Monday, January 28, 2013

Using Doubles

Here are two activities to help students with the concept of using doubles to solve other math problems.  One is an activity that you can differentiate for your students depending on the dice you have the use.  For my struggling math students, I use six-sided dice.  For other students I use ten and twelve-sided dice.

I have also attached a game.  I use a ten sided die for this one and it has the numbers 0-9.

Guided Math-The Journey

It has been about two years since I first became interested in guided math.  It has been a journey!  I have still not mastered it, but I feel like I have finally made strides in the right direction. 

I like that I am able to differentiate the lessons for my students by utilizing three different groups to teach a math concept.  My goal is to do guided math three times a week.  Sometimes that just does not happen.

My biggest struggle has been with what to do with everyone else so that I am not ripping my hair!  I have found that breaking my class into three groups works best.  One group is with me, one group is at their desks, and one group is at workstations. 

For those students who are at workstations; they have a checklist.  They can choose which workstation they would like to go to.  The kids leave the math workstation buckets out so when we switch, the next group does not to set them back out again.  The last group at the workstation buckets cleans them up when we are done with guided math.

I have attached my checklist for workstations if you would like to take a peek.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener Review

I have always said that whoever invented a quiet, reliable pencil sharpener would make a million dollars…
I have been lucky to get a chance to try out the  Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener in my classroom.
This pencil sharpener produced the sharpest pencils I have ever seen---every time.  It was very quiet.  My firsties loved trying it out so much,  I did have to put an eventual limit on the amount of times they could visit.  Our school nurse was so impressed by the sharpener she went and bought three!  One was for home and the other two were for teacher gifts.
I would have to say this is by far the best manual pencil sharpener.  There are only two notes I want to make.  This sharpener does a phenomenal job on colored pencils, but since the lead is so soft on these pencils, it can sometimes get stuck in the sharper and needs to get dislodged.  This never happened with regular pencils.  The other note is about the clamp.  My firsties don’t have the arm strength to hold the sharpener so I needed to use the clamp that came with the sharpener.  I have not found the right surface to clamp the pencil sharpener to in which it doesn’t wiggle without holding it.
Overall, this pencil sharpener is a keeper.  It even sharpens those icky pencils that just get chewed up in other sharpeners!
Check out Classroom Friendly Supplies for more information.