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An Inspirational Poem And A Gift For You



     One of my favorite back-to-school activities for my 5th graders was to recite and learn this growth mindset poem, "The Ones Who Think They Can", by Walter Wintle. There are a number of versions of the poem, and this is the one that worked best for us.
     On the first few days of school, we would all read a projected copy of the poem together a couple of times. I talked about the meaning and the concepts behind it. I explained that the word "man" means "mankind", not just males. Each student would cut and tape the smaller version into their math or science journal for reference.
     We continued reciting the poem as part of our morning routine for a couple of weeks, then we'd do it together more occasionally. I challenged students to commit the poem to memory - memorize is a fine word, too. If they wanted to, they could recite the poem to me privately, or to the class. In return, they would receive a "100" in the subject of their choice. I do not typically reward students, or pay them, for academic performance. However, since this was an optional challenge, I felt good about it.
     Some of the phrases started to find their way into our everyday comments. If we mentioned someone who persevered against strong odds, someone might say aloud, "The ones who think they can!" If someone made a comment that was sort of down on themselves, someone might remind them, "If you think you're beaten, you are."
     Please grab a free copy here and use it in your classroom. I'd love to hear how it works out for you!
     
Pat McFadyen
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Starting Math On The First Day(s) Of School!


                                Math on the first day of school
     The first days of school are so jam-packed with back-to-school, getting-to-know-you, and housekeeping activities, it can be a real challenge getting into actual curriculum. As a new teacher, I struggled to find the optimum time to begin that first lesson: the one I believed should be delivered by me, at the front of the room, to students sitting in desks, to be followed with a paper and pencil activity.
     Over the years, I learned that there are dozens of ways to "do math" that are fun and engaging, and that involve students, not just as learners, but as collaborators and critical thinkers. Choose from some of the suggestions below and you'll find yourself rocking some math from Day 1!

Read-Alouds

     I always looked so forward to reading Math Curse by Jon Scieszka on the first day of school each year. I love the humor and the way math concepts are introduced. Kids love coming to the carpet and having a book read to them. It's a warm, fuzzy way to ease into the new year. It's also a good chance to teach some of those all-important classroom procedures. Check out my post about routines and procedures here. You could begin a longer math-oriented book, such as The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davis or The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill. Other good choices are any of the Sir Cumference books, Grandfather Tang's Story, or How Much Is A Million?

Math Games

     What a great way to develop a positive attitude toward math, strengthen concepts, and practice skills! There are so many commercial math games, such as Mathopoly, Sum Swamp, and Equate that teach math skills and concepts. Connect Four and good old checkers are always winners. Teachers can also fill their math tool kit with games like Contig (a super way to build number sense!) and Race to 100. Don't want to take the time for a full-fledged board or card game? Try "Where's The Math In The Date?", a quick game that only uses a few digits. Learn how to play it here.

Journal Prompts

     A favorite first day math activity is to make a list of "Ways I Used Math Today Before School". As students share, they'll find that "checking to see if it's time to leave home", "pouring a bowl of cereal", and "tying two shoe laces" are all ways of using math. Other engaging prompts include: "How I Feel About Math" and "People who are good at math...".

Gather Data

     Asking a group question and having students answer it in different ways is a great segue into many math concepts, as well as social topics. The pictures below show a sampling of ways to do that.

Math About Me Project

     The "Math About Me" project has become popular recently. It can be as simple as a pre-made paper template on which students share significant numbers. It can also be more of a curation project where students bring in objects that reflect the numbers in their lives.

Math Craft

     Crafts may be more than many want to approach during the first days of school. For those who do want to build that into their new year, consider paper-folding or mosaic pictures.

Math Jokes

     Jokes are always a winning component of a happy classroom. Any joke is great, but it can be fun to spend a few weeks focused on math, science, or another specific topic. I once had a hallway bulletin board to which we attached math jokes and riddles for several weeks. The whole school appreciate it!

Math Puzzles

     It's always a good idea to get kids' hands on their math. Consider spending some time with math puzzles, such as tangrams, cross-number puzzles, or sudoku.

Color-By-Code

     Combine math and art with a color-by-code or color-by-number activity. Kids will get some solid math practice in while they touch the artsy side of their brain with coloring.

