Thursday, January 26, 2017

Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators

Introducing adding and subtraction fractions with unlike denominators using food!

Fractions can truly take a good portion of the year for students to fully grasp the concept and many will take even longer.  Over the years, I have learned a few things about how I go about introducing this really challenging topic.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Unique Gifts for Valentine's Day or Other Special Days for Kids and Adults Alike!

Two Unique Gift Ideas for Kids and Adults You Love from Hookster's Ideas.  Each is made-to-order and can be geared to a child's age and interests.

Are you looking for a little gift to a loved one in your life for Valentine's Day or some other special day?  Here are a couple of ideas I came up with for adults and children alike.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Ideas for Developing Your Toddler's Expressive Language

Using child interest to help develop expressive language with toddlers.

Expressive language is what you are able to say and how you verbally communicate with others.  This is contrasted with receptive language which is what you understand.  There is a whole progression of milestones that children are expected to meet at different times in their young lives.  So what happens when your child isn't meeting all of their speech milestones?  You sign them up for speech of course!

Below are a couple tips and ideas for things you can do to help build your child's expressive language.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Planning for Small Group Instruction Easily and Efficiently Using Google Sheets

Planning for Small Group Instruction Easily and Efficiently Using Google Sheets


The key to planning for small group instruction in the upper elementary grades is backwards planning.  The how I make and plan for flexible groups without getting overwhelmed!


Step one:  Plan Your Groups Based on Data


Each school and district requires you to use different data to form your groups, so how to collect this information is not going to be discussed in this post in detail.  However, if you have the freedom to choose how you collect data, I highly recommend using the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) for making reading groups.  This assessment is lengthy to administer, but gives you good data (typically I only give it twice a year-beginning and end).  They have also developed a progress monitoring tool that I have used and find equally effective without consuming as much time in the administration of the assessment.  I usually administer this when I feel students need to move reading levels and need proof that my gut was right!  However you make your groups, I insist that you have some kind of data to back up your decisions.  As an interventionist and instructional coach, what you have to say is much more credible if you have data to support your choices with students who are below grade level.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello, 2017!

Use the "high" and "low" strategy to reflect on the day and year.  Read more about it on Hookster's Ideas.

I am still in disbelief that 2017 is here. Now. How did that happen?!!!  Nevertheless, I have mixed emotions about saying good-bye to 2016.  My sister and her family do a nightly ritual of sharing their "high" and "low" point of the day over dinner and I think it is such a sweet way to connect with your children and spouse and help you tune into each other, regardless of how your day went.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Great Cookie Exchange & Giveaway

Making cookies with your students is a great way to connect math and real-world problems.  Try hosting The Great Cookie Exchange this year!

The couple weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break can some times cause you to want to pull your hair out!  You have a zillion and one things to get done and no time.  This can often cause the holiday cheer to be wiped from your face.  I have a solution that is sure to bring that smile back to your face.  I mean who doesn't love cookies and free things?!?!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Thanksgiving Turkey Craft, Just for Fun!

A simple way to document child growth over time and celebrate Thanksgiving!  I make color copies and then send to the relatives who live out of state.  Happy Thanksgiving from Hookster's Ideas!

I love doing little crafts to decorate for the holidays and also to document my son's growth too.  Being a mom of a preemie, I can tell you on any given day how much my son weighs since that has been a constant battle for him since day one.  Today for example,  he weighs 21 pounds 6.4 oz.  So maybe I find more pleasure in his little feet and hands than others, but I love finding cute ways to document his growth over time, cuter than my crazy spreadsheet.  Yes, I have one.