Math Workshop, Part 2

Math Workshop Binder

Divider #2 - Number of the Day
I talked about this a little bit in a previous post.  I have not created my own number of the day sheets simply because there are so many great ones already out there (and they are FREE).  Here are some that I have included in my binder:

Source: Lory's Page

If you have a fabulous number of the day worksheet, let me know and I'll add it to this list!

Divider #3 - Graphing
Behind this divider I have several files.  First, I have a list of graphing topics that I compiled.  Next, I have a list of graphing questions that I found at Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes.  She also posted directions for a DIY Graphing Mat.  Then, I have blank bar graphs that I created so students can graph our class data and practice labeling.  I teach the students to use the acronym T.A.I.L. for graphing (title, axis, interval, labels).

I also heard a rumor that there are some great graphing worksheets over at the Teacher's Clubhouse.   I haven't purchased them...does anyone know more about these?

Divider #4 - Number Patterns
By far, this section has the least files (so far...).  I have found a few worksheets out there, but I tend to just create my own patterns on chart paper.  Here are a couple of the pages I found online and chose to include:

Source: Amber Polk

Look for Part 3 sometime soon :)

New {School} Year Resolutions

I don't know about you, but joining up with this linky sounds like a great way to hold myself accountable for my new {school} year resolutions.  Amanda from Teaching Maddeness is hosting this one.

1. This will be my first year teaching with a little one at home.  I want to be able to focus on school at school and family while at home.  If you have any tips I would LOVE to hear them!

2.  I would like to have Guided Math & Math Workshop up and running by mid-October (our school starts after Labor Day).

3.  I want to provide classroom rewards that are free or low-cost.  I created these reward coupons a few months ago.  I still have a few things I want to add.  What are your favorite free (or low-cost) rewards for students?

4.  I have improved my organizational skills a lot over the years, but I still have those days where I let the ungraded papers pile up.  I want to stay on top of the paperwork and keep my desk free and clear of these piles.

5.  Continue to take care of myself.  This sounds like a no-brainer, but I'm sure many of you can relate.  As teachers we give and give and give, often beyond our limits.  I need to focus on staying healthy (body & mind).

Hmm...I have more that I could add, but 5 resolutions/goals sounds more than fair.  What are your new {school} year resolutions?  Head on over to Amanda's page and link up!

Math Workshop, Part 1

My daughter and I just got back from a quick visit to see my family.  While we were there, my mom and I went shopping for fabric so she could make me curtains for my new classroom.  I had planned to share the curtains as part of the Monday Made-It linky party.  However, when I went in to hang them up, I noticed that my new room doesn't have tension rods for the windows.  I guess it will have to wait.

In the meantime, I'm ready to share a little bit about my plans for Math Workshop.  I found this pocket chart hiding in my school files.  It hasn't been used in quite a few years and it was suggested to me that it would work for my rotations during Math Workshop.

It works out even better because I have two bookcases in my classroom that hold plastic tubs.  They are similar to the picture on the right, but the bookcases are a dark blue.  Also, the tubs are all uniform in size and are sorted so each shelf is devoted to one color.  I guess it was meant to be :)

My Math Workshop Binder

When you first open it up, you will find information about my Math T.I.M.E. idea for a workshop approach:
This is the title page with the new colors so it matches the pocket chart.

Next, you'll find information about each rotation and my must-do/may-do choice lists.  I have changed this list several times and will probably continue to change it as I get to know my students this fall.

After that you'll find a copy of my math expectations.  I have always used the phrase Tools Not Toys, but the others I found on another site & they just seemed to fit.  I like this idea because they are a bit alliterative and simple to remember.  It reminds me of making an I-Chart for Daily 5.

Behind these files are my dividers that I have created for all of the math warm-ups and regular routines I will use with my students this year.

Divider #1 is for Calendar
- blank monthly calendars
- worksheets where students read and answer questions about a calendar
- list of calendar questions
- master copy of my calendar task cards

In case you aren't familiar with calendar task cards, here are just a few examples of my questions:
- What day of the week is the 4th?
- What will be the date two weeks from today?
- How many Fridays are in this month?

