Saturday, March 29, 2014

How I Manage Math Centers

Happy Saturday, Friends!

Today, I wanted to share how I teach math in my classroom. I've read different blogs, attended different workshops, and read more blogs until I was able to put the pieces together on how I wanted to teach math.

This year I finally found a routine that has worked for me. Math Centers are a wonderful way for students to learn and review math concepts while being engaged. However, I felt like I needed more than 50 minutes. I just couldn't get everything done that I wanted to in only 50 minutes. I decided to separate math throughout the day. 

From 9:20 to 9:50, I teach my math mini lesson. This has given me PLENTY of time to introduce and review concepts before breaking off into centers later in the day. My mini lessons look different depending on the day and concept. Here's what we did this week to learn about 2D and 3D shapes.

We studied shapes and their attributes using geoboards. Then, my students wrote down their findings in their little 2D and 3D Shape Booklets. If you are interested in this little booklet click here.  It's a little FREEBIE. 

We did this all while jamming to some geometry music. They LOVED listening to these songs and singing along.

I pick up with my math centers from 12:10 to 1:00. My centers last 15 minutes each and my students travel to 3 centers a day. I have this adorable little PowerPoint to help them rotate.

I have 6 centers up and running every day in my classroom.

I am a center. Students work with me every other day. This is the best way to differentiate. This week, we played Guess My Shape which comes from my Geometry packet. I differentiated by having by higher students dig deeper with the questions they had to ask. They absolutely LOVED this. 

Teachers have to have a little fun, too. Right?!?!

My other centers include a computer center, a review center, interactive math journals, and 2 centers to reinforce what I've been teaching in my mini lessons. Sometimes I use centers that I have made and sometimes I use centers that I have found from other lovely bloggers on Teachers Pay Teachers.  This week, they came from my Springing Into Math Centers packet. 

Here's what they looked like this week:

Computer Center: I always use IXL. My students LOVE it and I can go back and see how they are doing. 

Review Center: We were working on money. We spiral this skill all the time. Money is such a hard concept for little learners. 

Math Journals: Two words. Reagan Tunstall. Go look her up now if you don't know her. Love her stuff!

Geometry Themed Centers: I found a geoboard app. AMAZING! I gave them little cards telling them what shape(s) to make. The other center was a true or are shape sort. They said this was EASY. 

6 centers. Students Learning. Students Engaged. 
Happy Teacher

Thanks for stopping by!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Must Read Linky-Tall Tales Anyone?

Hello, Friends!

Today I am linking up with the talented Amanda Madden from Teaching Maddeness for her Must-Read Monday linky.  Yes, I'm linking up on a Tuesday. Don't judge... ;-)

For the last three weeks, my students have been diving in to tall tales.  They have LOVED learning all about these wild and crazy characters.  Today, I want to share a few of my favorites with you.

My favorite tall tale that you HAVE to read to your class is the amazing Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett. First, I love the illustrations in Stephen Kellogg's books.  Such an amazing author and my kids love his version of the tall tales.  Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett is the wife of Davy Crockett.  When she was a baby, she could "out-talk, out-grin, out-scream, out-swim, and out-fun any baby in Kentucky".  As she grew up, she lived in the wilderness, cuddled with grizzlies, and finally saved her future husband. My students and I just love to read about her.  She has some amazing adventures.

Thunder Rose is an ADORABLE tall tale.  The author of this book, Jerdine Nolen, wanted to create a tall tale set in the Old West and create an African American character who would become the heroine of the story.  Let me tell you that my students LOVED reading about Miss Rose.  Rose was born just a talking and told her parents that she was mighty partial to the name Rose and since it was thundering outside her name came to be Thunder Rose.  She drinks milk straight from the cow, builds buildings tall enough to scrape the sky, and created barb wire.  She can even calm storms just by singing up song.  Like I said, we LOVE reading all about Thunder Rose.

Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter is the cutest little tall tale.  It is about how a brave pioneer father brings apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes, and children across the plains.  This story explains the process of traveling west.  The daddy in the story is mighty partial to his fruits and when a big rush of wind comes he makes everyone help to cover his little darlings.  This means their petticoats, trousers, and even daddy's drawers.  My students LAUGH and LAUGH at this page. One of our favorite parts is when the little girl fights Jack Frost.  We love this story!  Super cute and has such a a great meaning.

I love teaching tall tales!  Any other tall tales my students and I should check out?

I hope you are having a GREAT week so far. Tomorrow is HUMP DAY! (Did you read that like the camel in the commercials?)    ;-)

Lots of love,

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop: Classroom Motivators

Hello, Friends!

I am so excited to be part of this amazing blog hop. No advertisements, no products, just bright ideas. Get your notebooks out as you learn some tips and tricks from over 180 fabulous bloggers!

I wanted to share today a way that I keep students quiet in the hallway. Two words: Mystery Walkers.

First, sorry for the look of the container. We've used this sense August and the adorable paper I had surrounding the container finally broke. Still works regardless of how it looks. 

All you need is a container with a lid, I used a Crystal Light container, and Popsicle sticks. 

Here's how it looks in my classroom.

My line leader for the week gets to pick who the mystery walkers are every time we leave the classroom. If they are quiet and showing correct hallway behavior, my line leader awards them with a treasure token. (Our school gives out Treasure Tokens for following expectations)

I don't have my students decorate their own sticks because the people chosen has to be a secret. ;-) Just blank sticks with their names on it.

This works every time. Such a simple motivator to keep them quiet in the hallway. :-) Easy, peasy and the kids LOVE it.  

Lastly, the sweet Blair from One Lesson at a Time has an AWESOME idea to help you collect homework.  Click below to for another bright idea.

One Lesson at a Time

An InLinkz Link-up

Lots of love,

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Long Time No Blog

Hello, Friends!

I can't believe March is already here. February flew by and I didn't blog at all. Sorry! It was quite a busy month. 

Here's a few things you missed.

It snowed AGAIN! I have lived in the South my whole life and have never experienced this much snow. Ready for Spring!

We were out for Valentine's Day due to the snow so I spent Valentine's day stuck in the house with my munchkin'. My husband brought home pizza, so at least I didn't have to cook. ;-)

Here are the Valentine treats I made my class and Brayden's daycare class. The minions were a huge hit. 

Brayden's teachers got a mug with some hot chocolate. 

At school, the only thing I snapped pictures of  was practicing for our tall tale puppet shows (thanks to Teaching Maddenness for the great idea). They turned out so cute and my kids loved it. Definitely made teaching fables more fun. ;-)

Yesterday, my class took the reading portion of the MAP test. One of my precious students wrote notes to me and her classmates to do their best of the test. Love her!! Such a sweet thing for her to do. 

Finally, check back tomorrow for another great blog hop! 

Lots of love,