Top Teaching > 24 posts categorized "Math"

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Digging Into the Common Core

Commoncorepic What do we all have in common this year?

The Common Core State Standards. Because these new standards are being implemented nationwide, we're all in this together. We'll have opportunities to read and reflect together on what we teach as we get familiar with these new guiding documents. Read on to learn about activities our district teachers are planning to help us get acquainted with the math standards.

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Finding Common Ground With the Common Core

Blow-istockphoto7388508Welcome back! Last year, I was one of Scholastic's Teacher Advisors, and I shared learning experiences from my English language arts classroom. This year, I am honored to return as one of Scholastic’s Top Teachers, serving in a slightly different capacity. My focus throughout the year will be on two topics at the forefront of education: the Common Core State Standards and state assessments. In addition to sharing my curriculum mapping journey, classroom experiences, and reflections, I hope to build a support community — a Common Core family — for all of us who are engaging in the groundbreaking educational reformation process.

Photo: iStockphoto © Duncan1890.

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Rethinking Motivation for 2011–2012 School Year — Thanks, Daniel Pink! Part One

Icebreakersk5 “The ultimate freedom for creative groups is the freedom to experiment with new ideas. Some skeptics insist that innovation is expensive. In the long run, innovation is cheap. Mediocrity is expensive — and autonomy can be the antidote.”

—Tom Kelley, General Manager, IDEO

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Greetings From Top Teaching Advisor Stacey

BurtStacey_promo_xlg Welcome to room 11, my name is Stacey Burt and I am a math and science teacher enjoying my 14th year in the classroom.  After spending a decade working with 5th graders, I made the leap up to grade 6 and have adored every moment of it.  My educational background includes an undergraduate degree in elementary education and a graduate degree in special education with a concentration in gifted and talented education. Currently, I am a doctoral student researching self-efficacy as it pertains to mathematically precocious females in middle grades.

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Comments: 2

Interactive Whiteboard 101 — A Resource of Activities for Math Instruction

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Bring your math curriculum to life with your interactive whiteboard. In my last post, "Whiteboards 101: A Resource of Activities for Literacy Instruction," I shared numerous literacy Web sites and games to use on your interactive whiteboard. This week, click "read more" to see an extensive list of math games that will have your students out of their seats, up at the board, and exploring math concepts.

 

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Comments: 6

Host a Reality Fair

 
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Your school probably hosts a Career Day each year, but what about a Reality Fair? If you haven't heard of this before, it's a wonderful addition for grades 5 and above. I have never seen any other event hit home like this does with regard to selecting a profession and trying to work with a budget. Read on to see how our fantastic school counselor organized and created our Reality Fair to give our students a taste of reality. This could be a wonderful addition to your scheduled school events next year.

Photo: Students meet with a university advisor about college costs and entrance requirements.

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Comments: 4

Cure Review Boredom With Games Created by IWB-Ready Tools

 
IMG_0705Are your students not enjoying all the review and test prep going on right now? Is it like pulling teeth to make reviewing concepts interesting? Well, this post is for you! Come take a look at some fun and easy online games created using templates. They'll catch your students’ attention and make reviewing an exciting learning opportunity. Whether you are preparing for state testing or just end of the year assessments, these games are just what the doctor ordered for that review boredom.

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Comments: 8

Five Ways to Make Standardized Test Prep Engaging

TestprepWith state testing quickly approaching, my grade level decided to try out some new ways to review content across the curriculum. One idea that has received rave reviews from both students and parents is our weekly TCAPalon competitions. "TCAPalon" — a play on our state test's name and "triathlon" — allows our classes to compete academically with each other while receiving quality review instruction. Read on to learn how to turn standardized test prep into a team event, and to read about some tried and true test review methods. 

Photo: Students learn how to review using the "Great BamBunyi" method.


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Comments: 10

Filmmaking — Stop-Motion to Bring Curriculum to Life

IMG_0652Stop-motion has long been used to entertain children and adults on television and in the movies. Think back to Gumby or the cute Christmas specials, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and The Year Without a Santa Claus. All of those were done by using the stop-motion technique of filming. This year my kindergarten class has been interested in stop-motion. We are currently in the process of creating a stop-motion movie to learn about plants using candy. Click to read more about stop-motion and see some student examples of how this exciting filmmaking technique can be used in the classroom.

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Comments: 8

Iditarod Excitement Is Building!

Images[5]Every spring my group of excited 2nd graders and their enthusiastic parents prepare for the Iditarod, a 1,100 mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. There’s so much I want to share with you about the Iditarod and what we study and learn that I’m planning to write several posts about the race.

