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Book Study - Mindsets in the Gifted Classroom

Good morning!  Today I am blogging at Hello Sunshine about mindsets in the Gifted classroom.

Please come join in the discussion!  I would love to have you leave a comment with your thoughts, or link up with your own blog post!

Have a wonderful Thursday!  xo


One Lovely Blog Award!

A few days ago, I received the nicest surprise:  Amy at My Bright Bunch nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award!

*** In related news:  I highly recommend that everybody go visit Amy's blog, My Bright Bunch, this week.   She and two bloggy friends (Marie at Once Upon a Classroom and Nicole at Adventures in the ATC) are having a big blog redesign giveaway - up for grabs are gift certificates to Erin Condren and Amazon! ***

Here are 10 facts about me:

1.  My first teaching job was intermediate grades Gifted in 1992.  (Boy, does that make me sound ancient or what?!?)  I've also taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th-grade Honors Math, and spent a few years as an Instructional Coach - but I ended up coming back to my first love - Gifted self-contained 3rd grade - and stayed there until I left the classroom two years ago.

2.  I am obsessed with adorable bento box lunch ideas for kids.

3.  Some of my Education Loves other than Gifted and Third Grade - multi-age, looping, Integrated Thematic Instruction, Multiple Intelligences, constant differentiation, literature based units, and integrating EVERYTHING!

4.  I am addicted to classic radio, and my favorites are the old time detective programs like Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, Broadway Is My Beat, and Nero Wolfe.

5.  More addictions:  movies, cheese, Italian food (there's that cheese thing again), and books!

6.  I studied Japanese in college.  All I can say is, "This is a book" and "Thank you."  My Japanese friends tell me that neither statement sounds even remotely like anything Japanese when it comes out of my mouth.

7.  Mr. Hedgehog and I love to travel, and we are total geeky tourists everywhere we go.  Most of our trips involve museums, historical sites, local restaurants, and wineries or breweries.  Perhaps we are total lushes too!

8.  Most everybody in my life thinks I am super organized, but it's all a facade compensation for my stacking tendencies.  For this reason I am always reading some book or another on organization, decluttering, and the zen of being tidy.

9.  My 96-year-old Gram immigrated from Montenegro via the Queen Mary in 1938.  One of my favorite family trips as a teenager was when our parents took my brother and me to visit the farm my grandmother was born and raised on in Vinica of Crna Gora (Black Mountains).

10.  I was born and raised in Alaska, and most of my family still lives there.  We visit often!

And now it's my turn to share the love!  I nominate the following fabulous bloggers for the One Lovely Blog award:

Cassandra at Mrs. 3rd Grade
Mrs. D at The Third Wheel
Carla at Comprehension Connection

If you accept, please share a few fun facts about yourself on your blog!

Happy Tuesday!


Winner Wednesday: Multiplication Superheroes Bundle

Welcome to Winner Wednesday, a very fun link up hosted by Jennifer from A Dab of Glue Will Do!

Here's how it works:  On the first Wednesday of every month, I will choose one of my favorite products from my store.  I'll explain it in the blog post - and tell you why I {heart} it! - and then you will have a chance to win that product for FREE!

For my very first Winner Wednesday, I've decided to share my Multiplication Superheroes Bundle.  As you might guess from its name, this packet actually contains several of my goodies all rolled into one.

These activities are Common Core aligned, but you don't need to be following CCSS for these to be valuable.  They provide excellent practice and spot assessment for multiplication, and that's always a good thing!

First there are my Interactive Foldables:

Multiplication Superheroes Interactive Foldables

These little doozies provide much-needed practice that also happens to be a lot of fun, and my third-graders just loved making theirs!

Each interactive foldable activity invites students to:
1.  Write multiplication equations for that number with factors 1 through 10.
2.  Write a word problem for each equation to describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as that equation.
3.  Create an array for each equation.

Multiplication Superheroes Interactive Foldables
Here is what a completed foldable looks like for Multiples of 4.
Multiplication Superheroes Interactive Foldables
Here is a close-up of an array and word problem.
The packet includes a printable for each number 1 through 10.  All of them follow the same template and instructions for completion, but are labeled individually with the appropriate focus number at the top.

