notebook for a Math Journal 
- folder (for on going work) 
- flash cards 

 Here is an video of Michele, one of the Work Wives and a 1st grade teacher, explaining her math box. Please excuse any mishaps in the video - we are still learning how to use imovie .. LOL .