NYS Museum: Online Resources

NYS Museum is now ONLINE. Visit and Learn

The NYS Museum has launched the Portal to Online Educational Resources & Activities that brings together many of the museum’s resources.  Check out the links to the popular virtual “filed trips,” digital collections, online resources, and many fun activities for kids.   The Portal provides opportunities for educators, caregivers, and students looking for engaging and educational activities to do at home.

The portal resources and activities will be updated often.  Also included on the site is NYS Learning Standards supporting online lessons and content-created publications.  Virtual activities are coming soon!  Check it Out!

NYS Museum Resources

  • 360 Degree Virtual Field Trips
  • Regents Room of the State Education Building
  • The Replica Liberty BellThe Rotunda Murals
  • Teacher Guides & Activities for Students
  • NYSM Women of Science Programming
  • Women’s Suffrage Resources
  • Fun Activities
  • NYSM Videos
  • The Rotunda at NYSED

Brain Breaks Help Everyone

Brain Breaks are effective in learning.

We all know that we sometimes need just a few minutes to take a short break to help us get focused.  Sometimes, it is for a cup of coffee, a cookie or to check our phones.  It helps us catch our breath and gives us another opportunity to start again. Did you know that your breaks are call Brain Breaks? 

Smart teachers know that kids need short breaks in learning.  Sometimes, called Brain Breaks, they are short, physical activities that are interspersed with periods of focused academic work.  Research shows that shorter blocks of instruction are more effective for many kids, with younger kids maxing out after about 10 minutes and older kids lasting up to a half-hour or more. Adding short breaks can help improve students’ attention, retention of information, creativity, and efficiency.  Adding some breaks can be fun, make them a definite MUST in every classroom.

6 Benefits of Brain Breaks

  1. Improves focus by lessening frustration and boredom
  2. Provides physical activity
  3. Adds some fun into learning
  4. Gives a sense of accomplishment by completing an assignment
  5. Helps use up extra energy
  6. Give kids (and adults) something to look forward to

Brain Breaks and Remote Learning

Now that many schools have started remote learning once again, there is even more reason to give kids some much needed breaks from computer screens.  Since kids are missing the physical activity of a classroom, Brain Breaks are must.  Think simple.  Try jumping jacks, stretches, yoga poses or jogging in place for a short quick break.  If you want to extend your break a few more minutes add a dance party, take a short walk, play a boardgame or do a household chore.

Although short breaks during classwork or homework are beneficial be sure to plan carefully. Be sure your breaks are not too much fun or too lengthy or you might have kids not want to get back to work!

The length of Brain Breaks and the topics depends on your child’s age and interest levels.  So, choose things that YOUR child wants to do as a Brain Break.  Create a list of ideas so that you or your child can choose their own Brain Break.  Do not be afraid to let your child add to the list (of course with parent approved)

Remote learning is creating many challenges for parents, teachers, and students.  Why not add some Brain Breaks into your schedule to make learning easier and less stressful? Teach your child that you too, need Brain Breaks.  Show them that being able to drink a HOT cup of coffee is what makes you happy.  Enjoy your Brain Break!

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

  • Lesson Fillers in the Classroom
  • Lesson Filler Activities

ThreeRingsConnections.org September Posts

September posts can help kids learn at school & home

Each day we spend with kids is an opportunity to teach a piece of ourselves.

September posts certainly seem trivial while we all live through a pandemic. It seems that I hear daily from friends, family members and readers of the many struggles they are facing in this health crisis. I am inspired by their resilience “to make it work”.

Today’s health crisis has certainly put so many things in perspective! Family, health and friends have become our priorities with deadlines existing but flexible. Over the past few months, I’ve seen my own grandchildren go from kids that go to school everyday to kids that are either being homeschooled or learning virtually. The student teachers that I work with are not only learning how to be effective teachers in the classroom, they are also learning how to teach remotely. They are learning the importance of their chosen career, ongoing learning and adaptability. However, I wish they did not have to learn all those objectives in a single semester.

In many areas, my home state of New York included, parents continue to take the helm to be their child’s teachers and keep kids learning. Learning is happening but in a way that we never thought would be happening and in March we thought it would be temporary. Yes, it may not be the same as in school, but learning is happening. As parents continue their teaching challenge, I’m hoping that my posts can be helpful.

So, as we move into the month of October, I hope our day-to-day teaching becomes more manageable and we continue to find learning opportunities all around us.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

September Posts

September’s Most Popular Posts

My Favorite September Posts

I choose my favorites each month for different reasons. Sometimes it’s timeliness, a hot education topic, student teacher needs or as a family and friends resource. Sometimes, it’s just, BECAUSE. Enjoy!

