Our Blog

Making Math TIme Work!

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Sept. 13, 2018, 10:23 a.m.

A balanced math program includes time to develop and practice conceptual and procedural knowledge to proficient levels. Fitting it all in is a challenge, especially when you have a limited amount of time.

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Math Quick Writes

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Sept. 10, 2018, 9:58 a.m.

Writing in mathematics is a critical component for developing deep conceptual understanding. Math quick writes are a great way to get students thinking and explaining math concepts and relationships. A quick write is an opportunity for students to think about a specific topic or respond to a math-related question. The goal is to activate prior knowledge, make connections, and explore ideas. Any question or task that requires comprehension or analysis can be turned into a quick write.

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Grammar Scavenger Hunts

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Sept. 7, 2018, 10:03 a.m.

Grammar and conventions can be boring tasks to teach, but they don't have to be! Turn the learning into a game where students can engage and internalize the rules.


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New Tools for Quick Writes

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Aug. 7, 2018, 9:54 a.m.

Quick writes are a great way to kick off a writer’s workshop, or any class really. Give students a short prompt and ask them to write as much as they can, as well as they can, as quick as they can. Set a timer for one, three or even five minutes and let students write or "drite" (drawing + writing) about the prompt. 


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Getting to Know & Love You!

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Aug. 7, 2018, 9:53 a.m.

The beginning of the school year is all about getting to know students and students getting know you and each other. Building relationships is key to having a successful year.

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Book Talks Matter

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Aug. 7, 2018, 9:49 a.m.

Books talks are a great tool to get kids excited about reading this school year! Start the year off with some of your favorite titles that they won't be able to resist.


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Scaffolding Up!

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 4, 2018, 2:54 p.m.

Tier one classroom instruction is always about learning grade level standards. But what about the kids that aren't quite there yet? How do we scaffold them up to achieve those standards? Here are a few ways to make accommodations that get kids where they need to be.


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Productive Struggle

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 4, 2018, 2:48 p.m.

Did you know that the first antibiotic, Penicillin, was discovered from a productive struggle that Dr. Alexander Fleming was in? Yes, a productive struggle is what lead to the discovery of the life saving drug in 1928! Dr. Fleming discovered mold growing in petri dishes after returning from summer vacation and said that the mold had contaminated his study. He later discovered that the mold actually stopped bacteria from growing.

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End-of-Year Reading & Writing Activities

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 4, 2018, 2:46 p.m.

The end of the year is upon us. Just in case you are running out of steam, here are some ideas for May/June to keep students engaged in reading and writing.

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Guided Math is all about Problem Solving

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 4, 2018, 1:25 p.m.

Do you have a "just right" problem for your students to solve during guided math? There are many misconceptions about guided math. The biggest one is that students are pulled to small group to practice computation using manipulatives or algorithms learned during whole group. But really guided math is similar to guided reading in that it's all about using all of the math processes. This means the first step to guided math is selecting a problem in which students will engage in a productive struggle using all of their new learning and prior knowledge to solve.

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