Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chapter 10- Building Mathematical Comprehension

This is chapter I have been looking forward to the MOST!
I really tried to implement Guided Math in my classroom this past year and while it worked for awhile, I found it difficult to keep up as I was teaching a new grade for the first time. 
Next year though!!!!

Here are the final hosts of our fabulous book study!
Thanks to everyone who participated.

Adventures in Room 129

Learning in Progress
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Must Have Mondays- Water Bottle Edition

Hello all! I am back from my wonderful two weeks at the cottage which means I can start to catch up on the Building Mathematical Comprehension Bookstudy...I am dreadfully behind! I can post more frequently! I can make more freebies! And I can read more of your blogs!

All good stuff.

I am jumping in with Sabra from Teaching with a Touch of Twang this week and her Must Have Monday linky party. 

One of my must haves for school is a good water bottle. I drink A LOT of water during the day so I need one that can stand up to that and won't empty too fast. On the other hand I don't want it to be so heavy that I can even lift it either. This past school year I was in a portable, which means I had access to water only during my prep periods or recess. If I had been in the building, I would have had water in my room. Sigh.

There are a few things I have come to realize that I don't like in a water bottle ...

1. I refuse to drink out of a plastic, throwaway bottle. They cause way too much damage to the world. Reusable only, and if I forget mine then it's a mug or glass for me.

2. I don't like having to unscrew the lid to drink. I know it takes very little effort but I want to drink with one hand. So that means these types don't work for me, but they might work for you. 

Photo via Amazon

Photo via Amazon

3. I don't like drinking out of metal bottles. I think I can taste the metal, but maybe I'm crazy? I do like the sleek look of the above bottles and it seems like they wouldn't leak all over my bag.

Photo via Amazon

4. No spouts please! You could drink this with one hand but I hate feeling like I am always in the middle of a soccer game.

Photo via Amazon

Okay, so what do I like?

I like to be able to drink with one hand. I want a bottle that doesn't leak all over my bag. No metal.

My water bottle of choice is.... a Contigo Autoseal bottle.
They come in a wide variety of colours and options.

Insulated- double wall 18 ounces

24 ounces- my personal choice!

They even have them in kids!
All Contigo photos via Amazon.

I will drink 3 full 24 oz Contigos of water a day while I am at school. I love that I can grab it with one hand, unseal the spout and drink away. I can throw it in my bag, or if you get the one with the attached carabiner it'll clip to your bag and it'll never spill or leak.

They even make coffee cups!

Photo via Amazon
(Yes, I know it's metal...somehow a metal cup for my coffee doesn't bother me the way it does for water! I weird. I've learned to live with it)

I purchased my Contigo cups all at Costco where they usually come in a variety pack (2-3 cups/bottles) for a very good price. And a wide range of colours. They are also available on Amazon...just click on the pictures of above.

Should any of the other water bottles pictured interest you, click on those pictures to connect to Amazon as well.

What's your Must Have??

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Facebook Fangate

The lovely ladies of A Class*y Collaboration are at it again!

Head on over to our Facebook page, "like" us on Facebook for your chance to pick up an exclusive Facebook Fan freebie! 

Chapter 9- Building Mathematical Comprehension

Monitoring Mathematical Comprehension

I think this is going to be one of the most important chapters in the book. Now that we've learned all about teaching using literacy strategies in Math...how do we make sure our students are getting it?

This chapter's hosts are...

Primary Inspired

Toad-ally Exceptional Learners
Toad-ally Exceptional Learners

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Pin It to Win It!

Brenda from Primary Inspiration and our new blog, A Class *y Collaboration has a fun giveaway going on called Pin-It-to-Win-It as part of our Building Mathematical Comprehension Book Study!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Building Mathematical Comprehension- Chapter 8

This chapter is all about synthesizing....hmmm! Sounds deep. 

Here are this chapter's hosts. Don't forget to show them some comment love!

Second Grade is Out of This World

Pam's Place

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Follower Freebie Pack

Have you gone over to check out A Class*y Collaboration yet? 

I sure hope so, but if not you are in luck. Starting today, July 16th and running until July 30th, all of our current and soon-to-be followers will receive an amazing Freebie Pack for followers only!!

