Saturday, June 29, 2013

Multiplication for Young Children and Fourth of July Happiness

Mark and I just got back from taking our youngest daughter to her college orientation. It was wonderful but overwhelming. I went between wanting to cry and wanting to cheer. Our daughter had a blast and has determined that she made the absolute right choice. Thank goodness because I don't think I could make it through all that stuff again!! I have been working with some tutoring students this summer. I want to share a video with you all that I took of a child working on multiplication. My student is sweet little fellow. He is heading to third grade in the fall. Please note that I gave him a lot of processing time. Even though you don't see it in this video I gave him a lot of praise afterwards. I was focusing on the way he solved the problems. I found the manipulatives we are using at the Dollar Spot in Target. I just love that place. I have to check it out whenever I go to Target!

This is his first lesson with multiplication while he has been working with me. We skip counted prior to starting and talked about grouping in skip counting. The cards I used are from There are a ton of materials on this website! I snipped a couple of examples of the many flash cards they offer. Best of all their resources are FREE!

math flash cards

We all know students need the foundational skills to be successful in multiplication. Do you have any ideas or activities you would like to share? Please leave them in the comment section below. We can all benefit from shared ideas! Teachers are just so smart! Don't you agree!

I'm putting my first Farley's Currently in this post. Below the Currently is a fun link for 4th of July Subway Art from Samantha gave me permission to share it with my friends. I have already printed mine and put it in a frame. Enjoy!


Click here for your downloadable copy of Samantha's Subway Art.

Happy Fourth of July!

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Do you use Fundations in your classroom? Ideas for teaching Phonics

My district has adopted Fundations Wilson Language Basics. I'm heading to my first training soon and I would like to hear about your experiences with Fundations. I have already heard various view points about the program. I am wondering how it fits with other classroom activities. I love to use music and songs in my classroom. I found this video while searching Fundations on

Can you still use videos like these in a Fundations classroom? I also use in my classroom and with my tutoring children. Have you used in your class? My kids love the videos that provides. I also like nifty charts like this one I found on Pinterest.

What other ways do you teach phonics in your classroom?I like to use a variety of teaching resources in my classroom. I am interested to hear about the teaching resources you use in your classroom! Thanks for joining the discussion.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Do you DIBEL? How do you feel about it?

Do you DIBEL at your school? I was the number one skeptic at my school 10 years ago when we went to learn about the DIBELS Assessment. We used the paper and pencil version for years and now we DIBEL on our iPad. Over the years I have not been fond of data and the many uses of it. Mainly because I felt we had forgotten to actually look at the children and their experiences. Lives do not happen in a vacuum I was known to say. After many years of rebelling and trying to make this work I have finally made peace with the DIBELS assessment. This is mainly due to the recent administrations I have had the pleasure to work with. I have changed the path of my instruction based on the DIBELS but I have found a way to keep the instruction fun and fresh. This year I had a little boy go from red to yellow to green and his parents were pleased as punch. The Mom often said it was due to focused interventions and hard work. This little guy was willing to work. We didn't do something fabulous every day but we kept it fun! We jumped around, we used markers to write sounds, we made up games and we worked on our goal. I did a lot of goal setting with my children this year and it really paid off. One of my favorite resources is the Florida Center for Reading Research. They have focused easy to use interventions for reading from kindergarten to fifth grade. I love to use songs. There are tons on These are good videos for letter sounds.

Check out some of these examples.

I would love to hear your views on DIBELS and DIBELS NEXT and resources you use successfully in your classroom! Please comment below.

Dibels Next
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