Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Target Haul! Math Fact Fluency, and Living with a 2nd Grader


$20 for 5 mini pocket charts (digging the colors) (used for spelling, hf and vocabulary words, 4 subtraction flashcards, 4 addition flashcards, 2 memory games, 2 telling time cards, 1 state flash cards, planner (for my health data), and pack of erasers (for my treasure box)

I thought these were pretty good finds and I was sooooo excited about the flashcards.  I have a love/hate relationship with math fact fluency and flashcards.  If you print them out parents don't use them, and if you tell them to buy them they don't so I went out a limb to buy these to offer to those that need them and a set for my own 2nd grader! 

So I tested them out with my 2nd grader.  Here is my pro and con list of these cards. 
Pros

  • cheap
  • sturdy
  • simple
  • better than nothing
  • addition set seems complete without the turn around facts (I didn't confirm that though)
  • doesn't include turn around facts
  • There is a easy side and a harder side
Cons
  • not a full set
  • front and back so you can't sort them by stategies
  • save time not printing out your own
  • subtraction set does not include teen facts, just a few with 12, 11 and 10 as the minuend
  • doesn't include turn around facts
J, my 2nd grader, was happy to test them out.  We spent 1 min. and 45 sec. going through the easy addition cards.  She gave up on the hard ones at 3 min. 35 sec. She went through the easy subtraction cards in 1 min. and 53 sec. and all the subtract in 3 min. 10 sec. (they were easier than the addition).  I noticed that she uses her tongue to add on or count back. She had no interest hearing about ways to use mental math as we went *sigh*.  

Another interesting fact.  My 12 year old learned paper and pencil math very early because she is brilliant bright.  She let me know that she cannot do mental math at all. She needs pencil paper for all of it, even 25 + 27, although she can do it in her head, picturing her pencil and paper and regrouping the 12 ones. I would do 25 + 25 + 2.  How would you do it?

How do you practice math fact fluency?  I use Kim Sutton strategies, along with Susan O'Connell, math station and Envisions.  This year I want to try WBT Superspeed Math.  I have heard great things about Reflex Math.  I think I need to narrow it down to what is best but I just haven't figured it out yet. 

Pictures of J. 
J demonstrating how she counts with her tongue while tell me stop telling her how to do mental math
Making stuff

J in a nutshell





  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What?! A new product???! Daily Homework Choices The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Oh my neglected blog. My poor poor blog. I have a good excuse I promise.  This post is a bad news, good news post.  So bad news first.  I'm kind of laughing my last post problems were lice.  I'd almost take that one back, almost. Here goes....

What has kept me from my blog?  It all started with last summer when on June 2, 2014 my house was pummeled by baseball sized hail, fueled by 90 mph. It destroyed our roof, siding, 7 windows and everything else small on the outside of our property, along with curtains, blinds and some furniture.  Fixing that was a full-time job for the next 9 months.

This lead right into many health scares.  The first was a 3.1 cm nodule on my thyroid.  Biopsy was benign but I opted for removal anyway.  It was bothersome and I found out that I am all about get rid of it, get over it and move on.  Overlapping that was the news that my mom, the breast cancer survivor, had completely unrelated stage 3 lung cancer. I was still on top of it. My house, my health, her health (I became her #1 go to every appointment cheerleader and that was a full time job, on top of a full time job, on top of a full time job.  I think I was up to 5 full time jobs.)  Then came April 15, 2015. 

That morning I came to school with a major headache with difficulty with speech. A co-worker took me to the ER where hubby met me. They did a Ct scan and then this MRI.
Impressive picture huh? Quite honestly I had an episode/seizure Sunday and one a month ago during class. They were short-lived, I shrugged them off.

This is a 6 cm. meningiona on the brain. It is atypical (not benign but not malignant) and probably had been slow growing for awhile but it was pressuring the brain here. I had surgery for tumor removal the next day.  Which was fast.  I'm kind of a big deal around there and they moved surgeries around. wink emoticon

This left me on a 5-6 week recovery of the brain repairing itself with this tumor and absence of this tumor. I was honestly most devastated about abruptly being done with this school year frown emoticon That was just the way my cards are dealt right then, I accepted it. Then came June 29, 2015. 


At that point I had taken every measure to take my brain abilities back.  Surgery had left me unable to speak, read and remember anything short term.  I suffered from many things shown here. 
I worked my butt off to speak, read and gain attention again.  On June 29 I was doing very well, but my brain was swelling and nagging at me, so I asked for an appointment, 2 weeks early than I was due. AND.....

