Sunday, August 16, 2015

10 Ways to Transform Elementary Math

1. Respond to videos - Record yourself and then have the students watch the video during this rotation and respond accordingly. (i.e. in their notebooks, by making a poster, responding in some other way.)

2. Student blogging - Have a prompt ready for students and then ask them to blog a response. They can even respond to others in this system. Free online tools like work well for this purpose.

3. Digital Creation - Have students use Google Apps for Education to create a math alphabet book (Sheets would be great for this as each letter could be its own page and students can even work collaboratively on one document!)

4.  Student Created Video - Have students write a creative script 
that includes various math talk vocabulary and concepts and 
then work on recording this video. Several different genres can 
be included here - students could give a news report, create a 
fiction story, or make a documentary.

5. Augmented Reality - Use an AR app, such as Aurasma, with an 
iPad to make student work come to life!

6.  Surveys and Quizzes - Have students use Google Forms or a 
site such as to create a quiz for others to take.

7.   Online Portfolio - Have students create a website that will 
house their math progress throughout the school year. There could be a tab for each domain and students could add reflections, graphs, pictures, etc. to show their growth. 

8.  Learning to Code - There are many free sites, such as, which guide students in learning how to code. 

9.   Create a math book - Use a site, such as www.storybird.comto create an authentic picture book that has a math theme. Students can even respond to each other’s book within the class or they can choose to share their work with the  world.

10. Connect with Twitter - Have your class participate in the weekly math #mtbos challenge! 
          See for details.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Starting an Interactive Notebook!

Kid's Math Talk Steps to Starting 
an Interactive Notebook

Sometimes with all the posts on IG and Pinterest, it seems like I wouldn't be considered a "21st century" elementary teacher if I weren't using this interactive notebook idea in some fashion in my classroom.

I actually have been using them for years and love using notebooks as a record of learning for the teacher and student. Even better than this is that by the end of the school year, students are really treating their work with pride and will view the notebook as a prized possession! 

I can also incorporate something into the day that kids love doing - COLORING! 

Of course the coloring always has a purpose within the activity we are putting in the notebook, but who doesn't love to get out that box of crayons every now and then!

There are so many resources and best practices for interactive notebooks in social media now that it can become a little overwhelming. After reading many blog posts and articles on the interactive notebook concept and finishing my latest teaching product devoted to math interactive notebooks, I decided to make this quick graphic to starting an interactive notebook in the elementary classroom. 

Steps #1 and #2 are important to remember so that you don't get overwhelmed with all of the prep and upkeep in the middle of the year. When starting to teach 3rd grade 6 years ago, I only did the interactive part with my math notebooks. The next year I added the idea for social studies, then science, and my last adventure with this concept will be ELA. There are so many cute ideas out there, but just because it's available doesn't mean you have to take it all at once. Spread it out and keep it small to save your sanity!

Step #3 is my personal favorite - not every great idea you have in your head will be great in reality. This is especially true if this is your first time attempting an interactive notebook. Just keep this F.A.I.L. mantra in your mind and know that the first attempt in learning often leads to awesome creations and pages in the future!

Step #4 - Here are the easiest ways for me to stay organized with my interactive notebooks...

And last but actually the most important...HAVE FUN! This idea is meant to get students and teachers excited about subjects and standards! Bring in your creativity and your strengths to the notebook idea and it is sure to be a success!

Leave a comment to let us know how you are using notebooks and what your best tip is for maintaining them in the classroom!

Check out my interactive notebook MEGA PACK 

for the 3rd grade Operations and Algebraic Thinking Domain!

Welcome to Kid's Math Talk, LLC!

Welcome to Kid's Math Talk, LLC!
My name is Desiree and I am super passionate about math education and best practices for students and their teachers. Thanks for stopping by my blog!


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