Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Using a Jeopardy Review

A few years ago, I stumbled upon a fantastic site for creating Jeopardy games.  It's called Jeopardy Labs.  I absolutely love it because my students are ECSTATIC when we get to play one in preparation for an upcoming test.

We recently finished our unit on The Civil War, so I made a Jeopardy review with questions that address most of the key standards in our curriculum.  You can project the game onto a Smart Board or Promethean Board and choose any number of teams you have.  As you go through each question and point value, you can either add or subtract the points, depending on who answers the question correctly.  You click on a + or - and the score automatically changes so that you don't have to write it down at all.  It's a great engaging way to do a review with your kids, and you can even give them the link to it so that they can practice at home with their family or friends.

Definitely check it out and give it a try!  You will love it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Quick Check Board for Forming Small Groups

I have been working really hard to get better at grouping students during math in order to really meet everyone's needs in terms of skill.  A great and easy way to do this was suggested to me by my co-worker, Monster Wrangler Mike.  He has been using it since last year and has seen great results with helping to create differentiated groups and help students that are struggling to master our Common Core curriculum.

I introduce to you......

Each morning, a mathematical problem is posted on my Promethean Board.  The problem may be a skill that I have already taught my students, or a new skill.  Either way, this is a very simple way to quickly see who has mastered the skill and who needs a little re-teaching with a mini-lesson or small group activity.

Each child gets a sticky note on their desk.  When they enter my classroom, they unpack, get ready for the day and begin the Quick Check as a morning work assignment.  They complete the problem showing as much work as possible, and place it on their designated student number spot on the chart.  This is also fantastic in quickly seeing who has completed their morning work and who has not.  

Since I have math in the middle of my day, I have time during lunch to go and quickly put a "check" or "x" depending on whether it is correct or incorrect.  
This morning's quick check asked students to write an expression for the problem:  11 times the difference of 12 and 5.

When our math time comes around, I will typically begin with a mini-lesson and then separate my class into groups based on previous pre-assessments.  When the groups go to their tasks, I pull the small group of students who missed the quick check, go over it, and usually work on a mini-activity with them to clarify the skill.  

One of the reasons that I love this is because it really does allow for flexible grouping since the student mastery changes day to day.  It's the perfect daily assessment tool that is easily manageable.  Thanks, Monster Wrangler Mike!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Order of Operations and Algebra Task Cards

I am so excited to introduce my newest creation for my classroom.  I am currently in our Order of Operations and Algebra unit in Math, and I wanted to create a great set of task cards to get my kids out of their seats, while still having the opportunity to assess their mastery of the common core standards, 5.OA.1, 5.OA.2, and 5.OA.3.
You can find these task cards HERE.  There are two sets of task cards

  • a blue/green set that has 20 different problems pertaining to 5.OA.1 parentheses, brackets, and braces
  • a red/purple set that has 24 problems to go along with 5.OA.2 and 5.OA.3 - a variety of algebraic expressions that the student must write in words and vice versa, word problems in which a student will have to create an algebraic expression to match, and input/output tables.  
Each set of task cards in the product comes with a student recording sheet and an answer key.  Here's a small glimpse into some of the cards in the file:
I can't wait to hear what you all think of them!