We made it through the school year! I'm pretty sure it was the longest school year ever! We added days to our calendar and lost some precious vacation time. Either way, summer vacation has arrived for us Zones Math ladies and we are truly grateful for it! I don't know about you but I really need these summer weeks to do the 3 R's, relax, revive and refresh! It makes me a better teacher, mother and wife when August hits and it's time to get back to business.
If you are just starting your summer vacation or it is so close you can almost taste it, you might be doing some reflecting on your school year. Did you implement Zones Math? How did it go? I hope you loved it like we do. If you are not in the reflecting state of mind try reading Olivia's blog post that might help you connect with how awesome of a teacher you truly are!
Maybe you thought about doing Zones Math and you just weren't sure if it was for you. Read Meghan's blog post! It will help you make that decision!
Or did you just stumble upon us and now you are wondering what in the world Zones Math even is? Read this for a great explanation!
Whatever state of mind you are in this summer I hope you have time to enjoy the 3 R's (relax, revive, refresh)! Stop back to see us at anytime! We are always here to help you along your math journey!
Until next time,
It's Meghan, back this week with another (hopefully) awesome idea. If you don't remember, or are new to our blog, I teach 1st grade. I love math and technology.
One of the questions we often get is how we create math groups during the guided math portion of ZONES. Math groups for me are fluid, based on the standard we are working on and each student's proficiency. I use technology, specifically Seesaw, to streamline my data collection. This is something you can do with a little or a lot of tech in your classroom. It works on any device or computer.
So today . . . Seesaw and exit tickets! Whatever the exit ticket is that I am using to gauge understanding, I have my students take a picture or screen shot of it and turn it in to our exit ticket folder on Seesaw. I can then see how my students are doing (without sifting through a pile of papers) and easily give feedback that my students can see, and that parents have access to as well.
Here are a couple examples . . .
Exit Ticket in Pieces Basic
Pieces Basic is a free app on our iPads. The students had to build the number 45, screen shot it and turn it in on Seesaw. I saw how each student was doing and gave them immediate feedback, either affirming their work or correcting their mistakes. You can see in the comment below the picture, I told the student what needed to be changed. On the picture, I edited their work using the drawing tool to show the student the correct way to build the number. From this exit ticket, I was able to create a group of students that needed to be pulled for additional instruction.
Paper Exit Ticket
Here is an example of an exit ticket from our math curriculum (Engage NY). The student completed the exit ticket and took a picture in Seesaw. To give feedback on this exit ticket, the draw, label and text features we all used. Again, the student has immediate access to this, as do parents.
In the paid version of Seesaw, you have access to 'skills'. These are areas you are working on that you want to assess the students on. Think standards, but less formal. The goal of this feature is to give you a quick view of how students are doing with a concept. When a student turns an item in, you quickly mark their understanding on a 4 point scale. Then in the 'skills' view, you have a visual of how the students are doing. You can pull a red (does not understand), yellow, light green group, or green group (ready for extensions). So easy! No lists of student, no piling paper together. All of this is hidden from students and parents. It is only for you and your instructional purposes.
While Seesaw Plus/For Schools is paid, it is not that expensive. If it looks interesting to you, you should look into it.
In summation, use exit tickets/quick checks to build small groups. And then, use technology to streamline that process so you have more time to spend with your students during the guided math portion of ZONES.
Today I want to tell you about a web based app that would be great to use during On Your Own or Memorize. It is called Front Row. If you haven't heard of it, it's a (mostly) free app that has a lot of possibility. If you have heard of it, but haven't had a chance to check it out, I'll lay it out for you.
Front Row is a web based app that is easy to use for teachers and is very kid friendly. It actually offers other subjects besides math, but today we will focus on math . . . because you know, math.
What you need to know:
From the Student Perspective
When students login, they see their home screen. For On Your Own, students would choose Math. For Memorize, students would choose Fact Practice.
How cute is that pig??
From there, the students choose the domain they are working in. Each domain has them take a pre-test which decides where they start working in each standard. The questions are kid friendly and have a read aloud option. For ZONES, I would assign the students to the domain we are currently working in. This screen is very cutsey, which is great for early el. Other domains that are more applicable to the higher grades are less cute.
....back to that cute pig. As students work, they earn coins which they use to buy clothes for their piggy. (My pig only has shorts.) They can only enter the store after they have worked for so long and the store is timed - they cannot spend forever dressing their pig!
There is also an easily accessed assignment page where students can go to for any assignments you've given them.
From the Teacher Perspective
In the free version, you can assign one standard at a time. As you teach each standard, you could use Front Row to gauge their understanding. Once that assignment has been completed, you can assign others.
Front Row seems pretty great, right? I definitely encourage you to check it out. It has a lot of potential to make your ZONES time engaging for students and it would allow you to work smarter, not harder.
-Meghan, 1st Grade
We all know the term "growth mindset" has been pretty trendy lately. But, what does it REALLY mean to cultivate it in your classroom? When the article "How to Integrate Growth Mindset Messages Into Every Part of Math Class" kept showing up in our Twitter feed, I knew I had to check it out. This is one of the opening sentences of the article:
Can you identify with the 60% who don't feel strongly about cultivating a growth mindset in your students? I know I feel that way at times.
Fortunately, this article had some concrete suggestions of what we can do... and there's something we ALREADY do!
One of the suggestions is to use error analysis, which we do quite often in the Notebook zone. I originally got the idea from Teaching With a A Mountain View (check it out for some great pre-made error analysis pages!). I modified her form for our ELLs, so that it includes a word bank and sentence starters. We do a number talk style model of what a strong response looks like before students work on the page on their own. Here are some examples from my 4th grade class from their work on the standard algorithm for subtraction.
So how does this error analysis cultivate a growth mindset? Here's what Cathrine Good, growth mindset researcher and social psychology professor says about error analysis: "Embedded in that worked example is a lovely opportunity to talk about growth mindset and mistakes and process."
Do you use error analysis with your students? How can you use this to cultivate a growth mindset in your class?
Have you found yourself discovering amazing teaching resources, but struggle to organize them? Do you have difficulty keeping track of those videos you pull off of YouTube or wish you could organize internet finds by category or unit? Have you reached your breaking point trying to keep it all together?
SymbalooEDU creates the ability to manage your favorite web resources
offers the ability to search or share them with colleagues or students!
So... Go register using the EDUCATION platform.
Once you've registered, you can begin customizing/organizing your own favorite 'tiles'
as you create your own 'webmix' and get organizing.
Another option is to SEARCH other Symbaloo webmixes (created & shared from other users)
for a particular topic like... let's just use math as an example!
There are TONS of webmixes for math!
Just type in what you're searching for!
Need elementary math resources? Check out this webmix:
How about resources for specific curriculum like Everyday Math ?
Want grade level specific? Just search!
What are you waiting for? Get organized today!
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Rescue your math class with ZONES:
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