Saturday, March 12, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Parts of a Sentence

Here is a smart board lesson I am planning on using this week. This is my first time using hopefully it will work. I have seen several posts on other teacher's blogs relating to sentence parts, and it just so happens to be one of our skills this week, so I thought I would adapt my previous lessons from years past on this skill into this little smart board lesson.

Parts of A Sentence

Friday, March 11, 2011

Updated Math Centers - Keep It Simple!

This week was very long! We had parent teacher conferences and then the rest of the day today to work in our rooms, so I am actually ahead of schedule for a second. AND today I set up our new smart board in our room. I can't wait to use it next week. I think this might be exactly what we all need in my room. Our routine needs some spicing up, so I hope the smart board will help!

Anyways, I rethought my math stations in an effort to accommodate the 2 new students I have recently received. I find that with the size of my room I can only have 3 students in each station. With our new additions, I had 2 groups of 4 and it was getting way to loud for me to focus and get work done with my small group. I am trying to work on my "productive noise" tolerance.

Here is what my station board looks like now:

The students go to 2 stations for 15-20 minutes. I have 8 stations, a change from my previous 6. I organize each station in colored baskets from Really Good Stuff. The color of the basket corresponds to the color of the number on the station board. This was a huge life-savor at the beginning of the year when my first graders were trying to figure out how to rotate during math stations.

It's kind of hard to tell in the picture below, but I have different baskets pertaining to the major math concepts in first grade. I have file folder games, flash cards and other follow the path games that I have made or bought. Here is a quick look at what is in each basket now:

# 1: Not pictured here, but the first station is the overhead projector. Currently the students can work on counting overhead coins, or tens and ones sticks. I have recording sheets for them to show me what they worked on.
#2: Pattern Blocks - cards with pictures/patterns to make
#3: Addition Station - flash cards, part-part-whole chinet plates, counters
#4: Money Station - board game, flashcards, shopping game
#5: Place Value - Who Has It, tens and ones sticks, place value mats
#6: Computers
#7: Fractions - equal/not equal sort, fraction memory, fraction fish
#8: Subtraction - flashcards, counters, number lines, Acorn Subtraction game

It worked great this week and the best part is it takes students several days to get to each station, so I don't feel like I have to constantly be changing the contents of the baskets.

Each student has a station folder where they keep recording sheets that they have worked on during stations. I check the folders periodically to make sure that work is actually getting done in stations. I love the folder system and it helps hold my students accountable for their actions during stations. I am going to post some of my math station recording sheets soon!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Guided Reading Lesson Plans

I finally finished my plans for next week! Good thing it is raining here because it took all day. That is one part of being a semi-new teacher that still gets to me. It takes me a LONG time for me to plan when I do my best job, partly because I spend the majority of my time stalking blogs instead of writing my own plans. But as I stalked blogs today I decided I would post an example of my guided reading lesson plans. These are the plans I use with each of my 4 reading groups. I typically see 3 groups a day. My two lower groups I see 5 times a week. My other two groups I see 3-5 times, depending on the skills and the week. So basically I write what you see below at the beginning of the week and then each morning I pull out books for the day based on what I noticed from yesterday's small group instruction. Then I just fill out the "New Read" part of the planner. I find it easy to plan ahead for word study and writing, but I like to plan my guided reading books before school each day. It's just something that I have found works for me.

Pets Linky Party

I didn't get a chance to post ideas from last week...BUT when I saw this pet Linky party, hosted by Ladybug Teacher Files, I figured I could take 5 minutes on this rainy Sunday evening to post a few pictures of my precious pup!

 No...I am not obsessed with the dog!

Here is Rocky...our 1 year old lab mix puppy that we rescued last July from the SPCA. He went from the worst living situation to living like a king the minute we brought him home. He is still learning (and nipping) but there is nothing better than coming home to unconditional love every afternoon!

Yes, this is totally unrelated to teaching BUT Rocky often provides great material for when I model my own writing during Writer's Workshop. Plus, I find myself having to tap into the same patience with both first graders and puppies some days.

Back to actual teacher blogging soon!