Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How Do You Review for Engage NY Module Assessments?

Do you use Engage NY's Math Modules?

How do you review for the Mid-Module and End-Module Assessments?

How do you prepare students for State Assessments?

Last year was the first year my district adopted Engage NY's 4th Grade Math Modules.  Although I was skeptical at first, the modules proved to be a wonderful math program.  You can download the lessons, worksheets, and assessments for FREE on Engage NY's website.

However, the one thing the modules lack (in my opinion) is review materials.

I spent a whole school year creating materials to use for small group instruction, needs groups, and review for various assessments throughout the year.

This summer, I've begun packaging my creations for you to use too!

Each pack has taken me about 2 months to complete.  So far, I've created a pack for Module 1:  Place Value, Addition, & Subtraction and Module 3:  Multiplication & Division.

Here is a little peek at my Module 1 Review pack. . .


Teacher directions are included.  Print them out and pop them into a binder for safe keeping.


I created a multiple choice and short response worksheet for each topic in the module.  I use these for . . .

- needs groups
- morning work
- AIS support
- extra credit

I also have 2 Mid-Module and End-Module review worksheets.  I use one for whole group review.  It provides me with an opportunity for modeling and guided practice with students.  I use the 2nd version for independent work or homework the night before an assessment.


I love to incorporate games as often as possible.  They provide students with an opportunity to collaborate with peers and study previously learned concepts while having fun.  I have 12 playing cards for each topic.  I put them out for students to use during center rotations after the completion of each topic.  I lease these out throughout the rest of the school year for continuous review and preparation for the State Test.


I love giving students the opportunity to move around the room.  Another way I help students review for our assessments is with an activity called Around the Room.  I simply print out the problem cards and place them around the room.  Students grab a clipboard and move around to each problem while solving them on their worksheet.   I have one for Mid-Module and End-Module review.


For Mid-Module review I've created a Tic-Tac-Toe Power Point game to play as a whole class.  I divide students into two teams, Xs and Os.  They select a problem, solve it on white boards, and select a spokesperson to share the answer.  If they answer correctly, they place an X or O in the box.  The first team to get 3 in a row wins.  If no one gets 3 in a row the team with the most correct answers wins.

I have a Jeopardy-ish game for End Module review.  I split students into smaller teams and they select a question to solve.  If they answer correctly they earn the corresponding points.  These games are an engaging way to review previously learned concepts.


You can snag the Module 1 Review Pack and the Module 3 Review Pack in my TPT store.

How do you review for math assessments?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Stitch Fix Review 2 - Summer 2014

Yippee!  My 2nd Stitch Fix has arrived.  I loved the experience of receiving my own personalized Fix so much the first time that I immediately signed up to receive my 2nd package.  Stitch Fix did not ask me to review their product, I just wanted to pass the experience along to you!  


Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  If not, you can read more about my first Fix here!  Stitch Fix is a fabulous fashion retail company that assigns you a personal stylist who handpicks you a "Fix" of 5 clothing items and accessories (based on your style profile) and delivers them right to your front door.  Each Fix is customized to your unique taste, budget, and lifestyle.

You are not obligated to purchase anything, shipping is FREE, and the initial $20 you pay when you schedule your first fix is deducted from the price of any items you purchase.

No time to shop?  No problem!  Schedule your Fix and 5 amazing pieces, picked just for you, will arrive at your door for you to try on in the convenience of your own home.  If you choose to keep all 5 pieces you get an additional 25% discount off the total price of your package.  If you would like to send a piece back you just pop it in the enclosed envelope, stick it in your mailbox, and it ships back for free!


My box arrived beautifully wrapped and I had a personalized letter addressed to me from my new personal stylist, Heather.  I love how she mentioned specifics from my Pinterest page and my blog!


Styling cards are included with examples and ideas for each piece.  I love these because they give great ideas for what to wear.

When I scheduled my Fix I was hoping for some fun back to school outfits that I could wear while teaching.  I still have a few weeks before the first day of school, but I have more than enough casual clothes in my closet.  I wrote to my stylist that I needed a few stand out pieces that would be comfortable, stylish, and cute.  Last time, I received a lot of white pieces so I made sure to check off white as a color that I did not wish to receive this Fix, and they listened!  Check out the variety of fabrics, patterns, and colors this time!


Alright, enough jibber jabber, here is what I got in my 2nd Fix:

Daniel Rainn Minal V-Neck 3/4 Sleeve Solid Blouse - $68.00

The first thing I noticed about this shirt was the beautiful and flattering pink color.  I don't have much pink in my wardrobe but it's definitely one of the colors I gravitate towards.  I love the fine details of this shirt and the fabric was light weight and perfect for warmer weather.


Initially my concern was with the see-through fabric.  Although, with a tank top underneath it looks fairly conservative.


Final Verdict - Kept!


Sanctuary Tony Cotton Cargo Skinny Pant - $88.00

I loved the color and fabric of these pants.  The cargo pockets were perfect for storing my continuous glucose monitor and what ever else floats my boat.  However, they were too tight around my ankles, a little short, and the waist was too big. Unfortunately, they just didn't fit like I hoped they would. I made sure to change my size on my styling profile.  Hopefully the loose waist on these pants is a sign that my post-baby belly is finally taking a hike.