     These are only a few ways to incorporate math into the first day(s) of school. I'd love to hear how you do it!
Pat McFadyen
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5 Reasons Why Following The Rules Is Important


  
classroom-management-follow-rules
     We all know day-to-day life can be challenging. Tedious. Annoying. Overwhelming. Just plain hard. It's in our nature as parents and teachers to try and make our own lives and those of our loved ones easier. Smoother. More efficient. Less stressful. It can be so tempting to cut a corner here and there. 
     Nothing serious or harmful. Like, let your child wear a shirt for a second day. Serve a meal with no vegetables. Let the library book go overdue. Pay the late registration fee. While we all make use of these options once in a while, it can be very easy to make such decisions more and more frequently, to depend on the slip-and-slide that can exist around rules. It can be easy to let rules take a backseat to our own convenience.
     This applies to any walk of life and it can be even more amplified in the world of education. Once we have children in schools, a relationship develops between home and school. We hope it will be a positive, supportive relationship, but that relationship can take a hit if we forget that we all have a responsibility toward building a healthy relationship that works. 
     Note: Following rules for the general population does not apply in every situation. In school and out, it is only ethical to accommodate special circumstances and special needs. 
     Consider these five reasons why parents should make a focused effort to follow the day-to-day rules that govern our lives.

1. Kids do what they see. Few parents will directly teach their children to break rules, although I have seen it happen. Even when we don't mean to, we are continually teaching our children, even through our casual conversations and actions. When children see and hear us breaking rules, they will surely follow suit.
2. Breaking the rules creates conflict. When we try to manipulate life to our own advantage, others are inconvenienced, unfairly burdened, and often angered. Who needs more conflict in their lives? Follow the rules and enjoy less conflict.
3. Remember that, as parents and teachers, we are also creating tomorrow's adults, not just today's kids. If the important people in their lives regularly break rules, kids can develop an "it's all about me" attitude. This is one of the biggest criticisms of today's millennial generation. Whether it's true or not, they are seen as entitled and selfish. It's not pretty. Avoid this for your children by showing them how to do the right thing. 
4. Life runs more smoothly for everyone when we follow the rules. It's a way to pay it forward. Do your part and others' lives are smoother, thanks to you.
5. It's ethically, morally right to follow rules. If we want to raise children who are ethically and morally focused, we must model those behaviors.

     If you find yourself breaking, bending, or stretching the rules more than once in a while, it may be time for a reboot. Consider these thoughts:
1. Think about the person you want to be. Are you living up to the standards you set for yourself? If not, consider setting some new goals and working toward them.
2. Think about how you want your children to see you. 
3. Let your children hear you talk about how you respect the rules. What a lesson you can teach by saying, "I'm really tired, but I need to complete your softball registration tonight. I'm going to do it now so that the coaches will know you want to play. Then, I won't have to pay a late fee and you'll be sure to be on a team." How much easier your life will be, too!

     What do you think about following the rules? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
 

Pat McFadyen
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You CAN Teach Content and Procedures From Day One!


     
     I've been reading posts lately from newer teachers who struggle with how to teach essential classroom routines and procedures from the first day of school while not ignoring content. Some question whether they should chose one over the other and if it's even possible to do both. I'm hearing:

"Should I really spend two full weeks just teaching routines and procedures?"
"When do I start teaching content? I'm afraid of getting behind right from the start!"
"When does your district start teaching content?"
"How much time should I spend on routines and procedures?"
"Should I review routines and procedures every day? For how long?"

     These are valid concerns for any teacher. I believe whole-heartedly that you definitely can teach all of those valuable routines and procedures and begin teaching content right from the first day of school!

What are routines and procedures?

     In order to be clear with children, have a clear understanding yourself. If your school or district uses specific terminology, always go with that. I use routine to reference the order or sequencing of your day. For example, our morning routine was always to enter the room, tell your teacher "hello", put up your belongings, make your lunch choice, and begin your Morning Work. To be silly, I would tell students that we must enter the room before we make our lunch choice - that's routine.
     I use procedure to refer to a particular way of doing something. For example, everyone needs to return their coloring pencils after an activity. One procedure is to put the box into your desk. Another procedure is to put them in your back pack. A third procedure is for the table leader to gather and return them to a special drawer. Our procedure was for the table leader to return them to a drawer.

Be crystal clear on the procedures that you need students to follow.

