Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Building Mathematical Comprehension Book Study (Chapter 10)





So I've been reading this fantastic books this summer with some other bloggers and I'm super happy to finally host a chapter!!  If you haven't gotten a copy of the book, Building Mathematical Comprehension yet, go grab it now!  Basically, the book teaches us how to use reading strategies like visualizing and questioning to teach math.  It makes SO much sense and I can't wait to use what I've learned this year.  My chapter was titled "In the Guided math Classroom".  It was great to read and reflect on the content of this chapter because I have done guided math for a few year now.

One of the most important pieces of the chapter are the "Foundational Principles of a Guided Math Classroom".  There are 7 principles:

1.     All children can learn mathematics
2.     A numeracy-rich environment promotes mathematical learning by students
3.     Learning at its best is a social process
4.     Learning mathematics is a constructive process
5.     An organized classroom environment supports the learning process
6.     Modeling and think-alouds, combined with ample opportunities for guided and independent problem solving and purposeful conversations, create a learning environment in which students' mathematical understanding grows
7.     Ultimately, children are responsible for their learning

I think all of these principles go without further explanation.  A lot of them we use everyday in our guided reading - its no different.  Children need to be immersed and surrounded by math - meaningful math.  Read world problems that make the students think, create, and combine their current knowledge with their new knowledge.

Now keeping with the number 7 - there are 7 components of a guided math classroom.  Together, these components provide the format for implementing researched-based best practices in classrooms and supporting the mathematical learning needs of students.

1.     A classroom environment of numeracy
2.     Math Stretches and calendar board activities
3.     Whole-class instruction
4.     Guided math instruction with small groups
5.     math workshop
6.     Individual conferences
7.     An ongoing system of assessment

Again - all of these components really go without further explanation (if anyone would like more info on them, please just ask!)

Having the last chapter, I get the privilege of wrapping up the book.  This book was fantastic to read and it made so much sense as far as using reading strategies and incorporating them into your everyday mathematical instruction.  With that, I will leave you with some questions to think about to help you reflect on your own mathematical practices:


  • Are students expected to construct their own meaning in math?
  • Are students encouraged to have ownership of their problem solving?
  • Are students encouraged to do problem solving for authentic purposes?
  • Are students encouraged to do voluntary math, selecting tasks for information, pleasure, or to fulfill personal goals?
  • How is math instruction scaffolded?
  • Are students encouraged to see the big picture, important concepts, and vital connections versus isolated pieces of mathematics?
  • Is forgiveness granted to students in mathematics?  Is making mistakes a natural part of learning? Is doing mathematics seen as a dynamic process that incorporates planning, drafting, revising, 
  • editing and publishing

Wanna display the Linky Party on your own blog post? It's simple! Just ...get the InLinkz code

Link up to share your thoughts on Chapter 10!









Saturday, July 27, 2013

Back to School Indiana Blog Hop! (FREEBIE!)

(I know this is long - but you probably want to read all the way to the end...  hint hint!)

I'm very sad to say that today is my last Friday of summer break.  (Insert sad face here).  I've been working like a maniac trying to get things done.  I have TONS of blog posts scheduled out for the next few weeks so get ready!!  But for now, I'm super excited to be apart of the Indiana Back to School Blog Hop!  I had the chance to meet these amazing teachers earlier this July and let me tell you - what a FUN bunch of ladies! :)  We chat all of the time now and have put together this very special Back to School Blog Hop just for you!

There are so many Back to School themed giveaways, hops, Facebook frenzies going on right now that I hope this one helps you out!  At each stop on the hop (ha!  that rhymes!)  you should find a fantastic Freebie from the author as well as their recommendation on other B2S products and ideas.  Get your notebooks/PIN buttons ready because here we go!