For final products, there are lots of different options.  I've had my students put them in their interactive math notebooks, display them on a bulletin board, and make posters highlighting several of their favorites (also a very cute classroom display!).

Next up are my Timed Facts Tests:

Multiplication Superheroes Timed Facts Tests

I have found that the best way to minimize test anxiety is to practice stress-reducing behaviors in a safe setting.  This is one of the main reasons I like to use timed facts tests, other than the most basic reason - that they provide a quick peek into a student's mastery of facts.  And I love this particular set of TFTs because I designed it to be everything I wished for in a timed facts test.  It's visually uncluttered to avoid distraction, it has an easy-to-follow format for administering as well as checking/grading, and it's got a cute superhero theme!  (Well... maybe I didn't always long for a superhero theme per se, but I do believe that a little cute can go a long way towards engaging students and keeping my own interest as well!)

To keep things at best fun and at least trauma-free, we start the year with a Community Circle meeting in which we talk about test anxiety and other school-related anxieties.  We establish the community mindset that these mini assessments are NO STRESS - they are simply a way for each student to see where he/she is at.

By the way - I've been planning a more detailed blog post that focuses on ways to teach students how to reduce stress in assessment situations - I will try to get that up soon!

Multiplication Superheroes Timed Facts Tests
Timed Facts Test, Key, and Progress Log
Students are responsible for tracking their own progress, and I wish I had a finished sample here to show you how elaborate some scholars get coloring theirs!

I store the TFTs in hanging file folders in a plastic milk crate.  (The bundle includes the sign that I use to label the crate.)  I label each hanging folder with the number of that fact.  It’s good to keep about 10 copies in each folder at all times so that students can assess their progress in their free time.  I keep the answer key for each in a manilla file folder in its respective hanging folder, in a plastic sleeve for durability, at the rear of the copies.

And finally is a two-in-one combo of I Have, Who Has Cards and Multropolis Game:

Multiplication Superheroes I Have, Who Has + Multropolis Board GameMultiplication Superheroes I Have, Who Has + Multropolis Board Game

It isn’t always practical to have the whole class play “I Have, Who Has,” so I have included two options to use these cards - the traditional "I Have, Who Has" for whole class use, as well as a board game option for small groups.

Here is what the cards look like in the packet:

Multiplication Superheroes I Have, Who Has + Multropolis Board Game

After printing the sheets on cardstock, I cut apart into the 43 cards and coordinating cover.  (They will last even longer if you laminate them.)  My favorite way to store the cards is in a zip-lock baggie with the cover card on top of the stack in the baggie.  Some teachers prefer to punch a hole in the top corner of each card, and store them on a ring (again, with the cover card on top for easy reference).

To play, shuffle the prepared cards and pass them out to students so that everybody has at least one.  (It will probably be necessary to give some students an extra card for all cards to be distributed.) The student holding Card 1 reads the clue.  Another student will have the card that answers this clue.  S/he says, “I Have” and reads the answer.  Then s/he reads the clue on his/her card.  Play continues until all cards have been read.  The final card will announce “Our game is done.”

I also include an answer key so that it's easy to follow along and give a little hint when necessary.

For the board game option, I prepare the a set of cards for each group of students.  (This game is best played with 2 to 4 students.)

Additionally, each group will need a game board (printables and easy directions are included in the packet), 1 marker for each player to move along the game board, and one die.  (For the marker, I have students use a math manipulative cube, but just about any little thing will work.)

To play, students move along the board by solving the equation on each card and then rolling the die to determine how many spaces to move each time.  (There are move-ahead bonuses - Zaps - and fall-back penalties - Zonks - along the way.)  The first player to get to Multropolis wins.

Multiplication Superheroes I Have, Who Has + Multropolis Board Game

I designed these activities to provide engaging practice and pain-free assessment, and they've proven to be very helpful!  I would love for you to have the chance to try these goodies with your students too - and the best way to try it out is to win it for free!  To enter for a chance to win this bundle, click on the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.  All you need to do is enter your name :o) and  I will announce the winner on Thursday.

(This bundle is also available for purchase in my store:  Multiplication Superheroes Bundle.)

Good luck!  And please be sure to visit other linky participants for a chance to win lots of wonderful resources!  The full list is at A Dab of Glue Will Do.

a Rafflecopter giveaway