Monday, May 28, 2012

LaSota Guided Math (My version of it!)

Hi Blogging friends!

I have taught using a guided math format for about 4-5 years.  For about 3-4 years I had three math rotations.  Due to the make-up of my class and the extra time needed for working on social skills- I moved to two guided math rotations.

Here is how I complete math:
In August, as I am working on reaching stamina and establishing rules and routines, I check my students on K skills.  I am in the process of creating these for the common core k standards.

Based on how my students did on the K assessment, I choose a 1st grade assessment and teach it whole group on Monday.

Then, I give my students the pre-assessment after the one lesson to determine what to do next.
Based on the results:
  • If almost all students do well- I skip focusing on that skill.  I just add it to our math meeting review and the students that did not do well- earn that skill as their goal.
  • If most students do not know the skill- I either teach it whole group or teach it in my small guided math groups even though it would be the same lesson.

I have a version of this on my Mimio.  This is our daily warm- up.

I send this home during the week that I am teaching the skill.

This year I had to move to two rotation groups.  I place students into groups based on their pre-assessment. 

  • Math on My Own- This is usually a skill worksheet (in the laminated pouches) that students can check their answers.  When they finish- they go to math facts and practice their facts until I signal for the next rotation.
  • Math with Teacher- Students meet me at the front carpet for a mini- lesson.  White boards are available for students to use.  When I finish with my lesson- they students who seem to "get" the lesson go to work on individual math goals.  The other students stay with me for a longer lesson.

I keep a variety of fun manipulative materials like fish stones, fuzzy pom-poms, jewels, beads etc.  The students may use these materials to work on their math facts.  It is interesting to watch what students choose to use.

We try to end Monday-Thursday with problem solving.  I hope to have a better schedule next year to make sure that I can always fit it in!  Regardless we meet back together and discuss what we learned.

I assess at the end of the week using a quarterly post skill assessment.  I also record if there was student mastery in student I Can notebooks. 

On Friday- I complete my post- assessment, fact assessments and also have math games and math art/ activity rotations.  We try to apply what we learned during the week into a game and an art or activity. 
We have favorite activities that we will pull out and play a couple times a month.

This is one more item that I am putting in my portfolio.  (I try to update it each year!)  :-)

For those of you that have your last week of school this week- enjoy it!  I don't know about you but I always get really sappy and cry on the last day!  :-( 

I always make my students a slide show and display recess, and special event pictures all year with fun and catchy songs.  The last song on the slide show is, My Wish.  I have their first day of school picture and then put a heart around it and it goes to their last week of school picture.  I always sob as I make this part each year.  I think that I have been putting off making this last part of the slide show because I am super emotional about this class already.  It has been like an emotional roller coaster this year.  I have a lot of time, thought and love poured into each of my students this year.  It was a challenging but a huge professional growth year because of my kiddos. 

I hope that you enjoy your little ones during the last few days too!  :-)


Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Behavior Clip Chart and a Few Other Behavior Tidbits

Happy long weekend!

I have been going through and updating my teaching portfolio (which I do at the end of each year) and I thought that I would share some bits and pieces with you!

I have been using the clip chart for about three years.

I love using it because I firmly believe in learning from your mistakes.  I think that first grade students need to not only receive consistent consequences but they also need to learn from their mistakes.

I have grown a lot this year professionally.  I had a challenging class that forced me to think more like a student.  One item that I didn't have before were spelled out reasons for clip moves.  I had multiple students that needed items completely spelled out.

Here are some of the signs that I made:

I also share the bucket filler philosophy:

These are some charts that I used mostly for special occasions like camp week:  (They worked REALLY well for most of my students.)  When I use these- I do not use the clip chart.
I have also started playing with class dojo for the past month.
I have told my students that they were my little guinea pigs.  I plan to work on some charts for this system as well this summer.  I think that I might LOVE this- even if I just use it for a few selected students.  I can just walk around with my (okay- my husband's) Ipad and track student behavior.  The great thing is that you have the option to email reports to parents. (Or even print them off for documentation!)
Each student is assigned an avatar.  Student names are also written down the left column.  You can click on individual student name/ avatars and assign them the positive or negative points.
You can click at the top of the left column and it will highlight all students.  You can click on the names of students that you do not want to be highlighted. 

Then, you click select award, and can give all of those students the same positive or negative awards at the same time.  :-)

So- next year, I am thinking of staying with the clip chart system but using the online system for some of the kiddos that I need to monitor a little more closely.  :-)

I hope that you have a wonderful long weekend and get a lot of valuable family time! 

I'm sure that I will find some other fun tidbits to share with you soon!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Camp Week and New TPT item.

