Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Math Fact Fluency, Class Rules, and Reading Incentive Chart...

Well, isn't that a mouthful for a title!  Teachers go back to school on Monday, and students start the following Monday.  Like many of you, I've been spending my time getting things ready, making things, and setting up my room.  Here are some things I use in my classroom that I thought might be helpful to others.

Math Fact Fluency
Last year, I started using Dad's Worksheets to help my students practice their math facts.  Since I teach special education, my students needed a lot of daily practice with their facts.

If you go to the Dad's Worksheets site {here}, you will see on the right-hand side a menu bar.  When you click on addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division, the first or second option will be a link called Space Ship Math.  That will take you to a page that looks like this:

There are leveled worksheets that build upon each other in a systematic fashion.  There are 4 versions of each level, and they go from A to Z with A being the easiest and Z being the hardest.  I use these sheets daily for fact practice.  I started in November last year with addition.  I had one student who got through all the addition levels and part way through subtraction.  The other students were still working on the addition levels at the end of the year.

I used a file like this to organize the sheets by level:

I gave my students 2 minutes to work on their leveled sheet.  They would only level up if they completed ALL of the problems in 2 minutes and they did not miss more than 3 problems.  This may be too much time or too many problems missed for a general ed student, but it was difficult for my students.  If they leveled up, they got to pick what cheer they wanted the class to do for them and a small piece of candy.  Once they completed the entire chart, I let them pick a prize from the prize box.  

My kids loved doing this every day.  They called it their "times test" and wanted to do it everyday.  They were really proud of themselves when they leveled up and were always counting down.  I'll be doing this again this year in hopes of improving my students' math fact fluency.  Below is the chart I used to record their progress.  Click on the picture to get your own copy and the label for the accordion file.  

Class Rules Posters
I found this great website with FREE clip art that can be used for nonprofit use.  Others may know about  Phillip Martin's site, but I ran across it by accident tonight.  Click {here} to check out his work.  I wanted to revamp my class rules this year, so I made a few quick posters.  Click the picture below if you think you can use them.

Reading Incentive Chart
My school participates in the AR reading program.  There are school-wide rewards (each grade level has higher points needed to get their star on the wall) and many of my students' general ed teachers have class rewards.  However, some of my students didn't really buy into the AR program, and it started to feel like it was something I was "nagging" them about every week.  I wanted to do something in my classroom as an extra incentive.  

My students are struggling readers and have to work extra hard to read.  Sometimes, I feel like it's very discouraging to them when they see their general ed peers whipping through harder, bigger, "older" books and earning lots of AR points.  I want them to feel equally successful and get recognized for their own accomplishments.  

So this year, I decided I would make my own class incentive program.  Each child will get their own reading chart (there are 4 in the download).  For every book that they read, take the test, and pass the test with an 80%, I will put a star sticker on their chart.  Once their chart is full, they can pick a prize from the prize box or earn a reward like free game time.  There are spaces for 20 stickers.  I feel like 20 books is an achievable goal for my students.  If I see some students are really struggling, I'll probably cut the bottom stars off so they can feel successful by only having to read 10 books to get a prize and then work up to reading 20 books.  Click on the picture to get your own set of incentive charts.


  1. I downloaded your rules - im excited to post them for this school year! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I downloaded your math poster! Thanks so much!

  3. Wow, these are great resources! Thank you so much for sharing with us. I hope that you have an awesome school year!!!

  4. I love the stars- my mother, the reading specialist in my school has a star theme and I am sure she'll love them!


  5. One of the teachers at my school who is an AR whiz shared a tip with me and my first grade students LOVED it! She gives each of her third graders a piece of yarn and for each point they get they string on a pony bead (you know, the type kids wear in their hair). For the tenth bead they get a special bigger and cooler bead. They keep the same strand all year and it gets longer and longer and longer. For my firsties I modified it and gave them one bead for each book they passed (since I can't give out 1/2 beads). They really enjoyed seeing how long their strand could get, and I would let them take it to show off around the building once it started getting nice and long. (I would set a timer for 10 minutes and told them to come back when it beeped.) I had other rewards built in, like getting a prize each time they got to a multiple of 10 and a special pizza lunch with the teacher when they got to 100.

    Having Fun K-1


  6. I should warn you the top two leaders get pretty competitive with each other and tend to develop AR OCD. I see a little piece of their soul die when I tell them they can't take an AR test right now because we are going to recess, lunch, computer lab, or any other super fun place.

  7. Thank you, Angelia! Very nice :-)

  8. WoW I like this Thanks from Nikhat

  9. I used to practice math facts like the above, but have switched to xtramath.org ….it's a math fact fluency site designed to be done at home and at school daily (or as much as you can!). It tracks them and moves them along. It's wonderful!

    Multiplication lesson plans