Wednesday, September 4, 2013

...And we are off and running!!!

Happy Crazy Hectic First Week!
I don't know about you, but I began the school year with students yesterday. It is funny how I still get the night-before-the-first-day jitters and I am 30 years old. Half of me was excited, while part of me was overwhelmed. This is going to be such a wonderful mess of a year. Common core, new lesson plan formats, new lesson plan approval plans via our principal, new children to learn about, new curriculum never seems to end. There aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish what I set out to accomplish everyday, but I wouldn't change a thing. I am in year 9 of teaching and can say that I am just thrilled to still be as passionate about my job as I was on Day 1. Enough about me. I promised pictures from my classroom...

I have decided to use my heater space to display student groups for reading. I plan to use the "moon dust" glitter bracelets (naming them this is THE only way I have my boy students buying into this) as a way to group students during our ELA block. Each group will rotate through 4 stations per day. Reader Response, Enjoy a Book, At Your Seat, and Discuss the Text are the four basic stations. Reader Response = The students will respond to texts/passages they have read through the use of character T charts, venn diagrams comparing stories or characters, open-ended response questions, etc
Enjoy a Book = The students will have three options to pick from including read-to-self, read-to-someone, and listen to a story on tape. An assistant/volunteer will be conferencing with students using a conference cueing card that I have made in order to initiate text discussions.
At Your Seat = The students will complete ELA work independently and will include vocabulary cubing activities, word sorts, writing tasks, concept sorts, IPad apps tasks, encoding activities, etc...
Discuss the Text = The students will participate in differentiated small group reading instruction with the teacher. Groups will be based on levels and/or skills that the children will be working on. Groups will change frequently depending on skills that need reinforcement, remediation, or enrichment.

Number of the Day Students work on math skills each day as a warm-up leading into our math lesson. The tasks will change every few weeks and require students to use newly acquired skills to analyze the newest number of the day.

Room 5's Writing CenterAs we cover lesson in our Being a Writer program, we will be adding examples of our work and brainstorming writing ideas to aid students during writer's workshop. I have attached clothespins and velcro tabs to the papers so that I can easily switch types of writing and written examples.

Ticket Out the DoorStudents are assigned a square on an Exit Ticket board. At the end of lessons, students are asked to answer 1 or 2 questions on a post-it note to show whether or not they mastered/understood the objectives of the lesson. They place their sticky note on their space before transitioning into the next task. I take a snapshot of it on my phone and have a student's job which is to remove the post-its. This makes it easy to "check" understanding from home, meetings, etc without having to keep track on hundreds of post-it notes. Through this two minute activity, I am able to figure out which students need further review and which students have mastered the day's lesson objectives.

BUCS MATH CLUBSimilar to my reading groups, I have a filing cabinet dedicated to displaying the days/weeks stations and groupings. The little blue and green marbles are magnets that I made with each of my students' names. Groups in math tend to change so much quickly depending on the concepts being covered. I use the magnets to display the groups that my students will be in for the unit/week. Each letter in the word "MATH" stands for a station that my students will make their way through. In each box listed "M", "A", "T", and "H", I have labeled magnetic cards listing all of the math stations that my students will complete throughout the year.

I Can... - Common Core statement board I typed and printed the PA Core standards, cut them, and put them on rings. As I focus on a standard, I tally that strip in order to help me document the amount of times I have covered the skill.

Happy Hands!!!I have started using these hand signals with my class in order to ensure correct speaking AND listening in my room. Students are accountable for speaking in complete sentences and are encouraged to elaborate with the "keep going" and "try that again" signals.
Listening students are held accountable because they are encouraged to use the signs while their classmate is speaking. They can agree with the statement, encourage their peer to keep going, or kindly remind their peer to try again and speak in a complete sentence without verbal interruption.

The Wheel of ExpectationsI refer to this board before beginning any activity to ensure that my sometimes forgetful 3rd graders remember the expectations. It seems to help alot and the sticky arrow post-its are fun to use! :D
Check back soon for more pictures and news from Room 5!

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1 comment:

  1. I just gave a shout out on my Facebook page for your Wheel of Expectations!
    Thanks for sharing your ideas. Have a great day-
    John, Created by MrHughes
    An Educator's Life