I study my scriptures in the morning before anyone is awake. I love this peaceful time of my day. I try and find one scripture in my study that will influence my day. At the beginning of this past week I completely stumbled across a scripture and it stuck with me. Thank goodness it did, because it was a crazy school day - unexpected assembly, fire drill, multiple kids checked in and out, and a team disagreement. You know the days :)
Well, here is the scripture that helped me IMMENSELY through my day...
I don't think I need to explain. All I will say is that I kept thinking, "don't be a fool, Tina." The day was a crazy one, but it went okay because of this wonderful scripture I stumbled upon in the Old Testament. Thank you Heavenly Father!
Join Jessica and link up with your inspiration. I would love to read about it, because I need all the inspiration I can get :)
I am not a task card fanatic. In fact, I only have a few task cards that I have actually cut out and can call cards. They get bent and misplaced. I am not a fan of cutting them all out just to have to do it all over again after a year. Yes, I know some teachers are able to have their task cards used for years, because they are super careful with them. I'm not one of those. If I have task cards, then we are going to use them! The kids will delve into them. Now that I have stood on my soap box :) let me show you how I use TASK BINDERS.
I simply print the task cards (front to back if possible), put them in a sheet protector and then into a binder. Done and done in 3 minutes. No laminating, no cutting. If more than one student needs the task cards then they either share or take a page out. As you can see in the above pic, there are eight task cards visible so the students can easily move on without bothering the other student. If a page happens to get ruined, I simply print a new one out in 5 seconds.
I have quite a few of these. I also use the folders with the clasps that hold sheet protectors. These are cheaper and work just as well. Using task cards this way definitely works for me! Let me know how you use them.
I love looking at class schedules! LOVE IT! So I definitely am joining in on this linky. I actually just switched our class schedule. Tomorrow will be our first day with our new schedule. I switched my science and writing time. My students LOVE science and last week I did one of our science lessons at the beginning of the day and the kids seriously turned their brains on. The rest of the day was fabulous! I can't even describe the amazing learning that went on. My kiddos begged to have science at the beginning of the day from now on, so I told them we could do a trial run this week.
My schedule is pretty self explanatory. I love my math workshop and my guided reading. Wouldn't switch them for anything! Any suggestions or comments are more than welcome! Now go link up so I can see your schedule too!
Hey everyone! Hopefully the weather is treating you all well. If you are getting slammed with snow, would you please send some to me? Our snow is all melted and it was really nice outside yesterday during recess...like don't wear a coat outside because it feels really nice.
I had an amazing response to my Math Workshop post, so I thought I would share a little of what I have been trying. Of course I am going to link up with my awesome long time BBF Holly for Tried it Tuesday. This is one of my favorite parties and I cringe when I miss it!
Okay, Math Workshop...Guided Math, whatever you call it, has been happening in my room all year and I will NEVER EVER EVER go back. Today, I am going to show you my "Meet with the Teacher" station. Now, before you look at the picture please note: this pic was taken in between two of my groups, so the board is black and manipulatives are out. Now you can look at the picture.
It isn't glamorous or awe-inspiring. The space is basic and not distracting. Exactly what is needed for students to focus. On the wall is a whiteboard (the oldest piece of junk in the world) and I just tape things to it. I can't write on it because it has so many cracks. I laminated a piece of anchor chart paper (with lines) and taped it to the board to use as my whiteboard for groups. The objective for the daily lesson is at the top. I have my fractions bars and magnet boards. To the left of my chair I have 9 drawers that everything is in with a basket on top to hold things we use everyday.
These are the math rotations that are in the corner of the board. The student names are written to the left. I always have my top group in the second row because they are taught the lesson the day before. Then they can do the assignment during the first rotation. I meet with my lowest group first and then my two middle groups. This gives my lowest group the opportunity to ask the top group for assistance and the top group has already completed the assignment so they know what they are doing.
These are the magnet boards from Kagan. My awesome principal bought them for us and I LOVE them! No more markers going dry!
If you have any questions, please ask or email me! I love getting emails!
All my rotations last 20 minutes and I set a timer so I won't go over in one group and short another group on time. I will be putting my math signs up in my TpT store soon! Have a happy Tuesday and go link up with Holly!
Hello you wonderful teachers, today I am going to share what my math workshop looks like in my room. First of all...demographics.
-I have an hour and a half for math. Yes, really. I had to fight to get my hour and a half. We go from 10:30 - 12:00 and my students work hard every second!
-I have 25 fourth graders who range from pre-k to advanced. It would be way too easy to have them all on one level :)
-I have an intervention aid who is in my room every day from 11:30-12:00. I am very blessed to have her!
-My groups change with every standard I teach. The groups are based on a pretest and I break the students up into 4 groups depending on their scores.
-We have four rotations in my room. Here is how it looks...
