Monday, June 30, 2014

Simplicity part 1

I'm always looking for ways to make teaching just a little bit easier.  Some of the grand ideas on pinterest seem wonderful but when I start them, I quickly realize that these ideas simply won't work for me.

After sifting through hundreds of pins (hey, it's summer!), I found these three gems that I can easily implement next year:

Idea One: Sticky Labels

Now, I love sticky labels but didn't think to use them this way for grading.  I think this would work best for grading writing but I'm excited to adapt it for other subjects.  It would also be easily modified to include the standards at the top of the assignments.

Idea Two: Math for the First Day(s) of School

The first week is dedicated to establishing routines, setting up notebooks, practicing procedures, and building a supportive classroom culture.  One of the things I struggle with is incorporating math into the read alouds, team building, and getting to know each other activities.  This gem fits right in with the first week vibe:

I also think it'd be especially helpful this year at my new school.  I think this thirty minute activity could be great for not only introducing me to my class but helping them see how math is incorporated into every day life.

Keeping in mind with the first week theme, I liked this idea from pinterest as well:

Idea Three is enabling students to be problem solvers when they're in small groups and I'm conferencing with students.  I would type up these "what if" scenarios and have table teams brainstorm how to solve these problems, then open the discussion up for a class debate.  In doing so, they are creating their own norms and thus have more of a "buy in".

I'm excited to try these three simple things in my classroom next year!

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