As a student, I thought that teachers loved to give tests. Why else would they torture us with them? Now that I am a teacher, I realize that teachers get more test anxiety than students! What if they don't read the directions? What if they make dumb mistakes? Did I teach it well enough? What if they all fail? What if the parents get upset? Are they really ready??? I lose sleep with all this worry! Please tell me that I am not alone! In an effort to help prepare my kiddos for tests and to relieve some of my anxiety, I like to give a practice test on the day before the "real" thing. I especially like to do this with math. We use Engage NY for math and the test comes in a word document. So I go in and change the numbers to make a second version of the test. You could always write some questions that are similar to the test you are giving. Or, use task cards! But just giving them this practice test would be boring. And, I am anything but boring! Here is how I keep kid...
At the start of the school year, I promise my parents that I will not be assigning at-home book reports. They look surprised and then relieved. I was not always this way. When I first started teaching, I was excited to assign book reports. I did them as a child and so it seemed natural that my children would do them as well. So I assigned the "report" that the rest of my team was assigning. This was not like any report I had even completed. It was more of an art project than anything else. And here is what happened... I received no less than twenty questions about the report from parents. I was sending daily answers and reminders regarding the report. On the due date, two students didn't bring a report at all. Twenty students brought reports that looked professionally done. And four sweeties brought in hand-written, crayon colored, done by themselves reports. As the students presented their reports for what seemed like an eternity, my heart broke for the four who di...
As a student, I disliked math. Math was just a book that I had to complete a set of problems from each night. It was boring and I failed to understand when in life I would use the skills. The only thing that I can remember about learning multiplication was memorizing facts on flash cards. I think it is this experience with math as a student that makes me love math as a teacher. I vow to make math different for my students. It will be more than a math book full of homework. It will be more than flash cards. It won't be boring and you will know why you need these skills. Math in my class will be hands-on! Math will be fun! The first unit that my third graders are doing this year is multiplication. I am used to starting the year slow with place value- so this has been an adjustment. I have been careful to spend extra time on the foundational skills of multiplication rather than skipping to fact mastery. Today I want to share some fun hands-on ways that I like to teach multip...