Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tips for Implementing Engage NY's Math Modules in 60 Minutes

Are you struggling to adapt or adopt Engage NY's math modules?  You are not alone....and these tips may help!

Last year, my school adopted Engage NY's Math Modules (Eureka Math).  This is my second year teaching the 4th grade Math Modules.  I am frequently asked how I manage to squeeze in a whole module in 60 minutes.  Trust me, it is hard...and there really is no short answer for how to make it work.  However, here are a few tips to make implementing the math modules easier in 4th grade:

**Clipart in the image above is from Krista Wallden and Ramona Maidis***

Break up the Lesson - If the whole module lesson from Application Problem to Exit Ticket seems overwhelming to both you and your students try breaking it up.  Complete half the lesson before lunch or special and half after.  Try completing the fluency during morning meeting.  Activities like skip counting can be done while lining up throughout the day.  Sprints sometimes fit perfectly between the awkward break between lunch and recess.

I have students keep a Problem of the Day Journal for the Application Problems.  You can download them for free here.

Use Exit Tickets for Review - Rather than use an Exit Ticket to assess students daily, use a problem or two from the Problem Set to look over after each lesson and save the Exit Ticket to review for the Mid-Module and End-Module Assessments.  The modules (as of now) don't contain any review materials to prepare for their tests.  However, the Exit Tickets are short and sweet.  Combine a few to create a review packet or use the questions to make a class Jeopardy game!

Highlight Problems - Does the Problem Set take your students too long to complete?  Do they struggle with the front side and have little to no time to complete the back side?  Highlight the problems you'd like them to focus on.  If they finish early, they can always go back and work on the rest.  This way students get a variety of problems to solve.  No time to highlight?  Write down the letter or numbers you want students to complete on your whiteboard.  Don't skip the word problems at the end.  Chances are, those are the problems that will best prepare your students for the state test.

Send Home Problem Set Answer Keys - Are your parents confused as to how to complete this "new math"?  Download the Word document of the lesson from Engage NY's website.  Copy and paste the Problem Set Answer Keys from the teacher directions.  I like to enlarge them, print & copy them, and send them home in a packet for parents to use to assist students with their homework.

Prepare the Concept Development Problems in Advance - Look over the lesson ahead of time, select which problems you would like students to focus on, and create a Power Point or a Smart Notebook file with the problems.  That way, when you teach, the problems are already written out for you and you won't have to hold on to the script and continually refer back to it.  Teachers Pay Teachers has a wealth of pre-made resources that you can use.

Last, but not least, make it fun!  Add some review games or keep a record of student math knowledge with an Interactive Notebook.  Don't be afraid to add, modify, or tweak the curriculum to best meet your individual students' needs.  After all, you know them best!

What other tips do you have for making the Math Modules more user friendly and easy to implement?


Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Year New Fix - January 2015 Stitch Fix Review

With the new year brings a new Fix...Stitch Fix that is.

Check out what was in my January box!

41Hawthorn Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse - $58

Have I mentioned lately how much I love 41Hawthorn?  Whenever I get a piece from their collection I am always impressed. The only place you can find their clothing is through Stitch Fix.

I've had a few questions about Stitch Fix's styling cards so I decided to include them in today's post.  Here is the card I got that shows how to style this lovely blouse.

This blouse caught my eye immediately.

I love black so this piece was a hit right out of the box.  The 3/4 sleeves are perfect for when I want to hide my insulin pump that I often wear on my arm.

The studs are cute and sassy!

Final verdict - KEPT!

Next on the list . . .

Loveappella Evie Draw String Funnel Neck Sweatshirt - $64.00

I feel in love with this sweatshirt right out of the box.

The neck has a cute little drawstring, to pull tight, but no hood.

I also love the pockets.  I would have gotten it, but my husband has put me on a budget for this fix.  I'm strictly on the lookout for clothes that I can wear while teaching and this is a little too casual for school.

Final Verdict - RETURNED!

The 3rd piece I pulled out of the box was . . .

Gilli Kamile Jersey Ruched Detail Dress - $64.00

I loved this dress immediately.  The dark blue is very flattering.

The fabric was soft.

However, either I grew since my last fix, or this dress was sized a little differently than my last Gilli dress because it was a little too tight around my arms and above my stomach.

Final Verdict - RETURNED!  (...but with a request for a similar dress in a slightly bigger size.)

My 4th piece was . . .

Bajee Collection Barton Graphic Knit Drape Front Cardigan - $58.00

I love the black and gray pattern.  It almost has a little tribal feel to it.  

The cardigan is nice and long and drapes at my sides.

It is casual, but stylish and cute.  Perfect to wear to school on the cold winter days when layers are definitely my number one option!

Final Verdict - KEPT!!!

Last but not least, my fifth piece was . . . 

Bay to Baubles Tracy Layered Bead & Chain Necklace

This was the first fix in which I requested a necklace and I had high hopes.  However, the necklace got tangled right out of the box.  I'm not big on wearing jewelry so when I do wear it, I need it to be easy, simple, and flawless.  Honestly, I'm afraid I am going to break this thing or it will get all twisted up and look silly.

It looks cute in the picture.

Final Verdict?  - Returned

So, what did you think of the styling cards?  They are great for showing how to pair each piece with other items in your wardrobe that you might already own.

Want to learn more about Stitch Fix?  Check out what I got my 1st 2nd, and 3rd Stitch Fix reviews.

My next Fix is scheduled to arrive just before Valentine's Day!  Interested in trying Stitch Fix out for yourself?  The best Valentine's Day present you could give me would be to use my referral link here!