Sunday, January 30, 2011

Press ock!!!!!

I have been dying to share this incredibly cute/funny story with all of you! Our district uses the Everyday Math curriculum. For those of you not familiar with EDM, the curriculum incorporates tons of Math games to support student learning. I have a SMARTboard in my room so I make sure that whenever I am introducing an new online game, I use the SMARTboard so that all students can watch and participate instead of working with two students at a time to teach it to them on the computer.

So, the class was divided into two groups. We were playing basketball addition and students had to add up the three numbers appearing on the dice and enter in the sum and press 'ok'. So my kiddos were getting acquainted with touching the numbers and hitting 'ok' many of them would enter the number and wait awkwardly for about 3 seconds before the audience will tell him/her what to press next. One of my students with a severe visual impairment was up at the board and could not find the button to push after entering in the number. After a few seconds everyone else was yelling what sounded like "press ock, press ock". Baffled, I looked at my TA trying to see if he knew what they were talking about. Then I looked back at the board and realized my students were looking at 'ok' and sounding it out...which is why what they said sounded like 'ock'!!!!

I smiled form ear to ear and even chuckled outloud. I then explained to the class that what it actually says is 'ok' but they were not buying it. It also did not help my case much that it was not written like 'okay' or 'o.k.', as I feel it should have been.

When I told this to my non-teacher friends, they did not really see what the big deal was. However, seeing as though my bilingual students are going into their first 4 weeks ever of reading instruction in English, I am sooooo PROUD to see my kiddos applying the appropriate letter sounds to what they are reading!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

If we had known....

This has been a dilemma with my kiddos for quite a while, but I cannot seem to figure out how to change it. The problem is that my kids get math homework every night and they are to read for at least 2 minutes and fill out their reading log. About 98% of my students do their Math homework every night, but each morning, I have maybe 4 out 15 kids turn in their Reading log. 14 out 15 of my students are a year below grade level in Reading, so I really push for students to read at home. We have had many a conversation about the fact that reading at home is not optional, just the same as Math homework. I have contacted parents, conferenced with the repeat offenders, but nothing seems to do the trick. I know that the students who do not turn in their Reading Log are generally not reading at home.

This week, I decided to use an incentive to entice the other kiddos to do their Reading homework. On Friday, I looked over my homework check-in list and the students who turned in their homework (both Math and Reading) all week got 2 "No Homework" passes to be used any time within the third quarter. I had only ONE student who was eligible to receive the prize. Might I add that the students were outraged b/c "If we knew we would get a homework pass, we would have done our homeowrk"!! The nerve!!!

Are there any other ideas that you have used with your students to motivate them to do their homework??