America, we love you.
If you’re evaluating math programs at your school, a good option to consider is ORIGO Education’s Stepping Stones. Here’s one educator’s story about how Stepping Stones made a big difference with his students’ math skills:
Like many U.S. school systems, the Magnolia Independent School District in Texas serves a diverse student population. More than a third of its students come from low-income families, and one out of every eight students is an English language learner. Yet, the district has seen consistent and remarkable success in math achievement across all of its elementary schools since it began using Stepping Stones, a prekindergarten through sixth grade comprehensive math program from ORIGO Education.
Lakeshore has long been a staple for preschool to sixth grade teachers looking for classroom supplies. Many education conferences I have attended, they were there, sharing their resources. Now, ORIGO Education is partnering with them to deliver their industry-leading math curricula. Read on:
ORIGO Education, a leading provider of mathematic curriculum programs for Pre-K–6 grades, and Lakeshore Learning Materials, a nationwide supplier of educational resources, announce their partnership to offer classroom resources for elementary mathematics teachers. The manipulative kits are paired with ORIGO’s Stepping Stones 2.0 comprehensive mathematics education program and help foster a better understanding of concrete math skills at an early learning stage.
Content specialists from ORIGO and Lakeshore created unique grade level kits that align with and support the newest edition of Stepping Stones for Pre-K through grade 5 classrooms. Manipulative kits contain visual and tactile objects to support coherent mathematics learning. For example, Kinetic Sensory Sand, developed by Lakeshore, and colorful teddy bear counters are two of 19 items found in the Pre-K classroom kit. Older grade kits incorporate geoboards, base-ten blocks, and geometric shape pattern blocks.
All orders will be fulfilled through Lakeshore. Stepping Stones catalogs may be requested by contacting Lakeshore at email@example.com.
One more for you before you go: ORIGO has a great collection of math videos called One-Minute Mathematics. Here’s one that’s so simple, it’s immensely clever:
More on ORIGO Education:
As a teacher, I spend a lot of time preparing lesson plans. Most don’t survive the first five minutes in front of my students but still I go through this preparatory exercise. Over the decades, I’ve come to realize that the product (a completed lesson plan) is less important than the process of organizing my thoughts, thinking about the needs of the students, searching for the right resources, and figuring out the best way to help students achieve goals. Scholastic has eight questions to help teachers plan their lessons:
- Students: What are the academic, social, physical, personal, and emotional needs of students?
- Strategies: Which teaching strategies will best facilitate student learning?
- Grouping: Should I group heterogeneously or homogeneously? What size should groups be?
- Timing: When is the best time to do this lesson? Are there prerequisites students should master?
- Materials: What materials do I need for the lesson to be successful?
- Success: Was the lesson successful? Were students interested? Did students learn? What didn’t work? What will I do differently next time?
- Sequence: What can I do next to build upon this lesson? How can I make it flow?
- Rationale: What is the reason for doing this? What objectives will be accomplished?
What lesson planning normally looks like
That’s a lot to prepare! Normally, I’d create a template or use one provided by my Principal that included these characteristics as well as school-specific ones like Standards Met, Time required, Steps Required, and Collaborations with Colleagues. I’d take a few hours (per lesson) to collect what I needed, visit with co-teachers, update the lesson plan from prior years, and then think how to make it relevant to the learning style of each child I will be teaching. Often — too often — I wouldn’t be able to find the resources I’d carefully stored last year or I would belatedly remember that the plan didn’t work well last year and needed a complete rework. More often than I want to admit, I would run out of time before getting to the part where I differentiate for each student’s needs (I can do that on the fly, can’t I?).
It’s America’s birthday and I’m celebrating. I have an Army son heading off overseas and a Navy daughter doing her thing stateside. I’m toasting both of them today and all of America’s warriors, God be with you.
- Access a library of over thirty ORIGO 1 videos (and growing) through YouTube (search ORIGO Education) and on their Vimeo Channel www.vimeo.com/channels/ORIGO1
with strategies and models to build fluency and understanding. Topics include strategies for all four operations, using the number line, fractions, the counting principles, and more! Be sure to check these out and subscribe to the channels.
- Join a new learning community called Mathematics for Young Learners on edWeb.net – www.edweb.net/mathlearners to get access to live and recorded webinars on relevant math topics.
- Sign up for the next math webinar, like this one called The Number Line: More on Making the Most of Math Models.
- Builds conceptual understanding through language and discourse, powerful visual models, and engaging activities that foster student thinking.
- Drives the connections between and across concepts.
- Supports computational fluency with extendable strategies and meaningful practice.
- Incorporates rich problem solving, practical application, and open investigation.
Here are 4 Ways Teachers Can Better Prepare for the Next School Year, thanks to Kiddom, the online platform with a mission to make your lessons easier to plan, assess, and analyze:
Put Time Back in Your School Day
Time is precious. As this school year ends, learn how to save time and plan effectively for next year with these four strategies using Kiddom.
I have written in the past about mysimpleshow, an easy and clever way educators can create explainer videos. Mysimpleshow is aligned with simpleshow foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the world. This summer, in cooperation with the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC), they are participating in a summer volunteer program to encourage everyone to promote the United Nations 17 Global Goals in support of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development:
In collaboration with the United Nations System Staff College, the simpleshow foundation has set up a volunteering program that aims to educate the world about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Using [the online tool] mysimpleshow, volunteers are encouraged to explain details and background of these 17 Global Goals of the Agenda 2030 in short and entertaining explainer videos. The program allows volunteers of all ages to gain a better grasp of the Agenda’s topics and help create a public understanding of the importance of these goals.
Volunteers can sign up at simpleshow-foundation.org.
When you sign up, you choose a topic, access mysimpleshow, and create your explainer video.
Origo Education’s award-winning Stepping Stones 2.0 K-6 math program (with a separate program for pre-K) is versatile, easy-to-use, and nicely differentiated for varied learning and teaching strategies. It is available in English and Spanish with versions aligned with Common Core Standards or the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Its unique system of scaffolding lesson-to-lesson and circling back on important concepts not only reinforces learning but enhances student higher order thinking skills. Teaching materials include an abundance of resources, professional development, videos, and help. Lesson plans are delivered via a granular combination of rigorous critical thinking activities, real-world problems, and interactive digital games that make implementing the program easy and flexible for any type of classroom and fully supportive of a schoolwide goal of college and career readiness.
How to use Stepping Stones
As many of you know, I have a daughter in the Navy and a son in the Army. I love them both and live every day worried. But through it all, I appreciate what they are doing to make America what so many need it to be.
I love America. I love our military. I love my daughter and son.
You don’t have to watch all of these. I got carried away on YouTube. I just couldn’t pick a favorite…
And the ever-favorite (17 million views):