2020 Archives

2019 Archives

Check out some topics coming next month
  • Brain Breaks in Learning
  • US State Flags Trivia: Part II
  • Stories with Holes
  • Fifth Grade Standards for Learning
  • Learning Games and Websites & Apps
  • Academic Vocabulary Grades 1,2, and 5

Learning Games for Kids

Education games can be great review activities for kids.

I am not a big fan of kids on the computer, so you can guess my thoughts on remote teaching this semester! However, we are all learning to adjust in these pandemic times. There are, however, some great review and reinforcement learning games that will keep kids engaged and having fun. Check out the games that I listed below. They are teacher-created, and Grandchildren approved.

5 Great Learning Games

PBS Kids Games

I have recommended this site in different posts, but it is worth the mention again.  Games are organized by subject area and have many popular literature characters included.  Who does not like Curious George or The Cat in the Hat?

Funbrain

Created for kids ages preschool through grade 8.  Interactive games that develop skills in reading, math, and literacy. 

Academic Skill Builders

Online educational video games in language arts, vocabulary, thinking skills and math. Repetitive, timed learning drills that give scores. 

Mr. Nussbaum

Greg Nussbaum, a teacher created the site with a wide variety of learning games that are organized by subject area and grade level.  Although it looks like there are no games for preschoolers, there are!  Filter to the lowest level.  I found some alphabet games that are appropriate for kids as young as 2!  Teachers it can be used on a tablet and is a great resource for interactive whiteboards.  

ABCYa.com

Educational games and activities for elementary students (lower grades) to learn language arts and math.   Teacher-created and recommended by New York Times.

National Geographic Kids

Over 100 fun, engaging and interactive science games and quizzes. 

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.


Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

Lesson Filler Activities

Lesson filler activities can be FUN!

Lesson filler activities are great learning opportunities whether a lesson finishes early or our students just need a Brain Break.  Finding ones that engage students that require little little or no preparation is great.  But finding ones that are FUN…. even better!  Check out these ideas:

10 Lesson Filler Activities

Mystery BoxHave a shoebox ready with some items that can be put in for students to guess what is inside.  Limit the number of questions that students can ask and be sure that the questions can only be answered with a “yes” or “no”. Encourage them to use all their senses. Once they figure out what the item is, open the box and let them see it.

Sticky NotesCreate sticky note “pairs” by writing pairs of words (opposites, compound words, vocabulary word and meaning, math problems) on post its. Distribute a post-it to each child and have students find their “match”.  An alternative activity is to distribute the post-its around the room and have one student match all the pairs.  Add a timer to add to the challenge.  

Current Events – Read a headline aloud and ask the child what they think the story was about.  Adaptations is reading the headline independently and/or working with a partner to discuss the story possibilities.

Sign Language – Kids love learning sign language.  Show kids some basic signs and have them practice with each other.  Need link

Follow the Directions – Create a list of 3-5 step directions.  Read a set of directions aloud and then ask children to do the activities in order.  Ex. Stand up, say Happy Birthday, touch your head, turn around, sit down.  Be sure that you write the directions down because they are easy to forget! 

I have a Number – Prepare a setof cards from 1 to 50 with math problems and 50 different answers.  Examples:   I have a 5, who has this number plus 10.  The child with 15 says, I have 15.  Who has my number minus 12?  I have 3.  Who has my number plus 25?  I have 28.  Who has my number minus 2?  I have 26.  Who has my number plus 20? 

The Price is RightHave them play the popular game show by guessing how much an item costs.  Show them a flyer with items and cover the cost. For younger students you may have to give them a range that it could cost until they understand prices.

What’s My Number?  Write a number on a piece of paper and tell students you are thinking of a number between ____ and _______.  For younger students, using a number line to add their guesses will help them understand greater than and less than.

Give me FiveChallenge students to name five things that are alike.  Choose a student to answer and if they get the 5 items, they can call on the next person to try another challenge.  For students playing alone, set a timer to see how fast they can do it.

__Things Found on a ____Name a place that students are familiar and ask them to name things they would find there.  Ex:  Things on a boat, on a farm, at the zoo, in the kitchen etc.

Next Month: 10 more lesson filler activities

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

Second Grade Standards for Learning

Second grade standards

This resource consolidates all New York State second-grade learning standards into one document (2019). It was intended to be used as a reference tool by teachers, specialists, and administrators responsible for designing programs for second grade students. However, during the current COVID-19 crisis, it is helpful for homeschooling families and parents supporting remote learning.

