Monday, July 9, 2012

Starting a Blog & Made 4 Math Monday

So, I've been inspired to finally start a blog.  A great group of math tweeps have been posting ideas for their classrooms and I felt compelled to offer some ideas in return for all the awesomeness I have been stealing!

1.  Flash Cards

This past year I used Two Plus Two Is Not Equal To Five by Susan Greenwald to work on improving math fact fluency with my elementary leveled remedial math class (we were working on approximately 3rd grade level math skills).  This particular group could not even add on 1 to another number with any kind of automaticity.

What I really liked about this book was the way that it introduced a strategy (they called it a trick) with a name like number +1, or doubles, or in the middle.  The trick or strategy pointed out relationships in groups of facts and also gave them a label to attach to that strategy.

For my class, I made flash cards using index cards and a variety of colored sharpies.  I sent the card packs home with the kids to keep practicing over the summer.  The idea of making them again for next year seemed like a ridiculous amount of work.  Inspired by Made 4 Math Monday, I investigated and discovered that our color laser printer will print onto 3" by 5" index cards.  For the back I printed labels that include the answer and the name of the strategy.  I think they came out brilliantly and now I can print a set any time I want!

A copy of the file I made is here.

2.  An organizing folio

After viewing lots of the organizational ideas, I also thought I'd share something I made a few years ago. I made a folio to keep those papers I need to access often (school calendar, meeting lists, advisor lists, etc).  The holder is a Vera Bradley that I bought at Barnes & Noble. (From a quick search, it doesn't seem to be available anymore.)

 I pulled the notepad out of its backing and stapled in page protectors with the opening down.  I take this with me to everything like most of the teachers in the building take their planbook.  On the left hand side I keep a stash of small index cards and use them to write to dos and then put them into the slots at the top.


  1. First off, congrats on your very first blog post! :) Second, LOVE IT!!! The cards look so professional and I <3 Vera Bradley stuff!!! Now I need to investigate if my printer prints on 3x5 cards... :)