Friday, 20 October 2017

Creating Constructive Responses using the RACE and RACES Strategies


RACE Writing Strategy


Some students either fail to answer written questions or give shallow responses that lack details. Many even go off topic which is a clear indication that they did not understand what the question was asking. To help alleviate this problem experts suggest using a targeted strategy such as RACE and RACES. These simple mnemonic devices can help students to remember the essential parts of a strong answer.

Each resource set contains the following:

1 full colored general RACE/S poster (with border)
1 full colored general RACE/S poster (without border)
1 black and white version
1 full colored RACE/S poster with detailed outline (with border)
1 full colored RACE/S poster with detailed outline (without border)
1 black and white version
1 set of 3 colored bookmarks with detailed outline 

I created these for students who need visual references when writing. These posters and bookmarks are recommended for older students but can be used with the lower classes with teacher support.

Click on the pictures to be taken to the resource.

RACE writing strategy


RACES writing strategy


Sunday, 13 August 2017

How to Teach Mental Mathematics Using the Front-end Addition Strategy










































I came across this easy way to teach mental addition that I just had to blog about it! It is super easy to follow simply because it makes you start with the larger place value and flows from left to right (coincidentally it's also called the left to right addition).  Here's how we do this with three digit numbers:

First, add the hundreds, then add the tens and last the ones.
Next add these sums together.


Here's a link to some fascinating videos that explain this mental strategy:










Monday, 31 July 2017

How to Get Organized for Back to School

last minute, savings, Teachers Pay Teachers, TpT

Wow! It's back to school again and it helps to get organized properly for the new school year. Did you take advantage of those great sales and stock up on those much-needed supplies? Are you done yet? Well, I've got one more for you! You can get the most bang for your buck with this fabulous sale on Teachers Pay Teachers. TpT has yet another sale going on just for teachers like you who might be in need of a few more resources at a great discount, of course! Their sitewide sale has many stores discounting their resources as much as 20%. The great news is that TpT is giving an additional 5% off as well. The sale starts on August 1st and ends on the 2nd. All you do is add your items to the cart and type in the promo code BTS2017 before check out. Isn't that an amazing opportunity?

I am joining the bandwagon of savings too! All of my resources are on sale at 20% and you get the additional savings with the promo code.

Take a look at some of the items on sale at A Teacher's Idea!







Tuesday, 18 July 2017

9 Marks of Writing Readiness

pre-Writing skills

Children at the age of five are not all expected to be great writers from the start of school. Over the years I have found that many students enter first year (kindergarten) not knowing what letters are far less to even make a significant mark or representation on a page. Many others write marks that look like the target letters but a closer look reveals either incorrect formation, poor pencil grip or an incorrect writing posture.

What Does A "Good" Pencil Grip Look  Like?

These are the four (4) pencil grasps that are ideal for functional writing. Note the relative positions of the index (1), middle finger (2), thumb (3) and the ring finger (4).

handwriting finger position, nicadez

Position of Paper For Lefties

Left-handed learners should be taught to tilt their paper in a clockwise direction so that the bottom corner is a little to the left of the learner's midline up to 35 degrees. The greater the angle the less efficient the writing. The right hand should be used to steady the paper on the right above the writing.



Position of Paper For Righties

For the right-handed learner, the paper should be placed either level with the edge of the table or slanting slightly upwards at an angle of about 15 degrees. The upper left-hand corner of the paper should be to the left of the learner’s midline.


 There are nine (9) marks that students should master before they are developmentally ready to begin handwriting instruction. They must be able to independently copy these lines which are pre-requisite strokes for alphabet writing.

1. The Vertical Line




2. The Horizontal Line



This includes different types of lines: zig zag, curves, waves, etc.

3. The Circle



4. The Cross



5. Down Left Diagonal



6. The Square

7. Down Right Diagonal



8. Oblique Cross

9. The Triangle


It is the belief of experts that if formal writing instruction is attempted before a learner is developmentally ready, frustration and the development of bad habits sets in. Ultimately, the whole idea of writing readiness is much more important for a child's self-esteem and academic performance.




Monday, 26 June 2017

How to Print Poster Size

Printing posters, nicadez
I must say that I took it for granted that everyone knows how to print a pdf document file poster size. It recently dawned on me that it would be a great idea to do a little tutorial for the benefit of people who don't really know how it is done. Now, I am more familiar with adobe reader so naturally that is what I am using today for the tutorial. Here goes...!


First, be sure to open your file using adobe reader then select the page you wish to print poster-size. I selected a page from my Good Writing Matters - 23 Colored Posters for Writing Centers for this tutorial.

Then you will need to change the page size to Poster (See illustration below).

How to print poster size in Adobe Reader


The dotted lines in the preview pane show you the points at which the pages will connect when assembling. The grid formed also shows you the number of pages that would be required to make up that poster. In this case, I would be printing 6 pages to make this poster.

Next you will need to change the Tile Scale to 200%This will give you a much larger poster (25.5 x 22 inches) (See illustration below). You can also toggle with the overlap option (default .005) which controls the size of the overlap which is actually where you would be sticking.

How to print poster size in Adobe Reader


There! That's how I print my resources poster size from my Adobe Reader software. Hope this was very helpful for you!



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