For ten years I've studied the Iditarod with my class as a way to teach standards for media literacy, language arts, and character education. Students learn how to navigate a complex Web site independently and follow links under my supervision. Students write musher profiles and sled dog poetry. Everyone picks a musher to root for and follow for the duration of the race. They graph Alaska’s daily temperature and wind speed and compare Alaska's weather to our own. As students follow mushers’ progress, they learn about perseverance, practice, courage, and hard work. They sing, dance, and shout about the Iditarod. Students even pull one another around the gym on carpet-square "sleds"!

Read on to find out more. . . .   

 

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Comments: 2

World Education Games Have Begun!

Wmd-2011 Last year 2,403,526 students from 236 countries correctly answered 479,732,613 questions and a new world record was set. What a powerful experience to give your students! Are you up for the challenge? It's time to find out: World Maths Day is back!

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2-D, 3-D, and Beyond: Developing Geometric Thinking and Spatial Sense

3d_1If you are responsible for teaching students about moving from 2-D to 3-D and 3-D to 2-D, and creating and understanding nets, surface area, and/or volume, then I have THE lesson for you. Read on to learn how you can quickly help your students master 2-D, 3-D, and beyond! 

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Comments: 4

Give Your Students a Voice With VoiceThread

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VoiceThread is a Web 2.0 tool for online group conversation, collaboration, and sharing, and it's sure to be a winner in the classroom. This tool is great whether it is used with one computer or many, with advanced students or English language learners. Although I've used VoiceThread for about four years, I continue to come up with new ways to incorporate it into my classroom to enhance or assist with instruction. Come take a look at an example of a VoiceThread created by my kindergarten class and at a video sharing ways I use this tool in my classroom. Plus, get authentic practice by participating in a VoiceThread right here on our blog!

 

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Comments: 10

Implementing Best Practices for Math Instruction

IMG_1816In the past I have utilized a workshop approach to teaching math; however, this year my team has worked together to incorporate many other strategies and frameworks, including a workshop approach, to best meet the needs of our students. It requires that we all work together closely, and it also means that we take responsibility for our entire grade level. I really enjoy working with the other 5th grade teachers to plan, assess, and reflect on daily and weekly lessons, and I am confident it has made me a better teacher. From small group instruction and flexible grouping to shared and common assessments, I'd like to share what my team is doing this year.

Photo: Students take math outside using tools to practice adding decimals.

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Comments: 36

My December Top Ten List — 'Tis the Season!

Final Christmas Card Happy holidays! With the jam-packed curriculum we all face every day, taking time to celebrate the holidays in the classroom can be challenging. However, in this season of giving, it is important that we do take time out to teach our students about the real meaning of the season. It’s also a great time to purposefully integrate curriculum requirements with holiday activities.  

This post features ideas for creative holiday gifts, meaningful ways to help your students “give back,” awesome holiday resources on the Web, cool holiday activities I do in my own classroom, and a memorable way to ring in the New Year with your students. I have included some ideas from previous years' posts, but you will also find resources and ideas I have never shared before, innovative ideas from my Top Teaching colleagues, and links to useful online holiday resources.

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Comments: 3

Learning and the Brain

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This weekend I attended the Learning and the Brain Conference in Cambridge, MA, a three day conference that brings together neuroscientists, psychologists, and educators to explore the intersection of the mind (psychology), the brain (neuroscience), and the teaching-learning process. As teachers, we can use the results of the latest brain research and integrate information from neuroscience and psychology into our teaching practice.

Read on to discover just a little of what I learned at one presentation.

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Comments: 56

My October Top Ten List of Classroom Ideas

Class Rock

In my second top ten list of the school year, I am revealing my new class theme and taking you on a virtual tour of my 2010 classroom makeover.  As the craziness of the first month of school settles down, I like to look carefully at my teaching and determine how I can improve what I am already doing.  This post will focus on effective ways to maintain parent communication throughout the school year, use an interactive whiteboard to enhance your current lesson plans, highlight students in special ways each week, implement an effective Reader's Notebook for your Reading Workshop, raise money for your school, celebrate Halloween in a purposeful way, and more.

READ ON to check out tons of photos, download useful printables, visit cool Web sites, and watch a video tour of my "new and improved" classroom.

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Comments: 10

Online Educational Games for Classroom and Home Practice

 

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Games have long been a favorite activity for children. In our digital, media rich world today, gaming has become a huge industry for not only children, but adults as well. In the classroom educational games can be used to introduce and/or practice skills. Students become highly motivated when playing online computer games. There are so many amazing FREE online games out there that you can easily add to your class website or use on your interactive whiteboard.

