Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November Currently??? Yep, it's November!

Oh my - is it just me, or do I feel like every few weeks we're changing our calendar over???  I'm linking up with Farley for her November Currently (I think I missed October...that's how crazy time has been!!!).  Sure, I'm trying to get work done here at school on my makeshift workday (schools are closed for Election Day....sooo nice!  This is only our second year of doing this!), so what am I doing?  Blog stalking.  Yeah, I just slapped my hand. :)

I think most of this is self-explanatory :)  I don't know what's wrong with me this year, but I've had the worst time with respiratory stuff!  Every time I get in an exercise routine, it seems to happen, and trust me folks, I NEED TO EXERCISE!  It's not just the pants anymore, it's also for stress.  My assistant very nicely told me I have been "super grumpy" lately...and I'm usually not like that!  The time factor is also when I seem to be running my kids to different activities.  Granted, I am VERY happy that my son, especially, wants to be involved, but 4 out of 5 days, I'm either picking up or taking him somewhere.  I'm glad the "season" is almost over!

Gosh, music.  Classical, as soothing as it is, would put me to sleep!  I like something with a beat, something the kids can sing along to.  Kids Bop is perfect!  It's current, upbeat, and I don't have to worry about screening lyrics!  Believe it or not, my kids are more productive when it's on.  They have to be quiet to hear it so the noise level goes down, which helps them focus more and stay on task.  I don't care about singing (sometimes I've been known to sing as well) and let me tell you - a class of 2nd graders singing "My Heart's a Stereo" is precious!  I also have on the shuffle (and yes, I set it to shuffle) Alvin and the Chipmunks and some songs from various albums that my kids have (Rio, Tangled, etc.).  It adds a nice variety and the kids get excited to hear songs from movies/shows they know.

Hmm...maybe my "needing" should have been advice.  If you've read this far, please see my previous post on Investigations.  If you do this program, I need a little advice!  Also, I am FREAKING OUT about math fluency.  I am taking this course and have to admit, am laughing my head off disagreeing with the fluency factor.  Investigations claims that by playing the games, students will be more fluent with their facts.

Hmm..well, if that was so, then why is one of our Correlates now in charge of a math fluency program we are implementing?  Anyway, the way it reads, we do some things in the classroom, but it's basically left to the parents to help their children learn facts.  I have some awesome parents.  However, I have some very busy parents - ones that don't always have time/energy to sit down with the kids and go over facts.  My son, in sixth grade, is suffering b/c he doesn't know his facts (he also has a processing deficit that is either ADHD or something else....they won't test b/c of the ADHD...but that's another post) with higher math.

Anyway, I created some triangle math flash cards for my kiddos to take home.  While I know they could pop out to the dollar store and get some, these are more "personal" for my kids.  I took some things they like (pirates, star wars, xmen, etc.) and created flash cards for them to use at home.  Hence, no excuse AND I can keep a set in the room.  I'm hoping that with the characters, they'll be more apt to study them.  (It worked with place value!).  I've posted them on my teacher stores but I won't plug them here...you can click on the link to the side to visit any of my stores.  I do like the whole "triangle" concept and have used it for years (cutting index cards into triangles)....but even though it's cardstock, let me tell you, it'll save my wrists!  I figure I'll have my kids pick what "character" they want and only print out that number.  If they get lost, I can replace them.

If you've never heard of the triangle concept, it's basically a card with 3 numbers and the "+ -" signs in the middle.  I like them because it also helps the kids realize...hey, 2+3=5 and 3+2=5 and 5-2=3 and 5-3=2....good ol' fact families!

Any other suggestions besides games and flash cards?  Any magic fluency fairies out there????


The Colorful Apple said...

I'm listening to Pandora right now too! And I always lose my voice due to allergies. Definitely makes teaching a challenge!

Sara :)
Smiling In Second Grade

Rachel Seymour said...

I love the Taylor Swift channel on Pandora. My allergies are driving me crazy too! It's definitely that time of year!


Andrea Crawford said...

I found you through the Reading and Writing Redhead's blog and noticed that you teach in Virginia. I, too, teach in Virginia! What a small world!! I have also taught third and fourth grades! If you are on FB, stop by our new page https://www.facebook.com/pages/VA-Teacher-Bloggers

Stop by my blog and visit as well!
Reading Toward the Stars

Mrs. Youel said...

Thanks Andrea! I'll have to check it out, as well as your blog! ;) I love finding other VA teachers! (We can commiserate about the SOLs!). Hah hah!

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