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Showing posts from August, 2014

Venus "Thought Traps!"

Today I finished Chapter 4 of The Together Teacher , titled Never Forget! Capture Your Thoughts .  As I kept reading the phrase thought catchers (which the author suggests teachers use so that we don't lose those ideas that pop into our heads at unpredictable times during the day, I kept thinking of dream catchers , so I needed to call them something else, and Venus Fly Traps somehow popped into my head. So, in my mind, my thought catchers will be called Venus Thought Traps instead:) The idea of the thought catcher is that one should have a place to write the ideas that occur during the course of the day; and rather than popping into a colleague's room to share that thought (which I tend to do) or sending off a quick email to share the thought or question, one should organize those thoughts into categories so that several of the thoughts or questions can be addressed at the same time.  For example, if you work closely with a few different people - let's call them Ra

Workin' On It Wednesday

I'm working on getting back into the swing of school!! How about you? An InLinkz Link-up

Planning My Planner...

I spent yesterday morning putting all of my school dates and all of my daughter's after-school commitments on my monthly calendars. On the calendar, I also included the plan for completing my units, which I have color-coded (I saw this idea on Pinterest and really felt the need to do it myself). I'm hoping that having all of this on month-at-a-glance calendars will help me stay on track a little better with completing my units "on time" and will help me be a little more organized all around. Download editable template . I also spent a bit of time tweaking my personal lesson planner. I've made my own planners on the computer for years, so that I didn't have to spend time writing out the class names, times, regularly scheduled parts of the day, etc on each new planner page. My planners have changed over the years, as I transitioned from teaching elementary to middle school, and as I've chosen to add different aspects to the planner (like standards, re

Working on it Wednesday!

I can't believe it's already Wednesday again! What are you working on?? An InLinkz Link-up

Good Use of Time?

Before There are so many things to get done this week and next, and so when I was in my classroom, what did I do? I used duct tape to decorate my trays!  These trays are pretty old, but are so sturdy that I can't part with them. I noticed that they were a bit marked up, so I thought the duct tape would make them look cleaner and neater. The pictures aren't as bright as the actual trays/tape...guess the lighting wasn't great. After! So, with all the things I need to do, this probably wasn't the best use of my time, but it was fun:)

Workin' on it Wednesday

It's a rainy kind of Wednesday here (this morning). I've been working on organizing "anchor activities" for math class. So far, I've collected a list of ideas, but plan to spend the rest of the week getting things physically organized. Please link up below:) An InLinkz Link-up

It's Funny...

Sometimes, I think it's funny (only kind of funny, because it's also a little disturbing) when I read about an idea for how to do something, only to realize that this great idea is exactly what I USED to do. It's "funny" because I HAD already been doing these great things, but a bit disturbing because I had completely forgotten them! The most recent example of this came the other day, as I was reading The Together Teacher (which I started reading to be able to link up with Kelly at An Apple for the Teacher - I'm contributing a post about Chapter 10 in September). So, I was reading chapter 1, where the author was explaining how to create a weekly schedule that shows every day by the hour, so that you can plan for and see when you will complete the tasks that need to done, and I was like - "Wait a minute, I used to do that!" Quite a few years ago, I used to spend much of my "spare" time working on my Mary Kay Cosmetics business. I wen

The Differentiated Math Classroom: Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Pulling It Together: Lessons, Anchors, and Tools In this chapter, the authors summarize how they have characterized differentiation in a math classroom: 1) Responsive teaching 2) Organized and flexible approach using a diverse collection of strategies 3) Purposeful adaptation of teaching and learning processes to accommodate the ways different students learn 4) All students have access to math knowledge and are appropriately supported and challenged 5) Teaching and learning in a problem-solving environment 6) Providing all students with opportunities to reach high standards, to reach their full potential, and to become proficient, independent learners in math. They have included a handy table of the lessons that were referenced in the book, along with the grade level and math strand addressed, so it's easy to go back and find any lessons you'd like to use. The authors address anchor activities again, review the idea that these are act

Triple B Giveaway Preview

I just wanted to share an exciting giveaway, coming tomorrow at 2 Peas and a Dog... Click to go to 2 Peas & a Dog Every day is a new prize pack to be won!  $100's of dollars in teaching products are being given away, to help  get you ready for the new school year!  K-2 Prize Pack  3-5 Prize Pack 6-8 Prize Pack 9-12 Prize Pack Photography Prize Pack    

Workin' On It Wednesday

I hope everyone is enjoying their first week of August! I have been working on such a variety of things - reading, writing, planning, thinking. Yesterday I had to work on getting our water fixed because we had no water when we woke up! Fortunately, it wasn't a very expensive fix and I met some great new guys that we can call in the future if our well gives us trouble again:) An InLinkz Link-up

Chapter 9: Teacher Knowledge of Mathematics and Pedagogy

Chapter 9: Teacher Knowledge of Mathematics and Pedagogy In order to teach for math proficiency, which is a driving reason for the differentiation discussed in this book, the authors state that the following National Research Council (2001, 2010) strands must be interwoven into a teacher’s practice: 1) Conceptual understanding of the core knowledge of math, students, and pedagogy 2) Procedural fluency with instructional routines 3) Strategic competence in planning and responding to problems 4) Adaptive reasoning in justifying, explaining, and reflecting on practice 5) A productive disposition toward math, teaching, learning, and improving one’s practice In chapter 9, the authors focused on the first and the last of these strands. In support of strand number 1, Carol Tomlinson (2001) is again referenced – she believes that gaps in a teacher’s understanding of   content is the most significant barrier to effective differentiated instruction. (Gaps in pedag

The Differentiated Math Classroom: Chapter 8 - The Teacher: Knowing and Sharing the Self

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The Differentiated Math Classroom: Chapter 7: Lessons as Lenses (part 4)

In the fourth lesson presented in Chapter 7, the differentiation is for readiness and learning styles. This fraction lesson, dealing with the concept of half, was designed for second grade. The class used tangram puzzles and triangle grid paper (duplicates of the small tangram triangles). The launch part of the lesson was a discussion of the tangram pieces and the goal of the lesson was shared: to show one half using the tangram pieces. An example, with discussion, was shared using the overhead projector. During the exploration , students worked individually, with their own tangram sets. The students’ task was to represent a tangram shape on the triangle grid paper, and shade in the halves of the shape using two different colors. They were then to cut their shapes out and glue them to a class poster. During the summary , students spent time digesting what was on the poster. Each student had to go to the poster, point to a shape that was showing one half, and expl