Saturday, April 4, 2020

Distance Learning at Home during COVID-19


What are some practical learning techniques we can do at home during COVID-19?


What should students be asked to do at home during COVID-19?





There are many things that students can do during this time at home. It is a time for students to be learning and trying new things. Students can do a multitude of activities at home to continue to make progress in their education. Let's look at some of the solutions to learning math at home. 

Distance Learning at Home during COVID-19 



It's a different world post COVID-19. Education will look different also when students return to school. What could students do now to prepare? There are many different solutions for learning math at home. Students can learn continue to work on making themselves better mathematicians. 



1. Study New Math Vocabulary

Students can practice grade level math vocabulary. Have students write math sentences daily or weekly using grade level terms. Assign 4 to 8 words a week depending on your grade level. Watch your students understand and make sense of the math concepts through their writing.

Learning the new math vocabulary is just as important as reading math word problems. When students read and write more math they become better mathematicians. 

2. Review with Math Games

This is easy to do at home if you already have some games in your house. Are there games with counting, strategy, or problem solving? These are all math skills that you can practice through play. 

What games can you play at home? Here is a list of games that will help maintain or improve your math skills. 



  1. The 24 Game. This is my absolute favorite math game! Students have to add, subtract, multiply, or divide the numbers to get an answer of 24. They also have a version for middle school with Integers and a version for middle school and high school with Algebra Exponents
  2. Monopoly. Strategy games are great for kids to practice problem solving. Learn how to pay for properties and rent. Kids learn life skills also while playing. 
  3. Proof! Math Game. A fast paced game of mental math. It's a brain game that takes only 15 minutes. You will improve your mental math in all operations. 


3. Become more Fluent

Try a fluency printable daily or weekly. Keeping up mental math operations will help ease the transition into school later on. Math fluency is important. The only way to become more fluent is to practice it often. 


4. Be Inspired by Mathematicians

Students can do their own research about mathematicians. Specifically ask students to research the plague of 1666 and Sir Issac Newton. What happened while he was away from school? What did he invent? Get kids thinking and make their own math inventions during this time. 

5. Practice Math Skills


Students can practice grade level math skills with these engaging printables and worksheets. Continuing to practice them will keep the math concepts fresh in their minds. It's important to do this because students typically lose two and a half months of learning during the Summer, but now with the additional quarantine + Summer students will lose five months of learning. 


How much should kids be practicing a day? Ten to twenty math problems depending on difficulty and grade level. Kids should have enough practice to maintain their math skills. Think of it like brushing your teeth. If you didn't brush your teeth for five months what would happen?




Just remember. This is not homeschooling. Parents need help with teaching their children. Teachers are the professionals. Teachers know how to teach best. Help students continue to grow during this time. Make today's educational experience as humane, kind, generous, caring, and joyful as it can possibly be.


Happy Distance Learning!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

At Home Learning Questions



Do you have questions about At Home Learning?

How do you do this At Home Learning and make it work?





At Home Learning is new for many teachers, students, and parents right now. It's a new day in education and we're all trying to figure out what's best for the children. What should you be teaching? What are the expectations for the students? There are many questions and hopefully these answers will help you on your journey of At Home Learning.

At Home Learning Questions 


Do you have questions about At Home Learning? Many teachers do. Let's look at some of the solutions that can help you teach more effectively for your students.

1. "What is the best online learning platform to meet up with my students?" 

Currently many teachers are using the platform ZOOM to meet with students and take attendance.

2. "Not all of my students are showing up to the scheduled ZOOM classes. How should I encourage my students to attend?"

Scheduled ZOOM classes should be written in an At Home Learning syllabus. Make sure every student has a copy of the syllabus and understands the expectations. Have students turn in a digital signature that they acknowledge there is a syllabus, know the expectations for your class, and have read the contents of the syllabus.



3. "How many ZOOM classes should I schedule out?"

This depends on a couple factors. How many does your principal require? How many do you think your students will attend before they get burnout? Also remember parents with multiple children have multiple teachers and if all of those teachers are also asking them to show up to all the meetings this will burnout the parents. My answer is LESS IS MORE. Scheduling a one-hour weekly ZOOM is sufficient. Plan ahead. Make it meaningful. The kids will come if they know it's required, they will see friends, and it's limited access. Making your ZOOM classes limited will make them more special and well attended.

