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Feb 262014
 

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students.

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from our library to support and enhance the teaching of: CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.3 Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).

rekenrek

Brilliant Beastring Rekenrek

You could use this virtual manipulative with students either on laptops/tablets/Chromebooks or using real manipulatives.  Activities can be developed that help students to visualize a number decomposed in different ways and to try to create all of the different ways a number can be decomposed.  ( A lesson plan with four activities to use with this resource is available for StarrMatica members.)

 

balanceCalculation Balance

You could also use this virtual manipulative with students either on laptops/tablets/Chrombooks.  This manipulative moves  your students from using objects to represent decomposition to using numbers.  Students could be challenged to find several ways to balance the scale for a given number.

 

starrmatica actMake A Number

You could use this animation to review how a number can be created in many different ways.  It includes a manipulative that allows students to separate blocks into two groups and record their decompositions.  (You must be a StarrMatica member and be logged in to access this resource.)

 

butterflyButterfly Ten Frame

You could use this simple activity with students to practice and record number combinations that equal ten.

 

wigBig Wig Sub Shop

You could use this resource to check for student understanding.  The game challenges students to find all of the number sentences that name the given number.

Feb 202014
 

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students.

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from our library to support and enhance the teaching of Common Core Math Standard 5.NBT.B.7:  Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals to hundredths, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.

base ten blocksSubtracting Decimals with Base Ten Blocks

You could use this virtual manipulative with students either on laptops/tablets/Chromebooks or using real manipulatives and spend time using the base ten blocks to develop the concept of regrouping to add and subtract decimals.

 

number line

Subtracting Decimals on a Number Line 

You could give your students decimals to add and subtract via mental math and use the number line to demonstrate counting up and counting back strategies as the students share them.

 

rope tug

 

Rope Tug 

You could use this activity as a center activity because it requires the students to use their number sense and strategies to determine what decimals will yield the greatest difference.

 

 

decimals castleAdding and Subtracting

You could use this animation to review the traditional algorithm after the students had come up with it on their own, but I wouldn’t have them just sit and watch the animation. I would use it on my SMART Board and pause at points and question the students. Why do you have to line up the decimal points? Why is it important to have numbers in the correct place values? What is the relationship between a number and the number to its right and left? I would have the kids evaluate if the steps given are a good method or if they would add steps or remove steps.  (You must be a StarrMatica member and be logged in to access this resource.)

decimals testDecimals Basics Test

At some point, I would use the open response test as formative assessment to see which students are able to add and subtract decimals and which need more assistance.   (You must be a StarrMatica member and be logged in to access this resource.)

Keyboarding Digital Content

 Posted by on February 13, 2014  Content Recommendations  Comments Off
Feb 132014
 

As we work with media specialists and technology integration specialists in schools across the country, one of the most common requests we receive is for recommendations for online typing programs.  Growing up, StarrMatica’s CEO, Emily Starr, spent her weekends in the typing classroom, and eventually the computer lab, of her business education teaching mother.  Emily learned to type at an early age and believes that typing is an essential life skill no matter what a student’s chosen career path may be.

In recognition of its importance in an increasingly technological society, it often falls to elementary educators to begin to lay the foundations for later typing success in a world where students are used to using only their thumbs for texting!

While typing isn’t a curricular focus of StarrMatica, as your digital content teaching partner, we are glad to provide these typing content recommendations in the hopes they will help you make learning to type an enjoyable experience for your students.

Typing Tutorialstyping

Please Note:  The first two recommendations contain advertisements, so please preview content before using it with your students.  Some of the games do not load in Chrome. 

http://www.sense-lang.org/typing/tutor/lessons.php?lang=EN&lesson=40

http://www.typingweb.com/tutor/courses/

Typing Orchestra

http://games.sense-lang.org/typingOrchestra4.swf

Type for Your Life

http://games.sense-lang.org/stairs.swf

Typing Olympic Games

http://games.sense-lang.org/olympia.swf

Meteor Game

http://games.sense-lang.org/meteor.swf

Typing Chef

http://games.sense-lang.org/TypingChef.swf

Typing Chameleon

http://games.sense-lang.org/EN_Chameleon.swf

Typing Balloons

http://games.sense-lang.org/EN_Balloon.swf

Keyboard Climber

http://www.tvokids.com/games/keyboardclimber

http://www.tvokids.com/games/keyboardclimber2

Typing Ghosts

http://www.funtotype.com/default/games/typing-ghosts/game.swf

Star Keys

http://www.typingtest.com/games/starkeys_sa_preloader.swf

Bubbles

http://www.typingtest.com/games/Bubbles.swf

Key Bricks

http://www.typingtest.com/games/bricks.swf

Keytris

http://www.typingtest.com/games/keytris.swf

Key Tower

http://www.typingtest.com/games/keytower.swf

http://www.typingmaster.com/games/keyman.swf

Keyboard Ninja

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/keyboard-ninja/preloader.swf