-On the blank cards to the left I write the students in that group. I always put my highest group on the second row. By doing this they are able to learn the lesson the day before and then complete the assignment the next day because they start with "At your seat".
-I have anywhere from 7 to 4 kids in a group depending on scores and my knowledge of the students.
-Each rotation is 20 minutes with 10 minutes extra just in case I need a few extra minutes with a group.
Let me quickly explain how each rotation goes...
meet with the teacher
-The students come back to guided reading table and I am able to differentiate their lessons because they are all grouped based on ability. My table is by a whiteboard and the students use magnet slates (from Kagan).
-I love these slates because I don't have to deal with dried out expo markers anymore :) No idea how much they cost...our principal bought them for us.
-My lessons are based off the core and not our textbook. I do use the textbook but I pick and choose a lot!
After my students meet with me they do
at your seat
-They complete their assignment when they are at their seat.
-Sometimes each group has the same assignment and sometimes not. Completely depends on what they need.
-My assignments either come from the book or are written out on the board. The students use a simple piece of lined paper folded into eighths. In the first box they write their name, date, assignment. The rest of the boxes are numbered and used for the assignment. Answers are written in the bottom right corner of each box. If a student is having trouble lining number up (like when doing double digit multiplication) then I have them turn their paper sideways and use the lines on the paper to help them.
-Now, I ALWAYS get asked how I help these students when I am teaching another group. I have trained my kids on how to help each other. If a kid needs help then they ask the kids in their group. If that doesn't work then the 2 teacher helpers need to be asked. If they still can't figure it out they come and stand by my table *with the two teacher helpers* to let me know they need help and when I get a chance I help them. Very rarely do I have kids stand at the table to get my help.
-All answers to the assignments are submitted in a Google Form. This way I can see at a glance who needs intervention. I am going to do a blog post about how I use Google Forms in my room soon.
-So I am blessed. In many ways, but I am blessed at school to have a class set of Chromebooks. I LOVE CHROMEBOOKS! So much better than tablets or laptops. In fact, I always explain to people that a Chromebook is a tablet and laptop smooshed together.
-My students always start with an xtramath lesson. See my post on xtramath here. This takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes. This is basic math facts practice and review.
-My district has purchased i-ready and I love it! The students do a benchmark three times a year and are then given lessons based on their level. So my students do an i-ready lesson everyday. The lessons are fun and interactive!
-This one is different all the time! It is by far the favorite. Here is a list of activities I incorporate during the "hands on" rotation.
-If students get too rowdy during this time they are given one warning. If I have to stop them again then this rotation is taken away. I have only had to take it away once this year.
So, that is an overview of math rotations in my room. I would LOVE to know how your math workshop runs. Enjoy the rest of your break :)
Loving - I am an early shopper and have had my shopping done for a few weeks. It is SO nice! I love being able to spend the holidays enjoying instead of stressing!
Thinking - I haven't thought about school once since I locked my classroom door on Tuesday. Now I can't remember if there is anything I need to get ready for tomorrow. I will have to go search my planner that is stashed in my school bag.
Wanting - Oh, I need my camera that my fabulous husband bought me. It is wrapped and under the tree. Did I peek? No way. No peeking for this girl. He always asks for my list and gets me exactly what is on it and there is a camera shaped box under the tree :)
Needing - see Wanting...
Favorite Tradition - We get two Christmas trees! I put the fake one up in November and we have a blast decorating. Then the first weekend of December we head out and chop down a real tree! The smell is amazing and my kids love it!
Okay, these past few weeks I have been trying Reading A-Z. I am using it and loving it more than I thought I would.
Now, here is the low down. Yes, it does cost $99. And yes it IS worth it! I talked to my principal about getting Reading A-Z for my students who need books at home, for benchmarking and to use for guided reading. My awesome principal purchased Reading A-Z for me using Title 1 money! You might want to approach your principal and see if there is any $ available. It is REALLY worth it.
Now for a review...
I did the trial period first and was loving the bench marking articles for each level. I downloaded as many as I could (you are only allowed so many downloads in a 24 hour period) and was able to put together the majority of my bench marking binder.
Each article comes with a running record sheet and comprehension questions (and answers). I've put the articles in a plastic sleeve and the questions and running records are just hole punched.
Below is a screenshot of two different levels and their articles.
There are two nonfiction passages and two fiction passages per level. So easy! All you need to do is print and use.
There are SO many resources and I can't wait to explore more!
Reading A-Z is VERY easy to navigate and find what you are looking for. I love all the check boxes they have in order to identify exactly what you need. Below is an example. If you would like level M books then you click on M. Then you can check nonfiction, fiction, etc. to find what you need.
Once you have narrowed your search the selections with pop up and you simply click to select the book you want. One thing I am planning on using on our next set of guided reading books are the multi-leveled books. The same topic but on different levels! Wouldn't that be great?
