It’s Currently August 2015

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Oh, man, I can’t believe it’s August already!  I feel like wailing!  Summer always go by too fast.  Here is August’s Currently (from Farley at Oh’ Boy 4th Grade):

Currently August

I’m still enjoying the last week of my free trial to Amazon Prime’s Instant Video.  It’s a blast from the past watching Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.  I love hearing my nine-year-old laugh at the goofy mess ups.  😉

My new blog planner I designed arrived yesterday!  I am so excited!  There is something so fun and satisfying about designing something and seeing the end product.  🙂

Of course, while I was creating my new planner and all of my basic math fact products, I wasn’t doing much tidying up of my house.  I would really LOVE a full time maid!  REALLY!

Math Facts Ultimate Bundle Preview 1

Let’s hope the beginning part of August slows down a bit!  Leave me a comment about what you like about August!

Joy of Teaching

Reading Fluency and Comprehension Progress

I am so crazy proud of my students!  They have made an enormous amount of progress this year.  After having a bad day yesterday, I needed to see these results.  In Ohio, teachers have to write SLOs (Student Learning Objectives).  We have to administer a pretest at the beginning of the year and a posttest at the very end of the year (or by the middle of April, apparently).  For each one, we have to analyze the data and set target goals for each student.  Last year I did horribly.  It was the first year for SLOs and I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote my target goals.  This year I was a bit more prepared, but still worried that my kids wouldn’t meet their goals.  It is so difficult to write target goals for students with special needs when they will be tested with grade level assessments.

My first SLO was for reading comprehension.  Basically, the highest reading level where the student scored 80% or higher is what I was looking for.  Check out the progress they made (I removed student names)!  Only two kids didn’t make their target!

Slide2As impressive as the comprehension data is, it’s nothing compared to the reading fluency SLO.  For this assessment, the students have to read a grade level passage and are timed for one minute.  I didn’t set very high target goals for this because they are grade level passages with grade level words.  They did an unbelievable job!  My teacher’s heart is just bursting with happiness for them!


You can read more about how I structured my reading program this year by clicking here.  What is your favorite thing about your reading program this year?

Joy of Teaching

Math Strategy: Large Problems with Small Numbers

Who has students struggling with the algorithms required in basic math operations?  That get confused with what direction to go and what step is next?  I have a math strategy that just might help!

When I am working with kids who struggle in math, I like to give them very large problems for a couple of reasons.  First, it makes them feel like they are doing hard work (and gives them confidence when they’re successful).  But not only does it boost their confidence, it gives them the opportunity to see the pattern by the repetition required in a really big problem.  (I also like to use grid paper…A LOT!)

Big Addition Math Problems on Grid

For example, I have students who are working on 2-digit x 1-digit multiplication.  Instead of giving them 2-digit x 1-digit multiplication problems, like 37 x 2, I start them off with a problem like 31,120 x 3.  This lets them see that there is a pattern, but without any regrouping required.  Let’s face it, regrouping is usually where the struggling students get tripped up.  If I can give them enough practice with large problems that do not require regrouping, they will easily be able to do the smaller problems.  Then we can transition to the larger problems that do require regrouping.

Large Problems with Small Numbers Save As

If you’re interested in trying this out, click the picture above to download a free ebook with addition and subtraction samples.  I have multiplication and long division ebooks available on  I’d love to know your thoughts and tips for teaching math!

Joy of Teaching