The Learning Standards are end of year expectations rather than a curriculum, assessment, or a set of teaching strategies. The resource provides a uniform format for learning standards in all content areas to make it easier for users to read and understand. Users that are looking for a higher level of detail can find it at New York State Education Department’s website. The site provides additional background information and shows learning progressions across grades.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

COVID-19 Learning Resources

 New COVID-19 FREE Resources
Learning Resources to help during COVID-19 home learning

COVID-19 Learning Resources

Who would think I would still be posting COVID-19 Learning resources 5 months later than my first COVID-19 post? But we are here, once again, with schools closed, delayed or virtual and millions of families impacted. Parents are stepping up to “homeschool” their children and are using home packets and online resources. For many, this is still unfamiliar territory and an added element to their already full plates.

For those parents scouring the internet to find additional activities or to support schoolwork, here are some websites to get you started. Keep checking back for additional posts.

KnowitAll.org

A FREE online collection of educational resources designed specifically for classroom use. The site includes nearly 9,000 multimedia resources to include mobile-friendly videos, audio resources, photo galleries, and interactives.

LeaningWhy.org

FREE K-12 Project-Based and One-to-One lessons vetted and editable to meet your needs.

PBS LearningMedia

FREE standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans aligned to PBS

Early Elementary

Find elementary resources and lessons.  Videos, games and activities aligned to state and national standards.

PBS KIDS Learn

Multiple resources to help support learning at home.

PBS Parents

Sign up for a FREE for a free weekday newsletter with activities and tips to help kids play and learn at home.

PBS KIDS Games

Wide collection of games that are searchable by subject area.

PBS KIDS Apps

Searchable by skills and age level.

 Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Other posts related to this topic:

Math Milestones in Grades K-2

Math milestones in grades K-2
Math milestones in Grades K-2

Kids start learning math the moment they start exploring the world.  Kids develop their math skills at different rates, but there are some math milestones in grades K-2 that most kids hit ROUGHLY in those grades. Each skill—from identifying shapes to counting to finding patterns—builds on what kids already know.

Kindergartners (Age 5 years)

  • Begin to understand basic time concepts, like morning or days of the week
  • Add by counting the fingers on one hand—1, 2, 3, 4, 5—and starting with 6 on the second hand
  • Identify the larger of two numbers and recognize numerals up to 20
  • Understand the meaning of words like unlikely or possible
  • Copy or draw symmetrical shapes
  • Start using very basic maps to find a “hidden treasure”
  • Follow multi-step directions that use words like first and next

First and Second Graders

  • Know the difference between two- and three-dimensional shapes and name the basic ones (cubes, cones, cylinders)
  • Count to 100 by ones, twos, fives, and tens
  • Do basic addition and subtraction up to 20
  • Read and create a simple bar graph
  • Predict what comes next in a pattern and create own patterns
  • Recognize and know the value of coins
  • Write and recognize the numerals 0 to 100, and the words for numbers from one to twenty

Don’t forget that THESE ARE BALLPARK AGES. Don’t worry if your child does not yet have all the skills listed for their age group.  Every child is different and progress at their own rate.  Your child is on a lifelong learning journey with many stops along the way.  Enjoy the journey and see where they have been and where they are going.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Math Milestones for Preschoolers

Math milestones are generally reached ABOUT the same age.
Math milestones are generally reached ABOUT the same age.

Kids start learning math the moment they start exploring the world.  Whether it is shapes, counting or finding patterns, little ones are constantly building on what they already know and hitting some major math milestones.  

Kids develop their math skills at different rates, but there are some math milestones most kids hit around ROUGHLY the same age.   Each skill—from identifying shapes to counting to finding patterns—builds on what kids already know.

