Wednesday, September 19, 2012 EXTRAS

We are in full swing this week having started Daily 5 rotations and Guided Reading groups in the morning AND Guided Math in the afternoon!  What a rush!  With all of this activity come a few questions from parents and students about some of the routines and/or papers coming home in book bags (see previous post about our Weekly Checklist).  This week, you may have noticed a letter from regarding home access to the math program that we use each day during Guided Math.  You may be asking, "What is this code thing?" or "How do I access this website from home?" or "How exactly will this benefit my firstie?"  Here’s the scoop!
About a year ago, I discovered and fell in love immediately realized the academic benefits this program provided!  We desperately really needed some type of daily spiraling with math facts in order to build fluency.  How could we spiral, immediately engage students, and keep their interest over the long-haul?  Well, hello (for more of the back-story, see a previous post about - where have you been all my life?
Cool thing?  In addition to daily practice at school (approximately 10 minutes out of math centers) students can log on and practice math fact fluency at home (or their local public library if they don’t have internet access!)  Below is a picture of the letter that parents received with a code for students to access their “records” from home!  I asked my students and they informed me that it’s exactly like the exercises they do at school, it just picks up where they left off!  Novel idea, huh?

I blanked out Airam's code but you can see where it would appear!  

Even better?  Every Monday morning I receive an email from with a table that shows how each student is progressing and who has managed to log on at home!  It’s a SUPER resource and my students fight and clamor can’t get to the computers fast enough each day!  

Here is an image of the "chart" that I can look at daily or check out on Mondays when it is emailed directly to me!  The colored dots tell me if a student progressed or struggled during that session. A blue dot indicates when a student remotely accessed the site (from home or another computer).

When viewing this chart , I can click on the colored dots and another window pops up (see the image to the right) with a detailed list of the problems that my students successfully completed or struggled with. This feedback is available to me immediately or whenever I have a little time to investigate how my students are doing. 

Last year I had one little stinker lovely who just typed random numbers the whole time and, believe me, that showed on his scores.  Knowing there was a huge discrepancy between his scores and his ability, we had a little talk!  Imagine the improvement that followed!  >giggle!<
I find myself sighing with contentment each day as the 1.25 hours of math absolutely FLY by because students are so engaged, I’m busy with small groups, and we ALL are LOVING math and  learning!  That’s right even the teacher is doing some learning!
Are you using  What are your thoughts?  How is it going in your classroom?  I’d love to hear any thoughts, concerns, or questions you have!  Shoot me a comment!

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