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Latest from the Blog

Core Inspiration's Data & Graphing Math Project featuring a a student work sample, project instructions and unique visuals that make the project fun. Projects like these make math test prep interesting for students and simple for teachers.

Fun Math Test Prep Ideas for 3rd Grade Teachers

Are you looking to add more excitement to your math test prep approach this year? Worksheets, practice tests, and test-taking strategies still have their place in any test prep routine, but there’s a more engaging and effective way to prepare students for standardized tests. Project-based learning can bring life to your test prep routine this school year! It is an easy way for students to: Using math projects during math test prep season allows students to actively apply mathematical concepts and skills to real-world scenarios. Instead of simply memorizing test-taking strategies and working through one practice test after another, your students can engage in hands-on projects that require critical thinking, problem-solving, and strong communication skills.  Through this project work, students develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and how they relate to the world around them. This makes it easier to understand and solve the complex performance tasks on their

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4 Unique 2nd Grade Math Projects Your Students Will Love

Are you looking for a fun and engaging way for your students to practice their math skills? All four of these unique 2nd grade math projects are sure to grab your students’ attention and build their math confidence.   From competing in a measuring competition to planning the birthday schedule of their dreams, these projects are designed to help your students practice essential math skills while having a blast. Not only will they reinforce concepts such as place value, measuring length, graphing data, and telling time, but they will also allow your students to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. Each of the resources listed below makes prepping for project based learning a breeze and makes implementation seamless. These projects are presented in guides that feature detailed visual instructions on each page, making it possible for students to complete their unique projects with maximum independence. You know what that means…you’ll have

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5 Telling Time Activities That Make Learning About Clocks Fun

If I had to guess, your telling time unit tops the list when it comes to a great divide in student understanding. Every year when you look at your pre-assessment data, it probably looks a lot like this:  As a result, your telling time unit requires SO much differentiation. These five must-haves make it easier than ever to achieve that level of differentiation ‌that’s simple and streamlined.   Get A Set of These Clock Manipulatives   It’s likely your district-adopted curriculum came with a set of simple analog clock manipulatives that allow students to move both the hour and minute hands independently of one another.  When you’re working with students who are just learning to connect hours and minutes, it’s better to have a geared clock that accurately keeps the hour-and-minute relationship when your students move the hour hand or minute hand on their clock.   These clocks are designed to make

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A Fresh Tool for Managing Think Pair Share in Your Classroom

Using the think pair share strategy can provide time for students to collaborate productively, have meaningful two-way conversations, and present their thinking in a way that is clear and powerful. Oftentimes, our default partnering strategy for think pair share moments is to have students talk to the person sitting closest to them. This may be quick and easy but it also limits students’ learning horizons as they are hearing from the same person every time they share. It is especially limiting to students who are stuck in one-way conversations. Instead, we can expose students to a variety of voices and perspectives around the classroom during idea sharing using clock partners. This free Clock Partner Think Pair Share Management Tool will help you spruce up your current pair share system with one that is engaging for students and easy for you. Clock Partner Think Pair Share Implementation Tips Take a solid chunk

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Core Inspiration math triads three before me reminder poster with spot for students to meet with the teacher as needed

How To Make Math Small Groups Work Better

Whether you teach math small groups or want to meet one-on-one with students after you’ve released them to work independently, you’ve probably had that feeling of “small group overwhelm”. You know…that feeling when the students who are supposed to be working independently…are…not…independent. Instead of focusing on meeting with students for follow-up instruction, you spend your time: It all begins to feel a bit like a circus act that you really don’t want to perform again tomorrow. If this is happening in your classroom, know that you are not alone. But also know there are some tools you can use and some routines you can implement that turn that circus act into a well-oiled machine.  Math Small Groups Solution 1: Answering All The Questions  If questions bog you down during the small group and independent work rotations of your Math Workshop block, start implementing the Math Triad system.  A Math Triad

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3 Back-To-School Prep Projects To Crush Before You Get Your Class List