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Comments: 85

Math Workshop: Using Developmental Grouping to Differentiate Your Instruction

JacobIn the past, I taught my math lessons as an entirely "whole-class" event.  I found myself at the front of the classroom teaching while my students sat at their desks trying to understand the new concepts.  There were always some students who found the lesson too easy and, likely out of boredom, tried to do the work before I even finished teaching the lesson.  On the other hand, there were also those students who struggled to understand the concepts and felt lost unless I stopped teaching and went to their individual desks to help them.  For these reasons, I found that teaching math was frustrating.  I was never able to meet the needs of all of my students.  That is when my teaching partner suggested we do Math Workshop after attending Alice Murphy's professional development seminar.  I have no idea why I had not been doing this all along!  I am so passionate about Reading and Writing Workshops because I can provide my students with the differentiated instruction that is so important in elementary school.  Math Workshop now allows me to do the same thing, as I use developmental grouping to differentiate my daily instruction. 

READ ON to learn how I use developmental grouping, math rotation stations, and math games to meet to the needs of my students during Math Workshop.

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Comments: 10

Work of the Past: Time to Catch Up


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This week Beth and I are taking a break from our usual postings. I am taking off because of my upcoming two-week break; however, I will be posting an article review shortly on Scholastic's Primary Sources, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Beth has a better excuse for taking a break with the new addition to her family; she will have a short post here next week about balancing family and school life. 

I have tried my best to write new topics this year after posting weekly last year with Scholastic. In the hopes of giving new readers some "new" material from last year, I am including an easy-to-navigate page of links, each with an excerpt and photo, for old and new readers alike. It includes over 30 blog entries with monthly articles and/or unit plans, downloads, videos, and photos. Enjoy!

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Comments: 41

My Classroom Economy: Bringing the "Real World" Into the Classroom

Customer While economics is considered part of the elementary social studies curriculum, textbooks and other social studies programs often neglect to incorporate economic instruction. The classroom economy can fill this void while serving as a fun way for students to act as both consumers and economists in a real world setting.  A well-run classroom economy has the ability to teach students economic principles while also serving as a behavior management system in which students are essentially responsible for themselves.

READ ON to learn about how I set up my classroom economy, watch a VIDEO of what it looks like in my classroom, and download tons of PRINTABLES that you can use to implement a classroom economy of your own!

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Comments: 14

Holiday Integration: Learning That Blends With the Season

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Despite the crazy pace that comes with the season, the show must go on! Right? If you find yourself struggling to keep a focus on academics in your class, I think I have a solution for you. It's a modified twist on the saying, "if you can't beat them, join them." In this case, I would like to share some truly engaging and challenging activities that take advantage of this time of year. So join in the fun and read on!

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Comments: 12

Want to Teach on a Higher Level? Drop the Textbook!

Class_photos 671 This year has been one of the most challenging years in my teaching career, and I am happy to say that this is a good thing. It has also been one of my most rewarding school years to date. Why? Teaching in a school that places an emphasis on learning outside of a textbook, worksheet, and scripted curriculum creates outside of the box planning and thinking. When you finally put the textbooks away, and I mean really away, you find that you have to really rely on those higher level teaching skills. Group-work, hands-on, music, movement, the works. This kind of learning is not only more fun and meaningful for my students, but for me as well. I'd like to share my five tips on managing the curriculum standards without relying on a textbook.

Photo: You won't find these directions on solving algebra problems like this in a textbook. I am including information on ordering the hands-on materials for this unit.

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Comments: 39

Meet Angela Bunyi

Two_chairs_backGreetings from Tennessee! My name is Angela Bunyi (like Daniel Boone-yee) and this is my 10th year of teaching. I grew up in the Los Angeles area, but I’m happy to be living and teaching in a beautiful suburban community outside of Nashville now. I’m currently a 3rd grade teacher at Discovery School at Reeves Rogers in Murfreesboro, a school for the gifted/talented and high achieving. This is a change since my time serving as Scholastic’s Grades 35 Teacher Advisor in 20082009, but I am excited to venture out into this rewarding, challenging territory.

And speaking of my school move, I’m not afraid of change. I’m always up for a new challenge or adventure, and this has led me to some amazing opportunities. These include a teaching internship in Sweden for six months, participation in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund trip to visit and learn about schools in Japan, and an education that is just short of a doctorate. I hold degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as well as Tennessee State University. My degrees range from a BA in Psychology and an MS in Elementary Education with a concentration in Urban Multi-Culture Education to an EdS in Administration and Supervision. I have taught grades 26 and served as a literacy coach for grades K3. Each experience shapes who I am as an educator.

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