I've been so good this year about taking pictures of things I want to share - let's just hope I keep it up!  I figured I could start sharing now better than later.  :)

(This is NOT my original idea).  I found this idea on pinterest and thought it was FANTASTIC so I decided to make my own.  We always do a "Scoop on the Group" poster for group expectations but I liked this much better.  If it wasn't obvious, you move the red arrow to the section in which the students are being groups so they know their expectations.   It's great!


So I don't know about you but I DREAD teaching procedures every year.  I completely realize how important they are and am very good at classroom management, but ah!  There's just not that many ways to make them 'fun'  So, to help I've created some fun and easy "Go for the Goal" procedure lesson goal sheets.  Basically, after teaching different procedures, the students write an "I Can" statement and then set a personal goal on how they want to do with this procedure.  This can include percentages or just basic wording.  Then they identify 3 different behaviors that they can do to help meet this goal.  There's also a section for teacher feedback.  I plan to, sometime in the first 2-3 weeks of school, give each student personal feedback on how they've been doing on that particular procedure.  This is going to be done by writing comments, putting stickers, or drawing smileys.  When we're completely done with the books the kids will then circle 'yes' or 'no' whether or not they've met that goal.  I <3 these and know that these will help keep my kids accountable and are a great way to 'end' those procedure lessons.  Check them out if you'd like! - just click the photo!

 Ok - so if I don't have a brilliant idea for the rest of the year, its because this one idea took all of my creative juices.  The picture might not look like a lot, but believe me - it is!  I teach 3rd grade this year and we take the standardized test at the end of the year.  So to help the students with all of that testing vocabulary I've come up with this FANTASTIC year long activity that we'll do everyday.  This poster and words display is right outside my door.  As the students enter the classroom, they must say the word that's being displayed.  Sometime that day we write down the word on the recording sheet and write its definition as well.  We go through 5 words in a week.  But HERE'S the kicker!!  The next week we go BACK through those same 5 words.  But this time the students are practicing answering questions that include those words.  So at the end of the year the students will have learned how to read, known the definitions of, and have had a practice question for over NINETY words.  They WILL be ready for that test :)  I'd love for you to check this one out.  Just click on one of the photos!!


Ok - onto a non TPT product ;)   Something I like to do in my classroom is have students give feedback to one another during each lesson.  A lot of times students don't know what to say.  So I've come up with this fun, but simple, feedback bulletin board.  It has 5 sample sentence starters for students to use when needing help to give peer feedback.  


Ok - back to procedures!  Remember when I said I hated teaching them?  Yeah - still do.  BUT  this will make it more fun for the students to review all the procedures they've learned.  It's a fun partner game where they questions are opened ended and all of the questions are procedure questions.  They're questions like "When can I sharpen my pencil?" and "Where do I turn in my homework?"  Cute, fun, easy, AND they're learning procedures.  Yeah?  Yeah!  Just click the photo to see more!

Yay for bulletin boards!  I always like to do something different from others and it was hard coming up with something this year!  I kept thinking back to my students (because I loop) and I kept remembering them saying how excited they were for 3rd grade because they got to do this.... and that... and this...  So I was like - Hey!  I've heard it through the grapevine!  Boom!  Instant bulletin board idea :)  Yes, it looks bare now, but eventually the students will be creating their own bunch of grapes - each grape has a picture of something that they've 'heard' they're going to learn/or something they're excited about learning.  Too cute!  Just click the photo to see more!



Ok - one more fun plug! :)  Anyone else in here have students in their classrooms who LOVE cootie catchers?  Me too!  So I created some fun and cute back to school cootie catchers.  There are 5 in all, some where its all filled out and then some where the students have to write in their own answers before they can play :)  They're super cute and super fun!  Click away! :)
Ok - I did say there was a freebie... right??  Here you go!  I made some "What to do when I'm done?" cards for my room and thought I could share them with you!  You can display them however you'd like.  Below is a picture of how I use them.  Just click the photo to download them for free!


