Saturday, November 16, 2013

I like it! (Things I like from the Math Modules)

We did an activity yesterday that I found really interactive and the students LOVED it. "This is the best game I have played in math yet!" was from one of my students who does not particularly love math.

It was called "Shake Those Disks". The students are working with number bonds for 6. They worked in partners and had 6 red/white disks. They would shake them in a cup and record the partners on their bar graph. They had so much fun and really learned the partners for 6!

Thanksgiving Crafts

With our new curriculum we are using our occupational and physical therapy time to do more hands on crafts and holiday related activities. The OT was here to help with tracing & cutting and the PT helped the students to move between stations using their gross motor skills and building their school muscles. They did bear walking, wheelbarrow walking and all kinds of other yoga poses while they waiting their turn at the craft stations.
The first project was designed by my student teacher and uses the students hand & foot prints to make a turkey. This activity required a lot cutting so it was excellent practice using their fine motor skills. It also required the students to plan how to put the parts together to make it look like a turkey. This was inspired by this pinterest post.

 This 2nd project was designed by my co-teacher's long term substitute. She mixed equal parts shaving cream and Elmer's school glue to make these puffy shapes. The kids loved getting all gooey to mix it together and create a blob on their paper. They then needed to rip paper feathers and stick them in the glue mixture in the shape of the turkey. The teacher added the eyes, beaks and legs to finish the project. We thought next time maybe we would have the kids stick googly eyes on the blob before it dries. When it dries, they remain puffy and soft.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Modules, Modules and More Modules!

Well, we are one week into the math modules and it is a little frustrating, challenging. The contents of the lessons are not terrible, but the amount of time I spend collecting, purchasing and creating the materials and correcting errors is a bit much. Since I teach a multi-age classroom I am teaching the kindergarten and grade 1 modules from the website. There are many simple materials and items that need to be collected for each lesson, such as an egg carton for each of my students. Thank goodness I read that lesson plan well in advance!

We have been told many times that although there is a script with this program, we should only use this as a guide for our instruction. There are however, no suggestions or recommended accommodations for students with special needs, only that need to be exposed to all of the content. The pace of the program seems to be the most challenging so far. My 1st & 2nd graders are working through the first grade modules and this week we are trying out splitting the lessons over 2 days so that we can ensure the students are understanding the concepts and not just getting through it. I also only have a 45 minute block and the lessons are set up for 60 minutes. The kindergarten group seems to be doing okay with the pace so far. Since we started late in the year and this first module is intended to start on the first day of school they have a good base of knowledge for these lessons from our work earlier in the year.

Check out the link to my TPT page for some of the materials I have made to help my students understand the concepts of the program. It really is NEW math!