9.13.2014

You Oughta Know About EngageNY



Once upon a dream there existed a website where teachers could go for complete, detailed lesson plans that included standards, question sets, outlines for whole group instruction, independent practice, and it was all free. Impossible, right?

In my last post, I briefly mentioned EngageNY as a great math resource but it really deserves a post of its own. If your state is anything like mine, they provide you with next to nothing besides a list of standards to teach. The curriculum we have doesn't match the standards half the time and we are left to piece together something that makes sense. Here's where Engage NY comes in to save your life!

This website in an incredible resource! Let's say you're out sick one day and need to pull together sub plans at the last minute. You want your sub to actually teach, right? Well EngageNY has detailed, explicit plans for every topic. Just find the one you need, print it off, and your sub can follow it word-for-word! The math lessons are so thorough, I've started using them for my own plans.

Each math lesson includes fluency practice, an application problem, concept development (whole group lesson), problem set (independent practice), a student debrief, and an exit ticket. If you aren't totally confident in a topic, you can just follow the scripted dialogue that's provided. Here is what a math lesson plan looks like...


Student work pages are also included for every lesson. They can be used for independent practice or assessment. They look like this...


The EngageNY website is fairly easy to navigate. First, find your grade level and subject area...


Then, you choose the module and lesson you want. The site is laid out like this...


Another nice feature is the video section. You can see some lessons in action, like this third grade ELA lesson...
So that's a brief overview of the EngageNY, a website you definitely oughta know about! 


9.12.2014

Skip Counting, Arrays, Multiplication...Oh My!

Wow, the beginning of the school year is just flying by! I can't believe it's almost time for the first progress reports to go home already. Crazy! We're chugging along in math and finally hitting out stride with multiplication. Just like in second grade, I prefer to do most of our math on the rug where I model everything on my easel and have the kids work in their math journals as they follow along.

I like to use the gradual release model for every single lesson. It keeps me on track and the kids like the structure.They are never confused about what to do. I find it makes my planning easier too! Here is a poster I made that reminds everyone of their role as we work through our problems. If I need to remind someone, I just point out which step we're on.



If you aren't using gradual release for instruction, I highly recommend that you try it at least a few times. I promise you'll love the results! It's the way I've always taught math but only discovered that it has a name last year.

So, besides doing math on the rug every day, I also do math centers while I meet with groups. Right now we are working on arrays and relating them to repeated addition and multiplication. As an opening activity, I gave each table group a large pile of colored counters and said we were going to have a race to see who could count them the fastest. There was only one rule: First they had to put the counters into equal groups. It was so much fun watching them race to count those counters! Not surprisingly, it was the table that made groups of 10 who won the race.

My centers for multiplication this week and last were super easy to plan thanks to my blogger friend Arisbeth Rossi. She runs Sailing Into Second (awesome blog, check it out!) and generously sent me her Multiplication and Division Unit to check out. It's packed full of useful stuff!! 

Two of the activities we did most recently are the multiplication bubble map and an even/odd product sort...


I really love the bubble map because it gets the kids thinking about what they already know. It builds their confidence as you dive into multiplication. I had my students take their completed graphic organizers home to explain to their parents. If they brought it back signed, they got a little treat. 

The even/odd product sort was a great way to revisit second grade skill while working on multiplication. My kids really needed a review and this fit the bill perfectly! Since we are just starting on multiplication, I had them work with partners to solve each problem and then sort them.

Another piece of Arisbeth's unit that I really like is the multiplication and division booklets. There's a nice little checklist on the front to check off each set of facts as the student learns them. My students are keeping theirs in their math folder to work on whenever they have time. They bring it to math group if they want me to check a page off.


There is so much more in the unit that I haven't even gotten to yet... task cards, Spin and Solve games (which I'm using in centers next week), posters, more graphic organizers, and word problem strips. I loooove the strips because they are exactly what I use for homework. Every day my students glue a new problem into their homework journals. The strips in Arisbeth's pack will work perfectly! 

If you want to check out the rest of this awesome unit, visit her store by clicking on the cover picture below...


Another resource that you absolutely must see is the Engage NY website. You can download complete lessons for the entire year of math. It's incredible! Luckily, the scope and sequence closely matches what we do here in Florida. When I was out sick one day this week, I was able to print out a detailed lesson plan for my sub that she could follow word-for-word. This site has every grade level, pre-k through 12, for both math and language arts. Wow! Florida has nothing like this for their teachers.


9.07.2014

Another Classroom Freebie

What a sad little blogger I am! Apparently I can't deal with school and blogging at the same time. I have managed to start three different posts this week. Where are they, you ask? Well...in my drafts folder all lonely and heartbroken that they haven't made it to the big time yet.

I really will get the finished SOON. In the meantime, here's another little freebie to help your school year get off to a good start...


I give out this homework pass whenever a student gets 100% on a math or reading test. They LOVE getting a "cupcake card" and I love rewarding them for hard work. If you'd like to use them with your class, just click on the picture above to be taken to my TpT store where you can download it for free.


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

9.01.2014

Back to School Freebie

Tomorrow starts the third week of school for us. My plan was to loop up with my class and have tons of free time since they already know what to do and we could skip all of the getting-to-know-you stuff. Well, all of that has happened except for the tons of free time part. What is up with the first month of school? Seriously...should it be this exhausting? Look, I'm so tired I couldn't even think of a good title for this post. So, let's just get to it...

Here is a back-to-school freebie for all of my fellow exhausted teachers. Enjoy!



If you haven't started back to school yet, I wish you a great first week! Don't forget to hop on over to Classroom Freebie for more...classroom freebies!


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
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