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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Interactive Resource for Math Standards

       A Professional Learning Module from the Leadership In Mathematics Education which includes their goal to: Network, Communicate, Support, & Motivate offers the following interactive module for “Illustrating the Standards for Mathematical Practice.”

          This is a great resource for understanding math education in the implementation of Common Core Math Standards. 

Click on the link for the interactive site:


PARCC Prototype!

Mathematics Core Tool Box  for Common Core Standards has a resource for a set of PARCC multipart prototype tasks which represents the initial release from a larger set of prototype tasks developed as part of a collaborative project between PARCC and the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Arizona, the City University of New York, Agile Mind, Inc., and a select group of experts.  

Click on the link:  then select the drop down “Resources for Implementation,” then on the sidebar click on “PARCC Prototyping Project.” This site offers samples for elementary, middle and high schools. 

Thanks to my district for sending out this link to the resources from CCSS Tool Box. 


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Passion Driven?

Are you driven by your passion? Or is the day-to-day activities draining your energy and making you less creative and less passionate about teaching?  

Author, Angela Maiers posted on her blog in January 2012 (yes, almost a year ago) about "The 5 C's of Passion Driven Leadership."   

I was looking through the internet for some professional development while off for winter break and I came across her blog. 

While she was primarily talking to school leaders (administrators, principals, school boards, etc.), I am reminded that we are the leaders in our classrooms. While we hope those in the Administration would follow her "5 C's", and have "passion driven conversations," we definitely should do this in our classrooms. We are leaders. We must be passionate leaders initiating these conversations each and every day with our students. We must model these conversations and these attributes to teach our students their learning can become passionate. As a result we will  develop life-long learners. 

Take a look at Angela's blog post and see what I've discovered in leading with passion in 2013 - Happy New Year!


Math, Math, Math!

Math is sometimes difficult to learn as well as teach. These resources were sent to us by my school district. 

I wanted to share them (plus remember where they are when I need them again!). 

They are all excellent resources for the various grade levels and contain interactive games, pdf lessons, and other media types. 

Learn Zillions  
Zillions of lessons- includes Math as well as other subjects. Can be filtered by grade level.


Kindergarten: K.G.1,2,3-
In this unit, students are introduced to the idea of shapes through a read-aloud session with an appropriate book.

They then use models to learn the names of shapes, work together and individually to locate shapes in their real-world environment.

1st Grade: 1.OA.7,8-This lesson encourages students to explore another model of subtraction, the balance. Students will use real and virtual balances.

Students also explore recording the modeled subtraction facts in equation form.

2nd Grade: 2.MD.7- In this unit, students explore the relationship between pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. They count sets of mixed coins, write story problems that involve money, and use coins to make patterns.

3rd Grade: 3.NF- or 3.NF additional 
In this unit, students explore relationships among fractions through work with the length model. This early work with fraction relationships helps students make sense of basic fraction concepts and facilitates work with comparing and ordering fractions and working with equivalency.

4th Grade: Performance Task 4.NF.1

Leapfrog Fractions

5th Grade: 5.MD.1
Students learn the basics of the metric system. They identify which units of measurement are used to measure specific objects, and they learn to convert between units within the same system.

6th Grade:6.EE.1-4 Online game- Late Delivery  

7th Grade: 7.RP.1,3- Online Proportions Lesson  

8th Grade: Impact of a SuperStar
This lesson uses technology tools to plot data, identify lines of best fit, and detect outliers. Then, students compare the lines of best fit when one element is removed from a data set, and interpret the results.
Online Games by grade levels from MathChimp



These resources were provided by my district and I wanted to post them to the blog to help me remember where I put them and to share them with others. The are great resources for teachers, home schooling, and for parents looking for ideas on teaching Math. 

The Common Core “FlipBooks” are a compilation of research, “unpacked” standards from many states, instructional strategies and examples for each standard at each grade level. The intent is to show the connections to the Standards of Mathematical Practices for the content standards and to get detailed information at each level.

Resources used: Common Core State Standards, NCTM’s Focus In Grades K-8 series, Student Centered Mathematics by J. VandeWalle, Arizona, Ohio and North Carolina department of education “unpacking” of the standards. This “Flip Book” is intended to help teachers understand what each standard means in terms of what students must know and be able to do. It provides only a sample of instructional strategies and examples. The goal of every teacher should be to guide students in understanding & making sense of mathematics.


Unpacking & Understanding the Common Core Standards

This website is an excellent resource for grades K-6 unpacking the standards with understanding and implementing math skills.

The NC Department of Public instruction has created a set of documents for grade level called "Unpacking the Standards." One extremely helpful part of each document is the chart of Mathematical Practices that specifies how those standards look at that particular grade level. The Standards for Mathematical Practice can be found starting on page 3 of each document below: is another good resource for lots of games, activities, worksheets etc. 

(Lots of great pumpkin activities etc.)


The Brain & How It Learns

Judy Willis is a neurologist, author, and teacher and for the past two decades she has provided extraordinary progress in our understanding of the nature of learning. Never before have neuroscience and classroom instruction been so closely linked.

Now, as educators we can see evidence-based neuroimaging and brain-mapping study results to determine the most effective ways to teach, as advances in technology enable us to view the working brain as it learns.

For her report, click HERE and read about how the brain works and how we as teachers can use different techniques and strategies to assist the brain as it functions for learning.