Here is a list of the different books they offer.
One of my groups is currently reading this selection. I print out the pocket books and the students LOVE them. They are 1/4 the size of a regular sheet of paper.
If you notice in the screenshot there are 3 different types of books and the option to project the book. Also you have:
-guided reading lesson plans (very detailed)
-multiple comprehension worksheets
-bolded vocabulary within the text
-glossary of vocab in the back of the book with definitions and page numbers
These past few weeks my classroom has changed. Completely. And I love it! Have you ever heard of a Chromebook?
Well my amazing readers, this little beauty is fabulous! The model above is only $249 and you can see my review here.
Ready for my EXCITING NEW!!!???!?!
My class is piloting a class set of Chromebooks for our district! And oh, how we are loving it!
These computers run completely on Chrome, which means nothing needs downloaded or fixed by the tech department. All updates are taken care of by Google online. If there is an update then all you need to do is shutdown the Chromebook and restart. Oh, and the restart take 8 SECONDS! Not even joking. If a student restarts their computer it will be ready in a complete rodeo bull ride.
Okay, so how do I utilize this amazingness you might ask...Here it is in a nutshell...
-Google Drive is used A LOT in my room.
-Students do all their writing online
-Math assignments are submitted online
-All assessments are taken online (and corrected instantly)
So, I have been using SpellingCity.com for part of our Word Work and for spelling tests.
This has been going on for a while now and I love it more and more every week! I use the free account. First of all, I differentiate my spelling groups using Words Their Way. This is the BEST for differentiating spelling. I have used it for 8 years now and still love it. In the past 8 years I have never had a parent complaint about spelling. Now just because I said that I will probably have one this week. Ha!
Anyway, here is how we use Spelling City in our classroom...
On our class blog there is a link:
Which takes my students directly to my teacher page on Spelling City. On my teacher page are the lists for each group:
The groups are posted on the wall and the students know which group they are in. After they click on their group, their list is brought up. At the top of the list they can only do the free activities, but there are plenty!
Here are the free activities:
My students use them all! I also print out the Handwriting pages for each group and make them do that for Word Work as well. The handwriting of my students is atrocious this year!
I LOVE looking at schedules in other classrooms. I find it absolutely fascinating how other people schedule their time. So when I stumbled across this linky I knew I had to participate!
So let me explain a little...
8:00 --- Love Calendar Math! I just throw eight questions on to my SmartBoard and the students answer them. The questions always correlate with the date, hence the name Calendar Math. The questions involve reviewing, what we are currently working on, and problems from the next unit of study. Check out Stephanie's blog to learn more.
8:20 --- Class Meeting is fabulous! I always try and read a picture book and then we chat. My kiddos love this time of the day. I wish I could make it a bit longer. Next year maybe.
8:30 --- Specials...Monday is music. Tuesday is Art. Wednesday is PE. Thursday is Computers. I pull kids during this time for intervention. I have started to pull some of my lower kids and I preteach lessons for the day as well.
9:20 --- Shared Reading. Oh, I am LOVING LOVING how this is going. Have you ever heard of Read with a Pen? Well, I will have to post about it. In short, I give the students a nonfiction article that we work on for 2-3 days. We circle vocabulary, identify main idea, supporting details, write questions and observations, and right now we are working on summarizing. We write ALL OVER the article. Then for the next 2-3 days I give them a fiction article that correlates with nonfiction we just studied. Okay, I will definitely post about this soon.
9:40 --- Writing. Simple writing workshop. My students are really starting to enjoy writing.
10:15 --- Recess. I have duty every other week. Love my off weeks :)
10:30 --- Math Workshop. My students are broken into 4 groups. Sometimes they are grouped by ability and sometimes not. Depends on the pretest data. My students work through 5 rotations. Buddy Games, Using Technology, Independent Practice, Learn with the Teacher, Doing Math (BUILD). I have a post planned specifically for this so stay tuned!
12:00 --- Lunch and recess. Once again I get every other week off.
12:40 --- Guided Reading and Daily 5. I LOVE this time of the day! We rotate every 18 minutes. I have 5 groups and meet with 4 of them daily. My students go through all 5 rotations everyday. On the fifth rotation I don't meet with a group, instead I meet with individual students like the Sisters recommend. I ALWAYS meet with my 2 lowest groups everyday. My top 3 groups rotate.
2:10 --- Science/Social Studies. I like this time of the day.
2:50 --- Dismissal and then I am required to stay until 3:45.
On Tuesday we have a late start day and the teachers have PLC's from 7:30-8:20.
On Friday we have early out at 1:00 but the teachers stay until 3:45.
And on a side note...I have some exciting news to share with you! Look forward to it this week. It might explain why I have been MIA off and on the past month. SO EXCITING! Leave me a comment...I love comments! Happy Saturday night all!