Monday, August 26, 2013

Math Workshop Monday~A New Weekly Blog Series

Hello, and welcome to a new series!  Most of the questions I receive in my inbox are related to Math Workshop, so I thought I'd take some time each week to cover a lot of the questions and to blog about what I am (of course) most passionate!  So, I've started a new series:


Each Monday, I will blog about what works and also what DIDN'T work for me for the last two years of implementing Math Workshop.  As a full disclaimer....you must find what works for YOU.  I don't have all of the answers, just some ideas of what I have tried in my classroom.    I hope that you can find some tips and tricks that you can use!

Just to begin, if you haven't ever read my previous posts about Math Workshop, I'm reposting below to give you some background.  I'll be starting next week with some of the questions I have received.  If you have any questions or specific topics you would like for me to address, please feel free to email me or comment below!

Previous Post from 4/25/12:

As some of you may know, I've completely changed the way I teach math this year.  For years (a decade or more...shhhh don't tell), I've been teaching math primarily whole group with a few small groups as needed.

This year, however, I started Math Rotations.  I will NEVER go back.  Here's how I make it work for me:

First, I found the Math Rotations Board from Clutter-Free Classroom.  It uses the acronym MATH for organizing how your "rotate" from one activity to the next.  {You know how I love those acronyms.}
M-Math Facts 
A-At Your Seat
T-Teacher's Choice
H-Hands On
Here's a picture of my updated board from Tara:

Let me break down what we do at each "station".
Math Facts- This is where I have my students work on Math 4 Today Math Moves :) This is a daily drill that is spiraled curriculum reviewing all fourth grade skills.  There are only 4 questions to complete, so when they are finished with that, they start their At Your Seat Work.
At Your Seat- This is where my students complete the Independent Practice from the math book.  However, this is the work from the previous day's small group work.  So, for example, my students would be completing lesson 16-5.  I had taught 16-5 the day BEFORE in the Teacher's Choice Station.
Teacher's Choice- This is my small group instruction time.  My students are grouped into 4 different groups based on their ability (mainly their MAP testing data with a little teacher judgement thrown in there, too).  Again, I teach the lesson that the students will be completing the NEXT day during their "At Your Seat" station.  
Hands On- This is what most think of as real "Stations" or "Centers".  I use this time to have my students work with a variety of materials.  As you can see on the board above, I am lucky enough to have 3 iPods.  One is from the school, one is my son's old iPod and the last one is my iPhone-Yes, I let my students use it for stations-gasp!  I also have math sharks (electronic flashcards), Hot Dots and other "hands-on" materials. 

I differentiate their hands on work, too.  For example, this week, we are using the iPods and I have downloaded an App called "Math Testing Prep".  These are leveled.  So, I hand the iPod to the children after clicking on the level for that child.  When using the Hot Dots, I have three different levels for those, too.  I've separated them by level and put them in index card accordian file (like for coupons) that I got from the Target Dollar Bin...love that Dollar Bin.  (Sorry that I don't have a picture for that.)

As you can see in the picture above, each group (Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4) all rotate through all stations during each math lesson.  For example, using the picture above, Group 1 will go to stations in this order:
1st-Math Facts
2-Teacher's Choice
3-At Your Seat
4-Hands On

This has worked for me.  Now, I will tell you it took about a month of tweaking to make it work the way it does now...but I stuck with it and am so glad that I did!

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Check back in next Monday for more!  Don't forget to comment with questions :)


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Classroom Door Reveal :)

Not a complete classroom reveal.  I didn't update much from last year.  I made a few minor changes, but other than those few "Optimum Organization" and "Monday Made It" additions to my room, everything is pretty much the same as last year.

But, I'd like to share with you my new classroom door.  I love it.  I even said on Instagram that if I had to move rooms, I would TOTALLY take the door with me.  Really, I would.

This is the outside of the door:
And, this is the inside of my door:
I covered the door in black contact paper (left over from last year's filing cabinet make over {here}) and trimmed the window with two different bulletin board borders.  Next, came my favorite part of this side of the door: the Classroom Rules Decal!!
The Classroom Rules Decal came from Wise Decor Decorative Lettering.  They contacted me about completing a review of this decal and I was happy to do so!  This decal was so easy to adhere to my door, that I let Sarah (darling 16 year old daughter) do most of it while I was busy with other things.

Check out how easy it was:

Full directions were included.  You basically peel off the back, stick it to the door, smooth down with a plastic credit card-like tool and peel off the top paper.  Easy, easy, easy.

I was also able to customize the colors to match my room!  Check out the Classroom Rules Decal {here}.

I am in LOVE :)

And....if you are interested....
This is the post from last year in its entirety if you are interested in what the whole room looks like:
After all summer long, I am ready to reveal my classroom to you.  Are you about to die with anticipation?  I know that you have been waiting
all
summer
long.

{Sarcasm}

My only regret during this entire classroom make-over is that I wasn't smart enough to do a before and after photo shoot. Man.

Beware...picture overload.  Some may say it's like Pinterest threw up all over my room.

I took this first picture while standing just inside my door.  You can just make out two table groups.  There are three more groups to the right.  This is what you see as you walk in the room.


I like it.  It makes me happy.  My kids, who I met on Wednesday, all seemed to like it, too. 

Here are the rest of the pictures...


And to think that all of this started because of this little Sterilite drawer re-do...........


I'm utterly exhausted.  Thank the good Lord that school starts on Monday so that I can knock it off.

Happy 2012-2013 2013-2014 school year, everyone :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Educents Bundle Deal~You Don't Want to Miss It!



That's right! Back to school savings with Educents is here!  

You could snatch up 27 amazing products which include my Multiplication Lapbook! 

And it does not end there!  You get all the following downloads that will stretch learning across the curriculum and throughout the year!  















It's only for a limited time and so you will want to head over and check out this and other amazing deals over at Educents!

I'm snatching up this bundle myself!!!


Check out all of the amazing contributors by clicking on the link to their blog or store! I'm so honored to be among this great list of teacher-authors!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to School Sale? Yes, Please!

I don't know about you, but this is one sale I live for each year!

Thanks, Krista, for the cute button :)

After a long week in pre-planning this week, I know I am going to spend the day in my pjs tomorrow loading up my cart for the BIG SALE!

I'm linking up with my friends over at Collaboration Cuties to show you my two top wishlisted items along with my top pick for what I want to pick up during the sale.




My top two wishlisted items:

Number from Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
Click on the pictures to head to this item on TpT!
This is my Multiplication Lapbook and I use the flipbooks inside it in my interactive math notebooks instead of making the Lapbook.  However, it works great as a lapbook, too! This has been wishlisted over 500 times :)  When you buy it on sale the total cost will be $2.88!

Click on the picture to head to this item on TpT!
This is my newest, but it is already the second most wishlisted item!  Wow, I can't believe it!  On sale, this can be purchased for only $8.64!

Now for my item(s) I'm looking forward to purchasing:

I love all of Ashley Hughes' kid clip art bundles.  I'm going to be grabbing some of those {here}.

And, I'm looking forward to piling up a bunch of math station materials, too.  I love the ones from The Science Penguin and can't wait to find a lot more while in my pjs tomorrow :)  Any suggestions???

Happy Shopping, everyone!