Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TEI Tuesday Tip for 2/25

Good Googly, Google Forms!

I continue to hear the comment from teachers that they want a tool that will show them which answers students are missing on hot spot TEI question types.  Google forms can provide the help and feedback for many TEI question types! As I posted earlier, Google forms are able to track multiple answers and with the use of a script, such as Flubaroo, can create self-checking forms that provide very specific feedback. Add to that the ability to use images in Google forms and you now have the ability to create some quick assessments that get students used to thinking beyond one correct answer.

I have created a Google form for third grade rounding practice. This 10 question form, uses the "fill in" and "hot spot" question types. I added an image for the hot spot questions, to show what the hot spot question would look like on a typical standardized state test. I added a page break for each page to make it easier to navigate. The data from students will become part of a spreadsheet that will give the teacher insights into how each student is answering these TEI questions.

I wish Google forms had been invented when I started teaching years ago. As you work with students using Google forms, you have the data to help them focus on moving up with their understanding. The TEI challenge is to think critically, work diligently and keep moving UP!

Here's to another day of moving UP with "thoughtfully engaged instruction"!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TEI Tuesday Tip for 2/18

Help! Properties of Numbers!

I had a conversation recently with our division math specialist. We were talking about the difficulty students have understanding properties of numbers as it is expressed on standardized testing and other types of formative assessments. While this concept starts with the early development of number and number sense, bridging the vocabulary that describes number properties requires thoughtfully engaged instruction and a creative mind!

When I was a classroom teacher, I found myself creating chants, rhymes, songs and other rhythms that students could engage in to help them understand content vocabulary. We had fun and the students had a chance to get up and creatively express themselves. I continue to be amazed at the collective talent pool that teachers have when it comes to making learning meaningful for students.

Because I love the power of video to capture students' attention, my first task was checking out the videos on the properties of numbers. While the search results yielded many, I found only a few that were exceptionally fun to watch as well as informative. My favorite was this third grade video that sings the properties of addition using the hit song, What Makes You Beautiful. 

Properties of Addition (3rd Grade students sung to What Makes You Beautiful)

Virginia teachers, if you haven't used the resource, eMediaVA, check it out! You can search for media by VA SOL or by keyword. This resource is free and is provided by the Virginia Public Media Association for use in educational settings such as schools, libraries or by teachers and students from their homes.

How many of you have visited Teachers pay Teachers? You will be amazed at the wonderful resources that are available from creative teachers like yourself! Many of the items are free and a large number are available to purchase for a low price. You might even want to look into submitting some of the innovative resources you've made through the years.

Here are links to some of the free downloads for properties of numbers from Teachers pay Teachers. You will need to create a free account to download them, but these are a click away. Did I mention....these are all FREE?!

  1. The Flip Flop Fact Rap (Commutative Property of Addition)
  2. Properties of Addition Posters
  3. Properties of Addition & Multiplication Graphic Organizer (Phrase Clues, Picture Clues)
  4. Properties of Addition Practice Cards
  5. Properties of Multiplication Practice Cards
  6. Properties of Multiplication Posters
  7. Properties of Multiplication Matching Madness
  8. Identity Property Poster
  9. Properties Fold it Up!
  10. Property Sort (5th-8th grade)

My last resource is  Scholastic StudyJams. This is a fun, informative and interactive website that addresses a wide variety of math and science topics. If you teach math or science, this website is well worth taking a look at.

Here's to another day of "thoughtfully engaged instruction"!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

TEI Wednesday Tip for 2/12

New Math TEI Flipchart! 

Grade 3 Rounding

After this last round of benchmarks, I decided it was time to refocus on designing some flipcharts that would reinforce math content that students are struggling with or just need a different way of engaging with the standards. Having taught third grade for many years, I love the third grade content and saw that rounding needed some more attention. The time for teachers to look on the Internet is stretched so thin, so I wanted to do the legwork for them and revisit online resources for rounding. I was so pleased at how creative teachers are sharing their work online. I think you will enjoy the variety of resources that are included in this flipchart. 
I encourage those of you who don't have a Promethean board in your classroom to still use the flipchart as a tool for "thoughtfully engaged" guided instruction. If you have a regular dry erase whiteboard and a wireless mouse, you can make this flipchart engaging and interactive for your students. If you teach a grade other than third, you might want to also give it a look as it could be useful for differentiating instruction.

Here's to another day of "thoughtfully engaged instruction."

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