Friday, March 28, 2014

It's Nice to Have Friends!

Today I'm linking up with a few other teacher/authors who are helping a friend celebrate a blog make-over. There are several giveaways involved, here is the rafflecopter to enter the one I'm in!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And here is the link to the blog we are all happy to help out!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Time for a Little Music!

I have the wonderful privilege of being part of a terrific group of teacher/tutor/authors over on Teachers Pay Teachers, who are all swapping resources this week and reviewing them for each other! It has been a fun experience, and has allowed me to step out of my tutor role and enjoy my homeschooling mom role a bit. I was paired with Rebecca Reid from Line Upon Line Learning, and could chose any item from her store.

As a side note, before this swap I hadn't really looked at Recca's store because her kids are younger than mine, and her reading materials wouldn't really help me with all of math tutoring students! I am so happy I had the chance to look around and really get to know her style!

Now back to the swap. My kids are all music lovers, and so I am. I can from a musically talented family, but never had the resources to develop my own skill. So my kids pretty much teach themselves what they want to learn using YouTube and other video sites. When I saw that Rebecca had music resources I knew I had found the resource to try out!

Piano Notes Board Game  
The suggested grades for this resource are 1st through 6th. But I have to tell you all, my 8th and 9th graders loved it! I am happy I decided to laminate the cards, because I can see this is going to be a game that gets added to our collection :)

After I printed and cut everything out (I so should have let the older kids do this because everything has nice straight lines, so it definitely would have been easy enough!) I set the board on our dining room table. I wouldn't let the kids explore or anything, just told them it was product I was reviewing for a friend. But the colors and the musical notes and staffs just ate away at their curiosity. By the time we finally got to sit down and play the game, everyone was eager to play.

We set up the keyboard right next to the table so each time someone had to play a note or series of notes they had to get up and walk to the keyboard. My kids are movers, so this was a great way to keep their wiggles at bay so they could focus.

We also made a little adjustment to the playing pieces. (btw, my kids are all a little interested in learning who these guys are!) We didn't have the binder clips to hold up the pieces, so I glued them part way, and made little legs. It was fun to keep them from tipping over, took several tries to get it just right, but it worked, so you don't really need those clips after all!. 

Here's how the game basically works. The player draws a card, and answers with either naming a note or playing it on the keyboard (sometimes it a 3-letter word that must be played). There are cards with just the note marked on a keyboard, on the treble clef, and on the bass clef. There are also a few freebie cards giving players an extra turn to roll and move. Thankfully, there are anchor charts to help those of us who don't know how to read music!

After the player answers the card correctly (other players have to "check off" on the answer), its time to roll the die. This was perhaps the most fun my family has had rolling 1 die! The "numbers" are music notes. So you must figure out how many spaces based on the count of the note. For example, a quarter note moves you 1 space, a whole note moves you 4 spaces.  We are going to have fun looking for these notes in the future and counting out how many spaces they would let us move on the game!

With a couple slides that move your pieces forward in the game and the bonus cards, it's really anyone's game the whole time. Just ask my son who got a little hot for his britches in the beginning and then got passed up in the end! Reach the child playing the piano and you win. We added a twist saying the final roll must be exact. This took me out of the winner's circle :(

On a final note, this game would be a great addition to a tutor's bag of goodies, if you have a student interested in music. A nice reward for a focused lesson, building numeracy skills for young ones, a research challenge for older ones, or just simply learning to read music if that is what you are tutoring!

After playing this game, my youngest have been more inclined to try out their hand at music and have been learning a few bits of some of their favorite songs. The older ones are a little more confident and willing to help out the younger ones. And the best part, mom didn't have to rack her brain trying to figure out how to make it happen!

A little birdy told me that this game would be going on sale sometime soon, so you may want to check if you've been following Rebecca Reid on TpT, so you get the notification when it goes on sale. But at $3 dollars regular price, it's still a great deal!

