Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Large Math Class: Math Centers

This is the part 2 post of my new math block.  Due mostly to a large class- I have changed my math block up a bit.  If you want to read about the management of a large class for math centers:  read this.

My students are in need of a spiral review so they now have a Weekly Math Work paper:
The Daily Must-Do consists of their differentiated Math on My Own papers and also Number of the Day work.  Just Number of the Day covers 4 different skills that we need to review in first grade.

Students are expected during their Weekly Work/ Math Workshop rotation to finish the Math on My Own worksheet and Number of the day each day.  When they finish they are to get the Weekly Work items completed. 

Here is what their rotation charts look like:

Here is a preview of the two weekly centers:
I had my students color their class number.  They are REALLY proud of their "artwork" and cannot wait for others to check it out.  :)
This center is all about writing a word problem.  A different "answer" is chosen each week.  The students have to write the "problem" on a post-it note and stick it on their class number.  Not only are their practicing their writing skills, but also their problem solving skills. 
This sign was used when we first started.
Who Am I?
This weekly center practices math facts and graphing skills.  All of the students filled out a paper in advance.  I pick one weekly to be the "mystery person."  Students have to solve the math facts to find clues about the mystery person.  When they have their clues- they have to graph in their guess of who it is from one of the five students written on the graph.  On Fridays we ask graphing questions like, "How many more people..."
I am a HUGE HGTV fan.  Lately they have been playing marathons of Love it or List it.  If you have ever watched it- you know that they are SUPER dramatic at the end about if they are going to love their current house or list it.  I do the same thing on Friday.  "Will the mystery person please reveal themselves?"  It is hilarious to see their reactions when you feed a bit into first grade drama.  :)
If you want to snag a copy of this simple weekly center- you can click here to visit my TPT store.
Not bad- 2 posts in 2 days!  :)
Enjoy your day!  :)



Monday, January 26, 2015

Guided Math Management for larger classes

It REALLY is embarrassing to see the date of my last post!  I guess it is tough to carve out 2-3 hours to write a blog post!  However with another snow day today- I thought that I would take the time to share some things that are going on in our classroom.

SHAMELESS PLUG- If you are on Twitter- please follow me!  I actually tweet on average 2 times a week about things we are doing in the classroom.  It takes literally 30 seconds to upload a photo and caption versus 3 hours for a blog post.  I LOVE reading blogs and blogging however it is tough to find the time!    This is me -----> @lasotadanielle


Now down to business....

I have LOVED how I manage guided math in my room the past few years.  However this year I have needed to switch things around mid year because:
-my class is HUGE at 27 students
(Sorry for whining for those of you that have somehow managed 30 plus students every year!)
-I have some SUPER intelligent students that need more.

How is it new?
You can download my "old" guided math charts and management for FREE here on TPT.  I still love it- it just doesn't work with this LARGE class as well.

Here are our NEW rotation charts:

You might notice that the yellow group does not have a "math with teacher."  Part of having a larger class means even LARGER small groups!  Also less time to one-on-one conference with students therefore more learning gaps.  :(  During second rotation I pull skill groups.  The other two rotations I teach the green (above) group enrichment of the current week's lesson.  The red group (below) receives a simplified version of this week's whole group lesson.  Technically the whole group lesson should meet the needs of the "yellow group."  Students are allowed to choose each day which group to join during rotations.  We have a very kind and encouraging classroom climate so students are VERY honest in choosing their groups.  I  99 percent agree with their group choices daily.

We are fortunate enough to have an intervention specialist and a math tutor for 40 minutes to support all 3 first grade classrooms during the first and second rotations.  Since first and second grade have large class sizes this year they hired a tutor just to support our 6 classes- we have her for all 3 math rotations. 
*If you would be a low-low student- first rotation you have a group with our intervention specialist who reviews skills and touches on the whole group lesson of the week.  Second rotation you would be pulled by myself or the tutors for a skill remediation.  (We have a great google doc to communicate and keep track of students.)  Third rotation you would be having a small group with me.
*If you are a low student- you would be on chrome books first rotation.  Second rotation you would most likely be pulled out for a skill remediation.  Third rotation you would have small group with me.
*If you are an average student- you would work on your workshop work first rotation.  Second rotation you would be on chrome books or a skill remediation.  Third rotation you could work with a partner to finish any of your work. 
*If you are an above average student- you would have a group with me for first rotation.  You would complete math work second rotation.  During third rotation you would be on chrome books.  Some REALLY above average students work with the tutor on more enrichment items.

How are the rotation signs organized?
(This is the only picture I have of the new signs here at home and it is SUPER messy!  SORRY!)

SO MESSY!!  I took this picture to remind myself to change the fabric and clean this area up! 
One of my students moves the recycling bin there for some unknown reason everyday.  lol.  You need to pick your battles. 
The rotation signs are hanging on the board with the "Math on My Own" papers hanging under the appropriate sign.

How I make sure students know what to do:
I use a playlist all day to make sure that we stay on schedule.  Here are screen shots of some of the math slides that play:
When it is time to transition for groups this pops up along with the "I Like to Move it-Move it song.)

This plays for the remaining 19 minutes with instrumental versions of popular music.  This way if a student enters from using the restroom or late from another teacher- they can easily tell what rotation we are on.  They also have a reminder of what they should be doing with the picture clues.
Math Genius':We also have extra support because of our Genius area with math experts to assist students as needed.

The genius completes their work in the office area.  However they are available to answer questions if needed. 

How do I manage student data?:
-For remediation skill groups: We have a shared google doc between all 3 support staff and the first grade teachers.  We have a table with the skills we have taught down the left.  The next column is blank until a teacher writes their name and date in the slot claiming that "group".  The third column has color coded student names from all 3 classrooms.  Once the teacher feels that a student in her group has mastered that skill- we strike through their name.  We move on and choose new groups without having to meet with each other.  It is really easy to just communicate on the shared google form.  We add student names to this form each week after we grade their weekly exit slip.
-In small groups I use a Guided math format paper for easy recording of how students did in their group with me.

-We keep all differentiated worksheets and materials needed in a HUGE binder.  As we developed lessons last year- we made sure to take the time to keep and organize them.  It makes it easy for parent volunteers to copy for all 3 classrooms.  This seriously saves HOURS each week.

I just tried to briefly touch on these items.  Please let me know if you have any questions and I would LOVE to go more into detail on any of the items mentioned.  :)

I hope to try my best to write a post about our new workshop paper, what we do on chrome books, our new whole group common core friendly lessons, our new weekly activities, our math projects and more WITHIN the next 30 days! Perhaps I should give myself longer... maybe 3 months?  ;)

Enjoy your day off OHIO!  :)