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Thursday
Feb052015

My Job is to Make You Think

When a group of students came to my classroom today, they found two problems on the board …

The first one involved a pattern of letters and students needed to figure out the next letter and why it was the next letter.

The second one involved 3 addition problems but the addends where the names of people and the sum was written in number format. Students needed to figure out the age of each person to make the equations work.

My students looked at these problems and then looked at me for help although most of them wanted to just give up before they even got started.

Struggling a little can lead to learning opportunities, so I let students wrestle with these problems for a little while.

I gave a clue to the first one and then students were quickly able to figure it out.

It just takes thinking in a different way!

For the second problem, we brainstormed various problem solving methods.

Then we talked more about the Guess and Check strategy.

Getting familiar with that one might come in handy this year …

I am more concerned journey to the answer than I was with the answer.

In fact I had a student name the correct letter for the first problem but he was able to tell me WHY he thought that was the answer …

And the WHY is what I am after!

I work with students who are in the Gifted Education program and ones that are almost there. Most of them are used to automatically knowing the answers to questions and knowing what to do to solve equations without having to think very much …

That’s got to change …

These students need to be challenged and need to have to think …

And that is MY job!!!!!!

Using Problem-Based Learning and Open Ended Math Challenges keep things interesting for both me and my students.

And I can’t wait to see where the THINKING will take us!!

 

Wednesday
Feb042015

I think I have my head above water ...

Yayyyy!!!

I know it has been awhile since I last posted on the blog, but I am here now!

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t thought about what would be good to write about ….

I find myself thinking, “This would be a good thing to share on my blog”

So today, I am going to start … or restart!

So while I have been trying to keep my head above water the last month, I am not sure what I would have done without the ideas and resources I have been able to find both on pinterest and teacherspayteachers!

It almost makes me wonder what I did years ago when I was a classroom teacher without those things! :)

I have quickly become a big fan of Shari Bithell and her Criminal Character Products!

Today my students got to be professional sketch artists who took notes while listening to an eyewitness account and then created a picture to help catch the criminal!

We were able to work on listening skills as well as determining needed information. I was able to informally asses the note-taking and visualization skills of my students too!

(Next week, I will do the other part of the lesson which involves rewriting a scenario from a different point-of-view since I am only at that school once a week.)

I was pleased with how the lesson was going …

So I decided to throw in something else …

Although not originally planning to use technology in my lesson today, I decided to see what might happen if I introduced YAKiT Kids to a few students …

With only one ipad mini in the classroom, one students and I worked together to take a picture of her wanted poster creation using YAKit and then create the mouth before recording. After saving the creation to the camera roll, I invited that first student to help the second student create using YAKit. Even though I was close by so I could help if needed, I was quite impressed with how quickly my students caught on and were able to help each other.

Yay!!!

Even though the technology part of our lesson did not really add much to the content knowledge, I think introducing YAKiT Kids to my students could really open some doors of possibility in the future!

 

 

photo credit: Reese Learning to Float via photopin (license)

 

Tuesday
Jan132015

Right now it is the math that somewhat scares me ...

So going back into elementary school as an Gifted Education teacher right after Christmas after being away from it for almost 5 years …

Has felt a bit like jumping in the deep end of the pool with my swim floaties only half inflated …

And I am loving it!!!

I am keeping my head above water

By doing a lot of kicking and splashing

And having a great time!!

In the past, I have often written about the benefits of reading blog posts

No matter how you find them

Over the last few days, I can attest to that!!!

My new position is split between three Title 1 schools

At each of the schools, there is a need to increase their population of identified gifted students

Students are gifted in many ways

Not all them can be measured on a test

My goal is to support and encourage higher order thinking skills 

I am so excited about the possibilities for creative and critical thinking!

Right now the plan is for me to work with students from the 2nd grade through the 5th grade

Some identified and some who need some nurturing and that little extra push

My background in writing, reading, and literacy will serve me well …

Right now it is the math that somewhat scares me …

Maybe scares me is not the best way to describe my feeling, but this uncomfortable feeling is kinda scary for me …

But I know that I have written about how it is OK to be uncomfortable …

It is in that uncomfortableness that learning has great potential …

And I am talking about learning for ME

In order to better prepare me for helping students!

So when looking for ideas, I started with Pinterest

While I know that might now be the best place …

It is the truth …

I found a pin that took me to a blog …

A wonderful blog …

That I read and read and read …

I am sure that I had a big smile across my face as I read post after post finding lots of great ideas!!

Here are a few of my favorite posts so far:

Her blog took me to her Twitter account and her TeachersPayTeachers store where she has some great problem solving activities!

Where are other places I should look for math ideas and resources?

 

 

 

top photo credit: Janaviemae via photopin cc

Friday
Dec192014

Friday Video for You: Questions or Answers

Thursday
Dec182014

And I don't want to write ...

It is late and I really don’t feel like writing a blog post …

I don’t think a blog post should be a chore that just needs to be checked off …

Although that is the reason that I am composting a blog post right now …

What do you do when you really don’t feel like doing something?

Do you whine and complain and procrastinate until there is no way it will get done …

Or do you have the thing hanging on your shoulder that keep reminding you that you made a commitment and need to stick to it

Even if that commitment is just one to yourself

Some times the commitments you make to yourself can be the most important ones and at times the most difficult to keep

No body will know if I did not keep that commitment …

But I will …

One of the goals I have worked on this year is to stick to something once I start it …

I have lots of great ideas about things to do

And that excitement last for a while 

But then it kinda goes away …

Focusing on one thing for an extended amount of time is an issue I struggle with …

Once the excitement and newness it gone …

Let’s find something else that will make me feel that way!

There is one thing I have managed to start and stick to this year …

Journal 52

Each week there is a new prompt for a page to create in my art journal …

Maybe the reason I have stuck with it is that it is always changing …

And I can use it for reflection, celebration, communication, and at times just to create for creating!

Hmmmm

I wonder what goals I should set for next year …

And which ones I will stick to …

 

I guess writing this post helped me stick to another things I started … #WriteDaily30

 

Photo credit: bankbryan via photopin cc