Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Task Cards Organized by Lexile and Guided Reading Levels

Thank you guys so much for the feedback about the task cards.  I have just completed additional levels.  As a fellow educator, I understand what it is like to look for materials that meet the needs of each student.  

These task cards are unique because they are organized by guided reading levels.  Plus, they are also organized by Lexile levels too. This makes it much easier to monitor student progress and help students at their individual levels.  Click the link to access additional task cards.

Included Are:
Leveled Task Cards
Progress Monitoring Forms
An Answer Key
Student Recording Forms

Additional Comprehension Topics

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Behind the Scenes with Literacy and Math Ideas-The Rainforest

So much goes on behind the scenes before I write each informational text passage. Going on a safari, into the desert, or into the rainforest to learn about animals and take pictures of them is simply amazing.

This is my last full day in Central America.  It has been such a fun experience.  Going into the rainforest simply tops the list.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Behind the Scenes-The Rainforest of Central America

Greetings from the rainforest of Central America!  I love going on location to do research and make stories for the teaching resources that I create, but going to the rainforest of Central America is so much fun!

Driving through the rainforest is such a surreal experience.  

A Three-Toed Sloth

It is amazing to see wild animals on a regular basis.  If you go along the shore, you will see flocks of pelicans on a daily basis.  Rain forest birds and frogs wake you up at the break of dawn each day with their animal calls.
My morning alarm clock

Literacy and Math Ideas will be back soon to post more pictures!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Creating Math Graphic Novels

Thank you for stopping by to see another Behind the Scenes blog post.  I am always working on multiple projects simultaneously and wanted to provide a sneak peak of the process of creating illustrations.

My eleven-year-old daughter Jaden is the artist this time.  Just like me, she loves to draw.  She is creating the mock up for a short graphic novel book about ratios that will be released soon.  

She did her overall sketches.  Then, she added specific details.

Next, I will use Adobe Illustrator to outline, scan, and color the images.  Or, I might use watercolors.

If you are interested in drawing or creating your own illustrations, I would highly recommend gouache.  They are commonly used professionally to create children's book illustrations because they produce vivid and bright colors.

I highly recommend using high quality watercolor water as well.  This is my absolute favorite ~Blick 140 lb. paper.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Background Information Students Need to Know to In Order to Solve Word Problems

What do students need to know in order to effectively solve word problems?  This blog post will provide helpful tips and strategies.

Understanding the Parts of a Word Problem

Some students get lost in all of the information.  Drawing a chart can be helpful.

STEP 1:  Draw a chart to represent the information.

Background Knowledge that is Needed in Order to Solve this Problem:
1.  Be able to translate percentages into decimals.
2.  Identify key words and their meanings. More than requires a problem solver to add (20 +2).

(Special note:  Having students practice these two things before they begin percentage and decimal word problems is very helpful.)

STEP 2:  Add the two amounts.  Dawn has 22 books.

Sometimes a word problem gives vague information.  What I mean is the specific amount of objects is not known to the reader.  Look at the next example to see what is meant.

This problem does not give information about the exact number of books that Mary has. One of the main goals is to help students understand how to write an equation that can be used in order to find the answer.

Background Knowledge that is Needed in Order to Solve this Problem:
1.  Know that a variable can be used to represent an unknown number.
2.  Any variable can be used.
3.  Be able to translate percentages into decimals.

Why is Knowing How to Solve this Type of Word Problem Important?
1.  A word problem that provides vague information like this one helps to determine whether or not students truly understand math concepts and whether or not students know when to apply them.
2.  This understanding also sets the stage for Algebra 1 in the later school years as well as ACT and SAT preparation.  I notice "theoretical" word problems like these on ACT and SAT tests.  It reinforces why this understanding is so important at the elementary and middle school grade levels.

Solution:  Dawn has 1.1x books.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Free Chart Words to Describe the Tone of a Text

Tone is an author's attitude about a topic. There are several words that are used to describe the tone of a reading passage.  Use this free chart to describe the tone of a passage.

Free Common Core Literacy Center Planing Form

Hello Everyone!
I am back with a free planning form.  Can you believe the year has moved by so quickly? As you begin to plan for next school year, I want to provide a free literacy center planning form.

Click Here To Access It