Tuesday, August 28, 2012

180 Days of Math

I stumbled upon this book at the beginning of last school year, and have loved it ever since.  When I purchased the book I was looking for a way to help my students maintain information all year long.  I have found in the past that when I try to review with my kids right before our State Standardized Test, it's like starting from scratch with the topics that we went over in first semester.  This book answered all my prayers. 
Here's what is great about this book: there are 12 problems everyday and each problem is aligned to a particular math skill, for example #5 is always a fraction, decimal, or percent question and #10 is always a graphing question.  This way my kids are practicing all 12 topics all year long and when it comes time for that dreaded standardized test, the review isn't so overwhelming!

Here is how I use it in my classroom:  I call it their "Daily Math Practice."  I give each student a folder (color coded by class) and inside that folder is a chart that you can print from the CD ROM that comes with the book.  On this chart I can keep track of how many problems they missed and which ones (so if Johnny keeps missing #5 I know he needs help with fractions, decimals, and percents). This is also where they keep their assigned worksheet for that day.  I copy the pages front and back, but they only do one side per night.  This worksheet then becomes their nightly homework (Monday-Thursday), that they have to have complete and turned in by the next morning.  I am lucky enough to have a 1st hour prep so I grade all the folders during that time period.  Then when it is time for their math class they get the folders returned to them and we go over the results and correct answers.  Now when it comes to counting them for a grade, I do not grade them on their perfection rather I grade them on their attempt.  I don't feel it's fair to take points off on topics that we haven't even covered yet.  So instead I take them for a completion grade; if they are finished and turned in on time they receive 5 points, if they are late or incomplete they receive 0.  The hardest part about this whole system is explaining it to parents, and that it is OK for their child to miss certain problems (especially at the beginning of the year). Other than that I love it and I have seen some great results because of it!

Here is a link where you can purchase the book if interested:


 They have them for all grade levels K-6. Check it out, I promise you won't be disappointed!


1 comment:

  1. I too love this book... I use it as a warm-up activity for my fifth graders in a packet of 4-5 days at a time (I call these their P.A.D. packets). First thing they do to get their math brains turned on is they have 5 minutes to complete the 12 problems. I encourage them not to skip any questions and use earlier learned information to help them give an educated guess. Each day, I collect their packets and check their work, circling incorrect answers. The next day, they get to work on the next page, and go back and do corrections when time allows. Every so often, when I notice there are a few kids missing concepts (like some of the logic problems or capacity conversions), I will teach a mini-lesson on the topic with which they're having issues. I find that I can cover more material by using this book. Even better, my kids seem to feel comfortable when I introduce the concept in lessons since they've seen it in their PAD packet!