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Sunday, October 23, 2011

The End of Molasses Classes - Part 2 Review

Good Morning!  Today I am bringing you the second of four reviews on the book, The End of Molasses Classes.  This is part of the TBA Book Club study on this book.

Part 2 of, The End of Molasses Classes, is all about the role of the parent in the success of the child.  This section takes a look at how parents play a vital role in the home/school connection. 

I have been incredibly lucky to have great parents over my 10 years of teaching. *Knock on Wood*  Even with having great parents, I still have experienced the very involved parent to the non-existent parent.  There is nothing more frustrating knowing how much more successful a child can be if only there was structure and parental support.  I do what I have to do in my short time with these children to make sure I am making that difference, however you only have to look at a child with support and see what ground you can't make up for.

I had to laugh at #30- Don't get your kid a video game system unless you are ready to be a prison guard!
A couple weekends ago my dad, holding his new granddaughter/my niece, says to me, "How do you keep kids from playing video games?"  Of course I laughed and replied, "Umm, don't buy one."  Plain and simple.  I don't think all video game systems are bad.  I grew up with Atari and the first Nintendo.  However, my life wasn't consumed by video games.  Limitations and structures are good.  You need to know your child and recognize if they have an addictive nature, are their thoughts always consumed by video games.  Great, now I am having Pit Fall and Dungeon and Dragon flashbacks. :)

#31- Show them how to study; don't expect it to come naturally.
I think as a third and fourth grade teacher, this one hits home.  These are the years that testing becomes more prevalent in the classroom.  This principle goes not only for parents but teachers as well.  I can't stand in front of the room and tell them they have a test next week and they better study.  They don't know HOW to study.  What can they do to remember the information?  It is important to show several ways of studying and let them choose which method is the best.  I think it would also be helpful to include in your newsletter to parents, tips on how to study and how they can help their child.  This might make a good foundation to good study habits for the rest of their school career.

There are 9 other great tips for parents in this section from Realize that even very good children will sometimes lie to the helicopter parent.  Check out the book to read more.

Until next week, when I review Part 3- Creating the Right Climate and Culture.
If you want to read more... Check out TBA's Book Club study


Sunday, October 16, 2011

The End of Molasses Classes - Week One Core Principles and Values

A couple months ago I received the book, The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark to write up a review.  At the time I got the book, I was just about to go back to work and was getting my classroom set-up.  It was a very busy time, barely had time to breathe let alone read a book.  However, with just one turn of the page, I was hooked!  I sat there and read the whole book, cover to cover.  Never had I read a book where I found myself laughing, crying, and laughing again on one page!  This book struck the core of what I am and what I strive to be as a teacher.  It was an affirmation of what I was doing right and served as an inspiration to what I want to achieve.

As a TBA author, I am joining the TBA Book Club, in order to fully review and share my favorite parts of this book.  This week the focus is on the first part of the book:

Part 1: Core Principles and Values

Share your favorite principles and thoughts from part one of The End of Molasses Classes

If I had to choose one section that I wanted to write and share about, I would have to choose principle number 10: Be Excellent!  I think this is the cornerstone to the other principles. First you have to recognize that you have to be a dynamic force in the classroom.  You have to take charge of your own teaching, internalize and scrutinize whether you are prepared to make each moment special and excellent.

Of course I just can't choose one section to write about.  There was one section that hit home, right after I had read the book and right as we were starting school.  This would be Section 2: Not Every Child Deserves a Cookie.  Our district moved to a new report card this year and yes the new system has caused a bit of confusion in the intermediate grades, forcing teachers to really look at how our new number system equates to actual student work.  Meaning, what does it mean to be a 4 (being the highest mark) vs a 3 or even a 2.  What does a 4 student look like vs a 3 student?  Just because a student turns in all their homework and gets 100% on every homework does not equate to that student being a 4.  Being a 4 means going above and beyond, expecting more than just what is given.  Not Every Child Deserves a Cookie served as a good story as to what one might expect of a 4 student.

Join in on the TBA Book Club Fun... Click here to view other blogs joining in and writing about this book.  You can even view a video, featuring Ron Clark, created just for TBA Readers!
I look forward to each week and sharing my thoughts!  Stayed tuned for next week's review!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Math Dice Game - Roll 1,000

I found an old memory stick this week.  Amazing what you might find on one!  I was going through some of my old teaching files and came across this game I had saved.  I don't know where I originally found the directions to this game.  I decided to make a player page for it.  Makes it easier for students to record down what they rolled and to keep track of their total score.  I'm passing it on to you as this would make a great addition to your math game station for guided math or math centers.


Dice 1000

Objective: To practice three digit addition and three digit multiplication skills
Materials: 5 dice

How To Score
Every ‘1’ you roll = 100 points
Every ‘5’ you roll = 50 points
Every ‘2, 3, 4, 6’ = 0 points

Three or more dice that show the same number = that number multiplied times 100

Example: If you roll three or more 2’s, then you multiply the number you rolled, which is 2, times 100. 2x100=200, so you would get 200 points. If you roll three or more 4’s, then you multiply the number you rolled, which is 4, times 100. 4x100=400 points.

1. The first player rolls all five dice and write down his score. See the bold print above to find out how to score.

2. The first player records his/her total points now.

3. The first player can either stop or roll again. If he wants to stop, he keeps the points he just earned.

4. If he wants to roll again, he must roll the dice that will add to the score or lose that turns points. That means he must roll a 1, 5, or three or more of the same number. If the player does not roll any of those, he loses all points from the last time he/she rolled. If points were earned during this roll, you must record them now.

5. Take turns rolling the dice.

How to Win: The person to reach 1,000 points is the winner.

Math Game- Dice 1,000 PDF