Best Multiplication Products Win Tillywig Awards

I’m thrilled to announce that my math products, Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!  and Best Multiplication Songs EVER! are Spring 2012 Tillywig Brain Child Award Winners (Books and Audio Categories).

“Everything you need to help kids master multiplication can be found within these [workbook] pages! Loaded with examples, hints, tips, and playfully designed worksheets, this workbook is strongly geared to how kids think and learn… If you’re looking for a systematic, comprehensive, highly-organized curriculum that makes learning (and teaching) multiplication fun and easy, you’ve just found it! “

“Kids often struggle with their multiplication tables, but it doesn’t have to be that way… This [CD] is also a wonderful tool to use along with the Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! … An engaging, fun, spirited approach to learning something every one of us needs to know!”

Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!Click here to learn more about the workbook, the CD and the FREE software you can download for addition and times tables practice.

About Tillywig: Tillywig’s mission is to provide retail buyers, news media, parents, and consumers with product information and reviews of superior children’s products available in today’s marketplace.

Evaluation criteria and process: a Tillywig award winner is one determined by the Tillywig testing team to have high entertainment and/or educational value. During the evaluation process, products are used by a number of testers in an observed focus group format. In the final evaluation of any product, comments from observers are integrated with feedback from testers. Testers and observers come from all walks of life and a broad range of ages. When assessing these values, Tillywig focuses on evaluating many factors, including:

Ease of First Use
Clear, easy-to-understand instructions and product design are key factors in creating a positive initial experience.

Replay Value
It was fun the first time out, but will it be equally or even more enjoyable over a period of weeks, months…years?

Quality/Appearance
Does it look and feel well-made? Is it something retailers would be proud to have on their shelves, a parent would be proud to give as a gift? Is it, from all appearances, built to last?

Social Interaction/Fun Factor
Products that effectively promote a high level of face-to-face playful interaction receive a high rating from us. If participants laughed out loud, so much the better!

Creativity
Does it inspire creativity during use/play? Does this product actively fuel the imagination?

Thought Processes/Motor Skills
Does it encourage new ways of thinking or promote physical development?

Weighting of Criteria
If the product appears to be an educational product, then factors relating to learning and development are more heavily weighed.

Thank you, Tillywig!

Posted in Academics,Math by Corey Green @ Jun 29, 2012

 

FreeRice.com in the classroom or at home

Make your next computer-lab session a FreeRice.com extravaganza with these fun games from the philanthropically inclined quiz site.

FreeRice.com began as a fun way to while away your work day while “earning” rice to be given by the United Nations World Food Programme.  The original quiz was a multiple-choice vocabulary challenge.

Now FreeRice.com is an online bonanza of high-quality quizzes.  My students just love it!  Although all the quizzes are educational when taken by a student at the appropriate level, some become guessing-games for elementary students.  (I’m looking at you, Chemistry Symbols Full List!)

Here are my recommendations for elementary students’ use of FreeRice.com:

English Vocabulary: it’s leveled, so kids will likely spend a long time working on words that are appropriate for them.  If you get kids to really slow down and take this seriously, they can build not only their vocabulary, but their test-taking skills.

English Grammar: standardized tests abound with questions that look a lot like those on English Grammar.  Finding worksheets for practice can be difficult.  Thank goodness for FreeRice.com.

Multiplication Table: you can never have too many programs for practicing multiplication.  (In the computer lab: you can easily look around the computer lab and see that everyone is indeed on FreeRice.com and not Poptropica.)

Basic Math (Pre-Algebra) is PERFECT for elementary school.  Don’t let the Pre-Algebra name fool you; this quiz starts at a level much easier than that mainstay of junior high curriculum.  Depending on your kids’ ability to answer the questions, they will remain at basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division until they show ability to handle simple order of operations questions.

Identify Countries on the Map and World Landmarks are outside your kids’ comfort zone, and definitely outside what most elementary schools teach.  However, FreeRice’s pattern of repeating incorrectly answered questions will help students learn the locations of these landmarks.  Best for 4th grade and up, when kids really begin to learn history.

My personal favorite: Famous Paintings!  This is outside of your kids’ knowledge, but will be fun for them anyway.  For you, it’s a good way to brush up on your ability to identify paintings by the masters.

Have fun at FreeRice.com!

UPDATE: Comment by Team Freerice — June 27, 2012:
We’re so pleased to have Freerice as a Classroom Antic! Thank you for helping us to raise rice by raising awareness.

Posted in Academics,Tips for Parents by Corey Green @ Jun 22, 2012

 

Fashion Tips for Teachers (Do’s and Don’ts)

The students have to look at you all day long, five days a week, for ten months. Give them something nice to look at! The kids will appreciate the effort; parents and colleagues will notice your polished look.

Here are my Dos and Don’ts, aimed at female teachers because that is what I know.  (I will start paying more attention to male fashion and develop a list for the guys.)

Makeup

DO Wear lipstick. You can get by with less face makeup if your lips are bright. Lipstick gives any look instant polish and brightens your complexion. Tinted gloss can look good, but make sure it gives color to your face. The clear Bonne Bell look is for 13-year-olds.

DON’T Skip makeup. No matter how good your skin is, you need to wear a little makeup to look polished. The bare minimum: even out your skin tone with foundation, tinted moisturizer or mineral makeup. Then add blush and mascara. Don’t forget the lipstick or tinted gloss.

BEWARE of colored eye shadows. They look good on some people, but neutrals are always your friend. Remember that the point of eye shadow is to contour your eyes and give them more definition. This is best accomplished with neutrals.

