Last week I put all of my math center information together into one How-To pack in order to help those of you who are interested in beginning math centers as part (or all!) of your math block. It has over 90 pages worth of math center goodness! This post will give you a bit of an inside scoop into my math center setup. Enjoy! Before I explain each center, take a look at this overview. I have 4 student groups. Each group has 4-7 kids depending on my class size. My math block lasts for 1 hour and 15 minutes, so the chart matches that time frame. Tweak the time to work for you. I teach a short mini lesson for 5-10 minutes when we first start. This may be the “We Do” pages from our math textbook or just some practice problems that I want to do with the kids. I do not keep students in whole group for a long time. I have found that most students do their best work in centers when the centers are engaging and filled with movement. Soooo, I give them what they need and send them off to do their best! Each student Continue Reading
This past weekend, one of my best teacher friends across the hall and I ran the Ft. Lauderdale Color Run. When we aren’t swamped at work, we enjoy running together. The Color Run was more fun than I expected and MUCH more fun than running a half marathon…believe me! What do you and your teacher friends enjoy doing together outside of school? Be sure to check back with Christina and many more wonderful teachers here!
The cafeteria is definitely not a place where I want to hang out. It is L-O-U-D, LOUD! Administration at my school uses red, yellow, and green, and teal cups to promote good behavior in the same way that we do in the classroom. Luckily, my kiddos are always on green or teal when I come pick them up. The classes who are on teal all week, receive ice pops the following week. Here we are chowing down in the tiny bit of Florida shade! What does your school do to control cafeteria expectations/behavior/rewards? Be sure to link up with Christina at Miss DeCarbo’s Second Grade Sugar & Spice for more Wordless Wednesday pictures.
We’ve been working on informational writing for the past week or so, and today I taught a mini lesson. Here is the process in images… First, we read a big book called Red-Eyed Tree Frog. Then, we decided to write about it! I created this chart with the kiddos. As I wrote, they tried to guess what words I was about to write and chanted them out loud. They thought it was hilarious…although I’m not quite sure why… Gotta love 6 & 7 year olds! I picked a few students to write example sentences on Post Its for each part of an informational writing piece: introduction, key details, and closure. They then came up and put their Post Its on the chart. We read all of the Post Its and talked about why some were “super duper” and why others needed a tiny bit of fixing. Then we put them in order. Other volunteers came up to write those Post It sentences onto our chart paper. We used different colors to color code our paragraph into three parts. These parts matched our anchor chart. Believe me. Give a scented marker to a kid, and BAM instant hard work! And of course Continue Reading
We learned about Meerkats last week and worked on the format of informational writing. One of my firsties gave me this beautiful drawing. She called them “carrot tails”. (Look close for the humor…I couldn’t believe my eyes!) LOL What crazy/inappropriate pictures have your kids drawn in class? Leave a comment below and then head back to Sugar and Spice to link up with other teachers!
Happy Thursday! This week my firsties began counting money. They’ve been doing pretty well because we have incorporated it into calendar math since the beginning of the school year. However, the kids often mistaken nickels and quarters and have trouble adding on with larger valued coins. So, on Tuesday in math small group we sorted coins using these great yellow mats from my second grade friend across the hall. The kids thought this was SO fun! (which made me laugh inside…) After they sorted all the coins in front of them, we practiced skip counting. We counted by 1’s to find the value of the pennies. We counted by 5’s to find the value of the nickels. (You get the picture.) We also compared the total amount on each child’s mat. They were very excited to discover who had the most money! This is one of this week’s favorite math centers. It’s called Scavenger Hunt Riddles. Kids take a recording sheet (there are 8 varieties). They then choose the cards that match the color indicated on the recording sheet. For example, the recording sheet pictured here is for the GREEN cards, so kids choose the money cards with the green Continue Reading
Each afternoon once the kids have left, I sharpen pencils, place them in each table’s center bins, place math and reading homework on each desk, and fix our calendar. What do you do to prepare for tomorrow? Comment below and then head over to Miss Decarbo’s blog, Sugar and Spice, to link up with other teachers!
This week our 3-5th graders started FCAT testing. Each year, we begin FCAT week with a pep rally to relax the students (and make the teachers look crazy!). This year, K & 1st grade teams did an FCAT country version of Timber by Pitbull. We all dressed with bandanas and cowboy hats, but our wonderful Kindergarten team leader made a special appearance as Pitbull. He had the kids swoooooooning! What more can I say? This is hilarious! Today is Earth Day, and I was determined to find an effective activity that reviewed necessary skills with my firsties. Cue the key detail sort! I found a wonderful main idea and key detail craftivity for Earth Day that was a challenging, yet fun cooperative learning activity for the kids (Click here to check it out!). Each page had a main idea listed with an illustration. The kids had to look through the details and decide which detail described which main idea. It was tricky at first, but after a few minutes they got the hang of it. I enjoyed hearing them debate amongst each other, and use key words to find the correct main ideas. Tomorrow I will make them cute with Continue Reading
I have been wanting stability balls from my classroom ever since I was in undergrad. However, when I was hired I thought that we would not be allowed to have them. Our school is very strict on not bringing outside furniture into the classroom if it is not approved by the county. So, I just put the idea on the back burner. Then, my partner teacher went to a PTA meeting where the principal discussed these stability balls. I practically screamed when I heard! I jumped on the opportunity, pulled up the research I had on them, and went into the principal to request them in my room. I currently split a class set (20) with my partner teacher, so we each have 10 balls. I use 6 at my small group table and 4 at my writing center (both pictured in the back in the picture above). Needless to say, I was extremely excited…except for the fact that you have to blow each one up with a hand pump. It takes for.ev.errrr! Pros over regular chairs: The balls are suppose to increase oxygen flow to the brain when students are working, and allow them time to move. Sometimes we Continue Reading