To thank you for reading to the end I'm going to have a secret contest.  PIN any of the above photos and then leave a comment with the PIN URL for a chance to win ALL of the products I've discussed in this post.  That's FIVE back to school products for free!  Pin more than one product and have more chances to win :)  You guys rock!

Where do you go now?  Off to see Ms. Jenny at Luckey Frogs Lilypads!  Just click the Blog Hop button below!  Why should you keep going? - Well if you don't want a chance to win a $75.00 gift card then fine - stop here...  but if you DO then keep on hopping!  




Friday, July 19, 2013

Let the Planning Begin!

So, if you've been reading any of my recent posts, you know that school starts in 9 days (July 29th)!!!  Therefore, my life has now been filled with organizing, decorating, TPTing, Pinterest-ing, and much of the sort.  I'm now ready to start planning!  I was VERY close to buying one of Erin Condren's lesson plan books, but I'm very particular about what goes in them that I always make my own.

As I know many states have done as well, Indiana has gone to teacher based compensation/performance pay.  Because of that, all Indiana schools have been made to do a program called RISE, which basically makes teachers do specific things throughout the year, get observed, etc.  Well - not my school!  We got permission to do something called TAP (if there are any TAP school followers reading this now, let me know!)  TAP is basically the same thing, just different tweeks here and there.

With TAP schools, there are many lesson pieces that have to be in place for every lesson - things though that most teachers do anyways.  Some examples are:  blooms questions, student reflection, lesson hook, etc.  Well, I'm a visual person so when I have things to do I like seeing them on a list.  So I  made my lesson plan template to reflect out rubric!  I think its a FANTASTIC lesson plan template.  The only downfall is that there is one entire page for one day of the week.  I didn't think I would like it until I realized I could easily make one book per nine weeks.  Then it worked out great!  BTW - Kinkos will do the nice coil binding for about $5.00 with about 50ish pages.  What a great deal!  ANd yes, I know these are boring white, but I plan on making a full page label to stick on the front of them to cutesy them up a bit!


So, what do these amazing lesson plans look like?  Take a look!




Can't really tell in these pics...  So check them out here!  I'm giving you the PDF version and the Word version just in case you <3 them so much you'll use it!  




The Word version won't be as cute because the font probably won't transfer over unless you have it.  The first page has 3 reading sections.  Those are for the 90 minute reading block.  I do 3, 30 minute lessons in that block.  Then the 2nd page has the same box, one for math and one for writing.  We also have a math and language intervention time but I use a different lesson plan template for those (post to come soon!)

I'd <3 some feedback on these plans!  I'm super excited about them and can't wait to start filling them in.  What do YOU use to plan?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

AMAZING New Blog!!

So I've been asked and was THRILLED to say yes to being a part of an amazing team of teachers/bloggers to start up a new blog :)  We've titled it - A Class*y Collaboration.  


This is going to be a powerhouse blog of freebies, information, ideas, contests, and loads more!  We're just now getting started with introductions and have a few HUGE ideas/projects in the works so you might wanna make sure you're a follower - umm.. NOW.  You'll be super sad if you miss something...  

I just wrote my first post.  I'm not going to tell you what it's about.  Here's what you need to do:

1.  Go over the A Class*y Collaboration and read my first post
2.     Follow A Class*y Collaboration on Bloglovin' and Facebook
3.     Grab my freebie I'm offering on that post ;)
4.   Come back here and in the comments - tell me what product you just snagged and if you like it

I'll be picking THREE winners to win any item from my TPT store for doing just this!!  Why WOULDN'T you want to do this!?  

Now - GO!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Indiana Blogger Meet Up!

When I go back to school *cough IN TWO WEEKS cough* and all of my colleagues ask me what I did this summer - you betta believe I'm going to tell them all about the Indiana Blogger Meet Up that took place today!  I just spent 4 1/2 hours with some of the most amazing teachers/bloggers/TPT'ers/people I've ever met.  I learned a lot of of new, great things and met some great new friends.  Serious - can't wait to do it again!!  No joke!

