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Oct 122017

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to use ELA manipulatives to help students develop concepts and demonstrate their understanding.

oct1Exploring Onomatopoeia

Create onomatopoetic words to describe each sound you hear.


oct2Persuasion Map

Plan a persuasive essay using this online persuasion map.


oct4Character Trading Cards

Create your own character trading cards.


oct3Myths Brainstorming Machine

Use this Myths Brainstorming Machine to help you write a myth of your own.



Create Your Own Comic Strip

Create your own printable comic strip!

How do you use ELA manipulatives in your classroom?

August Facebook Live Videos

 Posted by on September 14, 2017  Content Recommendations  Comments Off
Sep 142017

facebookIf you haven’t joined us yet, set a reminder on your calendar for this Wednesday at 7:15 pm CST to join us for our next Facebook Live Video!  Every week, I go live on Facebook for 5 – 10 minutes to share specific digital content that may be helpful in your classroom.  Past video topics are hyperlinked below:

Discover two interesting alternatives to common math manipulatives

Learn an easy way to differentiate your instruction using digital content

Discover my favorite free online graphing activity

5 Digital Getting to Know You Activities for Back to School Fun!

5 sites that make science come to life!

Take your students time travelingwith five must see Social Studies simulations

3 virtual manipulatives that help students visualize addition concepts

Free StarrMatica Content

 Posted by on September 12, 2017  Content Additions  Comments Off
Sep 122017

If you are not a StarrMatica member, or if you have educator friends who would like to benefit from our content, you should know about our new website that includes a sampling of our K-6 reading and math content for free.  We created this site to allow all teachers and students to benefit from our content even if their school is not able to subscribe.  You can check out the new site here:  free.starrmatica.com

The K-2 content is ready now and the 3-6 content will be added in October.  Please share it with your educator friends and parents!


Sep 072017

science girlStarrMatica has been awarded a USDA SBIR Phase I Grant to develop and research a software platform that houses customizable K-5 digital science informational texts.

One of the cornerstones of a quality education is the ability to read and comprehend informational texts.  School and career success depends on our ability to comprehend informational texts.  Yet, nearly 44 million American adults cannot extract a single piece of information when they read an informational text if background knowledge is required.  The results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show that nearly 2/3 of American fourth-graders can only read at or below a proficient level, and when examined further, researchers found that on the 2009 NAEP test, fourth-grade students scored worse on informational texts than on literary passages—with students eligible for free lunch scoring the worst on informational texts.  Because beginning readers are exposed to primarily literary texts, when students enter fourth grade and begin to read more content area informational texts, they have difficulty with comprehension. Comprehending informational texts requires a different set of strategies and skills than they have previously developed.

Knowing this research, the writers of the Common Core have asked teachers to spend 50% of their ELA instructional time with informational texts; however, teachers often don’t have enough informational text resources in their classrooms to meet this requirement.  Being former teachers, we saw this problem and wanted to help.

StarrMatica’s grant will fund the creation of a platform that houses K-5 science informational texts to meet thbook-2022464_640e Next Generation Science Standards.  Teachers will have the ability to customize each text to teach specific text structures, print features, graphic aids, comprehension skills, and Common Core ELA standards at multiple Lexile reading levels.  These customization options will allow teachers to differentiate comprehension instruction to meet the needs of all students and to support a variety of instructional objectives.  The System will be designed to both teach and assess comprehension skills and will be tied to a classroom-management system that records student data.

StarrMatica’s Customizable Informational Text System is expected to 1) allow K-5 teachers to more easily integrate informational texts into their science instruction, 2) make it easier to customize those texts and the accompanying reading comprehension instruction for students with different learning needs, and 3) integrate Common Core-aligned ELA instruction with NGSS-aligned science instruction.

The prototype will be ready for testing in early January and the full product is expected to be ready in 2019.  If you would like more information about this project or to be included as one of the prototype test classrooms, please contact us!