     Having efficient procedures can have a powerful impact on your overall classroom management. When your students know exactly how to perform certain tasks, they can work more independently and you will have to intervene less often. You'll need a procedure to gather and return materials, to form groups, to work collaboratively, to return assignments, to ask for help. Your procedures needn't be complicated; in fact, they need to be as simple and streamlined as possible. On the other hand, you don't want students to feel policed or like robots. There are many activities, such as returning a book to the shelf, that don't require a specific procedure. Give lots of thought to the procedures you do want. Talk to other teachers in your school and find out what works for them. A few suggestions that worked for me over the years:
-To gather materials, such as coloring pencils: The table leader goes to the correct drawer, gathers, and distributes to his/her own table.
-To return materials: The table leader gathers and returns materials from his/her table.
-To turn in homework: As you unpack in the morning, take your homework to the bin on the counter.
-If you finish work early: Read quietly, complete another activity, or find an activity in the Early Finishers Notebooks.
-If you need the restroom outside of a scheduled break: Make the ASL sign for "restroom" and go!

Plan for the first day.

     On the first day of school, have a good balance of getting-to-know-you activities, housekeeping tasks such as confirming how each child gets home (I forgot this one year - a real disaster at dismissal!), explanations of school and classroom guidelines, and introductory content lessons. I always tried to include a read-aloud, a math game, one or two movement activities, and several content activities. Make notes on the procedures you will highlight for each one. In my classroom, I would plan for activities like these:
1. Read-aloud Math Curse by Jon Scieszka; Procedures taught: Push your chair under your desk, move quietly to the carpet, sit in your own space.
2. Play math game "Contig"; Procedures taught: One game partner will go to the materials area and pick up dice, a game board, and dry erase markers.
3. Play "Sometimes, Always, Never"; Procedures taught: Push your chair under your desk, gather at the back of the room, move carefully, respect your classmates' space.
4. Go on a school tour for new students; Procedures taught: Walk to the back of the classroom as your table is called, line up behind the last person in line,  walk quietly on the right side of the hall.
5. Play "Where's The Math In The Date?"; Procedures taught: Raise your hand and wait to be called on to respond. (This is different from other games where blurting answers is allowed.)

Be the student and go through each activity.

     I cannot overemphasize the value of actually role-playing your procedures before you teach them. You will often catch glaring problems that could arise when your students follow your directions. I once had an awful traffic jam - during an observation - because I failed to act it out myself first. Back in the days when I was still figuring out my procedures, I would carve out some time during the planning days before school started. I would literally give directions to myself out loud, then follow them to the last detail. I caught a lot of potential problems and was able to resolve them before I used them on kids. Whew!

     In all things, the best laid plans can always go awry. If you see that something is not working, be  honest enough to see it and flexible enough to change it.

     I'd love to hear how you handle routines and procedures in your classroom. What works for you?
Pat McFadyen
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6 Winning Items That New Teachers Need For The New Year


   

     No one can empathize with a new teacher better than a veteran teacher. We know what it feels like, both good and bad, to begin a teaching career. Our "If only I'd known then what I know now" conversations are rich with wisdom and experience.
     To help out any newer teachers that are cracking open their first, second, or third year of teaching, I've put together a list of 6 things that I wish I'd known about during my first years. Actually, a couple of them might not have been invented then, but they're winning tools, just the same!
     This list has a theme: Organization! This one concept can make or break any teacher. It's actually not about how cute or color-coordinated your stuff looks, but whether you can find it when you need it. Here's the list:

1) Organizational Storage
You can almost never have too many. As you shop for the new year, buy whatever your budget will allow. You'll need larger types like Sterilite drawers on wheels, smaller plastic drawers, buckets, bins, containers that close with a top that's either attached or unattached, square containers like crates, smaller things like pencil cases...if you can, overbuy. You'll almost certainly find a need for them.

2) 3-Ring Binders
Binders have been a life-saver to me. When I finally realized that laying papers down in piles spelled certain disaster, I learned to store things standing up. When binders started to have the clear plastic covers, it was even better! Acquire binders for every topic that works for you. Make a cover for each one and don't forget the spine! It'll save you so much time pulling out binders looking for titles.
3) Sticky Notes
When your head is whirling with things to remember, slapping a sticky note on your to-do list, on a pile of papers, or on your purse can save you time and energy. In addition, they are a marvelous teaching tool. Kids can use them to answer survey questions, to quickly share opinions or answers, giving (kind) feedback to classmates, and personal organization.
4) File folders and labels
This amazing duo is another super organizational tool. With a master class list, you can print off multiple sets and have them ready when you suddenly need a new set of student folders. You can create folder games, organize center materials and directions, and keep yourself organized.
5) A great electric pencil sharpener
Yes, they can be pricey, but my life changed for the better when I could finally shell out for one. Sharpening pencils each day went faster and quieter. My kids did fine with it, but consider making off-limits to students until they can prove they'll be careful with it.
6) A Go-To Book
There are so many times during the year when you have just a few minutes before the next task and you want to spend it wisely. I remember times like just before lunch or a class change, having to hold students in class for a few minutes for an unexpected reason, or when you need revitalize the class with a brain break. The books I always depended on included joke books (especially math jokes), critical thinking books with short problems to solve, a book with trivia-type facts on different subjects, and great poetry books by authors such as Shel Silverstein. Having books like this improve the quality of your instructional time and can improve you classroom management.