That's all I have time for today.  I'll be posting more soon about what's behind the other dividers.

Friday Freebie & Featured Blogger

Have you visited Lisa over at Learning is Something to Treasure?  She has been featuring a blogger each Friday and this week it was my turn!  Thank you, Lisa for doing this for me.  I am looking forward to getting some advice on how to keep school at school this year so I can focus on my family while I am home.

As part of this feature, I am also sharing a freebie.  Enjoy :)

Thank you to all who correctly guessed the team that matches this logo.  It is the Minnesota Twins.  The TC stands for Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul).  I sent e-mails to the winners of the contest.

Tell Me More Tuesday & Giveaway Info

It's never too late to join the party, right?

Amy over at Step Into Second Grade with Mrs. Lemons is hosting a linky party.  The goal is to get to know your fellow bloggers.  Let's hope you all learn something new about me along the way :)

1.  I have lived in Washington all my life, with the exception of the college years.  I went out of state to college at the University of Idaho where I met my husband (who is also not from Idaho).

2.  I have actually known more than one person named Storie (though they usually spell it Story).  My most recent encounter was when my daughter was born.  The nurses kept telling me that there was a gal named Story who worked at the hospital.  They even made arrangements for me to meet her.

3.  We have two adorable Jack Russell Terriers.  They can be very active dogs, but our dogs play hard and sleep harder :)  This is a good thing because they are 2 years old and we have a 1 year old in the house, too!

4.  I love watching Reality TV.  My husband just loves to poke fun at me for it because he doesn't get it.

5.  I have never had my ears pierced and I don't think I ever will.  It was something I kind of wanted when I was younger, but now I don't really care.  I have also never dyed my hair.  I had super blond hair when I was younger, but now it has darkened up a bit.  One of these days I will give it a try.

6.  My favorite genre is something I like to call tragic fiction.  However, it doesn't mean that characters have to die.  My favorite author is Jodi Picoult.  If you know her books, I think you'll understand my genre.

7.  I love amusement park rides.  I will go on any roller coaster or scary ride.  I prefer to have a riding partner, but I have been known to go on rides by myself if no one else wants to try it.  For my 30th birthday, my husband surprised me with a chance to go parasailing.  It was fun, but not as much of a thrill as I was hoping for.

8.  I play on a women's recreational soccer team.  It is one of the only sports I never played when I was little.  Years ago a friend talked me into joining her team.  It sounded like a fun way to get some exercise and I have been playing ever since.

9.  I hate spiders and bees with a passion.  They scare the living daylights out of me.  However, if there is one in the classroom, I am cool as a cucumber on the outside and make a big deal about how it's just a little, harmless spider.  It doesn't make sense....I know!

10.  If you're still with me, I'll give you a chance to win a FREEBIE.  My husband has rooted for this team for most of his life.  I am a converted fan now, too.  Name the team that goes with this logo for a chance to win something from my TpT store.  You must be a follower & leave an e-mail address (or some other way to contact you).  You have until Thursday to enter!

Do you know Sara over at Miss V's Busy Bees?   She is celebrating 200+ followers with a giveaway.  Stop by to enter for a chance to win many great prizes!

Monday Made It & a Thank You!

I found out this weekend that I won a drawing for a \$10 TpT gift certificate.  Needless to say I was so thrilled.  I bought the most amazing goodies with the gift certificate and cannot wait to use them!  Thank you so much to Lauren over at Kinder-Friends.  If you haven't been to her blog, head on over and check it out!

I realized that it's Monday, so it must be time to share what I've been making :)

Project #1 - Ruler Container
I already used one of these containers for my brain breaks.  I went through my ribbon supplies and found a piece of ribbon that looks like a tape measure.  I had just enough to go around the can one time with about 1-in. of extra ribbon.  I just knew it would be a good accent for my ruler container.  I used my Cricut to cut the letters onto yellow paper.  I used black pen to create a stitching effect on the border of each letter.  Most of my rulers are at school, but this gives you an idea of the size of the container.