Babies (0-12 months)

  • Start to understand relative size (baby is small, parents are big)
  • Begin to understand words that describe quantities (more, bigger, enough)
  • Begin to predict the sequence of events (like setting the table means dinner is coming soon)
  • Start to understand basic cause and effect (tickling makes you laugh)
  • Begin to classify things in simple ways (play with toys, eat food)

Toddlers (Ages 1-2 years)

  • Match basic shapes (triangle to triangle, circle to circle)
  • Explore measurement by filling and emptying containers
  • Begin reciting numbers, but may skip some of them
  • Understand that numbers mean “how many” (using fingers to show how many years old they are) 
  • Start seeing patterns in daily routines and in things like floor tiles
  • Understand words that compare or measure things (under, behind, faster)

Preschoolers (Ages 3-4 years)

  • Start predicting cause and effect (what will happen to the ground when it rains)
  • Uses spatial awareness to put puzzles together.
  • Recognized shapes in the real world
  • Start sorting things by shape, color, size, or purpose.
  • Compare and contrast using classifications like size, gender, height
  • Count to at least 20 and accurately point to and count items in a group.
  • Understand that numerals stand for number names (3 stands for three)

Don’t forget that THESE ARE BALLPARK AGES. Don’t worry if your child does not yet have all the skills listed for their age group.  Every child is different and progress at their own rate.  Your child is on a lifelong learning journey with many stops along the way.  Enjoy the journey and see where they have been and where they are going.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Math Enrichment Problems for Grades 2-3: May

To strengthen thinking skills challenge kids with math enrichment problems.
To strengthen thinking skills challenge kids with math enrichment problems.

Math Enrichment activities should teach kids to solve problems using strategies that promote thinking. These activities are perfect for those kids that need math problems that go beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  Try some of the problems this month to challenge their thinking.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Math Enrichment Problems:

  1. It takes GPA 13 hours and to get to Myrtle Beach from his house.  The distance of the trip is 700 miles.  What was the average speed he traveled on the trip? 
  2. What is the value of 2 Ferris Wheels, if you add them together and get 128?
  3.  If 9 X D = 54, what is the value of D?
  4. If 12 + DG = 74, How much is DG + DG? 
  5. Abby woke up at 7:02am on Thursday and went to be at 8:11pm.  If she napped for 1 hour, how long was she awake on Thursday?
  6. Six tomatoes cost $7.06.  Eleven apples cost as much as 4 tomatoes.      What is the cost of 7 apples? 

Answers:

  1. 53.85 miles per hour (MPH) 700 miles divided by 13 hours = 53.85 miles per hour.
  2. 24.  Since the total of 2 Ferris Wheels = 228, they each are an equal amount of 124.
  3. D = 6
  4. 124. Since DG = 62 therefore, 62 + 62 = 124.
  5. 12 hours and 9 minutes.
  6. 7 apples = $3.01
    • $7.06 divided by 6  = $ 1.18 for each tomato
    • 4 X $1.18 (each tomato) is a total of $4.72
    • So, 11 apples = $4.72
    • So, 1 apple = 43 cents. ($4.72 divided by 11)
    • So, the total cost of 7 apples $3.01 (7 X 43 cents)
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Creative Thinking Tools

Creative thinking tools enable kids to think creatively.
Creative thinking tools enable kids to think creatively.

When I was a teacher in the TAG (Talented and Gifted) program I had to administer a creativity test to all 3rd grade students in the district as part of admission into program.  That test, along with achievement and cognitive tests, were equal components in the program admission.

I loved administering the creativity test and so did the kids!  The test asked students to draw a series of pictures using only partial shapes; adding details and identifying what they drew.  Every year, there were always a few students who asked if they could do the test again.  They just knew they could do it better!  This realization showed us that teaching kids to think creatively was not only important for learning but could also be fun. Working with classroom teachers, my partner and I created lessons and programs that allowed students to be creative.

We started by teaching kids the tools needed to be creative thinkers. Creative thinking builds on the concept that a single question can have multiple answers. It doesn’t focus on right or wrong answers but on the importance of giving students the opportunity to express their ideas. This idea was especially liberating for our student with special needs, quiet, anxious and ELL students.  Being allowed to give non-ordinary responses, especially in a group activity, allows ALL students to participate.

How to Teach Creative Thinking

Once the TAG admission tests were completed, we used a similar Creativity activity to show kids the “tricks” or “creative thinking tools” to be creative.  We taught them 5 creative thinking tools; the SAME 5 components of good writing: fluency, flexibility, originality, elaboration and evaluation.  

  • Fluency – Being able to think of lots of responses to a single question or response.
  • Flexibility – Being able to shift thinking from one way of thinking to another. 
  • Originality – Trying to come up with answers that are clever and unique.
  • Elaboration – Adding details to a basic idea to make it more interesting and complete.
  • Evaluation –Teaching kids how to weigh alternative ideas.  This was especially important when kids were working on team projects.   

Once the kids understood the basic components of creative thinking the LEARNING really began. 

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Math Enrichment Problems for Primary: April

To strengthen thinking skills challenge kids with math enrichment problems.

