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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Little things make a big difference

I never thought I would think so much about pencils before I became a teacher.  There are never enough, they are always dull and they have no erasers after a day of use.  Tell me you know what I'm talking about! Other supplies seem to be a big talk within the classroom: "My marker won't write!"  "The crayons are all broken!"  "These scissors won't cut!"  {Note that all of these remarks are said with an exclamation...every single time!}

On Friday, I came to a point where I was thinking there has got to be a better way.  My attention was on dry erase markers and math workbook bookmarks.
My kids are always complaining about markers and I am always responding with, "It is our responsibility to keep our classroom items nice for ourselves and others."  Well enough was enough...just one too many complaints.  I make labels at the beginning of the year with the child's name and number....I dragged them out stuck them on new dry erase markers and put masking tape on top.  I then gave my students The Responsibility Talk!


Our workbooks for math are enormous.  The kids have bookmarks to mark where we are at but they tend to fall out and then become useless.  So with my can-do attitude on Friday, I glued ribbon on to each of the students' workbooks...success!
 
It's the little time savers that make a huge difference in our day and hopefully I've made strides in my own :)
 
 
On to YOUTUBE!  Our school took off our restrictions to YouTube recently and it has been quite helpful.  We are working with numbers and place value.  On Friday, we started our lesson with this rap: Whatcha' Gonna Do? (Count by 2's, 5's, 10's)
 
Then we moved on to Place Value with Singapore Math:
 
 
Singapore Math really held there attention because it is not something we do often.  They loved how the guy was talking (but we couldn't see him) and he was using his computer to teach.
 
Afterwards, I wrote several numbers on the board and the students had to show there value by draw sticks for ten rods and dots for ones:
 
It was a great day in math!  Just a few little changes to engage the students make quite the difference.  Thanks YouTube :)

16 comments:

  1. I have 66 so I cannot do the marker situation, but I wish I could. That is my number one "issue" - dried out or flat dry erase markers. You would think by 3rd grade they would know if you press too hard it will go away!

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    1. I teach 7th grade, and they STILL smash in the tips on the dry erase markers. ugh.

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    2. did you say you have 66 students????

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  2. The place value video is fantastic! Thank you for sharing-I am going to bookmark it.

    Kelli
    Tales From a Traveling Teacher

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  3. Hi Jen,

    We have youtube blocked at our school, but I found a website where you just cut and paste the video's url off of youtube, and then you can watch it on your computer! It's:

    http://ilivid.com/

    It's the best thing that's ever happened technology wise in my class (besides Class Dojo and engrade). Love it! Love your blog too!

    Alba

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    Replies
    1. The other advantages to downloading it from youtube are
      1) no advertisements for potentially 'non-educational' products
      2) no collage at the end of the video of 'related videos' that may not really be related - and may be inappropriate.

      You Tube is an excellent resource, but we have to remember that not everything on there is appropriate.

      James

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  4. Please use the appropriate their not there in your description. We want teachers to have a good reputation.

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    1. As a teacher, you should've also pointed out where the error was because the writer is most likely not aware of their mistake.
      "Singapore Math really held there attention because it is not something we do often." The word "there" in the quoted sentence above should be "their." Beyond your proofreading skills, I hope you got some great ideas from this blog Delhi!
      Love your ideas Miss Willis!

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  5. Delhigirl- I have never claimed perfection just because I'm a teacher. So if it bugs you that occasionally I make errors then please don't visit my site. My goal in creating this site was to share free ideas with others...not to set a good reputation for all teachers. So take your negativity and good reputation elsewhere! Their are probably other sites out there that would love your criticism, don't ya think?

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    Replies
    1. well miss willis...you just got a new fan (and follower!!) way to go!! THERE THERE!!

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    2. You just got another fan. I hate the grammar police! Thanks for the great ideas.

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    3. Me too! Go GIRL!!! :) We all make mistakes!

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  6. Love your ideas especially the dry erase markers. I teach low to moderate special education. I have a few students who are always losing their marker and then claiming that another classmate stole theirs. This will solve that problem. Thanks.

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  7. Use http://keepvid.com/ (just drag the bookmarklet to your bookmark toolbar) to download those fabulous YouTube videos, then save them with your unit, not only do you avoid streaming issues and the possibility of network downtime, but you will be able to use them next year.... and if blocked at school--download at home.

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  8. I am SOOOOO doing that marker label!!! There is always 1 or 2 that won't put their cap on the right way and pass that up to someone else. LOL... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE...the bookmarks for the math book. We are just going to Go-Math in my county. I'm definately doing this!!!

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