It's very simple. All you need to do is go to A Class*y Collaboration, become a follower using Bloglovin- (it's awesome) and then fill in the Rafflecopter with your email address to get your copy of the Followers Only Freebie Pack!!!

How amazing is that? 

But it gets better!! One lucky follower will also win a $50 gift card to Target, TpT or Amazon. 

Make sure you're a follower today. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Want to catch up on all the posts for the Building Mathematical Comprehension book study? 

Don't want to scroll through a whole bunch of posts?

Do I have a solution for you!

At the top of my home page you will see a link to "Professional Reading (Summer Book Series). Just CLICK on this title to find the links for ALL 10 chapters of the Building Mathematical Comprehension Book Study in one place!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Must Have Monday- 3M Command Hooks

I'm linking up again with Sabra's great linky party...

This week's must have is 3M Command Hooks! I use these babies for EVERYTHING!! At home and school. 

Photo via Amazon.

I use this size hook for chart paper. I don't like writing on chart paper on the easel, too low and writing while sitting sideways in a chair is just awkward. I hang the hooks on a wall the borders my carpet area and stand to write whenever we are creating anchor charts. This way my students have some variety in how we sit on the carpet too.  We can face the easel, the board or the chart paper!
Here's a post with some pictures to show you what I mean. 

I also use the small hooks to hang anchor charts to cover my book shelves and to gain more wall space in my small classroom!

Photo via Amazon.

Here's a link to a post that shows the anchor charts in action! (It also has some math- data management and a freebie!)

Other classroom uses:
- hall passes
- student work
- classroom job rotations

Here's a great post on Scholastic about using Command Hooks. One of my favourite organizing blogs, Org Junkie has a great post too. 

At home I use the hooks for my daughter's coats near the door- so she can reach it and we can easily change it as she grows. I hang our lunch bags and reusable grocery bags on 3M Command hooks. In the past I have hung plastic file folders to collect papers and mail, pot holders, the dog leash...basically, I believe there isn't anything these hooks can't do!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Building Mathematical Comprehension- Chapter 7

Determining Importance

I think this chapter is going to be a biggie! The fun starts tomorrow so don't forget to visit the host blogs. 

Here are the fabulous hosts for Chapter 7.

Curls and a Smile
Curls and a Smile

Stories by Storie

Littlest Superheroes
get the InLinkz code

Friday, July 12, 2013

New Blogging Adventure- A Class*y Collaboration

I am excited to announce that I am embarking on a new blogging adventure. Eleven teacher-bloggers have gotten together and created a new collaborative blog that will be full of helpful hints, ideas and of course, FREEBIES!

Here's a sneak peek at our new header! Don't you love it?

I'd love for you to jump on over and follow us!

We have an exciting welcome package in preparation for all our new followers, something that will only be available at A Class*y Collaboration. My contribution is the biggest freebie I've ever put together so I am very excited for you all to get your hands on it...as followers of A Class*y Collaboration!

Once you get there, you can follow us on BlogLovin so you don't miss a single post.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Building Mathematical Comprehension- Chapter 6

Is it possible for this book to get any better?

Amazing so far, that's how I can sum up this reading experience. If you haven't got the book yet or were hesitant in joining in....no worries, get the book now and start reading. You won't be sorry. Plus the linkies will be active for a whole year so you can join in and link up with your thoughts at any time! We'd love to have you join us.

We have some fabulous bloggers joining us as the Chapter 6 hosts and I am very interested to hear what they have to say about Making Inferences and Predictions. This is always one of my favourite strategies to teach in reading so I am excited to learn some new ideas that can also be applied to my math program. 

Here are our fabulous hosts!


Kids Math Teacher
Lucy is also offering a freebie with her post!

As always, link up with your fabulous thoughts and posts!

get the InLinkz code

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Must Have Monday (ahem...Tuesday)- Coloured Pens!

So many possibilities to blog about....must haves, wow this is a great idea for a linky Sabra!

My must have is coloured pens! I love writing in colour and it keeps me happy and interested in whatever I am doing. I am also very picky about the size of my pen tip and the thickness of the pen (OCD? yes, I know). Here are some of my faves...

Papermate Flair (Papermate is my go-to pen brand!)

Photo via Aamazon.com

These are my marking pens, my day book pens (yes, I write in ink! gasp), my note to self pens, everything I write is usually done with these pens! They are all over my classroom and my house.

