Monday, January 27, 2014

Celebrate Presidents Day with Online Tours and Great Resources!

Here are some great sites to visit in honor of Presidents Day!

My favorite is the Lincoln Memorial Interactive from the National Park Service .  This online interactive has amazing clarity, panoramas, and great video reflections from Park Rangers about the meaning and importance of both Lincoln and the Memorial.

Under His Hat is a website devoted to exploring who Lincoln was by using only primary sources.  By choosing "In the Classroom" you can pick a topic and click further to find lessons and activities to do with your students.  Great photos with 360 views and easy to understand information.  This is great for upper elementary on up!  
EarthCam of the Washington Monument
For Research and Fun Facts Elementary and Middle School Students can visit America's Story from the Library of Congress, Meet Amazing Americans    Check out the resources for  Abraham Lincoln  and George Washington.

For older students using primary source documents the Library of Congress Web Guide for Abraham Lincoln and George Washington  gives students access to amazing research tools.

If your class is studying George Washington the Mount Vernon Virtual Mansion Tour  is a fun spot to visit to see inside his home.

The History Channel has a nice history of Presidents Day with lots of fun links, from the evolution of the White House to our modern Presidents.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

CC Betterlesson - Aligned 'Road Tested' Lesson Plans

Need fresh ideas for your 6th graders in geometry?  Looking for supplements for your old textbook adoption to help you through the Common Core aligning?

Better Lesson in conjunction with NEA just rolled out the beta version of their new site on Jan 15th.  This site will continue to grow in free resources as the 138 teachers chosen, ranging from K - 12,  work together to complete a Common Core aligned courses for each area throughout this school year.


Each Standard will show the number of lessons that have already been uploaded for use.  

Easy to use lessons give the teacher an initial overview along with number of resources.  Lessons give time details, samples of student work, as well as possible video explanations, and/or reflections.


This is an impressive beginning to what will hopefully continue to be a growing resource. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Xtramath : Math Fact Practice

Xtramath has become a very popular tool in our region allowing students basic math fact practice; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  This free online tool motivates students into practicing quick math facts, with a philosophy of a little bit of practice every day.

Once a student logs into the system, they are guided through their activities by a facilitator.  This facilitator will provide them with their instructions for the day.  In the beginning they take a placement quiz so the program can determine which questions they'll need more practice on in the future.  Each time after that the facilitator will guide them through a short practice exercise helping them improve their math fact recall.

These exercises are not intended to be long, as facilitator will prompt the student when they are finished.  The philosophy is a little practice every day.

When answering questions, students are proficient if they correctly answer the question in under 3 seconds.  The program will assist them if needed, however to "master" the math fact the student will need to repetitively answer the math fact correct in under 3 seconds.

As a teacher you will have the opportunity to view daily and weekly progress of your students work through a variety of reports.  This progress will provide much needed data to demonstrate student growth throughout the year.  Teachers in one elementary school have students keep track of their weekly performance on number lines posted on a classroom bulletin board.

When logging into the website, there are three modes: as a student, a teacher, or a classroom.  Using the classroom option allows the teacher to set up a computer in their room to reveal a list of their students in a drop down menu, so a student finds and clicks their name, enters their PIN, and they are in.

If you are in need of a tool to assist students with their math facts, Xtramath is the tool for your class.  Give it a try, you'll be set up and using it by the end of the week.  Click here for online videos or more information