Hair

DO find a flattering hairstyle and rock it. It might be a cute cut or a fun updo.

DON’T wear an unflattering hairdo for Crazy Hair Day. Find a crazy style that actually looks awesome.

DON’T wear a hairstyle the kids would wear. This goes for juvenile-looking braids (sophisticated ones are okay), childish looking barrettes or placement of barrettes, and punk ’dos best left to London punks.

Clothes

DO wear more dresses. They give you a pulled-together polish and can be more cost-effective than separates. I hit the Ross Dress Sale every year and snap up washable dresses in my size.

DON’T wear sack dresses, the really baggy and frumpy kind that make everyone look bad. Whatever your shape, clothes that fit will flatter.

DO wear vivid colors. They brighten your face and kids love them.

DO make sure your clothes fit. They don’t have to be fitted, but they should fit.

DO balance your proportions: if the top is loose, the pants should be fitted and vice versa.

DO wear jeans, but with a cute top or fun blazer-style jacket. Look professional. Iron your jeans if you can—it doesn’t take long and adds a definite polish to the look.

DO wear dark-wash jeans. They always look more professional.

DO wear button-down tops with a collar. Make sure they fit well. Especially avoid a too-tight top that gapes at the bust. The kids WILL notice.

DO dress for theme days (Hawaiian, backwards, etc.) but keep it tasteful.

DON’T wear anything to school that you would wear to work in the yard. Grubby khakis and rumpled tee shirts are a bad look. So are big sweatshirts and jeans.

DON’T wear leggings—in most cases. The exception is if you have a really cute tunic or dress that covers your butt. Then it’s a do! (Check your district’s dress code first.)

DON’T wear logo tee shirts, especially the ones from educational organizations. The logos are often dorky, and the shape is almost always boxy and unflattering.

DON’T wear boxy tee shirts—the square shaped kind kids buy as souvenirs. Buy shirts with a feminine cut.

DON’T wear school tee shirts unless it is Friday or a field trip. And don’t wear them every Friday–it’s too predictable.

DON’T wear anything the kids might wear. This goes for clothing styles that only look good on those without curves and almost ANYTHING with butterflies or rainbows.

DON’T dress frumpy. If you have the sneaking suspicion your clothes or hairdo are frumpy, your subconscious is trying to tell you something.

DON’T dress like you did in high school. This goes for overly body-conscious clothing AND the jeans-and-a-hoodie jock look. Both are inappropriate for work.

DON’T wear khakis or button-downs unless you iron them. The rumpled look is bad for professionals.

DON’T wear a low-cut top that flashes major cleavage every time you lean over. Or, DO wear it, but with a camisole underneath.

DON’T wear Capri pants with sneakers, unless they are REALLY slim Keds.

DON’T wear something you’d be embarrassed to be seen in outside of school. That’s a sign you are just not dressed well.

Shoes

DO wear shoes that are comfortable and stylish. It’s okay for the shoes to be more on the comfortable side so long as your clothes are pretty. Everyone understands that teachers are on their feet all day.

DON’T wear sneakers that look dirty. Have a nice pair on hand for days that require sneakers. And DON’T wear sneakers all the time, unless you are a PE teacher.

DON’T wear flip-flops or any shoes that look like they belong at the beach. Sandals that look polished are a DO!

Jewelry & Accessories

DO wear jewelry, real or costume. It completes your look. Plus, kids are attracted to shiny objects.

DON’T wear jewelry the kids wear—no rainbows, bumblebees, cutesy animals, or punk studded cuffs for you.

DON’T wear teacher jewelry. Apple pins rarely look good. Those craftsy pins with little rulers and stuff glued to them are a terrible look.  If you have a collection from the kids, put some fabric and batting in a frame and stick the pins on it for a classroom decoration.

DO keep your nails nice and neat, particularly if you use a document camera.  With a document camera, a close-up of your hands is on display all day.  A manicure is nice; so are cool rings.  At a minimum, use lotion for good skin.

Rules of Thumb

DO have a go-to outfit, hairstyle, and two-minute makeup routine for hectic mornings.

DON’T feel like you have to spend a lot of money. Shop discount stores like Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx. Hit Stein-Mart for fancier pieces, especially for fun little jackets and blazers. Steam or iron your bargain finds and the perceived price of your look doubles.

THE CARDINAL RULE OF TEACHER FASHION

DON’T wear “teacher sweaters.” EVER. Avoid anything with pictures of schoolhouses, pencils, rulers, and other teacher paraphernalia.

Posted in First Year Teachers,What it's like to be a teacher by Corey Green @ Jun 12, 2012

 

Place Value & Addition: Adding 10, 100, 1000 FREE Worksheet


Here is a FREE worksheet on adding 10, 100, and 1000 written by a National Board Certified Teacher.

Most people would be surprised at how much difficulty students have with place value in general and with adding 10, 100 and 1000 in particular.  To us grown-ups, it seems simple: find that digit in the number and change it to the next digit up.  For kids, this is often a challenge.  If they can set up the equation, they’ll do okay—unless they line up their numbers incorrectly!

Cumulative review programs like Mountain Math try to address this by having the students add 10, 100 and 1000 to numbers with each session.  However, it’s up to the teacher to actually explain the process.

Click here for my worksheet that teaches a method for adding 10, 100 and 1000 and gives students practice problems.  I hope both the teaching method and practice problems help you and your students.

Posted in Academics,FREE Worksheets,Math by Corey Green @ Jun 4, 2012