Trick and Treat Blog Hop!

Hey there friends 🙂 Fall is upon us and that means it’s time for some Teaching Trick & Treating!
That’s right – I have teamed up with my Freebielicious friends again to share some 
teaching tricks and special free treats for you!  
Today I wanted to share a “trick” that I’ve really just started using this year- no clue why not before, but I LOVE it!  In math my students have a math partner they’ve been with since the start of the year.  I’ve always used math partners during math for carpet talks and games, but I never had the same partners work together on their independent practice sheet.
This year though I’ve started having the partners work on their independent paper together and it has worked wonders!  Before I started this I felt like I was quickly circulating around the room…helping those that were struggling, getting the fast finishers started, redirecting behaviors, etc, etc!  
However, now the kids work with their math partners which wipes out most if not all my previously stated woes.  1) Their math partner is around the same level if not slightly higher…between the two they can usually always work through a “stumped moment.”  2) When the partners finish their sheet they place it into the cubby and grab the assigned math center and get started on that without me waiting for two students to finish in order to make a pair for a math center.  3)  I have taught the students how to hold one accountable during this independent work time and they honestly strive to work hard for each other…of course there are those exceptional times where there is a behavior issue, but for the most part the behaviors are eliminated.

See snap shots of the partners in action below!  Notice…just with a couple of shots you see both students fully engaged on the sheet…you see them pointing and touching to what they are discussing.

How do you start this in your classroom?  The first relationship you will need to establish is a solid carpet partnership.  This is the students turning and talking and using math talk to answer your math questions.  After students were comfortable with this we moved to partners working together on the independent sheets!  I have my students paired with like levels; low with a low medium and high with a high medium.
We also established several expectations for this partner work.  I hand the paper to one student and the other partner knows that means they are to get the pencil.  Whoever gets the pencils goes first.  Before they can write the correct answer they must have their partner agree with their verbal answer.  If the partner agrees they will then write the answer and pass the pencil to their partner.

This partnership for independent work {during math} has allowed students to express themselves and defend their answers.  I feel the students can use “math talk” more effectively as well as a result.  Also, I now only need HALF of the paper I once needed!
Now it’s time for your treat!  I have had several teachers express their satisfaction with my new KinderPhonics units…so I wanted to offer a way for you to preview both units!  Click below to view a sampler of each unit!

Thanks so much for stopping by to read my trick and grab my treat. Hop along to the next Freebielicious friend to see what their Trick & Treat is!


  1. Wonderful tips! I think it really gives the kids accountability and independence. They also love to feel like they can "teach" their partners! Thanks so much also for the sample of kinderphonics – I am excited to check it out!!

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