Photo via Ilovepens.wordpress

Staedtler is also a good option although I find they don't stand up to the amount of writing I need to do during a day and dry out quickly. Still fun colours though.

Lastly, if I am going to write in blue then it better be these pens...

Photo vis Amazon.com

They are getting harder and harder to find in stores here in Canada so it looks like online shopping for me!

And that's that! Head over to Sabra's blog to read about other teacher's must haves and to link up with your own.

Teaching with a Touch of Twang

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chapter 4 and 5... And so, so, so late to the party

I vow I will never again move on the last day of school while pregnant! Even now, a full week later I can hardly believe I survived. It's been a long crazy week full of boxes, boxes, and more boxes. Attempting to unpack and move things while being yelled at for unpacking and moving things while pregnant. A sick 2 year-old daughter- fever spike, lukewarm baths, Tylenol, coughing fits. Then to top everything off... I got sick myself. Two full days in bed. 13+ hours of sleep each night. Barely able to hold a book, let alone read....and that, my friends is the story of how I am a full 2 chapters behind in the very book study I helped to organize. I apologize profusely but as many of you know, life is what it is. We roll with good and the not so good.

The better news is that I have caught up on reading Chapter 4 and Chapter 5  and I am ready to post. I am working on getting through and hope to be caught up with Chapter 6 ASAP. Fingers crossed, of course. 

Here are the other wonderful posts written about these 2 chapters.

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

These are the fabulous blogs that hosted Chapter 5 over the past few days.

And now...finally, my post.

As many of you have written, each of these chapters is yet another " why didn't I think of that before" moment and Chapter 4 was no different for me. Questions! In math! Of course!! 

Increasing Comprehension by Asking Questions

Here are some things that struck out for me as I read:

- Sammons writes that "students become more engaged and learning is more rigorous" (page 116) when we teach them to ask questions
- I love the idea that the root of questions is quest!
- it is our job to encourage students to become mathematical text critics...how fun is that?
- I am interested in designing a lesson around the the 5 things students need to know about asking questions for mathematical comprehension (page 120)
- How fun would it be to track our spontaneous questions and the ones that result from reflection during a unit of study...hmmm, T-chart perhaps?
- I am excited to brainstorm with my class all the reasons that mathematicians ask questions
- On page 126 Sammons writes about valuing the questions posed by others in the math class and the importance of respecting each other's questions, I think this would be an important lesson and anchor chart to have in the classroom
- I have done a lot of work with students one the types of questions in literacy and science/social studies but again I never thought of doing the same in Math...duh!
- I wonder what a Math specific q-chart would look like? Would it look different?

My biggest "aha" from this chapter was the idea of a strategy lesson that is outside of a math concept lesson. What a great idea to incorporate into your guided math rotations....and a great way to assess your students based on the 4 categories of achievement.  This is definitely something I want to come back to and spend more time thinking about. 

Lastly, I can see so many ways of incorporating this strategy into my math journals. From having an ongoing page of thinking stems for questions, taking ideas from their math journal and sharing them on a Wonder Wall, to recording question webs in their math journals. So exciting!!!

The Importance of Visualizing Mathematical Ideas

My "aha" moments while reading:

- on page 152-153 Sammons talk about encouraging students to represent their math ideas in a way that makes sense to them, even if it is not conventional (I've done an activity that is similar to this called talking pictures, check it out here)
- I love the steps that will help students build their ability to create mental images, I think this will be a page I refer to again and again (page 154-155)
- it's always good to have a refresher on how to guide students through the steps of gradual release of responsibility and I appreciate that Sammons included it in this chapter on visualization, I especially like the last step of conducting a think-aloud individually with a student as part of a conference for assessment! What an "aha" moment! Why have I never done this?
- the Visualize, Draw and Share learning task described on page 162 sounds like a lot of fun for guided math groups, especially for those who may be struggling with a concept or conversely, students who are ready to be pushed a little farther

Lastly, I was very disappointed that I didn't do more poetry with my students this year and vowed to remedy that in the future. I really like the week-long plan set up by Sammons on page 167 and this I could adapt it so that it works within my Book of the Week lessons or even guided reading as well. Gotta love integration!


I made it....just barely.

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