Curriculum Corner

Ideas and inspiration for teaching and learning.

Wildcat Workshops

Thank you to all who attended the first round of Wildcat Workshops. Teachers participated in one or more of the following optional after-school workshops: Comprehension Toolkit, Word Study, and Guided Math/Math Workshop.

For future planning, please feel free to email me with possible topics that you would be interested in seeing offered.

Guided Math: Take Two!

If you did not have the opportunity to attend the Guided Math workshop but would like more information, I have created a screencast of the slides from that workshop. The screencast is under ten minutes, and it will give you a cursory overview of Guided Math and Math Workshop (see the link below).

I've also included a link (click below) to a teacher's posting about her experiences with Guided Math. She has been steadily adding to her collection of ideas, stations, and organization, and after 8 years of guided math, she has much to share! (You can ignore the links/advertisements for station/center/activity cards that she sells...guided math can be done for free!)

If you'd like to discuss ways to incorporate Guided Math into your math instruction, please email me and we can set something up!

Six Paperless Ways to Start Your Students' Day

by John Lavell

District Supervisor

Before we start - here’s a little disclaimer - paper will be involved. But what won’t be involved is spending time at the copier in the morning, waiting in line to use the copier, or getting e-mails from frantic teachers looking for copies of their work you may have accidentally picked up. By using the ideas below, you can save time at the copy machine, help save the environment, and present students with engaging ways to start the day.

  1. Math Journaling - Let your students start the day explaining how they solved a particularly challenging problem, or maybe they can explain what they’ve done and where they need further help. This will give students--and you--insight into their problem solving strategies.
  2. Preview Math Challenge Problems - Some days are better started with some math problems. A review of a recent lesson or a preview of the day’s new concepts can intrigue students and get them thinking about ways to solve those most challenging problems.
  3. Math Pickle! You may enjoy using ideas from the fun web site, Math Pickle, for ways to challenge, stump, and engage students in problem solving tasks. Check out that site and consider starting the day with a Math Pickle or two! (
  4. Blogging - Student blogs are a wonderful way to have children create and share their ideas. Once the privacy settings are set, letting students create and share through blogging can help them explore and develop their voice. Check out KidBlog to set up your class in under a minute! (
  5. Writer's Notebooks: Let students do some exploring in their writer's notebooks. One idea from Aimee Buckner, author of Notebook Know-How: Strategies for the Writer's Notebook, is for students to read back over their entries, highlight words or lines that jump out/speak to them and then start a new story using a topic they highlighted. This can help them go deeper with topics of interest or write about them in different ways.
  6. Choice Reading: It is well documented through research that fluency and comprehension increase with more time spent on reading. Consider giving students an opportunity at the beginning of the day for some personal choice reading.

And speaking of CHOICE, why not offer students a menu of ways they might start their day. In any task or endeavor, offering CHOICE motivates not only us, but our learners in the classroom.

* * *

For more ideas on engaging ways to start the school day that don't involve a copy machine, check out these ideas from Scholastic:



Family Night: Preventing Summer Slide

On May 10th, twelve teachers worked with families to teach them quick and easy ways to incorporate math and literacy activities into their summertime fun. Students and adults alike enjoyed the evening, and based on the excellent turnout, we hope to repeat this informative evening next school year!

Coming Soon . . .

Stay tuned for Google Training . . . Dyslexia Training . . . and more at the June 6 In-Service!