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Latest from the Blog

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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Blog Post About An Effective Morning Work Routine For Elementary Teacher

An Effective Morning Work Routine For Elementary Teachers

A calm and consistent morning routine in your classroom sets the tone for the day. You will notice your students are happier, more peaceful, and far more productive when you start each day with the same routine. A consistent format for your students’ morning work is one of the most powerful ways to make this happen. Here are a few tips to make your daily morning routine something that brings you joy and peace, and sets the tone for learning every single day.  Quick Prep For Morning Work Before Your Students Arrive Create a visual checklist that names everything students will do to complete their morning routine. This checklist should be on display when your students walk through the door.  Will it likely be the same every day? Yes, most days, the checklist will be the same. On days when it isn’t, students will immediately notice and be eager to

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8 Unique 3rd Grade Math Projects Your Students Will Love

If you want to incorporate a project based learning component to one of your 3rd grade math units this year, but you’re having trouble deciding on a project, you’ve come to the right place! All eight of these math projects are designed with third graders (and their busy teachers) in mind. 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 the time you need to teach or reteach essential math skills to small groups or provide scaffolding to students who need it most while your students are engaged in meaningful work that helps them dig deeper and apply the skills they’re learning in math! Click the project that

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Quadrilateral City Is A Geometry Project That Sparks Your Students’ Excitement for Learning

Project based learning can help you transform your 3rd grade geometry unit into the most memorable math unit of the school year. Your students are going to love applying their knowledge about the characteristics of quadrilaterals as they complete the project Quadrilateral City!  Rather than spending time on worksheet after worksheet trying to memorize the properties of quadrilaterals (only to forget them soon after) your students can be fully-immersed in a geometry simulation that really brings their learning to life and helps those polygon characteristics stick for good! This resource is perfect for third grade classrooms, but can also be used as enrichment for second grade learners.  Let’s take a closer look at this geometry project based learning resource.  Project Overview During this project based learning unit, your students will be invited to create a new layout for Quadrilateral City’s town square. Quadrilateral City is a place where everything from

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A Telling Time Math Project with A Narrative Twist

Your telling time unit is the perfect opportunity to connect math to the real world in a creative way. Rather than having your students complete worksheet after worksheet in an effort to master reading clocks and telling time, bring your math unit to life with an engaging hands-on project!  If you’ve been wracking your brain trying to think of a creative way to bring more excitement to your telling time unit, look no further. The project based learning unit Time of Your Life will be your new go-to resource. The organization, standards alignment, and cross-curricular connections have all been planned out for you so you can focus your energy on the most important (and fun) part of your job…the teaching!  The Time of Your Life project guide makes differentiation a breeze and is perfect for both second and third grade classrooms. Let’s take a closer look at this telling time

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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

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 »

A Telling Time Math Project with A Narrative Twist

Your telling time unit is the perfect opportunity to connect math to the real world in a creative way. Rather than having your students complete worksheet after worksheet in an effort to master reading clocks and telling time, bring your math unit to life with an engaging hands-on project!  If

Read More »