Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 5

I made it to Friday!  

I did start my morning with duty...I'm not a fan of the gate.  I picked up my kiddos, took them off to Art, then planned math with another teacher in my grade level.  We had a grade level meeting yesterday and split up who is planning what subject.  This is an adjustment for me. Instead of planning everything, I'm planning one subject, writing up super explicit lesson plans, and making the copies for the grade level.  So far, I'm liking it!  I still read over their lesson plans and put my own flair on them, but it's nice that collaboration and team work is the norm for my grade level.

After I picked my kiddos up from specials, we jumped right into math.  For our number talk, it's "fact Fridays" where I gave them their first timed multiplication test.  

Last year my grade level split up multiplication and division facts into "easy", "medium", and "hard" facts.  We made 3 different versions of each test and would give them a chance every other week.  Today they had 3 minutes to do the easy multiplication ones.

Easy facts: 1, 2, 5, 10
Medium: 3, 4, 9, 11
Hard: 6, 7, 8, 12

Of those, about 6 of my students passed their easy facts on the first round.  I'll be making a tracker to glue in their notebooks and a brag wall similar to this:

For them to sign off when they pass each level.  Granted, this is a third grade standard, but many of my students don't have these facts mastered (yet!).  We'll alternate testing and practice weeks.

From there, I had them compare notes on what a good mathematician is before adding their thoughts (on post-its) to our chart:


We also went over the first math practice (make sense of problems and persevere in solving them).  I had them record it in their math notebooks with sticky labels and added the chart to the wall.  I didn't want to put up all 8 without going over them because then students have no connection to what's on the wall.

I also raided another teacher's classroom and found the rods I was looking for!  I modeled that the rods and units represent tens and ones in this case, but made it clear this won't always be the situation.

I had the table teams model 43-29 for me using the manipulatives and they did a pretty good job.  I think most of our math this year will be hands-on because there are some major gaps to fill.  However, after talking with my grade level, I'm not the only one who feels this way so that's nice we're all wanting to give them meaningful practice to help make sense of numbers.

In science, they finished exploring the mystery bags and we had a conversation about all the skills they practiced.  They did a really good job with their team building task.

In writing, they finished their final drafts (which I accidentally left at school...Wednesday problem).  In reading, they took their STAR test to place them for AR and worked on building their stamina in silent reading until everyone was done with writing.

From there, I modeled the importance of previewing a text, again using The Lightning Thief as my mentor text.  I jumped right in and read, without modeling metacognition or stopping to think aloud parts.  A few pages in, they were confused (as they're supposed to be).

We talked about strategies that good readers use, one of them being to preview the text.  What this means is they need to look at the front and back covers, as well as the table of contents, to formulate an idea of what the text is about.  

I then had them practice with a book of their choosing, modeling on a post-it.

We reviewed phrasing and went over rate, adding to our charts in our notebooks.  We'll go over expression and accuracy next week.  We'll also go over buddy coaching and have some fluency practice before we take our beginning of the year Aimsweb benchmarks.

With the bell approaching, they did their classroom jobs and I sent them on their way with this:

They o-fish-ally survived their first week! It's Labor Day weekend and we have a staff development day Tuesday, so I won't see them again until Wednesday.  

One week down!

(On a side note, I did have to write my first citations and lock myself out of my room on Friday. I also forgot to send home last year's CRT scores, so I stapled apology notes to parents and those scores will go home Wednesday.  There were definitely moments of frustration on Friday, mainly due to me forgetting a nice relaxing birthday dinner with B at Red Robin was so deserved!)

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