Monday, June 24, 2013

Schedule Spotlight Series #3 - Math

Happy Monday, friends! I am coming in a little late tonight - had to watch the Bach with a sweet neighbor! I was blown away on the 2 on 1 date -- who saw that coming??? {I won't give it away if you haven't watched yet!} And what is up with all the tight hoodies this season?? I can't deal!

This is the third post in the 10 week Schedule Spotlight series!
For those of you just joining in the fun, we are going through our day, minute by minute and hour by hour! Almost as a good as observing…but saving money on gas and sub pay! :)

7:45 - 8:15 ~ Morning Work {Post #1 - June 10}
8:15 - 8:30 ~ Calendar {Post #2 - June 17}
8:30 - 9:00 ~ Math {Post #3 - June 24}

My first grade friends are already on the carpet from our calendar time and we head straight into our math mini lesson! 

My mini lesson lasts about 10-12 minutes. I really, truly believe that the longer we teach, the more kiddos start to lose interest! I teach very explicitly and it is fast paced. One key to mini lessons is to have all of your materials ready to go. If you are only teaching for 10 minutes, you don't have time to stop to pull out the unifix cubes! 

We adopted the enVision math series in the 2012 - 2013 school year. I use their online lessons a few times each week. I like that there is a visual and auditory lesson on the Promethean board!  I also bring in Brain Pop, Jr. video and quizzes in the mini lessons, as well as literature, songs, poems, flipcharts, and Safari Montage video clips. 

I am thinking about incorporating Math tool kits {pencil boxes} for each kiddo so they can have all the manipulatives they need for our lessons. I will change them out every month or so with the materials we will need. They will pick up their tool kit when they come to the carpet for calendar. I thought this might eliminate time wasted passing out and collecting manipulatives. Thoughts???

At about 8:42 {I know all of you primary teachers are time specific} we go in to Math Work Stations. I implemented Work Stations for the first time in the 2012- 2013 and I love them! I feel about them the same way I feel about Daily Five - best changes to my teaching!! 

I have 9 tubs. 7 are hands on activities and 2 are technology {1 computer tub and 1 iPad tub}. 

**Click {here} to read my post all about Math Work stations. I was going to retype it - but really this post says it all! :) There are also some Math Work station freebies!

At about 8:56, we clean up from work stations. I play a song {sometimes a clean up song, other times a seasonal or thematic song we are singing to that week} and by the time the song ends, all kiddos should be back on the carpet. I step back during the song and let them clean up independently. I find that they will work it out without me - you know, all the junior teacher assistants out there?!? They will call somebody out politely tell a friend they left a piece on the floor or need to log out of the computer! 

We finish up with Math at 9:00 and then its time to head to our Special! {Yay! Time to reheat my latte in the microwave!}

Link up below to tell us all about your math block!

Join us next Monday, July 1 to learn more about what Phonics looks like in my classroom!

Have a super summer week!!! :) 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Schedule Spotlight Series #2 - Calendar

Hey y’all! It is has been a rainy day here in the South…perfect for a blog post! :)
This is the second post in the 10 week Schedule Spotlight series!
For those of you just joining in the fun, we are going through our day, minute by minute and hour by hour! Almost as a good as observing…but saving money on gas and sub pay! :)

7:45 - 8:15 ~ Morning Work {Post #1 - June 10}
8:15 - 8:30 ~ Calendar {Post #2 - June 17}

At 8:15, I walk around and check everyone’s math journals. I try to do this 2 times a week…just enough so that they know I am going to check and they don’t just scribble all over! I glance over the last day when I check the current day, so everything gets checked! Sometimes it’s a sticker, sometimes it’s a smiley face…and sometimes it is good ole verbal praise! :)

I call my friends down to the carpet by table. When they come down to the carpet, they sit in our sharing circle. Once everyone is settled, I start every single day with “Good morning, Bollman’s Bunch!” and they respond, “Good morning, Mrs. Bollman!” I then say, “Today is Monday, June 17, 2013. Our special today is Art and our Jungle Guide is Brady.” I went to a workshop a while back that said verbal cues are an important part of a structured schedule. So they have several cues that we are about to start calendar time: we are sitting in a sharing circle, and I just said my Good morning spiel! Spiel – reminds me of my waiting table days in college! 

With the addition of the Promethean Board in my classroom in 2008, I have scaled back on my 'wall' calendar and spend more time on our interactive calendar! 

Here is a pic of our wall calendar. I have since spiffed it up with zebra number cards and day of the week cards from Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching! We flip over the number for the day, do the Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow cards, add a straw and count them, write how many days we've been in school and write the date. The Jungle Guide is the calendar helper. This takes about 5 minutes...even less as the days go on! I have thought several times about taking it down, but I like for the calendar to be there throughout the day for them to reference! 

Next, we move on to the Promethean board calendar! The Jungle Guide leads the board calendar, as well. They call on other students to drag and takes about a month of training and then they can do the board calendar SOLO! It is so fab -- it gives me a couple minutes to think through our math mini lesson and pull any manipulatives I may need!

This is the page sequence of our calendar flipchart:

*Math Movement Songs 
{my fave thanks to Cara Carroll is Have Fun Teaching's videos on School Tube} - My kiddos {and ok, ok, mine too!} is Counting by 5's! 

