Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Need to Learn Your Facts??

Every year is a struggle with students needing to learn their multiplication facts. It would be easy to blame the student's previous teachers. However, because I moved to fifth grade a couple years ago, I had the opportunity to teach the same kids. I was their previous teacher. In order for students to be successful in the fifth grade, they need to have their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts memorized.

I have found the only way to truly accomplish this is what teachers call Kill and Drill. The title is much scarier than the actual task. The best way for me to learn something and retain it is to complete the activity over and over again. I would recommend buying flash cards (check out the dollar stores) or downloading them online (free).

Once you have the flash cards, start with the "easier" facts. With multiplication, this is the 0s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, and 11s. When those have been memorized, you are halfway there! Next, 3s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, and 12s. Often it seems students will have most of their facts memorized and at this point is when the games can come in! Games reinforce what students already know! Students, feel free to use this excuse freely with your parents: "Mom and/or dad, I need to play on the computer in order to memorize my multiplication facts. Ms. Browne said it is good for me!"

Below are a couple websites that have flash games. They are free! I also recommend Googling "multiplication games." There are new websites popping up all the time! Please let me know if you find a good one!


Day One!

I enrolled in an online class about blogging. I have another blog I contribute to with friends, but I thought I would really like a way to communicate with my students and for them to be able to publish their work. This will also serve as a portal for parents to be able to see what we are working on in class and be "in the know." My goal with this blog is to open my students' eyes to what blogging is and insure that they are technologically savvy individuals by the time they go to middle school.

I want my classroom to be a technology-rich environment. By being technologically savvy, my students will be able to produce assignments, upload them, add pictures and music, link to other websites, etc. In my ideal classroom, they will be able to do all of this by the end of the year without the assistance of me. I hope to be able to sit back and watch what amazing techies they have become!

Here goes nothing! :)