Back-To-School season always means your to-do list is a mile long and one of the most challenging things about prepping for a new school year is that most of that list can only get done once you have your classroom keys, your new class list, and the other resources you’re waiting on from admin and your district.  If you want to reduce your workload in the upcoming back-to-school season, there are a few things you can this summer to prep what you have control over regardless of what room you’re teaching in or the names of the students in your class.  You can try tackling one of these mini projects each week over the summer or plan to set aside about one week before you head in for your first official work day to complete these projects.   Write Your First Day Plans  Regardless of which grade you are teaching or

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3 Great Geometry Activities for Your Elementary Classroom

Teaching your geometry unit in elementary school can make you feel like you’re the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon. Everything you say is just “wah-wah-womp-wah”…in one ear and out the other.  The relationships between shapes and all the vocabulary can be difficult for young learners to grasp and often require hands-on activities and more visual aids than your bulletin boards can hold.  Here are three resources that simplify teaching geometry and help those shape attributes and relationships stick long term for students. By weaving these resources into your unit this year, you can create a dynamic and interactive classroom environment that encourages students to explore and learn about shapes in new and exciting ways. Use A Project As Your Summative Geometry Assessment  Bring a hands-on focus to your geometry unit by celebrating students’ learning with a unique math project that feels like a real-world simulation. Quadrilateral City has everything you

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5 Fun Measurement Activities for Your Elementary Classroom

Teaching students how to measure length naturally lends itself to a hands-on learning experience. But you may be ready to take things up a notch from your go-to classroom measurement scavenger hunt. These measurement activities create a more meaningful, engaging experience that connects this real-world skill to your classroom. All five of the ideas I’m sharing today will allow your students to experience your measurement unit in unique, hands-on ways, and truly help them build a strong foundational understanding of how to measure length.  Get Rulers That Set Your Students Up for Success When your elementary students are getting the hang of measuring length, provide rulers that start at zero without that extra gap at the beginning. This will help them get more accurate measurements out of the gate and boost their confidence as they work to master this new skill.  These flexible rulers by ETA Hand-To-Mind are the only

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5 Classroom Jobs Your Students Will Love

Classroom jobs are one of the most powerful tools for boosting students’ ownership of their learning space. When students are trusted with the responsibility of completing tasks that are substantial and meaningful contributions to their classroom, they instantly feel like a more valued members of their classroom community.  You may notice your students highly covet some of your classroom jobs, while others are less popular. Here are five classroom jobs that, without fail, you and your students will love incorporating into your economy system each year.  Indoor Environmentalist  The indoor environmentalist uses a little hand-held vacuum to clean messes off the floor. This job will feel super manageable and fun to your students if you also have every student in class pick up five items that shouldst be on the floor as part of their tidy-up routine. This ensures that all the follow cleanup doesn’t fall on one student and

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Practice Modeling Fractions on A Number Line With This Unique Math Game

One of the greatest roadblocks when identifying and modeling fractions on a number line is the ability to visualize how to partition a number line into equal shares. A powerful way to strengthen this skill is to give your students time to physically manipulate a number line.  The game Number Line Dash can help you do just that.  The Objective of Number Line Dash  This two-player math game will help your students become masters in modeling fractions on a number line. Their goal is to use a number line to model the fraction they “flip” before their partner models theirs.  How To Set Up This Math Game Have students find an open space to play on the floor or on a table. They will need: Each face card has a special value for this game.  How To Play Number Line Dash  Make Modeling Fractions on A Number Line Easier For

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Fractions on a number line model with movable paper clips to help students practice modeling parts of a whole equally

Bring Hands-On Learning To Your Fraction Unit With These 3 Unique Ideas

What do you think of when you hear/read the phrase “hands-on fraction unit”? When you first hear the words “fractions” and “hands-on” your mind probably jumps right to making fraction strips with your students or those magnetic pie pieces that you attach to your whiteboard while you teach students about parts of a whole.  This blog post is not about those things.  All three of the ideas I’m sharing today will give your students the opportunity to experience fractions in ways that are unique, and engaging, and truly help them build a strong foundational understanding of fractions concepts. Get ready to learn three new ideas for making your fraction unit a more hands-on learning experience.  Give Every Student Their Own Reusable Fraction Strips  Fraction strips. They sure are helpful for building an understanding of parts of a whole, but boy do they require a lot of organization…and coordination for young

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Core Inspiration morning work Number of the Day 3rd Grade Binder page with a whiteboard marker and eraser.

