Math: Using Math Tiles to Develop Number Sense

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Over the summer, a team of six Post Falls teachers had the opportunity to participate in a mathematics workshop in Kallispell, Montana. Marcy Cook served as the keynote speaker and shared awesome strategies for engaging students.

This morning West Ridge Elementary teachers used several of Marcy Cook’s Tile Strategies with an Engage NY mathematics lesson.  Coupled together, these math strategies not only develop early numeracy skills, but prepare students for manipulating technology-enhanced questions on this spring’s S-BAC.

Interested in learning more about Marcy Cook’s tile strategies? Please contact me at I’m available to work with entire staffs, teams of educators, or individual teachers.  

Marcy Cook’s Resources

  • Early Communicating with Tiles
  • Translations and Equations
  • Algebraic Communicating with Tiles
  • Add an Addend Tiles
  • Add/Sub to a Target Tiles
  • Fraction Comparison Tiles
  • Fraction Tiles
  • Decimal Place Value & Number Sense
  • Multiplication/Division Tiles
  • Place Value & Number Sense
  • Multiplication Fact Tiles
  • Mulit Jump Tiles
  • Place Value Tiles: Whole Numbers
  • Tens & Ones Place Value Tiles

Ed Tech: QR Codes & Meet the Teacher

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Upcoming event? Looking for a way to engage parents? Try using QR codes!


QR or Quick Response Codes are quickly becoming part of our technological world. Why not jump on board? QR codes can be read by anyone with a Smartphone or Tablet.

Trying creating a short introductory video or presentation at Animoto, Vimeo, or Storybird. Then create a link using a QR generator. Post outside your classroom, on top of student papers, or even in your weekly newsletter.

Ed Tech: Fostering Digital Citizenship

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digital_citizen_k-5Today’s students are more connected than ever; with that connectedness comes more responsibility for students, parents, and teachers. Common Sense Media offers tools to help foster digital citizenship. They offer lesson plans for all grades levels, app reviews, videos, and other resources. Check out their site today!

Ed Tech: Why Chromebooks Might be Right for Your Classroom

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ss-cb-keyframe-endChromebooks are all the buzz, but few people really know what one is. Some may compare it to a tablet while others may say it is a PC laptop, but it isn’t either of those. If it isn’t a tablet and it isn’t a PC, what is it? Technically speaking, it is an internet dependent cloud device! A Chromebook offers features of both a tablet (apps and cloud features) and a laptop (keyboard, Office-like web applications). It also brings its own set of unique features (unbeatable collaboration tools, Google Chrome Operating System, eight second start-up, education management tools). At a starting price of $229 with the education management console, the may be right for your classroom.

ELA: Digital Graphic Organizers

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Now that I know all about Text Structures, how can I put technology into the hands of my students?


Teachers at Post Falls Middle School jumped head first into Text Structures during last week’s in-service training. Teachers explored common structures that appear in non-fiction text and how to help students use signal words and graphic organizers to better access and navigate difficult content. Text Structures allow teachers across disciplines to brillantly support students in meeting Idaho Core Reading Anchor Standard 5. The most common text structures addressed in the ICS and S-BAC assessment are:

  • Description
  • Sequence
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Cause and Effect
  • Problem and Solution

In addition to traditional graphic organizers, students can use several digital tools to help organize new material as they construct meaning. Inspiration software is currently available at PFMS and Tools4Students 2 is an excellent iPad app that offers a visual platform for students to record notes and organize their reading. After creating graphic organizers in Tools4Students 2, students can share thier diagrams via email, Dropbox or create PDF files of their work. Currently Tools4Students 2 is availabe in the iTunes Store for 99 cents.

If you’d like more information about Text Features and Text Structures or team level, grade level, or school level professional development, please contact me at

ELA: AIMSweb MAZE & Lexile Correlations

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AIMSweb MAZE? Lexile Range? Huh? They work together? No way!

Many Post Falls schools use the AIMSweb MAZE probe as both a universal screener and progress monitoring tool. This is a three-minute nationally-normed measure that can be used by RtI teams, grade level teams, and classroom teachers to quickly assess students’ reading comprehension.

In 2011, links between AIMSweb MAZE scores and Lexile ranges were made by MetaMetrics. Please keep in mind these are simply correlations between the AIMSweb MAZE and Lexile. They don’t give us a complete picture of a student’s reading ability, but can be used as a quick reference to help students select reading materials. Students and teachers can use Lexile’s Find a Book tool to find high-interest non-fiction and fiction texts.

Elementary AIMSweb MAZE correlations begin on page 80. The middle level AIMSweb MAZE correlations start on pg 85. There are currently no correlations available for High School students.