Tommy Q

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/tommyq/preloader.swf

Baron Von Typesfast

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/baron-von-typesfast/preloader.swf

Type A Balloon

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/type-a-balloon/preloader.swf

Type Toss

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/type-toss/preloader.swf

Fire Typer

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/fire-typer/preloader.swf

Magic Library

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/magiclibrary/game.swf

Typing Monster

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/typingmonster/game.swf

Air Typer

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/airtyper/game.swf

Type Revolution

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/typetype/game.swf

Cup Stacking

http://images.typingweb.com/tutor/images/games/cupstacking/game.swf

Dance Mat Typing

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/

Teacher Feature: Jill Joos

 Posted by on February 10, 2014  Teacher Features  Comments Off
Feb 102014
 

Meet Jill Joos.  She teaches at Newark Charter School in Newark, Delaware.  Jill teaches the core subjects (ELA, math, science, and social studies) to 24 third graders of varied abilities.

She has an interactive whiteboard in her classroom and two student computers that are used every day for many subject areas.  She also has access to a mobile laptop cart that she checks out at least once a month.
Her students go to a computer lab once a week for technology instruction given by one of their specialists.

This is Jill’s 4th year using StarrMatica– mostly for math and reading instruction. Here is how she uses our content in her own words:

We view many of the lessons whole class on our interactive whiteboard and then students practice the concepts on our classroom student computers.

I always have the access information in my weekly classroom news, so students can take advantage of StarrMatica at home.

I also use StarrMatica to search for science, social studies, math, and reading resources. There I find resources beyond StarrMatica making it easy to incorporate a variety of technology into my lessons. 

StarrMatica solves the problem of having to search for quality resources appropriate for my students.  It is quick and easy to navigate.  The lessons present concepts using multiple strategies.  The quality of the lessons keeps students engaged. And it also provides a means for parents to revisit concepts and practice at home.

All schools should have StarrMatica as a resource to supplement instruction in the classroom.  Giving students multiple strategies for math understanding and varied reading lessons levels the playing field for students.  In today’s high stakes world of standards and assessments, this resource is the place for fun, engaging activities to help students find success in learning.

Our teacher features are posted on our blog and are housed on the testimonials page of our website.

Want to be our next teacher feature?  Contact us.  We would love to hear about your experiences.

Feb 052014
 

How many times have you taught a concept, only to have to re-teach it the next day because your students don’t remember what you taught the day before?  As teachers we know that engaged students learn more than passive students, so we need to construct learning experiences in ways that lead students to discover a concept by drawing their own conclusions rather than directly teaching them the concept.  Here are a few ways a directly taught concept can be modified with digital content to encourage students to draw their own conclusions.

probabilityDirectly Taught Concept:  The more times an experiment is conducted, the closer the results will be to the theoretical probabilities.

Student Discovery of that Concept:  In this StarrMatica activity, students conduct a probability experiment 10 times and 100 times and then compare the results to draw a conclusion. (You must be a StarrMatica member to access this content.)

http://www.starrmatica.com/lessons/direct.php?l=probability&id=4586

Directly Taught Concept:  All parallelograms are quadrilaterals, but not all quadrilaterals are parallelograms.

Student Discovery of that Concept:  In this StarrMatica activity, students sort 2-D shapes into categories and then compare shapes in those categories to draw a conclusion.  (You must be a StarrMatica member to access this content.)

http://www.starrmatica.com/lessons/direct.php?l=2dshapes&id=4248

Directly Taught Concept:  The commutative property of multiplication tells us that factors can be multiplied in any order and the product remains the same.

Student Discovery of that Concept:  Students create multiplication arrays for multiplication pairs (ie:  6 x 5 and 5 x 6) and draw a conclusion about the relationship between the factors and the product.

http://staff.argyll.epsb.ca/jreed/math9/strand1/multiply_arrays.swf

Directly Taught Concept:  We need to use a standard measuring tool for accuracy when communicating measurements to others.

Student Discovery of that Concept:  In this StarrMatica K-2 activity, students use footsteps of different sizes to measure around a garden.

http://www.starrmatica.com/lessons/k2/index.php?lesson=123&id=1032

In this StarrMatica 3-6 activity, students use fish of different lengths to measure the length of a blue whale.

http://www.starrmatica.com/lessons/direct.php?l=usmeasurement&id=4656

In both activities students use the information that non-standard measuring tools result in different measurements to draw a conclusion about the need for a standard measuring tool.  (You must be a StarrMatica member to access both pieces of content.)

How do you encourage students to draw conclusions in your classroom?