Saturday, August 28, 2010

Building Math Skills

I have used a great Math supplement for the past few years, Mastering Essential Math Skills ( ).  I LOVE the set up of the pages.  A page begins at the top with review of previous lessons- 4 problems, then a great way to review mastery of addition and multiplication facts -see the two circles.  In the middle of the page is key vocabulary and an explanation of what is being taught on this page.  At the bottom is guided practice - 2 samples, and independent practice.  At the bottom is a word problem that uses skills used that day or in that unit.  It is such a great way to cover it all in an efficient and organized way.  There are no extra pictures or fluff, just straight forward math skills.  Check out the website ( ).  Just over a year ago, the author Richard Fischer, added a DVD element. The DVD could be used for students who would benefit from getting the lesson again at home or in a pull-out situation.  There are two main levels, 4-5th grade and middle school-high school, and there are books for extra practice on topics like decimals, fractions, whole numbers, and more.  I have found the format works well for my students.  You can order off of the website or on  Look it over - it's worth it!
Search for Mastering Essential Math Skills grades 4-5

Powerpoints: More Than Just a Presentation

Some of us are lucky enough to have an Interactive White Board or another projectable technology.  Powerpoints can be a great way to organize and present material to your students and you don't even have to project them. 
Here are some other ways to use Powerpoints:
  • Powerpoints are a great way for a teacher to collect and organize information.  Many other teachers offer their Powerpoints free for you to use.  Check Pete's Powerpoint Station ( ) for a FREE, organized, and searchable place to find educational Powerpoints. Another place that is great to look is Jefferson County Schools in Tennesee ( ) It is well organized and there are other great menu items for educational resources to check out.
  • Print the Powerpoint in a variety of ways-  handouts, note taking, full page, half page.
  • Half or Full page printouts can be used to make booklets for your students.
  • If you have a classroom computer, you can use a Powerpoint for a center activity
  • Tammy Worcester has some great activity books, one exclusive to Powerpoints.  She has a great website
  • And if you already use Powerpoints and want to take it to another level, check out a FREE plug-in from Microsoft for MOUSE MISCHIEF.  It allows you to use multiple mice on your Powerpoint presentation with a couple of ways to use them.  Want more info?  Check out... .
I hope this gets you started on some ideas for your classroom!  


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Coupon for Reading A-Z, RAZ-Kids, and more

I have used Reading A-Z and RAZ-Kids in my classroom for years.  Reading A-Z offers leveled readers to print off and share with worksheets, comprehension questions, and a projectable version that is quick and easy for use with a projector or Interactive White Board. 

RAZ-Kids offers leveled readers that have a listening component.  Kids can listen to a book being read as it highlights the words.  Books can also be read and a comprehension quiz taken. The books could be projected to view as a class also.

If you have an elementary class or a special education class, it is worth checking out.