Pat McFadyen
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Generate Great Conversations With Math Graffiti


I love to hear what children think! Some years ago, I combined my love of comics and math with a need to give kids a platform for math conversations. Enter: Math Graffiti! It was as simple as could be (if you subtract the difficulty of finding and downloading specific math comics from the Internet...15 years ago!)

I hunted down some great math comics, focusing on "Calvin and Hobbes" because I love Calvin's attitude on almost everything! You shouldn't have any TOU issues if you use one copy in your classroom for educational purposes.

I made a simple display on the inside of my classroom by taping the current comic onto a sheet of laminated construction paper and adding a pen. I asked a specific question each time, but students were allowed to make other comments, as long as they were appropriate. In reviewing the ones included here, I noticed the word "stupid" a time or two. Guess they missed the memo.





I left each comic up for a week and tried to find time by Friday to have a whole-group conversation, sharing some of the comments.

My kids loved Math Graffiti! They loved "writing on the wall", getting a chance to share their thoughts, and the comics! I highly recommend Math Graffiti as a regular, or even an occasional, part of your math program.

How do you solicit students' thoughts in math conversations? I'd love to hear your ideas!
Pat McFadyen
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Hair Scrunchies: A Fun Data Collection Idea


Data in general: collection, display, and analysis, has always been one of my favorite math topics. It opens up so many different ways to have fun in math and the knowledge transfers to so many other subjects. I was heartbroken when Common Core took the majority of data from 5th grade and moved it to 6th. I mean, it's still there, but the fraction focus seemed to take most of our time.

A really fun challenge was to find different ways to collect our data. I learned so much from PD connected to the TIMSS Study (remember that?) and it was a great springboard to other strategies. Here's one that is easy, inexpensive, and very visual.

Take a paper towel tube or several bath paper tubes. I covered them in white paper to make them move attractive. If you use a paper towel tube, cut it in 2-3 pieces as needed.

 

Make the appropriate signs for the data you're collecting. My 3x5 index cards are life savers to me and it's easy to decorate them a bit.
I bought a package of 36 small hair scrunchies for $1 at the Dollar Tree and laid them in front of the display.
My students knew what the question was: Do you prefer lemonade, sweet tea, or cola? If you're training students at the beginning of the year, you can write out the question and directions on the board or a sheet of paper.
Students take turns entering their answer by putting a scrunchie on the appropriate tube. Ta-da! You're done! Now, you can talk about the data: compare, contrast, make analysis statements, transfer the data into a table, and/or transfer the data onto a paper copy with different graphs. So fun!

How do you collect data? I'd love to hear from you!
Pat McFadyen
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How To Make Literacy More Fun With Book And Movie Quotes




     I am a quote junkie! Far too much of my daily conversation is peppered with lines from my favorite books and movies. I've tried to dial it down over the years; I mean, you don't always need to hear what Winnie the Pooh or Mary Poppins would say in a given situation, right? But, it's been a struggle.
     It was when I started teaching that I saw what a great opportunity I had to exercise my quote muscles without annoying my audience. OK, maybe they were annoyed, but they were a captive audience, so I wasn't too concerned. As time went on, I began to realize that I could actually teach literary relevance with my quotes. By pointing out the specific book or movie from which the quote came, and its relevance to the situation, I was stepping outside the curriculum and broadening some literary horizons. As I loosened up over the years and learned how to nurture a classroom environment, some my favorite quotes became classroom jokes. It was so rewarding to hear my students use their own favorite lines in different situations!
     I've gathered some of my very favorite, and most used, quotes for you here. Consider working some of them into your classroom.

