Monday, July 30, 2012

VersaTiles a Perfect Companion for Common Core and GIVEAWAY

I recently had the opportunity to try out  ETA's VersaTiles. The VersaTiles Math Starter Kit has everything you need to implement the new Common Core standards. I was surprised at how much was in this kit. The puzzle aspect of this program is highly engaging. I'm sure my students would love the pattern puzzles. After a short introduction to VersaTiles, students should be able to manage their own learning. It's as easy as 1,2,3! First, the students answer the questions in the booklet by placing the number tile on the letter in the Answer Case that corresponds to the correct answer. Then students close the Answer Case and flip it over and open the case. Finally, check the tile pattern against the pattern in the Activity Book. If it matches, all answers are correct.  If not, students may remove tiles that do not match and flip case to try again.Watch this video for a quick demo.

The teacher's guide gives a complete list of objectives. This program could easily stand alone. Ideally every child would have their own VersaTile Answer Case for self checking. If you couldn't afford a class set, this would still make a great center activity. My twelve year-old even loved playing around with them.

Here's the best part, they are giving away a Level 4 Math Starter Set to one lucky reader. Simply like their Facebook Page and leave a comment here telling me why you would love this set for your classroom or homeschool. Be sure to leave your email address. On Sunday evening, I'll draw  one lucky winner.Good Luck!

WINNER: Maria Hobson

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Genre Passport Freebie

We recently got our Benchmark Standardized Test results back, and I was thrilled to see all 21 of my students scored ADVANCED in literacy! I totally changed my literacy program this year. This was one of those throw the baby out with the bath water approaches, so I was really nervous about how they would score. One thing I didn't change is my focus on reading genres. I try to encourage my students to read different genres. Genre passports have been helpful in getting my students excited about trying new books. Joe Bright and the Seven Genre Dudes is the perfect book to introduce the passport activity. It is a super cute book and must have if your going to teach genres. I let the students assemble these themselves. Sorry, I have no pics of my assembled passports. I haven't included any directions for assembling, but I'm hoping it is self-explanatory. Let me know if you need help. Click on the pic for your free copy. I've included some cutouts for the passport, but I just use a stamp with a world picture on it. When the students have it all filled out, I give them a genre bookmark. I know that's not much but most just like the challenge of getting the passport all filled in. I bet some of you could come up with some super cute bulletin boards to display students that have completed the book.
Hopefully some of you can use this next year! Let me know if you have any great ideas for teaching genres.