So Heather (Teaching Through Turbulence) and I decided everyone coming needed a little something fun to take with them.  So I found this idea...on Pinterest of course!!  I made one for everyone and they loved them!!  If you want a copy of the printable you can download it here.  :)  

That's me (on the right) with Brenda (Primary Inspired) in the middle and Dorothy (Twenty-Something Teacher Tales) on the left.  Two FANTASTIC people that I'm blessed to know!

So Heather made these adorable name tags for everyone.  They had our blogger meet up logo on the left and then everyone's blog button icon with their name.  ADORABLE!

And here we all are!!


So we decided to do a "Dirty Teacher" gift exchange.  We brought either a ready made TPT  product of our own OR an amazing teaching product that we bought.  It was great!!  And we thought teachers are nice people.... HA!  Stealing left and right!  I guess that just meant we all had really good gifts!  

Here's what I ended up with!  These were brought by Brenda and are FANTASTIC!!  You can download the printable for them here!

So ya- we had a fantastic time!!  I can't wait until we meet up again!!  Hope your day was just as great! :)







Friday, July 5, 2013

Back to School...ALREADY!?

I think I may be one of the unlucky few - but I go back to school on July 29th and the students come back on July 31st...  That's like - THREE WEEKS AWAY!  So I'm definitely in the "Back to School" mind set right now.  I've been in my classroom a few times already and can't wait to share some ideas that I'm doing with you - I just need to finish a few things then take some pictures.  Today though, I do want to share with you a few new "Back to School' activity ideas I have come up with.  Click on any of the photos to see more about the activities!

 So - if any teacher knows one thing - its that the first week of school is all about time fillers.  What will the kids do when we collect supplies?  What will they do for seat work?  I've made 7 fun word based activities that will help with just that!  Choose from ABC Order, Crossword Puzzle, Word Search, Silly Stories (Mad Libs), Word Scramble, A Welcome Message to Edit, and Making Words (From larger back to school themed phrases).  These are all fun, easy time fillers to use that first week that your kids will enjoy, and know how to do with little guidance.  Make sure you check them out!  Just $2.00!




One thing on ALL teachers' back to school to do list is bulletin boards....  If you're like me - I don't like to repeat bulletin boards until at least 3 years has gone by ;)  So this year I'm doing a GRAPE bulletin board!  I love at the end of the year and beginning of the year hearing the students talk about what they're looking forward to in __ grade based on what they've 'heard'.  Cue song - Heard it Through the Grapevine!  In this fun craftivity, students get to make their own bunch of grapes - each grape decorated with something that they've 'heard' they're going to do this year.  Example:  I've heard we learn how to multiply in 3rd grade!  After the craft, students then write about their grapes. Pair them side by side for an adorable display.  This activity even comes with a bunting banner for your bulletin board!  Make sure to check it out for just $2.00!




And finally - the RULES.  I've done things in the past like Jeopardy - charades - scavenger hunts - but this year I thought about doing a fun, simple partner board game to have the students practice reciting the rules and routines of the classroom.  This partner board game includes the game and 40 different open ended questions that can be used for ANY classroom.  There are also blank cards for you to include your own questions if I've left any out :)  Student will enjoy practicing rules while playing with friends!  Again, just $2.00! (Pictures to come of this activity soon!)




Like all three?  I've decided to put them together in a bundle and take off $1 to help save a little dough! Get all three for just $5.00!  Don't miss out! 


Now - What's next on my back to school to do list?.....



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy 4th! And a Sale!



I'm linking up with Flying in First and putting my store on a 20% off SALE!!  You can get there by clicking the photo above.  

Make sure you check out some of my favorite items :)  Click on each picture to check them out!










Monday, July 1, 2013

Giveaway Winner Posted :)


Congrats Robin!!  You should be getting an e-mail from me soon!!  :)  Thank you for all who entered! Happy Monday!

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