Project #2 - Family Communication Binder

Inside I have about 28 dividers. They are numbered so they can be re-used each year.  I have a page kept in the front as a handy reference for my student numbers.

Behind each divider I keep the following log page:

I also keep the student information sheet that the families fill out at the beginning of the year as well as the permission form I give out to place student photos on my classroom website.

In the back I dedicate a divider to my volunteer information sheets.  When I have a special project or request needed, I can just pull out the sheets and find a helper :)

Project #3 - Math Workshop Binder

This one is still in progress.  I will be posting more about this in the near future.  Here is a sneak peek:

Head on over to Tara's blog and see what everyone else has made this week :)

Guided Math - Chapter 9

Guided Math
Chapter 9 - Putting it Into Practice

I thought this would be one final, "A-ha" chapter, but I will admit I was let down.  Was it just because I was tired, or did you feel that way, too?  My hope was that I would find a chapter that really painted a picture of a day in the life of Guided Math.  I wanted to read about how all the pieces connected during one math block (warm-up, mini-lesson, small group lessons, math workshop tasks, conferences, etc.).  Now that I have finished reading the book I have been given confirmation that I CAN incorporate Guided Math & Math Workshop into my classroom, I AM doing many things right so far, and I WILL be able to add some of those pieces I have been avoiding without too much difficulty.

So, how am I putting Guided Math into practice?  I developed a Math Workshop format that would work in my classroom using the acronym Math T.I.M.E.  I have created a Math Workshop binder where I am currently collecting resources for math warm-ups, independent work, buddy games, and extension activities.  I have tracked down several resources for math literature.

What do I still need?  I will need ongoing support this fall from my blogger buddies as I jump in with both feet.  I am still looking for a way to document math conferences that will work for me.  I'm working out a schedule for math warm-ups.  I like the table on pg. 86, but still want to modify it to fit my students & teaching style.   Does anyone have any other recommendations for further reading on Guided Math & Math Workshop?

I have received a few comments & e-mails asking for more information about my Math T.I.M.E. ideas and my Math Workshop binder. If there is something specific you want to see or have me share leave me a comment and I will be sure to include it in a future post :)

The Lucky Winners Are...

On Monday I shared my new Brain Breaks jar and cards with all of you.  I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to put them to use this year.  I'm also glad so many of you have showed interest in either trying Brain Breaks this year or continuing the success you have found from using them in the past.  I promised that TWO lucky readers would win a free set of their choice.  I used a random number generator and the winners are:

#9 - Nicole
and
#4 - Miss Nelson

I will be contacting you both very soon!
Since I want everyone to join me in using Brain Breaks this year, my Let's Take a Break files will be 20% off until Saturday!  Click on the picture below to go grab your copy.

What I'm Working On

It's Wednesday and here's what I have been working on:

First, I'm looking into doing a Star of the Week board.  I want to feature one student each week.  I'm thinking the student could bring in photos to put on the board along with filling out some kind of All About Me sheet.  So, how many of you do some version of Star of the Week?   If you have posted a photo on your blog or pinned something on Pinterest, send me a link because I want to check it out!  Even if you don't have a photo I would still like to hear about how you incorporate this into your classroom.

Next, have you seen this on Pinterest?

I really liked the simplicity of it, but didn't just want to copy it.  If you know me, I love a good acronym.  Here's what I put together:

background: 3AM Teacher (Michelle Tsivgadellis)

What do you think?   Is this something you would actually use in your own classroom?  I can make a few different backgrounds if there is enough interest.  You can get your own copy of this poster by clicking on the freebies tab near the top of my page.

Monday Made It - Brain Breaks

I feel like my summer to-do list is expanding every single day with new projects thanks to Pinterest and my blogger buddies.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good project as much as the next gal, but they are taking over my home!  So, you can only imagine my incredible sense of relief that I am able to pull out that highlighter and check-off a major project.  I have done it - I finished my Brain Breaks!

