Horray! It's the end of the year! Either you are already done or you are soooo close to being done (depending on where you are in the country). I wanted to share something I have been exploring for the last few months. If you are already thinking about next year, this is a great resource to look in to. If you're still getting ready for summer, this is a great free resource that is available all summer for students.
Zearn is "personalized digital lessons and small group teaching and learning." (Their words, not mine). Students learn and complete lessons and activities online, while transferring some portions of the lesson to a paper pencil workbook. The program is based on Eureka Math and Engage New York and is completely free. It gives students individualized learning and support while giving teachers valuable data to drive their instruction.
It became available in January for 1st and I was excited to check it out. It is currently available for 1-4, but will be K-5 this fall.
I played around with it this year to see what it could look like with ZONES. The paper workbook is something you print for free off of the site. It could be done with many different devices and worked into your day with only a few devices. During math, I used it to supplement my whole group instruction. For instance, I would give a focused mini-lesson, the students would Zearn for 15 minutes and then go on to 30 minutes of ZONES. I would meet with small groups or conference with students during both Zearn and ZONES time. I could also see it being an option for On Your Own in some classrooms. While there are directed portions to the program, the majority is work the students complete on their own.
I am sending the modules we didn't get to this year home with students for summer practice. For those who don't have internet access at home (I teach in the country), parents are still able to see the concepts they should be working on and have mastered in 1st.
So . . . check it out! How could you see this working into your math time?
I was skimming through Twitter this weekend when I came across this fun post from @mraspinall . It was an emoji exit ticket! How fun!
We decided to use it after our lesson on division. In 5th grade, we have the lowest group of students. They still struggle with basic math concepts, which means that before we do multi-digit division, we have to go back and solidify what division actually means.
We took a whole class period to introduce and play Roll and Divide. I love, love, love this game for so many reasons:
After students spent the class period playing the game, we had them fill out the emoji exit ticket. The class loved it, and so did we!
Here are some examples of what we learned from the exit ticket:
Some students remained confused -- good to know for a small group or a conference!
Some students changed how they felt from the beginning of the lesson to the end (makes a teacher feel good):
This student clearly made a smart partner choice:
Some students benefitted from having a hands-on learning experience:
Click on the image to download a blank copy of the emoji exit ticket, so you can try it in your classroom!
Stayin' cool like the kids,
Hello everyone! I hope ZONES introduction and set up is going well for you. If you haven't started, it's not too late! And if you haven't started because . . . 'How in the world does this work for lower el?' . . . then hopefully this post will help you.
My math block this year is about 50 minutes long. On Mondays, we work whole group to introduce new activities and big concepts. The rest of the week we spend about 20-30 minutes on whole group instruction or completion of Engage New York worksheets (that the students cannot complete independently). That leaves about 25-30 minutes for students to work in their ZONES while I work with small groups. Within that time, I try to meet with two small groups a day. My groups are put together by ability and understanding of our current concepts.
I have gone this year to a more student led ZONES and Daily 5 time. We still work at the same focused tasks, but it is up to my students when they complete each activity. I no longer assign groups or tell them when to switch to their next activity. They know what they need to complete and mark it off as they go. If it is not complete on Friday, than they owe me some work! Telling students when to switch and policing behavior became my nightmare after last year . . . I am over it!
Here is an image of my ZONES board. It has been working really well and I am excited about the ownership and independence it is creating in my students. It also makes my life easier because . . . well . . . less policing!
With the time that we have to work on targeted activities in ZONES, I do not need to create tons of different activities for the students. I have a few things that switch out each week and a few more that switch out after a few weeks. Receptiveness in 1st grade is important for building those strong foundations. One time completing something is not enough.
I hope this helps to spark some ideas. I'll be back next month with more specifics about organization and activities!
Sometimes we like to change things up a little bit. Our students needed work on skip counting, especially by 3s and 4s. Our district math coach gave us a great game called Treasure Hunt, where students have to count by multiples of a given number. We were so excited to give this a try that we decided to do it as our whole group lesson before placing it in the Explore Zone.
It was a great idea until....
...we laid the cards out and saw they spanned 4 desks!!! That's a LOT of skip counting!
Being the (*ahem*) great teachers that we are, we decided to have students complete the entire sequence with a partner during our whole group lesson. Once the sequence was complete, students kept the first twenty cards in each row and put the rest away. Those forty cards, plus four "treasure" cards, went into baggies for the Explore Zone. Students are so excited to be able to "play with Someone" in the Explore Zone!
And we are excited that we worked out the kinks before students started their ZONES choices!
BONUS: Free stuff for you!
Click on the link below for the Treasure Hunt game cards. Scroll down until you see Treasure Hunt.
Download the game instructions we used:
If you try this game, we would love to hear how you used it, and how it worked in your classroom!
We're glad you're here!
Rescue your math class with ZONES:
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