Differentiated Teaching Tools

Amy Bowker from her blog "Classroom Collective" has a section called Differentiated Learning which is a
collection of great tools and strategies for teaching.

While she has an excellent collective to tips and strategies for all teachers, as an Exceptional Education teacher I've linked to the Differentiated Learning section.  She is willing to share her findings and other postings as well. Take a look by clicking on the link above.

Remember "we all work together to unlearn, relearn and teach new tips and techniques all the time."


Best 5 Books on Social Skills

Reviewed by Special Needs Book Review from 

People with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) usually need some help in Social Skills. These books reviewed by Special Needs Book Review provide five of the ones recommended for people of school age or adult who need assistance with understanding the skills needed to navigate socially. 

Some of the books include: 

Social Rules for Kids -The Top 100 Social Rules Kids Need to Succeed -by Susan Diamond, MA, CCC

You are a Social Detective: Explaining Social Thinking to Kids -by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke

The New Social Story Book: Revised and Expanded 10th Anniversary Edition: Over 150 Social Stories™ that Teach Everyday Social Skills to Children with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, and their Peers -by Carol Gray


For Kids who hate to read!

Great site for "Kids who hate to read".

Gail Terp has a great family blog to help reluctant readers and their parents. The list of picture books and other tips and strategies are worth checking out -- click on the links below...


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Praising Students (all people really)!

dental education - effective team

Michael Linsin of Smart Classroom posted a great article on how to and how not to praise children.  After reading the article, I think it works for more than just students in the classroom. If we all were given genuine praise, then our world would have to be improved. 

Check out the full article here and see if you agree. 


100 Special Education Blogs...

There is so much information on the internet (blogs, websites, wikis, etc.) I have tried to compile the sites below to just cover special education from both public and private systems. These are offering insights on what education should be like for students with special needs.  If you know of others, please leave them in the comments and we will update as we continue to help parents, teachers and advocates support students with special needs in and out of the classroom.  

The sequence doesn't indicate any hierarchy other that a numerical way of listing. 

  1. Liz Beck’s Art Therapy Blog

  2. Special Education Law Blog

  3. Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities

  4. The Shut Down Learner by Dr. Richard Selznick

  5. I Speak of Dreams

  6. Assistive Technology

  7. I Love Special Education

  8. The Life that Chose Me

  9. Apace of Change

  10. Ms. Rachel’s Room

  11. Teacher Sol

  12. Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs

  13. Barto’s World

  14. ABC Therapeutics Blog

  15. Cooke Center Special Education Blog

  16. Learning Ally

  17. Special Education Advisor

  18. Reality 101

  19. The Bates Motel

  20. Got Down Syndrome

  21. Blessed By Beau

  22. Braska Bear

  23. Life is simple. It’s just not easy.

  24. Results Not Typical

  25. Our Cora Bean

  26. Prayers for Mason

  27. Snippets

  28. Runnin’ Down a Dream

  29. Our Version of Normal

  30. Down Syndrome: Up, Up, and Away

  31. A Brighter Sunshine

  32. Big Blueberry Eyes

  33. Zoromski Chronicles

  34. Down Syndrome New Mama

  35. Ella Grace with the Pretty Face

  36. Daily Smiles

  37. Just a Little Muchier Muchness

  38. Noah’s Dad

  39. Ben’s Blessings

  40. Garden of Eagan

  41. Down Wit Dat

  42. Life With My Girls

  43. The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

  44. Aspie from Maine

  45. Adventures in Aspergers

  46. Amy’s Tiny Corner of Existence

  47. Drive Mom Crazy

  48. No Stereotypes Here

  49. Big Daddy Autism

  50. Austintistic

  51. We Go With Him

  52. Uncharted Territory: My Journey With Mommyhood and Autism

  53. Adventures in Extreme Parenthood

  54. Try Defying Gravity

  55. Diary of a Mom

  56. Joy’s Autism Blog

  57. Bee for Battens

  58. Kaitlin’s Journey

  59. I Am Especially Fond of You

  60. Tatyanna’s Hope

  61. Raising Redheads

  62. Betz Family Columbus

  63. Souls Never Wrinkle

  64. Different Dream

  65. Taking it Day by Day with Developmental Delays

  66. Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid

  67. Four Sea Stars

  68. Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords

  69. Love That Max

  70. Special Needs Mom

  71. Raygen’s Hope

  72. Faith’s Mom’s Blog

  73. Feeding Raya

  74. Special Needs Reads

  75. Logan’s Story

  76. Hopeful Parents

  77. Terra Talking

  78. Support for Special Needs

  79. Primarily Inattentive ADD

  80. 18 Channels

  81. Positive Thinking and ADHD

  82. A Splintered Mind

  83. ADD Sherpa

  84. My ADD/ADHD Blog

  85. Aidan with EOS

  86. Taste Life – Living with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE)

  87. Living While Living Without

  88. Eos Mom

  89. The Far Side of Complexity

  90. The Inclusive Church

  91. Children with Special Needs

  92. Special Needs Financial Planning

  93. Employment Horizons

  94. Thomas Marshall Does it All

  95. Visually Impaired Children

  96. Feeding Raya

  97. Beautifully Blind

  98. Blind Spot

  99. Eye on the Cure

  100. The Independent Little Bee