I have never done Brain Breaks in the classroom before.  I had heard the term here and there over the past couple of years and became interested in trying it out this year.  I compiled a list of movements & games that I would do in my own classroom.  I have made two different sets.  Both are available in my TpT store.

Swirls

Red Dots

Since I LOVE a good freebie, I am giving away a set of your choice to TWO lucky followers of my blog.  Here are the simple rules:
1.  Follow my blog.
2.  Leave me a comment telling me which set you would prefer.
3.  Make sure to include your e-mail address or a way to contact you if you're the lucky winner :)

That's it - easy peasy!!  Your comment must be posted by Wednesday, July 18th to be entered.

So that's it for today.  Head on over to 4th Grade Frolics and see what everyone else has made!

Guided Math - Chapter 8

I can't believe this book study is almost over, but I am getting so excited to implement many of the components in the fall.  Did you check out Brenda's post over at Primary Inspired?  Laney Sammons, the author of Guided Math answered our questions!  Click here to go read the post.

Guided Math
Chapter 8 - Assessment in Guided Math
This chapter is being hosted by Kim at Finding Joy in 6th Grade

"Assessment should not merely be done to students; rather, it should also be done for students, to guide and enhance their learning." (NCTM 2000).  In the past few years our district has been moving towards making sure all teachers know the difference between formative and summative assessment.  Do you have a hard time keeping track of the difference?  I've heard it described in a few different ways:

Formative is assessment for learning.
Summative is assessment that summarizes learning.

Cooking
Formative is the chef tasting the soup.
Summative is when the customer is tasting the soup.

Medical
Formative is like a check-up with the doctor.
Summative is like the autopsy at the morgue.

All assessments are not created equal.  Determining when and how to assess will depend on the needs of your students (and the mandates of your state/district).  Fountas & Pinnell (1996) give the following as reasons for assessment:
* informing teaching decisions
* assessing students' strengths and knowledge
* finding out what students can do (independently & with teacher support)
* documenting progress
* summarizing achievement
* reporting to the administrators, school board, and community

Our district has really made a push towards using learning targets and "I can" statements in the past few years.  Not only does it provide common language in the classroom, but during each lesson I can use the learning targets to do an informal progress check.  For example: if the learning target was, "I can tell time to the nearest 5 minute mark".  I might do a quick check at the beginning of the lesson.  Thumbs Up = I can do this quickly and accurately
Thumbs Sideways = I can do this, but not very quickly
Thumbs Down = I still need help to do this
At the end of the lesson, I will do the same progress check.  One thing I realized is that during conferences I can be addressing these informal progress checks.

Another popular form of assessment can be rubrics.  I admit, I am the teacher that creates the rubric and then shows it to the students.  I can only recall creating a rubric with a classroom twice in 10+ years of teaching.  I'm pretty sure it was to meet a requirement for a class, too.  Does this make me a bad teacher?  I don't think so.  I think it just means I haven't found an effective way of developing rubrics with a classroom.  Do you have a successful way of doing this?  If so, I'd love to have a conversation with you about it.

Another area I have tried, but not to a large extent is goal-setting with students.  I find that many second grade students have a hard time setting reasonable, achievable goals within a timeframe without A LOT of teacher guidance.  The only aspect of math in which I have had students set goals with some success is with math fact progress.  Have you had success with goal setting in the early primary grades?

In getting ready to implement Guided Math & Math Workshop in the fall, I have started putting together a binder of resources.  In it, I have basic information about my Math T.I.M.E. workshop approach.  I have included a basic outline of what fits into each component.  I also made a list of Must Do / May Do activities.  Each of those areas has its own divider and I have started organizing all of my resource files there.

I recently discovered a pocket chart I haven't been using in the past few years.  Amanda over at Reaching for the TOP suggested that I use it for my math workshop.  Lightbulb moment!!  I can place the T.I.M.E. letters across the top, one in each color column.  In the pockets under each heading, I can place index cards with the must do/may do choices for that day.  Since I anticipate only having 3 groups (most of the time), I can place student names under the T column for those I plan to conference with.