I had a dura tear that was causing a CSF leak. Translation. I needed surgery again (actually he gave me a choice but come on, really?).  So I did. June 30, one week ago.  Now I am told don't lift, bend, drive or basically move.  What is a teacher to do with that news????? Create of course. So my first project was a 2nd Grade Daily Homework Routine This is a homework program that uses choices. It is editable for you to tailor to your curriculum. It is simple and easy to keep up with. I ask my students to read 10 min. and then chose 10 min. or either word work or math facts. This file includes a parent signature page, a page or word work ideas and a page of math fact ideas. This file references using spellingcity.com, xtramath.com, and ixl.com (a subsricption program). You can add or delete any programs that do not work for you.  
It is very simple but if you need something like it please respect my choice to put a price on this.  I have a few medical bills.

So what are you up to this July?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The teacher has lice :/

You itched your head just reading that didn't you??  Lice does not discriminate.  Anyone can get it.  Even me.

So we have A LOT of hair at our house and about a year ago I decided it would be a good idea to grow out my hair to see how long I could go before I couldn't stand it anymore.  It is a year and a half later and I had/have lice.  Nice experiment huh? 

So my daughter's Kindergarten teacher is a good friend of mine and the day after Thanksgiving break came the e-mails.  "What a day, I've sent 2 home with lice and another 2 told me that they spent Thanksgiving break bagging up toys and shampooing with special shampoo." and then "5th one just went home."  I raced home at 5:00 to discover that my kinder had a head full and guess who slept in a hotel bed with her over Thanksgiving?  Yes me!!  Time to freak out.  Please don't do this.  It doesn't help whatsover and it will be OK, I promise.   If you are reading this because you have lice at your house and you don't know what to do, stop reading right now and order Fairytales Lice Good-Bye !  I will be inserting this affiliate link throughout the post because it would've saved me a month of my life had I known this!

I have spent 22 days researching this nusiance and have learned A LOT!!!!  The information out there is SO contradicting.  I have determined that there is no one treatment fixes all.  Here is our experience. 

Day 1 (or first 24 hrs. I had to take the next day off of work)--We bought Rid but next time I would go for Nix from the get-go and also order Fairytales Lice Good-Bye.  Supposedly Nix kills the nits too, Rid does not.  I learned that here.  Also using the Rid we did not get all of the adults, none of them were dead (I was hand picking them out) so when the hair was dry we bought and used a Robi comb.  We found 4 more on her and 3 on me with the Robi-comb.  I then used the vinegar method for removing nits (in between this we were boiling combs/brushes, washing bedding and bagging up stuffed animals).  I wish I would've then followed up with Neutrogena's T-gel.  I have since learned that also kills live lice.  I even had some on hand!!! Live and Learn. 

Day 2-21 I read these links.  I found this one very humorous and  this one very informative.  We continued to use t-gel and nit comb through at least every other day until our Fairytale Lice Good-Bye arrived.  We followed the advice of the 21 day combing.  Every 7 days we did a  thorough nit comb.  If you do find one nit it could be a fluke but 2 are not.  We continued to use t-gel shampoo.  Do not ever stop looking, you are asking for trouble.   Look at least every 7 days. 

So was I lice free on day 22?  NO!!!! I was pulling my hair out along with my daughter's hair.  Everytime I did a nit comb I would find one or two.  I was so frustrated that I keep researching how to kill these buggers!!  I started being stingy about the products I was buying.  I had spent $200 on Multiple RID treatments, robi-comb, haircuts, brushes, pillows, hair mayonaise, and bobby-pins.  That is when I ordered Fairytale Lice Good-Bye.  When it arrived a applied it and it loosened all the nits.  I reapplied on both of us for 7 days (because it is so gentle you can) and was finally able to claim victory!  Why oh why didn't I use it first????

Three weeks after applying RID (every 7 days) we had a head full of dandruff and still had nits.  I applied Fairytale Lice Good-Bye and the nits combed right out.  I applied it everyday for 7 days because you can and finally was able to announce victory after a very frustrating month.

I am happy to report that January was a lice free month for us! :) We now use Fairy Tales Repel.

J and I lice free.

Trying to suffocate them with mayonaise.
My head of hair.  All grown out.  Full of lice. :/ The morning of chopping it off.
My 11 year old has the THICKEST hair.  I found only find one live one in her head.  Thank God it wasn't an egg layer.  She was able to escape this by living in the basement. 


My to do list the day before my December turned upside down and I didn't get ANY of this done.  Well maybe lesson plans but that was about it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Daughter’s Perspective: Amanda Thompson

A Daughter’s Perspective: Amanda Thompson

^^^Check out my guest post on this awesome blog!  I wish I was disciplined enough to blog like her.  Then again I'd have to quit my day job. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What my Kinder is working on and 2nd grade Envisions

Sight words!  We like to use these fun index cards in a spiral bound book for practicing.  I write she writes and then we go through and read them.  She is motivated!  I am convinced if her teacher asked her to multiply, she would try!!  We are also practicing writing her last name. 

And on a second grade note.  I am working on creating some making some Envision math Pinterest boards for each topic.  If you teach 2nd grade Envisions let me know if you want to help me pin topic boards!