To strengthen thinking skills challenge kids with math enrichment problems.

Math Enrichment activities should teach kids to solve problems using strategies that promote thinking. These activities are perfect for those kids that need math problems that go beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  Try some of the problems this month to challenge their thinking.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Math Enrichment Problems:

  1. 8 adults, 6 children and 4 dogs went to a concert.  Tickets cost $7 for adults, $5 for children and $3 for dogs.  What was the cost for everyone to go to the concert?
  2. Abby went on a picnic with her sisters.  She bought 7 apples for $1.25 each, 7 sandwiches for $3.75 each, and 7 desserts for $1.95 each.  How much did Abby spend on the picnic?
  3. Meghan bought 12 boxes of donuts that each had 12 donuts.  How many donuts did Meghan buy?
  4. Emmy bought 12 mice for $1.02 each.  How much did Emmy spend on mice?
  5. Teagan earned $2 helping her mom fold the laundry.  If she earned $2 every day, how much would she earn in a year.  (HINT: There are 365 days in a year)
  6. If 12 people each weigh 100 pounds.  What is there total weight?

Answers:

  • $98.00
  • $48.65
  • 144 donuts
  • $12.24 total
  • $730.00
  • 1200 pounds

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Early Childhood Great Websites

Great resources for early childhood teachers
Great resources for early childhood teachers

When working with Early Childhood Student Teachers I often hear that they are spending lots of time looking online for resources.  There is SO MUCH OUT THERE, I certainly can see how that happens! My suggestion for them is to start with just 2 “Tried and True” sites and explore them thoroughly.  The two that I suggest are The National Association for the Education of Young Children and Family Education. They are extensive and are updated regularly.

I also suggest that they open a Word Doc and write a few notes about their favorite websites including notes and the dates that you researched it. This helps to organize past research and topic areas. Yes, you can BOOKMARK it too, but you’ll soon learn that many of the site names sound alike! 

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children Expand your knowledge and skills and find classroom activities quickly with these great resources from NAEYC.  Check out the quick list of resources for new and classic resource.
  • Family Education Great articles, activity ideas, internet tips for teachers (including special needs) can be found at this site. Good parenting articles also.

Once you tackle these two, start to explore some of the other resources from earlier posts.   Happy Researching!

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Enrichment Math Primary: March

Math Thinking Skills can be learned by trying math enrichment problems.
Math Thinking Skills can be learned by trying math enrichment problems.

Math Enrichment activities should teach kids to solve problems using strategies that promote thinking. These activities are perfect for those kids that need math problems that go beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  Try some of the problems this month to challenge their thinking.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Math Enrichment: Count Them Up

  1. If 50 cookies need 5 eggs, how many eggs would you need to make 150 cookies?
  2. If you want to triple a recipe that calls for 9 apples, how many apples would you need?
  3. If a 15-pound chicken will feed 30 people, how many people well a 5-pound chicken feed?
  4. If a recipe that makes 90 cookies calls for 6 cups of oats, how many cups of oats would you use for 30 cookies.
  5. A 10-pound cake uses 3 cups of sugar.  How many cups of sugar would a 5-pound cake use?
  6. If a pound of spaghetti will feed 4 people, how many people will 2 and ½ pounds feed.

Answers

  1. 15 eggs
  2. 27 apples
  3. 10 people
  4. 2 cups of oats
  5. 1 and ½ cups of sugar
  6. 10 people
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Understood.org: Resources for Coronavirus

Understood.org: Resources for Coronavirus
Understood.org: Excellent resources for Coronavirus

I don’t usually just post one link that I think is terrific, but understood.org has posted some great information to support learning during the COVID-19 crisis. We certainly need some good information in these difficult times.

The website Understood.org is a website that I’ve used for years to support the needs of students that learn and think differently. However, I think there postings on Coronavirus are very well done and certainly continue to fit their mission of helping us to learn and think differently. I’ve added some links below, however, there are additional links on the site. I think it’s certainly worth a look by my blog followers.

Coronavirus: Latest Updates and Tips

Hope you find the information helpful. I am working on reposting learning activities and new activities to support learning. Keep checking threeringsconnections.org

Stay well Friends!

Donna

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

COVID-19 Learning Activities Math Newsletter

  COVID-19 learning activities
COVID-19 Learning Activities

COVID-19 LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Who would think that I would ever be posting a COVID-19 Learning activities newsletter? However, here we are with schools closed and millions of kids home. Parents are stepping up to “homeschool” their children and are using home packets and online resources. For many this is unfamiliar territory and an added element to their already full plates.