I cannot believe that camp week is next week! That means only 8 more days of school!  (But who is counting?  :)  )

I stayed for about 3 hours after school on Friday to start setting up the LaSota campsite.  I went home and swore that I would go in this weekend to finish- yet I didn't-  OOPS!  :)  That means that I need to get up super early and go in before work tomorrow.  It is always so much fun to see their little faces on the first day of camp.  I always hear a lot of "WOAH!","Did you see that???"  Which makes the multiple hours of work totally worth it!  I always have wanted to change my classroom theme monthly and get the same kind of reaction.  Sadly- unless I win the lottery and can hire an assistant or have teenage children to bribe- it probably won't ever happen!  :)

I took some pictures of my unfinished room on Friday to share with you.  :)

Alright, this is missing my camping chair, sleeping bag and cooler.  (Where I keep our daily snacks.)

I hang these from the ceiling.

My kids make scenery to help set the mood.  These are some of the highlights.

Isn't it cute?  This is new from Oriental trading!  :)

This is new too!  I didn't take a picture of my old construction paper one.  It was so sad.

My ornery side comes out with these.  I will place them on student sleeping bags or sometimes even in them.  ;)

This is my favorite part of camp and the idea is COMPLETELY borrowed from where I student taught.  A few weeks before camp, we send home a secret package and ask parents to write letters to their child while they are at "camp."  The students have a ball with this and have to write back each day.  Parents get REALLY creative with their letters.  "The dog has been sleeping on your bed." One of my kiddos LOVES, I mean REALLY LOVES Legos.  She told me that she cut out a Lego man picture and wrote the letter all in Lego lettering from his Lego man.  I can't wait to read it!  :)

The students write a daily journal entry at the end of each day.

I purchased plant and animal track rubbing plates years ago and the students create a nature guide that they can use over the summer.  :)

I have a bee, ladybug and butterfly.  Students are given one of these and they write their name on it. This is how I assign learning groups for the week.

Some of my read aloud books for the week.
I have 2 more movies but I must have misplaced them last year!  The Guide to Camping is a little silly but VERY informative!  It teaches all about proper campsite set up, how to handle food, garbage bags etc.

I also just submitted an updated for common core standards Marshmallow Madness item to TPT.  It has 4 pages of math using mini-marshmallows, a writing prompt and a website and questions to answer.

The first three people to comment with their email will receive it for free!  :)

I have my work cut out for me for Monday morning to finish my room! Regardless of what I accomplish- they will still be excited!

Have a great week! 


Monday, May 14, 2012

Writing Workshop and Donor's Choose Project!

Thanks to two lovely parents and my marvelous mother-in-law... my donor's choose project was funded!

I wanted blank hardcover books and the publishing books (with pages that are sewed together) for my kiddos.  They absolutely love publishing (since we only do it once a month.)

Here are some of my little ones digging into writing.  I swear my room is always the most quiet when we publish.  They are always super excited!

I started using a format this year that is heavy on pre-writing and I have been pleasantly surprised with their writing.  We took our first grade writing diagnostic last week.  As a part of the diagnostic they are told to sketch out a picture of ideas for their story on a blank piece of paper.  I was so excited to see my kids sketching out and writing things that are normally on our pre-writing.  :)  I was such a proud teacher!  ;)

As I graded some of them, I even had a few students that added alliteration, onomatopoeia and even inferences into their stories!  I have some great authors!  They often say, "Well... I was inspired by ....."  It is just adorable!

Today our nutrition teacher, who is a retired teacher (and is paid by a grant) taught my class for half a day so that I could get assessments complete.  She is working for free for each teacher half day. 

I just love knowing that I work with people with such big hearts!  She also was my long term sub at the beginning of the year when I was out for the first 3 weeks of school with vertigo!  YIKES!!!  It was awful! 

She NEVER substitutes in k-1 but is such a sweetheart that she did it for me because she knew how worried that I was missing the first weeks of school.

I hope that you have someone just as great as our nutrition teacher in your work life!  :)


Sunday, May 13, 2012

WINNER of my favorite things giveaway! Also a small giveaway! Oh AND a nomination!!!!


I cannot tell you how excited that I am to not only get so many new blogging friends this week but also a nomination!  :)

I was nominated for the 2012 Most Fascinating Blogs!  WHAT?!?!?!  I'm super honored because I have been blog stalking some super duper fascinating blogs that were nominated for the same exact thing!  ;)

Voting begins May 14th- May 21st.  So- If you think that I am just super fascinating... feel free to vote for me!  ;)
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<a href="" ><img src="" alt="Accelerated Degree Programs" border="0" /></a><br />

I just posted a new product on TPT: Addition Properties.  Here is a peak:

The first 3 people to comment with their email address will receive this baby for free!  ;)

Winner of my Favorite Things Giveaway is.....

Check your email Kelly!  :)

Here is my project for today... I thought that I'd give you a sneak peak.  :)  Books, brainpopjr websites, bloom's questions etc. for each first grade math standard.  I also have my quarterly math skills written up one page for parent contact and also for a progress report.  WHEW!  This should take another week or so to finish!  ;)

Have a wonderful week friends!  ;)