25 May 2014

Weekend Warriors: Mathematical May-Part 2

Hi! I'm back with Part 2 of our Mathematical May series.

Did you get a chance to check out the other Warrior's blogs yesterday?  They had some great ideas.  I'm definitely going to incorporate Christy's Counting Glove idea next year! You can check it out here.

Continuing on from yesterday's post….

I wanted a way to track my student's growth and development in a particular math skill.  I knew that I'd be able to informally/formally assess them over time…but I wanted a way to see EVERYONE's development.

I bought a classroom set of composition notebooks and sectioned them off by 20 pages.  Each set of 20 was enough for one Common Core standard.  Next, I created journal dividers to place in the journal.

This is my journal..I used card stock and made black and white copies for the kiddos.  Looking back, I think I should have color coded each skill.  When we first started using the dividers, kids had a difficult time knowing which specific tab I wanted them to turn to.  Next year I will make sure that Counting & Cardinality- red, Geometry-blue and so on.

I also created math journal problems based on each Common Core skill for kindergarten.  This was super time consuming as I wanted to make sure that the activities were quick but also challenging.  I also wanted there to be some kind of variety within each skill. I'm still working on perfecting the activities but here are a few samples.

Each day the kids get one activity to complete in 5 minutes.  I encourage them to solve, cut then glue.  I try to explain that coloring is the LEAST important part to these activities…and everyday it turns out all they want to do is color first!  Each Thursday, I collect their journals and give stickers for correct work. On Friday, I give them an extra 3 minutes to review their work and check for stickers.  They know that if they didn't receive a sticker…some part of their work isn't finished or is incorrect.  They are invited to come to me or my teaching assistant for help and try to earn a sticker.

Because all the activities are divided by skill, I'm able to see which student needs the most help on a particular skill.  If I have a student who never earns a sticker in their Measurement and Data section, I can pull them for small group work to strengthen that skill.  Plus, it's all document!!

This system has been working so well! The kids are excited to do these everyday (I think the time limit helps).  They are also super excited to check their work on Fridays and work really hard to earn their sticker.  I'm overjoyed because I have an organized collection of data that I can use to show student growth overtime!!  I LOVE IT.

I hope you love it too..because I'm so happy to share my Math Journal Dividers with you. FOR FREE. This is a forever freebie and features Common Core standards for grades K-5th!

I've had a few requests for my Math Labels.  I'm working on making them available to everyone! As soon as they are ready, I'll be sure to get them out to you.  In the meantime, be sure to enter my giveaway and you can win $10 to spend in my TpT store!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope these last two days have been helpful to you! Mathematical May has been so much fun!  Head over to the other Warriors' posts and find some awesome ideas!


24 May 2014

Weekend Warriors Mathematical May

First, let me just say I am INCREDIBLY lucky!

I am so excited to get to work with some fantastic bloggers on this new endeavor.
At the end of each month, we will be presenting some awesome tips, tricks, and ideas that are perfect for your classroom.

We all have a specific theme for each month.  This month we are featuring tips for math. We call it:
Mathematical May.

I am so excited about this month's theme.  I have been working on math organization in my classroom for the past few months.  I've reorganized my centers, labeled drawers, and created activities all based around the Common Core Math objectives.  

After completing some mid year math assessments, I was noticing a small group of kids needing more support in one math objective than another (not a big surprise).  But I was really stuck on how to get those students more math time around that specific skill.  I just felt there wasn't enough time to help them improve.  

So, I decided to make time.  

I cut 10 minutes out of our day that was just for math skill improvement.  Nothing else.  

Monday through Friday students rotate between five different math centers. 

A group of students start at Counting & Cardinality on Monday, Operations & Algebraic Thinking on Tuesday, Number & Operations in Base Ten on Wednesday, Measurement & Data on Thursday and Geometry on Friday.  If a particular group needed more time to strengthen their skills in Geometry, I simply have them stay at that center the following day.

This idea sounds great…but I struggled with implementation and resources. I had a few questions for myself.
Which activities go where?
Do I have enough variety of materials at every center?
Do I choose what goes out or do I let the kids choose?
How do we clean up?
How can I ensure each child is successful?

I created some labels to place on our tables so students would know where they were going each day.

The labels matched our center chart pictures.

Then, I placed these labels on all math activities I had.

It was very time consuming to go through every single activity and determine which Common Core skill it focused on.  But the process was incredibly helpful, as I was able to determine which skill needed more activities.

This labels went on my rainbow math drawers so I could match up activity with drawer making for an easy clean up!

In the beginning, I was putting most of the activities away myself.  But now, a few kids from each center will grab the activities, match them to a drawer, put them away themselves! I love my kids…I never asked them to do this they just started helping all on their own. The labels are truly a life saver.

Alright so I've organized, labeled, established a system for rotation and clean up, but how would I could I check for success?

Of course I do informal assessment as I work with kids at their centers, but I wanted a way to keep track of their progress over time….

Head back here tomorrow for Part 2 of Mathematical May.  I'll show you just how quick  and easy it is to keep track of kiddos learning.

Want some more math tips?  These Weekend Warriors have some great ideas for you.

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06 May 2014

I'm having a sale!

Hi y'all!

I know many of you are enjoying the wonderful TpT loves teachers sale!

Here are a few items on my wish list:

That's only a few…
I have tons of items I can't wait to buy.
But I totally have a clip art addiction.
Those artists are so stinking talented…

What's on your wish list? Do you have anything you think I should add?

My birthday was on Sunday (thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes).  I had a great dinner at Capitol Grille with my hubby.  They even took our picture…

We are kinda cute.

I wore a tutu to school on Monday.
when some of my littles came into the room, they ran over to the calendar and had the following conversation:
Kid 1: What day is it?
Kid 2: May 5
Kid 1: Ok, Mother's Day is the 11…so….
Kid 2: Yea I don't know.
Kid 1 heads over to me.
Kid 1: We were just looking at the calendar to see what celebration was going on…cause you're wearing a tutu.
Me: Oh, well yesterday was my birthday, so I thought I'd wear one today.

Kid 1: MY GOD.
I forgot your birthday. I should have made you a card. I will tell my mom and she will buy you perfume and that kind of stuff.

I love my kids.

Seriously, they are awesome.

I hope you get some awesome goodies in the sale. Here are a few other fantastic bloggers who are also having a sale.  head over to check out their store. 

Aris at Sailing into Second

Molly at Lucky to be in First

Jaime at Bright Ideas for Teachers

Deirdre at A Burst of First

Angela at Hippo Hooray for Second Grade

Christy at Crayons and Whimsy

Sarah at A Sunny Day in First Grade
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