4. "How can I put one worksheet from a pdf file in my Google classroom without the answer key?"

My friend SrtaSpanish wrote a great blog post about "How to Assign a PDF for Students to Complete Online". Included is how to obey copyright laws, how to secure the document, and where you place it in your Google classroom for students. It's a 5-Step process that you can complete in 10 minutes or less.

5. "What should I do about grading? My school sent home a packet for students to complete on their own."

If your school sent home a packet for completion, then the student's final grade is based on completion and calculations. If you can put a rubric and letter in the front that will help students understand the expectations for completing the packet. Sending home assignments with a calendar, rubric, and letter to parents can help them navigate what to do, when do turn it in, and how they will be assessed and graded.




These are some of the solutions for At Home Learning. Do you have questions about At Home Learning that weren't addressed here? Just email me at kellymccowntpt@hotmail.com and I'd love to add it to the blog post.


Happy At Home Learning!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

At Home Learning Resources



Are you looking for at home learning resources that work?


Do you want your kids to do meaningful math at home?





Last week I wrote blog about At Home Learning Schedule you can read HERE. This week I'm including more resources and activities that make math meaningful at home. Being at home can be fun and enjoyable with your family. Make these moments count and engage in math discourse with daily activities.

At Home Learning Resources 


Growing a lifelong learner is not an overnight process. Take learning one day at a time. At Home Learning is not stressful, it's inquisitive and applicable. Try one of these At Home Learning Resources today!

1. Math Menus

Try doing a different math activity every day. Each weekly menu displays nine different activities. Students pick five different activities to complete for the week. Math menus are perfect for practicing grade level skills in a unique way.

2. No Prep Math Packets

Practicing basic math skills doesn't have to be boring. What skills does your student need to review? Each grade level (3rd through 8th) reviews key math standards. Make math fun with a puzzle today!



3. End of Year booklets

The end of year mini booklet is an overall math review for the grade level. Grades 5-8 each have a booklet complete with 60 questions that review all the standards for the grade level. It's compact in a booklet form for students to easily complete on their own.


4. Math Vocabulary

Learning grade level math vocabulary is a must before going on to the next grade level. There are certain terms that students should know before being promoted. Have your students had enough practice this school year with vocabulary?



5. Math Games

Some of my favorite math games you probably already have at home. Grades K-2 math students can play monopoly and practice counting skills. Grades 3-5 students can play the game 21 with play cards to practice finding sums of 21. Grades 6-8 math students can play Battleship to practice coordinate graphing and problem solving skills. Games are meant to be fun and light. Make math time enjoyable at home!


Whatever resource you decide to use for math at home, just make it fun. When learning is fun, your students will want to do it again. It's important to foster a love of learning during difficult times.



Free Math Vocabulary Cards

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    Happy Learning at Home!

    Saturday, March 21, 2020

    At Home Learning Do's and Don'ts



    Are you looking for at home learning ideas that work?


    Do you want your kids to learn at home?





    There are many do's and don't of At Home Learning. This time can be fun and enjoyable with your family. Learn what you can do to help your child succeed at home.

    It's helpful to listen to your child when they are tired. Learning doesn't have to be difficult. Try one or all of these tips to help your kid have a better At Home Learning experience today! 

    At Home Learning Do's and Don'ts 


    There are many things to learn about homeschooling. It's a process. This is my first year homeschooling my son in Kindergarten. We have been homeschooling since August 1, 2019. What I have learned is that every day is a new day. If we don't get to it right now, we can do it later. We take learning one day at a time. 

    Are there days that I struggle teaching homeschool? Yes. Are there days that he struggles being taught at home? Yes. Take learning at home one day at a time. At Home Learning is not meant to be stressful, it's supposed to be helpful and practical. The goal is to develop a love of learning. Try one or all of these tips to help your child make the most of learning at home.  

    1. Follow a regular schedule. 

    Last week I wrote a blog about At Home Learning Schedule you can read HERE. It's helpful to keep a schedule that's not rigid. DO NOT make an unrealistic schedule for your family. Leave room for brain breaks and play. Kids just want to be kids. They can learn through play also. 

    Daily schedule should be flexible.



    2. Set a Start Time. 

    Every day of home learning (Monday through Friday) keep a start time in the morning. Start in the morning at 8:00am or 9:00am and let your child do what they can. DO NOT make an afternoon start time. Remember to start as early as you can so that your kids can be alert and ready to learn.   