Many parents are scouring the internet to find school activities to support schoolwork or looking for additional activities. To help shorten your search I’m working on some mid-month newsletters of some past posts from my blog threeringsconnections.org to get you started. This newsletter is focused on Math activities. Keep checking back for additional posts.

Math Resources

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Rubrics for Kids and Teachers

Rubrics help kids understand what constitutes mastery of a skill.
Rubrics help kids understand what constitutes mastery of a skill.

A rubric is a set of guidelines for measuring progress towards a standard or objective.  Using one helps students and teachers share the same understanding of how progress will be measured and what constitutes mastery of that skill or goal.  Unlike letter grades, rubrics allow you to measure a child’s progress by identifying skills mastered and which ones need additional work. They can be written as a number, a checklist, or a narrative.

Rubrics can be developed by individual teachers, school or districts but the most powerful ones are developed WITH students.  Children sometimes have a tough time understanding what a “good job” means in a classroom. Often, it’s said without clarity and sometimes it looks different for different kids. Also “good job” can vary from teacher to teacher or time of the day. So, as teachers, we have to be sure that we are using language that kids understand and that understand the skills they have to achieve.  Once rubric language is taught to kids, teachers have to consistently use them to improve student learning.  

I used to explain to students the reason for using rubrics by using this example. When your parent tells you to clean your room, you do it, they check it and they think you did not do a good job. Kids immediately saw the need for a rubric.  They had experienced the difference between “mom’s clean and kid clean”.

Rubrics give details into a rating and can be created for all kinds of things!  What’s important is that kids and adults need to understand what they need to do at each level so they understand how they are doing.    

5 Resources

Next Month: Rubrics in Teacher Evaluations

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

ThreeRingsConnections.org Newsletter: February Posts

February Posts from ThreeRingsConnections.org
February Posts from ThreeRingsConnections.org

Each day we spend with kids is an opportunity to teach a piece of ourselves.

Last year my 2019 Blog resolution was to be sure that I posted a newsletter on time each month. Resolution Success! This year I weighed whether to continue the blog or to spend the majority of my time with a larger writing project. After much deliberation and support from family and blog followers, I’ve decided to continue blogging for another year. So, my 2020 Blog resolution is to continue writing the Threeringsconnections blog AND still getting the newsletter out on time each month. Let the balancing of efforts begin! 2 newsletters down and 10 to go. As for other “writing”… woohoo! 2 grants written. Awards in May. Fingers crossed! Batting 500%

February Posts

February’s Most Popular Posts

My Favorite February Posts

I choose my favorites each month for different reasons. Sometimes it’s timeliness, a hot education topic, student teacher needs or as a family and friends resource. Sometimes, it’s just, BECAUSE. Enjoy!

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

2020 Archives

2019 Archives

2018 Archives

Check out some topics coming next month
  • KidCitizen: Great History Resource
  • March Prompts to Get Students Writing
  • Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Math Enrichment Primary: February

Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems
Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems

Math Enrichment activities should teach kids to solve problems using strategies that promote thinking. These activities are perfect for those kids that need math problems that go beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  Try some of the problems this month to challenge their thinking.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Math Enrichment: Count Them Up

  1. 2 farmers each have 2 barrels. In each barrel are 3 cats who each have 2 kittens. How many legs are there? (HINT: Don’t forget the farmer’s legs)
  2. Connall collected a dozen eggs from 4 chickens.  How many eggs did Connall collect?
  3. Declan collected 5 dozen eggs but on the way to the house he dropped 9 eggs.  How many eggs did he give to his mother?
  4. Old Macdonald had a farm, and on that farm he had 2 cows, 2 pigs, a horse and cat.  How many heads were on the farm?  How many shoulders? How many eyes? (HINT: Don’t forget to include Old Macdonald)
  5. The Smith parents and their 3 kids, 1 cat and 1 dog went for a walk.  How many legs were walking? 
  6. A spider in a box had 100 babies.  How many legs are there in the box? (HINT: Don’t forget Mommy Spider)

Answers:

  1. 30 legs
  2. 48 eggs
  3. 51 eggs
  4. 7 heads, 14 shoulders, 14 eyes
  5. 18 legs
  6. 808 legs
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Math Thinking Skills Primary: December

Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.
Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems

Some students in the Primary Grades need additional math activities that goes beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  This month we’ll look at some problem solving involving counting body parts.  (really, we’re looking at early multiplication which is repeated addition)

Math Thinking Skills:

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic: