Monday, January 24, 2011

Our class began using an online math fact program this year called Xtramath. This program is wonderful and it's FREE! It covers addition through division and gives a child a pretest based on their grade level. In second grade all of my students were given the addition and subtraction pretest. It then uses the missed problems for intensive review. If a student misses a problem, it gives them the correct answer and then has them type in the correct answer before they continue. My students’ favorite part is the “Race the Teacher” activity. It gives them random problems that they must answer in 3 seconds or less to beat the teacher. It keeps track of the number answered correctly in a row. My students are all trying to beat their personal best score on this activity. This program quickly builds recall. I had one student who is several grades below our grade level who is now recalling many of his beginning addition and subtraction facts accurately. One of my students has already moved onto doing division. The best part is this program only takes my students 5 to 7 minutes a day. They managed the program themselves (the opening screen keeps track of who in your class has already done Xtramath each day). You can see progress reports and print graphs showing students’ progress toward developing fluency with their facts.  My students have made great progress in the three months we’ve been using it. You can check out the program at .They have several videos that tell you all about the program and how to get started.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snowman Soup!

I made this Snowman Soup bag topper using my digital scrapbook software. I will be giving these out at our winter book celebration next week. I included a hot cocoa packet, a candy cane (bought dirt cheap after the holidays), snowman marshmallows and two Hershey's hugs. Click on the picture above to go to my TPT store to puchase an editable PowerPoint file to make your own Snowman Soup bag toppers.

They turned out so cute, that now I'm trying to think of another topper I could create for Valentine's Day. I saw the marshmallows pictured below at the store today...have to love those seasonal marshmallows!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pay Attention - Technology is at the Door!

This video really gets you thinking. The students who show up at our door have a very different experience in terms of access to information than I did as a young child. I don't think I'm ready to tell all my students to start showing up with their cell phones, but this video did get me thinking about the question it posed, "How do we turn our classrooms into learning engines?" Click here to go to Jordan School District to learn more about this video.

Hello there! I'm so excited to start this blog and to share my enthusiasm for teaching. My blog might seem a bit sporadic at first, but after a while I hope to get the hang of things. I thought I would start off by talking and sharing one of my biggest passions in education today - technology. I've been teaching for fourteen years. For the last ten of those years I have grown to be very passionate about the technology that I use in my classroom. I am very fortunate to have a great deal of technology in my classroom because of two grants that I was awarded. In my classroom you'll find a document camera, a Mimio interactive white board, a Mimio class set of clickers, a mobi, a short-throw projector, 6 Mac student computers (although two are close to dying), and a Dell teacher laptop. I have very much embraced this technology and use every bit of it to my advantage with the students. I believe the technology in room really helps kids stay engaged in the learning process.