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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Parent-teacher Conferences

It's that time of year again - meeting with parents to discuss our kiddos.  My district has us meet with parents over 3 days.  This makes it much easier and feels  less stressful.  This year I decided to do things a little differently.  Not sure why it too so long but I digress... First of all, I used Sign-Up Genius to book all my appointments.  This worked beautifully!  If you have not used this site I recommend you check it ASAP!  It was very easy and all my appointments were done without an issue.  They certainly got the name right!

Next I decided to organize myself before conference day.  Usually I use lined paper, as I have a section in my assessment binder for each student with sample work and standards checklists etc.  However, this seemed like something worth trying.  It will allow me to get my "talking points" straight and give me a place to take notes during the meeting.  I will keep this for myself but maybe make a different form for the parents.   This form is all about math since I am an intervention teacher but I am sure it can easily be modified for a classroom teacher.  Here is a copy for you to use!  I hope you find it helpful.  Do you use a similar form?  If so I would love to know about it - leave me a message down below. :)  

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Five for Friday

TGIF - What a busy week! I am happy to be linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching again.  I have been working my little 2nd graders to the bone.  While focusing on developing a deeper understanding of place value, I am focusing my attention to the Common Core Math Practices.  This week we charted "words we use to describe numbers" (bigger, smaller, less, more etc.) and practicing using these words when solving problems and explaining our thinking.  Below are some of the activities I planned to help develop their understanding.

These kiddos were struggling when answering questions that asked "how many more?"  I thought of this daily routine  that they loved!  Each student grabbed a bunch of cubes, counted them then lined them up.  Visually they could determine how many more.  But what math equations model how to find the difference, if presented in a word problems?  These physical bar model helped a lot!

Manipulatives can be a little confusing, especially if we introduce them too quickly.  This week I worked with a student who was stumped when I asked: Is 30 was the same at 3?  There was also some difficulty "seeing" 100 since it's simply 1 square base-10 block.  So to help with this misconception we started counting ones and didn't stop until we had 100 (phew, so glad  I had enough!).  There was a real "ah-ha" moment and she was so excited to label and take pictures.

Thank you Erin, from The Open Door Classroom - Race to 50 was a big hit.  We also did a number sort - using 3-digit numbers written in standard form and expanded form.  Keeping their hands active makes all the difference when these kiddos are practicing their math skills.  

DWELP - this game is addictive!  If you have the Starbucks app then it is free until May!!  If you like puzzles then it is for you.  To complete a puzzle, just link all the same-colored dots by placing them near another.  Sounds easy...but it's not.  I'm currently stuck on level 61 - help!  

SNOW DAY!  Yesterday was the perfect day for a snow day.  I recently had my closets refitted and painted and I was looking forward to this weekend so I could unpack all my clothes and stop living out of cardboard boxes.  Luckily I had a free day to get it done.  I also had a chance to watch season 1 of The Real Housewives of Melbourne.  How did I miss this show?  Luckily the entire season was one and I was able to watch mind-numbing, yet wonderfully entertaining reality TV!  :)

I'm looking forward to checking out your posts.  Thanks for stopping by.   Hope you had a great week!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Currently

It's March already?  The year is flying by!!! I haven't posted in a while but I can't resist a new Currently.  Thank you Farley at Oh Boy 3rd Grade for keeping me motivated :)

I've been watching a bit too much TV lately but how can I resist Downton Abbey finale and the start of House of Cards.  Last time my hubby and I watched the entire season in 1 week.  This time I promise to make it last.

I am counting the days 'till spring break, cant wait to get in the sun.  However, I hear the snow plows outside which make me think we will have a snow day - I always welcome the time off to catch up on planning.

I live in NYC and Whole Foods just opened up in my neighborhood - YAY!  I think I will need to shop off-hours because it is SO crowded.  9am?  (maybe tomorrow ;)

Have a great week!!