K-2 ELA Manipulatives

 Posted by on September 5, 2017  Content Recommendations, Reading Resources  Comments Off
Sep 052017

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to use ELA manipulatives to help students develop concepts and demonstrate their understanding.

sept1Foam Phonemes

Shoot letters and word parts into the air.  Then, create words in the sky with what you have chosen.


sept2CVC Maker

Switch word beginnings and endings to create words.



sept3Writing Repeater

Write letters and words with this writing repeater.  Then, play back what you have written.


sept4Flip Book

Create a flip book to demonstrate your knowledge of cause and effect, fact and opinion, summarizing, or sequencing.


sept5Letter and Number Formation

Learn how to write letters and numbers by watching and following examples.

How do you use ELA manipulatives in your classroom?

3-6 Math Manipulatives

 Posted by on August 8, 2017  Content Recommendations, Math Resources  Comments Off
Aug 082017

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to use math manipulatives to foster concept development through visual models and problem solving situations.

august 1Number Balance

Use these interactive balances to show the relationship between addition problems or to find the sum to balance and equation.


august 2Create a Graph

Create a bar graph or a pie graph using your own data.


august3Equivalent Fractions on a Number Line

Use this virtual manipulative to create equivalent fractions and see them plotted on a number line.


august 4FDP Bars I
Use these virtual manipulatives to visually compare fractions, decimals, and percents.


august 5Adjustable Function Machine

Click the control panel to set one or two rules for the function machine.  Then place each number in the stream to see the results.


How do you use math manipulatives in your classroom?

Jun 272017

Girl Juggling ClocksJoin us for StarrMatica’s first Facebook Live broadcast this Wednesday, June 28th at 7:15 pm CST.


Why Wednesday, you ask?  Well, because that seems to be the day of the week that I consistently am able to steal a few moments away from my 2 ½ year old and 3 month old to take a shower and will be presentable for the camera.  And why 7:15 pm?  Well for me, the kids are in bed and there is a good chance I won’t be interrupted.  I am also hoping that you, too, have settled in for the evening and will have a few moments to join me to learn about exciting new resources for your classroom.

What to expect:  Each week, I’ll spend a quick 5-10 minutes sharing with you an interesting digital resource and giving ideas for how to use it in your classroom.  This week’s topic: How I went from teacher to business owner (and how you can too.)  Whether or not you are interested in starting your own business (I wasn’t!) the information is valuable (and possibly entertaining!)  I’ll also share my all time favorite digital resource you can access for free!

Looking forward to meeting you online every Wednesday at 7:15 pm CST!  www.facebook.com/starrmatica


Former 4th Grade Teacher

President/CEO StarrMatica.com

May Friday Favorites – Web Tools

 Posted by on May 27, 2017  Content Recommendations  Comments Off
May 272017

makerEach Friday on Facebook and Twitter, we share a curated digital resource from our library that is one of our favorites.  In May, we focused on web tools.  Here’s what we shared:

Zimmer Twins

Create your own animated movie!


Picture Book Maker

Create your own picture book. Choose backgrounds, characters, and objects and add the text of your story.


Printing Press

Use this interactive to design and print newspapers, brochures, flyers, and booklets.


Make Beliefs Comix

Choose your background, characters, and objects, and add text to create our own printable three panel comic.


K-2 Math Manipulatives

 Posted by on May 2, 2017  Content Recommendations, Math Resources  Comments Off
May 022017

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library use math manipulatives to foster concept development through visual models and problem solving situations.

may1Addition Number Line

Use these interactive number lines to demonstrate addition concepts.


bears in a boatBears in a Boat

Are your students losing interest in your ten frame?  Try using bears in a boat to catch their attention!


cowsGrouping and Grazing

Try having your students group cows to practice counting by 5’s and 10’s or to practice adding and subtracting with a partner.


may2Number Balance

Use a number balance to compare numbers.



may3Hundreds Square

Use the counters on the blank hundreds square to practice skip counting.

How do you use math manipulatives in your classroom?