First of all, thank you SO much for all the love on my Math Work Stations Post. I poured my heart into that post, and it thrills me that so many of you read it! I will be back with my second post on Wednesday to show you how I organize my centers.
Eeeeek! Finding yourself needing last minute St. Patrick's Day materials?
Busy Teachers are great for that! I went ahead and discounted ALL my March stuff for 20 % off today!
My centers will be in action in my classroom for several more weeks since there is Easter and Basketball goodies in there!!!
I also have links to a couple of resources that you may need for tomorrow!
Ever wonder why I started this here blog?!? Back three and a half years ago when I first started, it was all about reflection for me. I have always been one who thinks better when I write.
My blog makes me a better teacher.
I have a confession. I let workstations slide over the last month or so.
No good reason.
Except that it is easier to stay whole group. OUCH! That is hard to admit. But it is true. This year I have worked SO hard on shaping my ELA and Writer's Workshop just the way that I want it that sometimes by math time I am exhausted and don't give it the effort that it and my kids deserve.
Well that is changing RIGHT now.
I planned out my week so that we could take our measurement test yesterday and review routines and rituals for Math Workstations today so we could get those bad boys ROCKIN' and ROLLIN' again. No more excuses.
Need convincing in order to join me on this journey?
Here are my top 5 reasons why you should try work stations.
1. Number sense, number sense, number sense.
I really don't think you need numbers 2-5 after you think about this one. I don't know a math teacher that doesn't wish their kids had better number sense. It is the basis for everything. Our kids rely on the PROCESS way too much. When they really GET numbers, they shouldn't have to memorize routines.
2.Every kid is accountable.
My kids work in pairs. There is no lally-gogging, bumps on a log, daydreaming, whatever you want to call it. EVERYone works. I do not, repeat do not, put my high kid with my low kids to help them out. In my opinion this is a huge no-no. Here's my reasoning, all too often the low kids just copy or the high kids do it for them. I stick low with low, high with high. This way the low kids are not intimidated and if need be I can tailor the work just for them. The high kids challenge each other to try out new ideas or improve their automaticity.
3. Small group reteach or acceleration.
I have worked it out so that the four kids that come to me during each station have relatively the same needs (I will explain this better next post, I promise). This way I can tailor my instruction to exactly what they need. This means that two pairs of kids come to me at a time. That means that there are 8 other activities are going on around the room *quietly*.
4. Work Stations are fun.
What kid doesn't like games?!?! Now- I intentionally don't call them centers. They are WORK stations because the kids WORK the whole time, but they are still fun and kids learn through play.
5. We need to reach them ALL.
I promise you. If you are only teaching whole group, there are kids who are hiding. I've seen it this month. The kids who follow along well but don't REALLY get it. We owe them the chance to explore with numbers. We owe them the chance to ask questions in small group. We owe them the chance to REALLY get it.
Did I convince you?
Are you saying okay, okay, now what?
I've got you. :) Well at least soon I do.
I decided to break this post into several different sections because--well it's Friday and we are all tired. No really. It would be way too long for one post! I will be back soon with a post on organization with tons of pictures!
For now, here are links to some(?) of my Math Work Station packets on TPT:
I finally carved out some time to put all my Dr. Seuss happenings in one blog post.
These days that is HARD folks....I am currently writing this in the 5 minutes before I head to the gym then run my kids across town to soccer practice followed by dinner.bath.books.bedtime. HOLY COW. I am tired just thinking about what all has to happen before 7:45 p.m. I know y'all feel this way too!
<Update- this obviously did not get published before ALL of that, but no fear- kids are in bed and my allergy medicine hasn't kicked in so I am with you for about 10 more minutes- HA!>
For Dr. Seuss' bday, Emmie was prepared (before you even ask, it's a Lolly Wolly dress...we are kind of obsessed)!!!
When my students showed up on Monday, we had tons of Dr. Seuss books to choose from for their independent reading time.
On Monday we had gobs of reading time (even parents game in to guest read) and snacks to match!
On Tuesday we dove into Seuss' "meatier" books! My all time favorite book is the Lorax. We found ways to involve the Lorax in all our subject areas.
In math we measured and created truffala trees. We then wrote about how to figure out how much taller one is than the other.
This was one of those ideas that I thought of RIGHT before I did it.
Isn't that how the best ideas come to you?!?!
In Science we made Truffala trees out of clay and talked about physical changes (we are studying matter).
In writing we adopted the voice of the Lorax ourselves and wrote for an animal or part of nature that we feel the need to protect. Of course since my students' teacher is obsessed with watercolors, we painted the object of our affection!
This little girl spoke for the manatees!
Here are all of our projects on display:
On Wednesday we moved on to another Seuss favorite of mine- Horton Hatches an Egg!
With this book my students wrote about some of the difficult vocabulary in the book (without me telling them what the words meant). We have been working on using context clues to help us figure out how to do this.
Oh yeah, and we ate a snack. Or the kids did- Mrs. King is on a diet going through a lifestyle change.
Friday was another favorite.
I mean really, how many favorites can one teacher have?!?!
But in all seriousness, this page has to be the page that SPEAKS to us teachers.
I truly, truly feel that my students are going to be awesome citizens one day, and it is my job to make sure they see their own potential.
I have seen a few variations of this craft around the internet. If you know where this originally came from, please let me know so I can give credit!
I had my students write about their long term goals in life. I also took their pictures acting as if they were in hot air balloons. I think the rest is pretty self explanatory, but if you have questions, please ask in the comments!
I forgot to take a picture once they were all hanging, but I will make sure to share as soon as I do!