Monday, October 7, 2013

Magic Fingers in Action

Happy fall!  It's been a roaring season so far for me-- I'm in the midst of a three week trip that spans the country-- we're currently in Nashville but we'll be headed to Atlanta soon and back to what is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots, El Paso, before we're home again.  It's been quite the long trip but a few things have been great-- it's always fun to make classroom visits or even to hear about them by proxy!  One of my favorite things is when someone emails me with an example of their kids using my materials.  It makes me feel like I never left my classroom-- my classroom just extends across the country!

Jessica Harris, from Wallingford, Connecticut, sent in these pictures of her students using my magic fingers of mathematics (thank you Jessica!).  I had the pleasure of visiting with Jessica and 200 other teachers in Connecticut in May.  It was a wonderful visit and I hope to be going back soon-- especially now that I get to see Jessica in action!  Magic Fingers are great fun in the classroom, but more importantly, they're great for tracking and imprinting in both math and language arts.  They're very versatile-- students will love to use them for reading AND skip counting!  They can't get enough of the fingers, and it couldn't be more timely for Halloween at the end of the month.

In the pictures, you can see the students doing some of my favorite activities with the fingers.  This is such a simple activity that reinforces counting and number properties for students, and they love it-- they love pretty much every activity with the fingers!  I turn on Ron Brown's Random Number CD and have students track numbers that they hear as he says them.  Although this is an activity geared towards younger learners, don't underestimate it's power to reinforce number recognition.

One tip for using the Magic Fingers in your classroom: I like to give students 5 minutes at the beginning of the school year to "get all the giggles out."  I make it very clear that any time spent messing around with the fingers after these five minutes will result in the loss of all finger magical properties, and fingers themselves, and this is usually enough to keep kids focused for the rest of the school year.  That way I don't have to be constantly battling Witch Finger Fun-itis!

I hope you're enjoying this lovely October.  I'm off to fun in El Paso with Barb Novelli and Paul Agranoff and finishing up this trip in beautiful Seattle!  I hope to see you soon!

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