*One More, One Less, Ten More, Ten Less 
{with the number of days we have been in school}

*Mystery Number 
{drag a shape to cover numbers on the hundred chart}

*Greater Than, Less Than 
{with the random number generator and alligator mouths}

*Time Poem

*Coin Poem

I wish I could post the calendar flipchart I created, but it tons of songs, clipart, and images I have borrowed from other flipcharts - it would be a copyright and credit nightmare! :( 
So...I searched for some on TpT for you! :)

Ms. Arnold {my Bham neighbor} has ones she adds each month {Check out May}

Michelle Hanson has one that is pretty comprehensive and chock full of fun {Flipchart}

Dizzy for Kindergarten has one for every month 
{Check out February}

My plan to implement a Calendar Notebook this year to give some accountability during calendar! Because calendar is repetitive, some of my busy kiddos start to wander a bit...this will hold them accountable! Check out Cara's Calendar Companion!

We finish up with Calendar by 8:30 and then its time to begin our Math mini lesson! 

Link up below to tell us all about Calendar time in your classroom!

Join us next Monday, June 24 to learn more about our Math block!

Have a fun in the sun week! :) 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Schedule Spotlight Series #1 - Morning Work

Hey y'all! Welcome to the first post in the ten week Schedule Spotlight Series, all about Morning Work!

Let's start with first thing in the wee morning hours with groggy teachers... and bright eyed kiddos! I am NOT, repeat NOT, a morning person!!!  I have barely wiped the sleep out of my eyes and consumed a half cup of coffee! You feel me???

At our school, the kiddos can be dropped off starting at 7:30 and they sit in the hallway outside of their classrooms for a school wide reading time. We rotate morning hallway duty...we each take one day a week.  I really like that the kids all come into the classroom at the same time!

When the bells rings at 7:45, my kiddos come in and unpack. {only exceptions are field trip days} they:
 1. Unpack their binders and lunches 
2. Head straight to their seat and get started on their Math Journal
3. After the math journal is completed, they work on 
Mountain Math 

I have done several different things over the years for morning work. THE most important thing to me is that they can do it independently. By themselves. No assistance. I think consistency is key in the morning! Just like breakfast is the most important meal, morning work consistency lays the ground work for a calm and structured day!

While they work on their morning work, I check the binders for paperwork, notes from the parents, lunch money, take attendance and lunch count. I like to get all of this taken care of first thing in the morning...before everything else takes over! I can get this done quickly and efficiently if the children are engaged in a meaningful activity that requires little direction from me - enter the math journal!

My very first year of teaching, I did different worksheets from the Mailbox magazine! Blast from the past, right there! Our sweet media specialist used to email me to tell me when the newest Mailbox magazine came in the mail! This was clearly before the TpT craze! I despised the random worksheet for three reasons: I would have to give directions,  I was making a million copies every week, AND I had to pass them out every morning! That added up to a lot of work for me...and non engaging busy work for them! Lose, lose, lose! 

After a year of random worksheets, the next year I switched to literacy journals. In Kinder, they started out copying a sentence from the board. {Example: A is for apple}. They copied the sentence and drew a picture. After we got to Z, we switched to: A is for _____ and they filled in the blank and drew a picture. After we got to Z with this format, we switched to word of the day. They would use the word of the day in a sentence {Example: The word of the day is the. The bird is blue.} They did all of this work in journals from Starfall. After shopping around, these are a great deal! We now put them on our school supply list...each child gets 4 for the school year.

When I looped up to first grade a few years ago, I knew I needed to revamp the literacy journals. I loved the idea, but I already done it with my Kinders the previous year! Our school had a school wide goal of increasing math journal use, so I decided to go with that and I LOVE IT!

Every Monday, there is a new page at their seats with the 4 math journal prompts for the week. We do math journals Monday - Thursday, and something fun {think poetry, crossword puzzles, word searches} on Fun Fridays!

After completing their math journal {with words, pictures, and a number sentence}, they complete a few problems from our Mountain Math board. Mountain Math is a spiraling math activity. Read more about it {here}. We complete 24 problems over the course of 1 week. We do not start Mountain Math until January. Until then, it takes the kiddos about 20 minutes to complete their math journals. 

If any kiddos finish with both their math journal and Mountain Math, they can read from their Bag of Book for a few minutes. 
The kiddos begin their morning work at about 7:45 and we will meet on the carpet for calendar at 8:15. 

What do you do for morning work??? 
Link up to tell me all about it!

Coming next week on June 17 - Calendar

Have a fabulous week! :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Schedule Spotlight Series Details

Hey y'all! Hope everyone's summer is off to a great start! And for those of you still in school, bless you! The end is near! 

I am so excited to kick off this new series!

Join me this summer as I dive {sorry, couldn't help myself} into our school day! We will go minute by minute, hour by hour, and discuss every little aspect of the day in my classroom...and yours...if you join me in the linky! It is almost like we can BE in each other's rooms...but without the hassle of sub plans and road trips! I can't wait to hear about how everyone's day flows and to hear your tips and tricks along the way! 

I will post each linky on Monday for the week! 

Please link up below to spread the word and let your readers know all about it! :)
Oh - and I am going to link up first to test the link! Hahaha!

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