Sunday, September 28, 2014

Math Centers - Giving time to work with numbers

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. 
Albert Einstein
 Math Centers is the time when children are invited to work on varying math games. Students use this time to practice math skills and concepts. These skills may include: Math fact fluency (sorting - equal to, less than or greater than 10); (Number sprints- How many math facts in a minute?); Addition/subtraction bingo; Addition facts; Reflex Math (computer); Combo's of numbers from 5 to 10; and "Start with Get To" using a number line. Giving students time to work with numbers helps greatly in acquiring the Number Sense they need for a strong foundation. This is also a time when children pulled for small group instruction either on remediation and/or enrichment activities.
 Is the equation more than, less than, or equal to 10?
 Plus or minus one bingo.
 Number combinations - finding 10.
Number sprints - how many in a minute?  Can you improve on your next game?
Start with - get to...using a number line.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Making Writing Special

With space at a premium in our classroom, we felt it very important to devote one small round table for writing supplies. At this table, students can find anything they may need to "fancy up" their writing. There are sharpened colored pencils, editing pens, a date stamp, stapler, tape, editing strips, post it notes, crayons and freshly run writing booklets for all of our young authors. With such an inviting table, who wouldn't want to be writing during Writer's Workshop...or for any other subject during the day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Literacy Centers Make It All Come Together

Our weekly hands on experiences with letters, words, digraphs and punctuation take the Skills Block lessons from the week full circle. Children use this time to make sense of all that was taught throughout the week. It is time when they get to share what they have learned with each other and have the opportunity to show us what they now understand..
 In this center, students are recognizing capital letters and ending punctuation by trying to rewrite the sentence correctly.
More practice with digraphs (sh, wh, th and ch).

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Partner Reading is Everyone's Favorite

Partner reading is when children are invited to share their books with a friend.  Students are paired up with a child who can read on the same general level. There are a few rules for a successful partner reading session. They have to be sitting side by side (or if on the floor - knee to knee) . They can take turns reading a page or one person can read a book, then the other.  They are there to support each other on their reading journey. Asking questions is very important and serves as a great way to get conversations started about the books that are read. For example, questions that start with "Why do you think..?"; "What is happening ...?"; "Do you think the characters...?" may be used. It is also a time to make predictions, learn new vocabulary and become a more fluent reader. Partner reading is a time to share new learning through the simple pleasure of reading a book with a friend.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Writer's Museum - Rounding the First Bend

Today we celebrated as writers for completing the first bend in our "Small Moments" Lucy Calkins' writing series. Children were invited to put their best piece of writing on top of their folder at their table so that other students could admire their work. They moved around in our "Writing Museum" and read other students work. Afterwards, we came back as a group and listed what we noticed about the writing and what they want to bring back and use in their pieces. It was the perfect time to reflect and grow in our writing community.
Students were surprised to see how much each has grown as a writer since the first day of school.

By reading other children's writing, students got lots of ideas on how to make their writing even better.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Class Promise - Our classroom rules

Our Class Promise is very important in how our classroom runs. It is recited every day so that the children know what is expected of them. It is also important that they help create the promise so that they have ownership in it. They know that if they follow these rules, they will be a good school citizen. Each child was invited to be their favorite Wizard of Oz character so we have Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Lion represented. What a great way to have classroom rules displayed and followed.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Science Notebooks/Journals

 Science notebooks are frequently used to record student thoughts and discoveries in Science.The lessons of  "What is a Scientist?" and "What do Scientists look like?" were brainstormed with the class. They soon found out that a scientist looks just like do and a scientist is each one them.  In their notebooks, they attached a smock and added various tools and instruments.  Inside the pocket, they wrote what a scientist can do and what tools a scientist uses. 
"I can investigate."  "I can make volcanoes."
"I use a ruler."     "I use goggles."