Wednesday, 4 November 2015

QR codes and Quick Math review cards

I am joining up with Teaching Trio's Favorite Things again this month.
Here are my November faves:

#1 - I've been using QR codes on lots of things I've been making for my class lately.  The kids love using them.  I've put them on Math  and Language Arts task cards and most recently on Scan to Win tickets that they can buy for 5 classroom dollars.  I got the idea from Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching HERE.  I personalized the set of 25 different tickets for my younger class.  You can get hers at TpT HERE.  
QR codes are super easy to add and to use.  I get them from QR Stuff.  Here's what the page looks like:

Just select "Plain text", fill in what you want the text to read, and click on DOWNLOAD.  Don't bother with the 4th step.  After the code is downloaded just right click on it, select COPY, then paste it into your document.  To read it you need to download a QR scanner.  There are plenty to choose from.  I use Quafter.

#2 - I made this Home Time Clean Up chart last week and has it ever made a difference in the classroom.  Everyone is focused on their job, and things are done quickly and efficiently.  I've done this before and I'm not sure why it took me so long to get it established this year.

My class sits at 4 hexagonal tables - 6 kids at each table.  I put numbers  stickers under the lips of the tables, so that each student has a number from 1 to 6.  When a student is away one of the "floaters" from tables 3 or 4 fill in for them.  The supervisor checks that the jobs are done and everyone has stacked their chair before they leave.  They also help everyone out.
Every other week I get them to rotate one place to the right so they have a different job. About every 6 weeks I change the seating plan completely.   

#3 - Every day when my class meets together to start our Math block I do a quick spiral review of  3 concepts.  They aren't necessarily something that we are going to be working on that day.  I used to do this fairly randomly, but then I decided to get more organized to make sure we covered everything they should know and needed to be using, both in school and out of it. So I went through our B.C. Math curriculum to see what they are expected to be learning over the course of the year, prioritized them, and put them in order.

I made a set of cards (grade 2) for these.  There is a concept to review for each day of the week and there are cards for each month of the year.  I cut them into individual months, mounted them on construction paper, laminated them, and put them onto a ring that I hang on my Math wall for easy access. 
They only take a couple of minutes to do each day but this year I have third graders and I can see the difference they made, especially with concepts that you cover and then move on from.
Things like time, for example.  When time is on my daily card I pull out my big Judy clock and set it to whatever increment of time I want to cover.  Then I turn it around and show the class.  Last year I had first and second grade, so I'd show an hour or half hour time on the clock and have the one's call out the time.  The grade two's would rate their answer with a thumbs up or thumbs down, then I'd change the clock to an increment of 5 minutes for the two's to answer.  In a minute there's time to do about 3 or 4 of these for each grade.  If you don't have a combined class you could do double that many!
I have been amazed this year by what a great handle the kids who were in my class last year have on this concept, while the others have forgotten what they learned because it was taught in a short period of time and not reinforced over the year.  I didn't actually do a time unit like I usually do with my class last year.  I just threw a time worksheet in every now and then for them to work on, and included time activities in my Math drawers (centers) three or four times during the year.
Other concepts included in the grade 2 set are counting on and back, skip counting, partners for 10, 10 more/less, count by 10's then count on by 1's, months of the year, ......There are 3 for each day of the week.
If you'd like a set for free click HERE.  I could make them fancier and cuter, but WHY?  They WORK!
PS: If you teach grade 1-I used these same cards for my firsties, since I had the combined class last year, so this year they're all feeling  confident with the grade 2 concepts.

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