    3. Limit Distractions.

    Make it easy for learning to occur. Turn off the devices, television, streaming, phones, music, or whatever might tempt them to stop their learning. DO NOT keep distractions on. The quicker the distractions are turned off and away, the quicker the learning will take place. 

    4. Make a Daily Checklist. 

    Successful people make checklists. Set your child up for success with a checklist. DO NOT make a checklist of 20 items a day. Make the checklist simple and doable. When your kid is able to complete the list they feel accomplished and can have a reward. 

      

    5. Have a Designated Place. 

    Make a designated place for at home learning. Make this a space for your child that they will WANT to do learning in. DO NOT make it a hard space to work in.  Set aside a space for that has plenty of light and easy to complete work from. 
    Have a desk or table for your child to work from.

    6. Stay Organized. 

    Help your child keep all of their academic organized in one place. Keep the organization in the designated place for at home learning. DO NOT let your child stay unorganized. Ask them if they have a system at school that works for them, or help them create a system of organization for their learning to occur.  

    7. Take Breaks. 


    Brain breaks are essential to mental health and learning. Taking breaks is key to maintaining a healthy balance. DO NOT give a break every two hours. Students should have a break based on their ages. Children that are ages 3-4 can only sit for five to fifteen minutes. Children that are ages 5-6 can only sit for fifteen to twenty-five minutes. Children that are ages 7-9 can only sit for twenty-five to thirty-five minutes. Children that are ages 10-12 can only sit for forty to fifty minutes. Find a balance for your child. How long can they sit? Then take a break. Stand up. Stretch. Breaks are necessary. Give your child one.


    Try one or all of these do's and don'ts for At Home Learning. Watch your child flourish at home when given the opportunity to succeed. Setting up an At Home Learning system is key. Your child wants routine. Your child needs a schedule. Make it work best for you and your family. You've got this! 


    Happy Home Learning!

    Wednesday, March 18, 2020

    Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Giveaway


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    Sunday, March 15, 2020

    How to Prepare for a Math Test



    How do you prepare your students for a math test?

    Do you spend any time preparing your students for the end of year math test?



    In previous blog posts we discussed Math test prep tips and 15 Math test taking strategies for math test success. These were great points of discussion for making a math test success plan and what strategies to teach your students to use on testing day. Another point that needs to be addressed is how to prepare for a math test. Today's blog post goes over all the top five things necessary to prepare your students for math test success.

    How to Prepare for a Math Test


    When preparing for a Math test first look at the big picture. What is the end result you want for your students? What will your students accomplish? Start from the desired end product and work backwards.

    Do you want your students to pass the math test? What do they need to know to pass the test? Look for math test prep materials to help your students, make a lesson plan, and outline your plan of action.

      
    Make a 1-week or 2-week plan to follow for math test success. 


    The following are tips for math test success. For optimal success try  all of these activities to prepare your students for the math test. When students are prepared, then they can succeed.


    5 Tips for Preparing Students for a Math Test


    The following tips for preparing students for a math test are guidelines for math test success. What you do to prepare is up to you. Try one or all of these with your students to maximize their preparedness. 

    1. Know how to use a reference sheet. 

    Look up your state math assessment website. Do you get a reference sheet with your math test? If you do, print it before hand and review it with students. 





    2. Know how to use a calculator if necessary. 

    Learning how to use a calculator is not always intuitive. Do your students get to use a calculator on the math test? Teach your students what all the keys means before the test day.


    3. Know what material to cover. 

    Before you begin planning look at what your students are supposed to know. What will be covered on the math test? Teach or reteach math material for test prep success.


    4. Know how to check for mistakes.

    After solving problems always check your work. Do your students know this important step? Review how to answer a math problem from start to finish. 





    5. Know how to review your test answer sheet.

    After finding the answer for a math problem, write it on the answer sheet correctly. Make sure the right bubbles are bubbled. Put the correct numbers in the right columns.  You've done all the hard work to find the answer, don't mess up writing it on your answer sheet. 








    Plan Your Math Test Success Now


    Getting your students to earn higher test scores isn't tricky. Make a plan for success. Download the roadmap for Math Test Success today! 



    Access the
    Math Test Prep
    Roadmap

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