I just implemented Laura's Math Puzzlers, and after two weeks I can already see changes in my class. They are picking up good habits like underlining key words, and writing complete answers already! Each day when we take out the sheet, they know what to do and enjoy doing it. I think part of the fun comes from the program's title "Math Puzzlers". Somehow, they seem to think puzzles are way more fun than math word problems. I also have to say that the breadth of topics and strategies covered in just one weekly sheet is impressive. It is a great way to keep math topics fresh, and have kids apply them to real situations. Each problem could be solved using different strategies, so it has been great for my kids to see all the different ways they could have approached the problem. I am excited to be able to use the Math Puzzler Pack for the rest of the school year. I really think it is going to make a big difference in my student's math skills.
Dawn, 3rd grade Teacher
Way to go Laura! Another wonderful product! The Daily Math Puzzlers are a part of my daily math. In a world with high stakes testing and so much stress in the classroom you have found a way to make math fun. I teach 6th grade but my students are on several different ability levels and the puzzles are wonderful for them. They look forward to and really like to do them. The main thing I love about the worksheets...a lot of teachable moments. If there is a problem that several students missed I can take the time to teach that skill either for the first time or as a refresher. What a great way to get ready for that "test" we all dread. Keep up the great work!
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My class got really motivated by the ice cream scoops and resulting ice cream sundae party. But, more than that, they were really proud every time they earned a scoop. The scoops provide a visual reward for each level the kids pass. It really motivates them. What was surprising was the number of parents at parent conferences who asked about the "scoops." Some of the students were actually bugging their parents to help them learn their multiplication facts. It was awesome!
Those students who had a more difficult time with memorizing their multiplication facts found that their friends were more than willing to spend their lunch recess to help them! This cooperation actually brought the class together, and we found that there was a little bit of competition with the other third grade class who was also doing the scoops. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it, I found the results to be fantastic, and I will certainly use it again this year. This was the first year that my students learned their multiplication facts to 12 by December! This was, by far, the easiest way to teach multiplication I've ever used.
The students also enjoyed the "hands-on" jelly bean division. There is so much rote memorization with math facts that this really helped the kids understand how division works. The students had nothing but positive comments, with most of them saying, "Now I get it!"
Thanks for all you do!
I just downloaded your Math Stations for Middle Grades, and it is EXACTLY what I was looking for! This is my second year teaching math, after eleven years as a communications teacher. I don't feel I made math fun or interesting for my students last year, which means they didn't learn the things I wanted them to learn about setting goals for themselves and enjoying the challenge for its own sake. Now I finally know how to do that, and I will be able to not only use your activities but build from them and tailor them to my own students' specific needs. Your math stations provide exactly that element of fun practice and social sharing that I hoped to add this year. I can't wait to get started!
By the way, the Power Pack idea is brilliant! I anxiously awaited the math stations pack after you announced it on the list, and I downloaded with complete confidence. I know the quality of your work, and I already use many of the other ideas and materials that are so graciously provided on your website. You do things the way I would do them myself. (I hope that comes across as a compliment.) ; )
Keep em coming,
WOW! Thank you so MUCH! I just downloaded your Goal Setting Power Pack and I LOVE it! I was most pleasantly surprised because I teach a combination class of grades 6-7-8, and wasn't sure if your pack would be "old" enough for my students! No need to worry....it's perfect!
THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL, QUALITY PRODUCT!
Lehigh Valley Lutheran School
My class has loved the ideas that I have used from the books written by Laura Candler. I purchased Wee Science and Science Buddies. The Science Buddies program has been a hit with the parents also. I send home the home experiment on the first school day of the month, and the assignment is due on the last school day of the month. Having the predicted outcomes in the book has certainly helped me answer questions from parents and students. Using inexpensive items that are normally found around the house is another benefit. My children enjoy discussing their predictions and final results after the assignments have been turned in. I love to keep my parents involved in the classroom, and this is one easy way. I believe in the old saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." I believe in hands on education. Using experiments from Wee Science and Science Buddies has added more hands on activities. When the children get involved, they remember what they learn. Laura Candler's books and websites have benefited my classroom. My children and parents tell me in future years how much they learned from my hands on science curriculum. I hope that Ms. Candler continues to share her ideas with classroom teachers.
Several years ago I purchased the book, Discovering Decimals. I love it!
This book is so easy to use and the children get so much from the activities. We do Decimals at the very end of the year and the children are not usually motivated to finish up before our SOL tests. This book has so many excellent activities about Decimals.
It walks you through the whole idea to set up the Cooperative groups and gives several different ways to group the children. I particularly like the "Think, Pair, Share." The children have great opportunities to work together to get the answers.
There is a fun Decimal War game, Decimal Place Value games and worksheets, too. It was well worth the money. I hope to see other Math books soon. Thank you for a great book.
