Monthly Archives: July 2013

The First Week of School: Math

I have been thinking a lot about all of the different ways in which we can make math engaging, starting from day one! Math ought to be playful, engaging, fun, challenging(!), creative, real-world, purposeful, thought provoking, etc.

& so, if you were a fly on my classroom wall you would see that this is the way in which I plan to start the year … with centres & picture books of course!

The First Week of School: Math:
– rotating through 3 centres a day (+ one which is always “the initial assessment”).

Monday – Day #1
a) Introduce Math books, procedures, page set up, daily/weekly structure, etc.
b) Introduce Centres
c) Begin Assessment (number sense, etc.) – assessment includes pencil to paper, discussion, survey/questionnaire.

Day #2
1. Assessment (a little bit every day for 4 days)
2. Challenge: Find a One-Hundred Dollar Word (; How much is my name worth? (
3. Graphing Skittles / Gummy Bears ( ;

Day #3
1. Assessment (every day)
2. Marshmallows & Toothpicks Place Value (working with large(!) numbers) (
3. iPad Games

Day #4
1. Assessment (every day)
2. Where do we see numbers / math in our world? (Learning Log entries)
3. Shopping with Flyers (

Day #5
1. Assessment (every day)
2. Calendar Math (
3. Multiplication War (

P.S. We will have “longer than usual Math classes” week #1 .. just for the fun of it! 😉

Twitter for Teachers – It’s Not About the Numbers

One day in 2009 my husband asked me to join Twitter in order to promote his music project. Little did I know on that day in December, that this social media medium would breathe new life into my educational practices. Lucky me!

During my initial foray into this fast, furious and free world of information sharing, he and I talked a great deal about ways to become active online. One of the many things that we discussed were “the numbers”:

  1. The number of followers;
  2. The number following;
  3. The number of updates;
  4. The number of retweets & modified tweets;
  5. The number of mentions;
  6. Klout scores;
  8. Etc.

& herein comes my “thought” for the day:

The more I play and learn on Twitter, the more magically meaningless these numbers become … & for teachers, it’s not about the numbers.  I truly believe that this is one of the many magnificent things that makes our teacher presence online different from some others – it’s really not about the numbers …. It’s really about the kids after all.

The number of followers that teachers have, their Klout scores, etc. become increasingly irrelevant and uninteresting as time marches on.

If we are learning and sharing; if we are inspired and inspirational; if we are connected and connecting; if we come across cool things and are spreading the wealth … well, that’s all that matters …