Greetings

  • Love you. Mean it. Ciao! - The 1998 Parent Trap
  • TTFN: Ta ta for now! - Winnie the Pooh
  • Hasta la vista, baby! - Terminator 2

Positive Thoughts

  • Carpe diem - Dead Poets Society
  • Hakuna Matata! - The Lion King

Encouragement

  • May the Force be with you. - Star Wars
  • Courage, dear heart. - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. - Alice in Wonderland

Substitution Quotes: Use these instead of being literal in a situation

  • We're gonna need a bigger boat. - Jaws - Use when a task is bigger than you originally thought.
  • You're killin' me, Smalls! - The Sandlot - Use when someone is frustrating you.
  • Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. - The Wizard of Oz - Use when you're taken aback by a situation.
  • Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. - The Wizard of Oz - Use when your audience is distracted. I actually said this to my class when my principal walked in for an observation. She loved it!
  • Ahhhhhhhh! (with hands on both side of your face) - Home Alone - Use when you're completely overwhelmed and don't know what else to say!
     I'd love to hear how you use book and movie quotes in your classroom!
Pat McFadyen
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Celebrate Your Year! 10 Awesome Ideas For The End-Of-School


     If your school hasn't dismissed for the summer yet, it will soon! This is the time of year that teachers are thinking of ways to wrap-up, commemorate, and celebrate the school year. There are a ton of great ideas out there. I'd like to share 10 of the best ideas that I have personally used with my students over the years. I've grouped them according to cost: No-Cost, Low-Cost, and Blow Out. See what works for your students!

No-Cost

1. Warm Fuzzies/Compliments: I've seen many versions of this, but I began using this particular format 25 years ago. I always call them "Warm Fuzzies", but there are other names, such as "The Compliments Project". All can be very poignant and emotional. Have every student write their name at the top of a sheet of binder paper and leave it out on their desk. Explain how you want students to rotate around the room so that everyone visits every desk. Each student writes a sincere compliment on each student's paper. Make rules that work for your class, but my parameters were to write a full sentence or two, not to make any comments about someone's looks (No "You're pretty!" comments), and to make it as personal as possible. After students have been around the room, each student has a full sheet of sweet comments from their classmates. You'll be amazed at how they treasure these. Years ago, we'd also make a yarn pom-pom - a Warm Fuzzy to match the warm, fuzzy feelings we received - but, that's optional.
2. Read-In: This day will live in students' memories! Instruct students to bring to school sleeping bags, beach towels, mats, or anything to stretch out on...and books! Push back the desks, find a comfy spot, and READ! You can tweak your day by allowing students to wear pjs and bring stuffed animals, allowing extra snacks, giving breaks, or even making it a half-day event.
3. Book Swap: Spring is a great decluttering time and parents have often brought me books for my classroom library that their children have outgrown. Turn this into a swap event. Notify parents and students that you'll display any books that they'd like to donate and allow students to pick up whatever suits them. Everyone wins! Of course, the decluttering parents also get more books coming back into the house, but they're free books their kids haven't read, so...no complaints so far! Consider how you'll work the choosing part - decide who goes first, give students a specific number of books they may choose, and decide how people can trade later.
4. Autograph Books: Teachers have used this memory-maker for years. You can make your own version or find an online product that you like. Give students time to sign each other's books.
5. Game Day: Dedicate a day to playing games! By the end of the school year, my students had played a good number of games in my classroom. We focused on content-type games, but we also used commercial ones. Decide how you want students to partner up and switch from station to station, then pull out the games, and let everyone play.
End of Year
6. Pay It Forward: Consider hosting a classroom "Pay It Forward" day. Talk to your students about how great your school is: the wonderful, hardworking teachers, your administrators, custodians, cafeteria staff - the whole school family! Generate a list of things that you could do to help, support, or otherwise celebrate being part of such a great team. Students could help teachers of younger students with end-of-year activities, do some of the dirtier chores like counting and storing books, help move desks, clean library shelves,...the list is endless. Of course, you can always end the day back in your classroom with a special snack.

Low-Cost

7. Ice-Cream Party: This age-old celebration is always a winner! Ask your parents, PTA, or other volunteers to donate or subsidize it. Germophobe Note: I learned to keep a box of very inexpensive, cafeteria-type gloves for all food related activities. Teach students to use gloves when they serve themselves food. Additional Note: Showing a movie is a great addition to this celebration!
8. Craft: This is a great time to create a craft or craftivity for Father's Day, especially if you're not in school then. Otherwise, consider a craft that might take more time than usual and results in a permanent keepsake. Consider decorating flowerpots, jewelry, or a frameable display.
9. Class Awards: Whether you make them more serius Class Awards or just fun Silly Superlatives, students love to be recognized! Consider creating a set just for your students, separate from the school-wide awards based on grades. There are many sets online or you can make your own.
End of Year

Blow Out

10. Fun Day: Each year, our PTA hosts a 5th grade celebration as we send out students on to the middle school. It's a really fun all-day event, often including a bouncy house, water games, pizza and ice cream. This can be quite expensive and the PTA budgets for it each year. If you don't have those funds, consider asking for donations and scale your celebration accordingly.