Meadowview Elementary, 4th Grade
Mine is most likely one of the most unusual testimonies you'll ever see. I work in a correctional institution, and as such, my students are adults. As a correctional educator I am constantly looking for materials we can adapt to use in our classrooms. Discovering Decimals is one of those books we came across that we have found very useful. Normally we have to make major adaptations in most material before we can use it. But we didn't have to do that in this particular case. It gets used a lot by the teachers who work for me, and we were really pleased to see how usable to book was in our setting. More importantly, it really gets used by our students in math. Thanks.
Five years ago, when our district discovered that science, along with reading, math, and writing, would soon be added to the 'testing schedule' for our state, I decided to begin preparing my second graders for what would await them in a few years when they became 5th graders. I implemented the Science Buddies "program" in my classroom. This idea came from one of Laura Candler's fabulous books by the same name, and here's how it works.
The experiments from Laura's book were used to supplement my yearly science curriculum. Experiments weren't done in the classroom, as one would expect, but each experiment was sent home for students to perform with a parent, guardian, or older sibling-hence the term, Science Buddies. A letter* to introduce the program was sent home to parents explaining the process, together with a copy of the first experiment. (*included in the book) I allowed a three-week turnaround, to ensure enough time for parents to gather materials, most of which were common household items, perform the experiment, provide results, and include ideas for extending the experiment (feedback page is also included in the book). Then I held my breath in anticipation.
End-of-the-year feedback from parents and students was overwhelmingly positive! Examples of parents' responses were: 'This experiment really made me think;' 'the egg experiment was the BEST. I was shocked with the outcome.;' 'my husband and I alternate months doing Science Buddies' experiments with our child;' 'Science Buddies is a great idea. I can't wait until my younger child gets to 2nd grade;' 'working as Science Buddies gives me one-on-one time with my child. Thank you for doing this.'
Kids are naturally curious at this age, and most enjoy science. Getting parents involved in Science Buddies not only relieved the pressure of "fitting everything in" for me, but provided my students one-on-one time performing scientific experiments-something I could not provide in the classroom.
What began in my mind as test prep for my 2nd graders, surpassed my expectations: 100% active parental involvement, students who were bubbling over about science and who couldn't wait for the end of the month to discuss the experiment, and busy families who made learning alongside their children a priority-a precious commodity with today's hectic schedules. I owe the program's success to Laura Candler, for providing teachers with Science Buddies.
Spring Hill, Florida
My grade level team was privileged to visit Laura's classroom in December. I was really excited because I had used materials from her website often and taken a class she offered about Literature Circles. In addition, my teammate had taken a math class she taught about teaching decimals. Based on those experiences, I looked forward to seeing her work in action.
I expected to encounter a larger-than-life personality and to my pleasant surprise she was friendly, welcoming and very down-to-earth. Her classroom was of the same quality as the materials on her website. Children were actively engaged using manipulatives for measurement, being held accountable for literacy learning and knowledgeable about routines and procedures. It was obvious that the students felt safe, empowered to take responsibility for their learning and were comfortable working together. It was wonderful to see Laura in action, teaching her lesson to a small group and while other students were working collaboratively in stations. We asked many questions to both Laura and her students, they responded with patience and never missed a beat with completing the task at hand. Unlike some teachers, Laura freely shared the materials she used in her room.
Laura's classroom is a living, dynamic testimony to what she believes is important in education. Her creativity shines and yet she is humble in her presentation. I've used her materials and have found, in my own practice, the information useful. After seeing her in action, I know Laura practices what she teaches.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
I had the pleasure to attend not only one Literature Circle workshop, but three. I had problems getting students to communicate about literature, and more importantly for them to get interested in good literature. In Laura's introductory Literature Circle workshop, she gave specific details about how to get skills taught while having students discuss and love the literature they read. My teaching changed drastically. Then I noticed that she offered a workshop on integrating Literature Circles across the curriculum. Since the non-fiction genre is the hardest for students to read and retain, I signed up immediately. Not only was this important for testing but for students to become well rounded readers. It was everything I could have asked for and more. Additionally, Laura is such an inspiration as a teacher; she invited me to a workshop for trainers so that I could learn to teach classes to other teachers. This opened me up not only to see myself as a teacher of students, but also to become an instructor for other teachers as well. I can whole heartedly recommend her workshops. And if you have any trouble teaching your students to love and discuss literature like I did; this is the way to hook them.
3rd-4th Grade Looping Teacher
Manchester Elementary School
Spring Lake, North Carolina
Would you like to send in your own testimonial? If you have purchased one of my books, attended a workshop, or used my Teacher on Call consulting service, I'd love to hear from you (firstname.lastname@example.org). I always love to hear from people who use the free materials on my site, too!