Also, be sure to watch for this button over the next few days on blogs and Facebook pages. There were about 20 or so of us who traded products to review, and many of them will be on sale!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Think Bright Tutor Conference

This is the first of its kind, as far as I know, and I'm excited to attend! Adrianne Meldrum of The Tutor House has organized the event, along with 3 other presenters.

Travel, room and board, not necessary as this will be a virtual conference you can attend from the comfort of your own home! We'll have the opportunity to learn from some very successful tutors.

Are you excited now? Well, just to make this all a little better, Adrianne has given me 1 ticket to giveaway!

So enter the rafflecopter below. The entries are super easy, just like us both on Facebook, then tweet about the giveaway and/or conference and you will be entered!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You might want to follow The Tutor House blog to stay up-to-date as the conference approaches. Mark your calendars: April 26th, 2014!

Monday, March 3, 2014

March is Interactive Math Month

You won't find it on any calendar, or in your school newsletter. It's not an official holiday, nor is it a long standing tradition. Then why mention this self-proclaimed Interactive Math Month? It's because I've used INBs and lapbooks with my kids for years, and I recently discovered that classroom teachers are falling in love with this method of teaching as well. I figured, it's about time tutors get on this bandwagon too! That is why for the entire month of March, Tutoring Supplies by Design will be focusing on adding interactive companion packets for all of the math games in the store.

Can you see the excitement on my face?

What exactly is an Interactive Notebook anyway?

The easy answer: little student created booklets in a larger notebook on any given subject.

Here are a few examples from other bloggers:

The more indepth answer: Flip-flap books, matchbooks, wheels and spinners, fan books and accordion books; all aid students in exploring new content and reviewing that content later. These mini books are glued, taped, or stapled into a composition notebook, three-ring binder, or any other folder/notebook of your choice, along with added drawings, diagrams, and teacher guided notes.

Typically, this method is used during teaching time, and is highly adaptable to students' various needs. This is why it has been so popular with homeschoolers. Teacher-parents are able to guide a group of students with wide ranges of abilities all learning the same basic topic. With a current push toward differentiation in the schools, this method is gaining popularity.

Why would interactive notebooking help tutors then?

This method engages the learner on multiple levels as they connect with the information. If your student's classroom teachers aren't already using this method, you can help them connect with the information they are learning on a deeper level than simply studying flash cards or writing out definitions. Your students may want to bring their INB to and from school so they can use it during class to jot notes or questions they'd like you to help them understand or answer.

Another beneficial way you could incorporate INBs is when helping your students study for tests. Most teachers will provide students with study guides for large exams such as semester exams or unit exams. Why not turn each component of the test guide into a page in the notebook. As your learner creates the flip-flap books and writes in notes for each skill and content area, they will develop a deeper understanding of the material, and you will have a better understanding of where they need the most help!

Now that you have a better idea of what interactive Notebooks are and how you can put them to good use, here is my first published resource for the month!

It's fraction time for most elementary classes this time of year, so I've been hard at work creating fun and engaging games for my students to practice their fraction skills. Most of my students working on this content are in 4th grade, so that means they are learning all about equivalency. They are also all really into space themes, aliens and planets and rockets. These first few resources, therefore, have been designed for my students with this in mind.

Equivalent Fraction Memory with Anchor Charts
Equivalent Fraction Match Up Puzzles with Review Sheets

These first two are the games. I laminate the cards for durability, and then slide the Anchor Charts and Puzzle Pages into a Photo Binder so all of my fraction materials are together in one place. As I began making the companion packet, I decided to use the same aliens so my students could quickly reference the Anchor Charts.

Equivalent Fraction Interactive Notebook and Worksheets

Now it's your turn! If you have a blog post or product that is inspired by Interactive Notebooks, or that will help other teachers, tutors, and even homeschoolers incorporate interactive notebooking in their lessons, please leave a link below.

Most Popular Posts Lately