Final Verdict - Sent Back!


Le Sample Kahlo Embroidered Solid Tank - $48

I absolutely love this tank top.  I have trouble finding tanks that flatter my form and don't look frumpy or too teenager-ish.  This top not only fit perfectly, but looked cute with the stitched pattern on the front.  I love the dark navy color with the light blue pattern.  Score!


This tank has a lovely racer back which adds a little style and flair.


Final Verdict - Kept!


Peppermint Elisa Sleeveless Multi Print Hi-Low Dress - $68

I feel in love with this dress as soon as I pulled it out of the box.  The pattern and color is adorable.  The fabric is super comfy and light weight.


Although this dress is a little longer in the back, I'm concerned about the length in the front.  I usually make sure my dresses and skirts come down to my knees when I teach.  Although super cute, I think this might be a little too short to wear to school.


Final verdict - Undecided


41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan - $48

This cardigan was my favorite piece.  I am a sucker for mint green and I don't have a cardigan yet in this color.  Best feature?  The fabric is super soft. 

Not only does it work well with many of the pieces I already own, but it is so comfy I feel like I am wearing a cloud of love.
 


Final verdict - KEPT!!!

Matching these two together makes me want to keep the dress more and more.  What do you think?


I'd love to hear your opinions!  Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Stitch Fix

Want to snag your own Stitch Fix?  Use my referral link here.  By going through this link you will help me feed my next Fix!


....and while you are at it, check out some other Stitch Fix Reviews at A Whimsicle Life.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Student Reflection Turn-In Bins for Monday Made-It

I've spent the last few days foraging through Pinterest in hopes to find some unique ways to help my classroom to become more organized and for my students to become more self-reflective, independent, and accountable for their learning.

One of the amazing pins I stumbled across was from A Classy Collaboration's blog.  Ciera mentions the struggle of knowing (while grading papers at home) whether or not students did not try their hardest, or truly didn't understand the concepts taught.  It is important to provide students with opportunities to reflect upon their work before turning it in.

I really liked her "reflection station" and wanted to create one of my own.  So, here are my Student Reflection Turn-In Bins and Poster.







Want a copy for yourself?  Snag a free copy here in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Check out all the other creative projects on Tara's blog 4th Grade Frolics.


Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Reading in the Wild - Chapter 2

Today I'm linking up with Catherine, The Brown Bag Teacher, for her Reading in the Wild book study.


This week's focus is chapter 2.


Chapter 2 emphasizes that we need to improve student ability to self-select books with positive reading experiences and frequent opportunities to preview, share, and discuss books.


On a side note, the adorable tiger clip above is from the creative Krista Wallden.

We can improve student ability to self-select books through . . .

1 - Read Alouds

Last summer, our principal sent out post-cards for each teacher to fill out with a message about what they read over the summer.  The post-cards were hung in the hallway for the first day of school.  Students were eager to see which read alouds their teacher selected.

I like to start each school year by having students share their favorite read alouds.  This helps me begin to gauge student reading interests and abilities right on day one.

Throughout the school year we invite mystery readers to pop-in to our classroom.  We've had other teachers, parents, and community members volunteer to read aloud to students.

A few years ago I kept a timeline of books that we read.  I posted a picture of the cover page of each book read so that we could easily refer back to them throughout the school year.  Although time consuming, it served as an amazing resource throughout the school year.

2 - Creating Book Buzz

I order many books through Scholastic's Book Order with bonus points.  Many students do not order their own personal books.  However, they are still eager for our book order to arrive knowing that there will be new books for our class included.  Book raffles were mentioned in chapter 2.  I think this is a great idea.  I often have more than one student who would like to read one of our new books, this would be a fun way to organize it.

On our last day of school we had a book exchange.  Students brought in used, age-appropriate books, that they no longer wanted and we lined them up throughout the classroom.  I provided students with bags and a few  new Scholastic books to start with and then they lined up and browsed all the titles.  When they found books they liked they filled their bags.  This served as a great way to build up their summer reading collection and to spark their interest to read.


3 - Reflecting on Reading Choices

It is important throughout the school year to pause and find time to conference with students about their book selections.  No time?  Try out a survey or self-reflection worksheet.  I like to meet with students 1:1 during independent reading.  I have 2 students that I plan to meet with individually each day before I start pulling small groups for guided reading.

4 - Creating Preview Stacks

Often students struggle to find a good book on their own.  This is when it is a good time to create preview stacks. These are stacks of a variety of books that you think the student might enjoy based on information you have gathered about him or her through surveys, reflection sheets, conferences, or your own observations.  Students borrow this stack and look through each book in hopes to find a keeper.

5 - Keeping Track of Your Reading Life

This is definitely one area I hope to improve.  I always start the year off strong with book graphs and logs.  Then, as the school year speeds up and free time seems to disappear, we start to ease up a little on the paperwork that follows our independent reading.  I hope to find a way to better track reading without adding on any extra tedious paperwork.

