Do you Tsu?

Hi everyone! It has been a while since I have posted. My kiddos are really keeping me busy. Not only are my report cards due on Monday, but all of our inside and outside (hallway) bulletin boards are due with feedback on what each student did well and what they need to work on, a self and peer reflection, and a rubric. Doing a self and peer reflection with my 2nd graders makes me want to pull my hair out!!
“Noooo, you can not write about your friend’s illustration in the peer reflection!” I said at least 15 times today.

Have you heard of Tsu? Tsu is a new social media platform that was launched last week. It is similar to facebook but you get payed a small amount of money for your content and for sharing posts. Maybe now we can see the people we follow and all of their post, unlike other social media platforms that want us to pay to followers!

Here is a video you can watch to find out more. Click on the Tsu video to find out more.

You need an invite to create your account. Click on the Tsu picture to create your own account. Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 6.12.12 PM

Come follow me and a whole bunch of other bloggers for some great articles, humor, and of course some flash freebies that you won’t see on Facebook.

Well, I’m off to work on report cards and tons and tons of grading!
Thanks for stopping by,
Rachel

A Birthday Bash Celebration

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Hey everyone! Today I am helping the Primary Gal celebrate her birthday. To help her celebrate, a bunch of us got together to offer some of our best selling products for only $1. That’s right…there are over 100 products on sale for $1 on October 27th and 28th!

I am contributing my Build the Biggest Ice Cream Cone: Subtraction
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Word Family Wheels
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Haunted Multiples
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Missing Addends
Ghostly Missing Addends

Take a look below at everything you can get for only $1 for the next two days.

Thanks for stopping by,
Rachel

Spooky Teachers Deals and $1 Steals

Hey everyone. I have to tell you this school year has really been kicking my butt.

Today I am posting over on Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals. All of my Halloween themed math games are on sale for the next 3 days (until October 18th) for only $1!

I don’t know about you, but my school REALLY CELEBRATES October 31st!  I know not everyone celebrates Halloween but my school goes all out, including a huge Halloween party on Saturday.

My last school did not celebrate Halloween, but kids love spooky math games all year long!!  These math games can be played throughout the year and will help your kiddos reinforce their math skills.  When ever I pull out these games, my kids scream!  They just love the friendly ghosts or spooky characters.

For the next 3 days (October 15th through the 18th) I am putting my spooky math games on sale for ONLY $1!

First up are the Spooky Addition and Spooky Multiplication Scoot game. My kids love scooting around the room while practicing their addition or multiplication facts. What kid does not love getting up out of their seat??

In the beginning of the year, I play Monster War with my kids. Aren’t these monsters so cute? My kids love addition war and love beating their partners. Sometimes I use the addition cards while the kids are lining up or while they are using the restroom as a class. It keeps them quiet and keeps instruction going even when we are not in the room. Love It!! 🙂

Have your kids practice their multiplication facts by matching the equations with the haunted house.

Right now I have 6 spooky math games on sale for only $1.

 But grab them fast because they are only on sale through October 18th! After that, the games will go back to regular price.

 What are you waiting for?? Go check out the Spooky Math Games before you miss out on the sale. 

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi,
Rachel

Common Core Standards

Since I have been reading so much about the Common Core Standards, I thought I’d repost my feelings on the CC.

Has your state implemented the Common Core Standards? I know many states have. How do you feel about the new standards?
Let me start out by saying that I feel, as do many others that many of the standards are definitely inappropriate for some of our kids. I wish we could sit down and rewrite standards that are realistic for our kiddos.

I think the biggest problem with The Common Core State Standards is the way the standards have been implemented. There has been a lack of training for both teachers and parents. The materials being created are horrible and many times are just thrown at the teachers, sometimes during the school year like ReadyGen. Read my opinion about ReadyGen here

Here is a video that was put out by Common Core for parents.

I have to tell you, I really have mixed feelings about the standards. Do I love them? No. Do I hate them? No. I am somewhere in the middle. Let’s say I am in limbo. I don’t really like them but I also don’t hate them.

I do think that there should be some type of common standards. Don’t throw anything at me please!! 🙂
I work in NYC and see many kids come in and out of the classroom from all over the country. The differences in what I see is astounding. I know that all kids are different and are at different levels. But, sometimes there is such a drastic difference in what they know. I am in no way blaming any teachers!!

I think there is a lot of misconceptions about The Common Core Standards. We have taught many of these strategies or skills before the Common Core was introduced. I think they have just been bumped up to unrealistic standards for our kids.

As I look through Facebook posts and see the posts about solving math, I cringe. People complain about the solving of the math problem as “Look at the Common Core Standards!” I look at the problem and think, “That’s not the Common Core Standards. That’s a strategy or a way to solve the problem.” Many of the complaints I see is that the common core makes solving problems more complicated. Do we teach complicated methods sometimes? Yes. But remember some of the kids do need the visuals to understand concepts. For years we have used manipulatives to teach regrouping. Now, we draw out the cubes in place value charts and show how to regroup. What’s the big deal? Do all of my kids like it? No! If the kids know how to regroup and can explain how and why to regroup, then I let them do the work any way they want.

I read a blog post today from Common Core and So Much More where a math journal from 1993 was compared to a math journal from this year. The teacher found out that there really was not much of a difference. You can read about it here I totally agree with the author of Common Core and So Much More!! I used that same math journal to teach my third graders for years and many of the strategies are the same ones we use today. I would get letters from parents back then stating they were confused on the math strategies.

As teachers, it is our job to teach different strategies or methods to our students so that each student can find the strategy that works best for them.
Are some of the strategies confusing? Yes, they are. Do I like them all? No, but I still teach them.
You may ask, “If you don’t agree with the strategy or the way something is taught, then why teach it?” I teach the “confusing” strategy because even if just one kid who struggling with the concept before can compute with accuracy, then it was well worth it!

As a parent of a fourth grader and a second grade teacher, it is amazing how the kids like to use different strategies. My son Alex, uses math strategies that sometimes I have a hard time understanding. I have to have him show or explain it to me a few times before I know what he is talking about. He is one of those kids who likes to use the unpopular strategies of decomposing numbers.

Like I said, I don’t necessarily agree with all of The Common Core Standards but I do what I have to do to reach every student (even teach the unpopular and “confusing” strategies.) 😉

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment below.

Rachel