     What do you do to celebrate the end of your school year? I'd love to hear from you!
Pat McFadyen
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Get Organized To End The Year


     Even with testing dates still looming ahead, many teachers are eyeing the end-of-year tasks that have to be done before leaving the classroom for the summer. I always did and really dreaded it. It was a lot of work for little profit. When I realized that I could use this time to not only take care of these tasks, but to give me a head start on the next year, it energized me and changed what and how I did things. Take a look at this list and see if it might help you this year.
1. Plan, put up, and cover your bulletin boards for the new school year. I spent so many hours and days putting up bulletin boards each fall when I should have been working on lesson plans and activities. Walking into a classroom, tearing off old newspapers, and rolling up my sleeves for other tasks was such a feeling of power! I highly recommend that you think about your boards, start cutting out the components, and get those boards up!
2. Let the kids help you! Obviously, this depends on the age of student that you teach, but especially in upper elementary grades, students looooove to help do tasks and chores that I would loooooove for them to help me with! Let them collect and organize text books, write names and numbers into books, sort out the mess that your construction paper has gotten into, clean out cabinets, collect and organize art materials, sharpen pencils (please!), and otherwise tidy your classroom.
 3. Send home papers and portfolios that you kept as soon as you can. Many schools require teachers to keep student work portfolios as evidence for promotion/retention. Send home other graded work whenever you can.
4. All those extra worksheets from the year? Have students sort and divide them, then send home packets with students to keep skills fresh. Parents often appreciate this little extra.
5. Ask kids for suggestions for next year. From the arrangement of the classroom, to routines and procedures, to organizational systems, your students are the ones who use your stuff - see what they think about how the year went.

Want some more suggestions for a successful year-end? Check out these blog posts from my friends Mary at Carrberry Creations and Lisa at All Things Special Ed!
Carrberry Creations
All Things Special Ed
     Best wishes as you wind down your year!
Pat McFadyen
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How To Create Math Fun With Palindromes In 2017!


     Most of know that a palindrome is a word or phrase that is spelled or read the same both forwards and backwards. Kids love to share simple palindromes such as mom, dad, wow, Otto, Anna. Older students have often discovered longer words such as racecar, kayak, level. Keep talking and you'll find phrases such as, "Madam, I'm Adam." And, if you've run out of other examples, pull out the mind-blowing, "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama" on your kids!
     Teachers often make a math connection with palindromes. Numbers that are read the same forward and backward count as palindromes. Go as simply as you wish - even a number such as 55 is technically a palindrome.
     Palindrome fans and lovers of symmetry are always delighted when a day, a week, or even a month contains a forward-backward date. For this year, 2017, July contains several palindromic dates. Unfortunately, most schools are out of session in July, so now is a great time to introduce or review the concept and set kids up with some fun activities to mark the occasion.
     Keeping in mind that these dates are in the American style, using "17" as the year, here are the palindromic dates for 2017:
Create Math Fun Palindromes

     You can also throw in 7-10-2017, using the whole 2017, as another example.
     So, how do you celebrate Palindrome Week? Here are some ideas:
Math Fun Palindromes

Let me know how you prepare and celebrate Palindrome Week, 2017!
Pat McFadyen
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Classroom Games With Surprising Game Pieces


     Teachers are creating and downloading more and more new games that often need pieces to move around a board. It's up to you to provide game pieces for students.
     Here are some ideas I've used over the years that allowed students to play some great board games. If you have parents who like to donate, put out the word and see what they send in. If you ask for specific items like those below, they might appreciate the suggestions.
     Whatever you use, make sure your students are old enough not to put the small pieces into their mouths, ears, noses, etc.
     Teachers are masters of innovation and creativity. What have you used in your classroom?
Pat McFadyen
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[name=Pat McFadyen] [img=http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/Pat.jpg] [description=My purpose is to support YOU and your students with practical solutions and curriculum materials that teach, play, practice, and assess.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/GrowingIn5thGrade/)

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