How To Check Morning Work More Efficiently

The key to correcting morning work in a way that’s easy and seamless is to use a format that’s consistent each day so your brain doesn’t have to adjust to a new format as you’re checking student work.  This also makes it easier for your students to complete their morning work independently so you have time in your schedule to take care of housekeeping tasks before the first lesson of the day.  If you are looking for a consistent, reusable format for math morning work, check out these Number of the Day Binders. Students will quickly become familiar with the process for completing each activity and the open-ended skill work included on each page makes differentiation effortless for you each day.  A Clear, Silent Signal  To make checking work a calm and seamless process, have students who are done give you a silent signal that communicates they are ready to

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Core Inspiration's Data & Graphing Math Project featuring a a student work sample, project instructions and unique visuals that make the project fun. Projects like these make math test prep interesting for students and simple for teachers.

Fun Math Test Prep Ideas for 3rd Grade Teachers

Are you looking to add more excitement to your math test prep approach this year? Worksheets, practice tests, and test-taking strategies still have their place in any test prep routine, but there’s a more engaging and effective way to prepare students for standardized tests. Project-based learning can bring life to

Read More »

4 Unique 2nd Grade Math Projects Your Students Will Love

Are you looking for a fun and engaging way for your students to practice their math skills? All four of these unique 2nd grade math projects are sure to grab your students’ attention and build their math confidence.   From competing in a measuring competition to planning the birthday schedule of

Read More »

A Fresh Tool for Managing Think Pair Share in Your Classroom

Using the think pair share strategy can provide time for students to collaborate productively, have meaningful two-way conversations, and present their thinking in a way that is clear and powerful. Oftentimes, our default partnering strategy for think pair share moments is to have students talk to the person sitting closest

Read More »
Core Inspiration math triads three before me reminder poster with spot for students to meet with the teacher as needed

How To Make Math Small Groups Work Better

Whether you teach math small groups or want to meet one-on-one with students after you’ve released them to work independently, you’ve probably had that feeling of “small group overwhelm”. You know…that feeling when the students who are supposed to be working independently…are…not…independent. Instead of focusing on meeting with students for

Read More »

3 Great Geometry Activities for Your Elementary Classroom

Teaching your geometry unit in elementary school can make you feel like you’re the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon. Everything you say is just “wah-wah-womp-wah”…in one ear and out the other.  The relationships between shapes and all the vocabulary can be difficult for young learners to grasp and often require

Read More »

5 Fun Measurement Activities for Your Elementary Classroom

Teaching students how to measure length naturally lends itself to a hands-on learning experience. But you may be ready to take things up a notch from your go-to classroom measurement scavenger hunt. These measurement activities create a more meaningful, engaging experience that connects this real-world skill to your classroom. All

Read More »

5 Classroom Jobs Your Students Will Love

Classroom jobs are one of the most powerful tools for boosting students’ ownership of their learning space. When students are trusted with the responsibility of completing tasks that are substantial and meaningful contributions to their classroom, they instantly feel like a more valued members of their classroom community.  You may

Read More »
Core Inspiration morning work Number of the Day 3rd Grade Binder page with a whiteboard marker and eraser.

How To Check Morning Work More Efficiently

The key to correcting morning work in a way that’s easy and seamless is to use a format that’s consistent each day so your brain doesn’t have to adjust to a new format as you’re checking student work.  This also makes it easier for your students to complete their morning

Read More »