Now that we are nearing the end of the book study, how are you getting ready to implement Guided Math & Math Workshop in the Fall?

CAFE Headers & Guided Math - Chapter 7

Thanks to my trusty Cricut machine, I completed my new CAFE header cards. Even though I am tempted to type up and print all of the skill cards that go under each header, I know how much a child values seeing the card they wrote go up on the board.

Now, onto Math :)

Guided Math
Chapter 7 - Conferring with Students During Guided Math
This chapter is being hosted by Mrs. Patton's Patch and Thinking of Teaching.

I continue to run scenarios in my head of how all the pieces of guided math will fall into place with our current curriculum.  I admit that it is a relief to know that there might be days you don't teach small group lessons or do the workshop rotations.  I have posted before about the structure I envision for my math workshop using the TIME acronym (if you haven't read about it, click here).  I purposely created four rotations even though I think I will probably only have 3 math groups most of the time.  So, why four rotations?  If I do not have a group meeting with me during one of the rotations, I will be free to conference with individual students who are doing independent work or extending the lesson.

"The goal of a conference is to move a student from what he or she can almost do independently to what he or she can do independently." (Sammons)  According to the author, the structure of a math conference should consist of four parts:  Research Student Understanding, Decide What is Needed, Teach to Student Needs, and Link to the Future.

Research Student Understanding
Observe and question what the student is doing.  Search for evidence of understanding and reflect on previous interactions with the student.  Does the student look confident or confused?  Sometimes your teaching point is obvious.  Other times you can find several teaching points, but it is important to choose just one that the student can focus upon.

Decide What is Needed
This should be happening while you are researching student understanding and reflecting on previous conferences with that student.  Identify things the student is doing well, decide what to teach to move the student forward, and focus on how to utilize your limited time to teach the student so they will be able to apply the teaching towards their math work in the future.  It is often easy to focus in on what mistakes the student has made, but it is best to start with a compliment.  Many students who are unfamiliar with conferencing will tense up and think they have done something wrong because the teacher has sat down next to them.

Teach to Student Needs
The author mentions three reliable teaching methods: guided practice, demonstration, and explanation with an example.  The teaching method used should be chosen based on the individual student's learning style.

Link to the Future
Just like at the end of a mini-lesson,  you need to link your teaching to the future.  Restate your teaching point and give the student an example of how they can apply it in the future.  If you have a more capable (or older) student, have the child restate what was learned and how he/she may apply it in the future.

I know the value of conferences because I have used them in writing and (at times) in reading.  My worry is that it becomes so easy to target the students who are really struggling and those that just need a little help and guidance.  I need to stay focused on the purpose of conferencing.  I'm glad that my workshop format will allow conference time to be built-in.

My questions about math conferencing:
1.  Do you schedule your conferences or just meet with students as you see fit?

2.  If you do have a schedule, do you allow any room for flexibility?

3.  How are you keeping records of your math conferences?

4.  How are you planning to fit conferences into your math block?

Monday Made It - Welcome Sign

I finished another project and I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I wanted to make a new welcome sign for my classroom.  Here is what I came up with:

This project was made using my Cricut, scrapbook paper, and glue stick.  Each circle has a diameter of about 4.5 in.  I plan to place them in an arch on my classroom door.  Since my theme will be stars, I will place each child's name on a star on the door.  I need a catchy phrase, though.  My last name starts with B.  Perhaps Mrs. B____'s Brightest Stars?  Hmm...a little help here :)

Originally I was going to only use green, purple, and blue in the classroom, but after seeing my new classroom, I think I'll need to brighten things up a bit with some other colors. Plus, using the other colors will be a little friendlier on the budget since I won't need to purchase new book tubs in the colors I want.

I'm linking up with Tara @ 4th Grade Frolics on this one :)  Stop by her blog to see what other amazing projects have been created!