Archive for elementary school classroom

“Dice to 200″

  In my last post for summer school I am sharing another of the events in the “2012 Stezzi Math Olympics”.  It was our last class of the Olympics and the race for the group with the most medals was as close as it gets.  The red and green groups were tied at 8 medals each going into the

final day.  The last event of the Olympics would be  ”Dice to 200″.

Here is how the game is played.  Students must roll a pair of dice and quickly add up the products.  This is recorded on their own sheet of paper.

As each pair of dice is rolled and the product is determined it must be added to the previous product.  For example, if Jessica rolls a 3 and a 4 her product is 12.  If next turn she rolls a 6 and 4 her product is 24, and must be added to her previous product: 12.  Her total at this part of the game would be 36 (12 + 24) .

While I will not reveal the final winners, I will say it was a spirited and entertaining finale!  Thank you to all of the summer school students for making this one so memorable.   Enjoy the last days of summer!



category: elementary school classroom, Math, multiplication, subtraction, Summer School     tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Multiplication Bingo


Our first event of the “2012 Stezzi Math Olympics” was Multiplication Bingo.  Like regular Bingo, students could win by getting five in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Unlike regular Bingo, marking a square wasn’t as easy as “B-4″.  I read off a multiplication problem

and students had to find the product on their Bingo sheets.  At the end of the games, the student with the most Bingo wins won a gold medal.  Second place received a bronze, and third place a silver.

While the top three received medals, the whole class did a great job of answering their problems quickly to add to their boards.  Nice work everyone!

category: elementary school classroom, Math, Summer School     tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2012 Stezzi Math Olympics!

The last week of summer school was bitter sweet for me.  While I was excited to enjoy some vacation time, I really enjoyed teaching math to these wonderful students.  Instead of complaining that they were at summer school, this group of students showed up to class with enthusiasm, concentration, and determination.  I am so proud of them.

To celebrate all the hard work I had a surprise for the last week of summer school… The “2012 Stezzi Math Olympics”!  The students competed individually in a variety of events including “Multiplication Bingo”, “Fractions Around The World”, “Dice to 200″, and others.   Like the Olympics in London this summer, 1st place was awarded a gold medal (of sorts), 2nd place; bronze, and 3rd place; silver.  Students also competed to bring medals back to their groups (like countries), as a tally was recorded on the board of the medal count throughout the week.  Look out for future posts about events in from the “2012 Stezzi Math Olympics”!

category: elementary school classroom, Math, Summer School     tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Summer School Students


This week we have been using the blog’s clustermap as our “Number of the Day”.  We take this number and do a variety of math word problems about it.  This was working very well until today, when our number was the same as yesterday!  This means between 8am yesterday and 8pm today not a single version viewed the website.  I promised to change that by creating a new blog entry (that usually creates a little blog traffic).

Our summer school program includes a fourth grade writing, reading, and math teacher.  The 50 or so students in the program are split between the three classes, and rotate between 1 hour and 10 minute (or 70 minute) periods.  The photos here are from my third period.   My students in all three sections are great and seem to be making progress already!

Look forward to posts on summer school games, activities, and lessons in the coming weeks!

category: elementary school classroom, Math, Summer School     tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Yesterday I was looking through some of my graduate school notebooks to remind myself of the things I found worth noting.  In the notebook for a class I took a year ago entitled “Creating Effective Learning Environments”, I would an asterisk next to the website ““.   I decided to check it out and couldn’t believe how amazing it is!  The site offers hundreds of professionally made videos of K-12 teachers sharing their classrooms and innovative lesson plans.  I hope to share some of my favorite videos on my blog in the future!

Teaching Channel: Videos, Lesson Plans and Resources for Teachers

category: Education, elementary school classroom     tags: , , , , , , , ,

Student Interviews


I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post!  Student teaching has been a wonderful experience and I have been super busy.  The past four days of school have been the beginning of my five days of “takeover week”, where I run the show completely by myself.  As today is Good Friday, school was closed, and I will have to finish my takeover week on Monday.  What a journey!  I have to thank the kids for warmly accepting me as their teacher, and Mrs. Carino for giving me the confidence to do it.

We have been doing a lot of interesting things over the past couple of months, and I have some pictures stored away to create posts.  As my semester is winding down, I will be sure to add these to the blog as I have time.

One of the classes I am taking this semester is “Teacher Research”.  I was asked to research something in the classroom, collect data, and write a research paper on the subject.  For my topic, I looked at out of classroom student use of when I implemented in-class rewards (Stezzibucks).

In addition to using the wonderful data collection tool on the website, I conducted student interviews to determine motivation, interest, and use first hand.

I didn’t want to take away classtime for interviews, so announced I would be conducting interviews during recess.

 Students were very excited to participate.

The students’ responses to interview questions were incredibly valuable for my research.  Sometimes their answers aligned with my predictions, while at other times opened my mind to ideas I had not thought about.

This assignment taught be a great deal about collecting data and research in the classroom, and how I will use khan academy in my future classroom.  Thank you to the students that volunteered to be interviewed!






category: elementary school classroom, Khan Academy, Student Teaching     tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Finding Khan Academy Challenges and Telling Time


Today I am posting a video explaining two things:

1)  How to find out the new Khan Academy Challenges on the blog.

2) How to complete the new challenge: Telling Time 0.5, 1, and 2 on

Click here for Khan Academy Challenge: Telling Time Video


Hope you found this helpful!


category: elementary school classroom, Khan Academy, Math, Student Teaching     tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Khan Academy Challenge: “Khan Academy Journal”


The new Khan Academy Challenge was inspired by the Los Altos School District‘s “Ideas for a Fresh Start” blog post.  Students can earn 100 Stezzi Bucks by bringing to class a Khan Academy dedicated journal.

To earn 100 Stezzi Bucks the journal needs to include Khan Academy Goals for the year…

…and an ongoing list of Khan Academy Challenges completed and to be completed.         

Eventually students will be asked to show their work on certain exercises and video related notes.

category: elementary school classroom, Khan Academy, Math, Student Teaching     tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A New Currency Has Been Created: Stezzi Bucks


As of Friday, February 10th, 2012, Stezzi Bucks are in circulation in Mrs. Carino’s 4th grade classroom.  Stezzi Bucks can be earned by achieving success in different “Khan Academy Challenges” inside and outside of  the classroom.  Who will be the first student to earn 100 Stezzi Bucks?


The first “Khan Academy Challenge” is simple, and will earn you 100 Stezzi Bucks.  Sign up for with a google account.  Once Mr. Stezzi is listed as your “coach” on the website, 100 Stezzi Bucks will be distributed.  300 Stezzi Bucks can be redeemed for a homework pass.  For all Stezzi Buck news including Khan Academy Challenges and redeemable rewards visit the About Stezzi Bucks page of the blog.


category: elementary school classroom, Khan Academy, Math, Student Teaching     tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Simple Machines


In Science class we learned about simple machines.  Simple machines are tools that make work easier.  They have few or no moving parts and use energy to work.

The six simple machines we learned about are:


Inclined Plane

Wheel and Axle




Simple Machines from Tom Stezzi on Vimeo.


One student noticed that inclined planes are found next to stairs for people in wheelchairs.  Another mentioned wheel and axles are used on bicycles.

 How many real world examples of simple machines can you find?  If you can think of one (or more) post them here!

category: elementary school classroom, Science, simple machines, Student Teaching     tags: , , , , , , , ,

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