6 - Engaging Classroom Libraries

Here is an old photograph of my classroom library.


Our classroom library holds over 2,000 books.  The books are organized by genre and guided reading level.  I store books in plastic shoe boxes that I got for $1 at Walmart.  They have held up very well over the years and I haven't had to replace any yet.

I have students browse the classroom library in the morning when they arrive.  Students store the books they are currently reading in book bins.  They can store 2-3 books in their book bin at a time.

How do you promote self-selection of reading material in your classroom?

Check out all the other posts about chapter 2 and link up with your ideas.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Stitch Fix Review 1 - July 2014

I received my 1st Fix today . . . Stitch Fix that is.  I loved the experience of receiving my own personalized Fix so much that I wanted to share it with you.  Stitch Fix did not ask me to review their product, I just wanted to pass the experience along to you!


Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  Stitch Fix is an fabulous fashion retail company that assigns you a personal stylist who handpicks you a "Fix" of 5 clothing items and accessories (based on your style profile) and delivers them right to your front door.  Each Fix is customized to your unique taste, budget, and lifestyle.

You are not obligated to purchase anything, shipping is FREE, and the initial $20 you pay when you schedule your first fix is deducted from the price of any items you purchase.

No time to shop?  No problem!  Schedule your Fix and 5 amazing pieces, picked just for you, will arrive at your door for you to try on in the convenience of your own home. 


My box arrived beautifully wrapped and I had a personalized letter addressed to me from my new personal stylist.  Here is the letter I received from the magnificent Megumi.  I love how she mentioned specifics from my Pinterest page and my style profile!


When I scheduled my Fix I mentioned the following:
  1. I want fun, yet conservative and comfortable outfits that I can wear to school since I am a 4th grade teacher.
  2. I do not wear high heels or earrings....sorry!
  3. I would love dresses or skirts but they need to have pockets so that I can keep my continuous glucose monitor close since I have Type 1 Diabetes.

Here is what I got:

Al Linen Wide Leg Pants by Sanctuary - $128


I absolutely LOVE these pants.  The fabric is extremely comfortable and the pockets are nice and deep.  The drawstring is perfect in case I finally loose a few more pounds of post-baby weight.  Just tie it tight and you'll be alright.  I want to keep these very badly.  However, they are about 4 inches too long and I only wear flats.  I tried them on with a pair of my old high school bulky heels just to check the length and they were still dragging on the floor.  If I kept these I would definitely have to hem them shorter and I'm just not willing to do that for the price.  I would love to purchase a pair of these exact same pants....only shorter!

Final verdict - Sent back!


Ivy Crochet Back Tab-Sleeve Blouse by Market and Spruce - $68


My initial thought upon pulling this little gem out of the box was, "Wow, this shade of turquoise is amazing and the details on the back are very unique."  The color definitely pops and my pale skin looks much better with a little (or a lot) of color.  The back of the shirt has a floral, see-through pattern so you definitely have to wear a tank top under this shirt.  I love the 3/4 sleeves, even though they don't stay up very well.  I could unbutton the sleeves and wear this as a long sleeve shirt.  The fabric on the front of the shirt is a little too sheer and was not very forgiving of my post-baby belly.  Maybe after I complete the Insanity Workout Challenge it will look a little better.  It is definitely my style.  What do you think?



Final Verdict - Still undecided!


Aleah V-Neck Solid Doman Sleeve Shirt from Pomelo - $48


I loved the fit of this shirt.  It's baggy on top and then form fitting around my waist.  The sleeves are 3/4 length which is perfect for hiding my Omnipod Insulin Pump when I wear it on my arm.  The neckline was the perfect size and not too revealing.  My only issue is the color.  I wish that it was blue, green, or burgundy.  I'm just not digging the off-white.  Hello armpit stains....yuck!


Final verdict - Sent back!


Trixie Dot Print Pants by Sweet Rain - $28


I'm not going to lie, I giggled a little upon pulling these out of the box.  I've never seen a pair of pants quite like these.  The fabric reminded me of pajama pants.  They were comfy, however, I can't picture myself wearing these anywhere except to bed and I don't really care to be fashionable there.  My biggest problem was that they were tight around my ankles.  I like pants with wider legs or a little flare.


I don't know, maybe they aren't so bad....just not my style.

Final Verdict - Sent back!


Jeana 3/4 Sleeve Surplice Front Geo Dress by 41Hawthorn - $78



Ahhhh....I have saved my FAVORITE for last.  This is a pattern that I would never have picked out in the store.  It makes me dizzy just looking at it on the computer screen.  However, as soon as I tried it on it won my heart.

First off, it not only has a string around the waist, but it also has pockets.  That's right, a dress with pockets.  Finally a place to store my meter.
 
 Plus, with 3/4 sleeves and a fun, darker pattern how could I resist?


Final verdict - KEPT!!!

So, how did I do?  Do you agree with what I kept and with what I sent back?

Stitch Fix

Want to snag your own Stitch Fix?  Use my referral link here.  By going through this link you will help me feed my next Fix!


....and while you are at it, check out some other Stitch Fix Reviews at A Whimsicle Life.