Are you looking for a different way to use Spiral Math Review in your classroom? I am beyond excited that Neetu from Cinnamon’s Synonyms is joining me today and has written a guest post where she puts a TWIST on Spiral Math Homework.
Have you heard about Spiral Math? Maybe you already own Spiral Homework and would like some fresh ideas on how to use this resource in different ways?
What is Spiral Math Review?
If you don’t own it and this is your first time hearing about it…in a few words… it’s a review system that allows students a chance to review concepts taught earlier in the year while solidifying new concepts at the same time. You essentially SPIRAL through the standards. Take a look…
I love this idea because it allows students to keep previously taught skills fresh in their minds while learning new ones!
The obvious way to use this incredible homework system is to print off the sheets and hand them out for homework… BUT …what if:
- Your principal has slashed your photocopy budget to barely anything?
- You would like to reduce your carbon footprint?
- You experience THIS more often than you’d like to admit:
If you checked yes to one or more of those boxes…KEEP READING 🙂 For the record, I checked yes, yes and YES to all of the above.
Now, let me stress the fact that these homework sheets are awesome as is. One homework sheet per week is all you need because each one has a week’s worth of problems … BUT our school has worked hard to be identified as an “ECO School”… which means we MUST meet certain criteria (for example, VERY little photocopying) to keep this ‘title’. It has definitely forced me to get creative with my teaching!
Inspired by my reduced photocopy budget, I actually came up with some NEW ways to use One Stop Teacher Shop’s Spiral Math Homework (available for K-12) in my class!!
Putting a TWIST on Spiral Math
1. Cut the Homework into Laminated Strips!
Since this resource is editable, I was able to customize it a bit. I gave each column a letter (Week 1A, Week 1B, etc.) and then printed each week’s homework onto a different color. I then laminated them and cut them into strips:
My students sit in groups of 4, so I assign a letter to each student in each group. When I hand out the homework, they get the corresponding column for homework each week.
It’s only one-fourth of the sheet, but I still find this to be a good amount of homework for my kiddos … most of them are ESL and struggle with reading, so I like to balance my assigned homework with some daily reading.
My students’ parents LOVE this homework system because it gives them a peek into what’s being covered in class.
The best part of this system? I can re-use my laminated sheets year after year! I don’t have to stress about getting homework photocopied before the bell rings… or.. er.. after the bell rings 😉
2. Use the Strips for “CHECK-INS”:
Although I use my spiral math sheets primarily for homework, it occurred to me that the little system I came up with would be PERFECT for formative assessment…or as I like to call it: check-ins! Since each column is different, it ensures that my students CAN’T COPY their neighbor’s answers.
Plus, the column of 10 or so questions makes it less intimidating than a huge test. I love this because it gives me all the insight I need in terms of what skills need to be re-visited.
3. A Math Center:
Laminating the sheets makes it durable enough for centers or early finishers. Students can either record their answers in a notebook or use dry erase markers right on the sheets. I don’t know why, but give a kid a dry erase marker and it just takes things to a whole new level of engagement!! It’s such a simple way to engage those kids who don’t enjoy pencil/paper tasks.