Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Math Daily Five Plan

Click here to join.

I have decided to implement Guided Math with The Math Daily Five in my classroom this year.  The process features cooperative learning, provides more hands-on opportunities, and allows me to differentiate by learning styles and abilities.  Added benefits are that it promotes "math talk" while the students are focused and engaged.  I also want to include a Math Journal component because I believe that writing about math is very important to building metacognition to enhance problem solving abilities.  Finally, it allows me to check-in with every student every day, which I love!

This is my "plan".  Since I'm doing this for the first time, I'm sure I will need to adapt.  But this plan represents what will work for me, while including curriculum components that my district requires. 

I prefer the size of my groups to be no more that 5.  With 22 students, I will have 5 groups of 4-5 students.  One of the groups will be my "at risk" group.  

Here are my "five" stations.

Station 1 - Meet with Teacher   This meeting will really help me keep a handle on what each student needs to be successful.  My district requires that I meet with "at-risk" students everyday, and Guided Math helps me build that time into our schedule while the remainder of the class is engaged.   

Station 2 - Fact Fluency   This is also a district requirement. (I'm using Kim Sutton's Math Fluency 10 Block Cycle).

Station 3 - Math Journals  Each group will have a folder where I will place their prompt on a label. This will allow me to choose a prompt that will support the group's goals.  

Station 4 - Technology   My school subscribes to a web-based program called First in Math.  It covers all Math concepts and allows me to track each student's progress.  I plan to assign components that our related to our current lesson.    

Station 5 - Teacher's Choice  I like to leave a little flexibility in one of the stations.  If I name it "something", the kids will hold me to it.  I'm sure some activities will be more popular that others, so I may use this as motivation.  Also, I may use the choice as a reward for a group if they meet a goals.  I envision this station having games, math literature, logic puzzles, hands-on math, real world math, etc.  

The Math Daily 5 will be Monday through Thursday.  Friday will be Assessment day, Math journal review, and Math Tiles (with parent volunteers).   

Procedures must be established and practiced for Guided Math to be successful.   The first thing I will do is create a set of expectations with the students' input.  This is something we can review if need be.  

I am so excited about this and hope you will share your experience or your plan!  


p.s.  Sending a big "Thank You!" to 

Mrs. Thiering at The Frizz in First Grade and 
Carrie at The First Grade Derby 

for nominating me for the Lovely Blog and Versatile Blogger Awards!  Although I've been previously nominated, I feel blessed every day I that my blog has visitors!  What's a blog without an audience!  =  )

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Linky Party! My First!

I'm hosting my first Linky Party.  I'm nervous, but I'm going to use my 'moxie' and go outside of my comfort zone.  It may not be pretty, but I'm proud to say it is functional!  

Here we go!  It's a.....


This Linky Party was inspired by Emily at I Love My Classroom.  She recently asked me to share how I planned on using the Math Daily Five in my classroom.  

Well, the first thing I did when I was putting my plan together was visit lots of other blogs that talked about the Math Daily (or a variation of it).  This helped me think about what would work in my classroom.  Unfortunately, I can't remember all the blogs I visited to pass them along to Emily.  So, I thought this Linky Party might benefit anyone who is thinking about using the Math Daily 5 or Math Centers in their classroom.  I want to get this going, so I will be posting my Daily 5 Plan later.  Thanks for joining and sharing how the Math Daily 5 will work in your classroom.  

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Never-Ending "To Do" List

My "To Do" list looks very similar to the one pictured above.   First of all, I can't live without "lists".  I often have several going at once that I categorize according to different parts of my life.  

But one thing that makes me anxious is forgetting something that should be on my list.  That's why the "To Do List" Linky Party  Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies (follow link to find it) is perfect for me.  Now I can peruse everyone's lists to see what I might be forgetting.  

So here it goes. 

  1.  Order a new teacher chair in pink (Mine broke last year and I don't like the school's).
  2.  Decorate my new Treasure Box. (Purchased at Walmart for $5.97)
  3.  Buy a second Hawaiian Breeze vertical fan.  (It's hot here in Texas!)
  4.  Finish Class Library "Check Out" Board - almost done.
  5.  Make my version of The Learning Carpet (purchase supplies).
  6.  Finish ABC's of Third Grade for Parent Orientation.
  7.  Copy Student Conduct Cards.
  8.  Print Math Journal prompts on labels
  9.  Create Math Daily 5 Bulletin Board
10.  Map out curriculum considering required grades, Benchmark 
       Tests, and school activities. (I changed grade levels this year)
11.  Spray-paint and label supply toolbox.
12.  Laminate owls for Welcome BB.
13.  Make lesson plan book.
14.  Prepare for onslaught of supplies.
15.  Hot-glue pom poms to dry erase markers.
16.  Create Whole Brain Class Rules posters.
17.  Buy composition books when they go on sale for $.25!
18.  Prepare for campus & district staff development presentations.
19.  Create guest reader and math tile volunteer schedules.
20.  Find a Memory Jar container.

OKAY!  I will stop.  To be honest, my little notebook is packed with things to do.  Did I say that lists "help" my anxiety????   You wouldn't know by the fact that my heart is pounding out of my chest right now!  Deep breaths, deep breaths..........


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Giveaways in Blogland!

There are so many awesome blog giveaways going on!   We all love FREE, so take a moment today to to visit these talented bloggers.  I'm hoping to have a celebration giveaway soon as I am on my way to 100 followers!

Blog Title

Hooty's homeroom

The OC Blog Button

Visiting our American Roots

Years ago, my parents took me to Washington, D. C. for the first time.  It made a tremendous impression upon me.  This summer, it was time to give my sons that experience.  They weren't as enthusiastic as when we go to the beach or an amusement park.  BUT.....they ended up loving it.  They learned so much (and I was secretly thrilled!). 

Not only was it awesome for my kids, but the free teaching resources I discovered were incredible.  I couldn't wait to share them with you.

Over the next few days, I will be sharing some of these resources with you.  I hope they will help you to enrich your Social Studies lessons.  

 Day 1:  Gettysburg  

The Gettysburg National Military Park has some excellent  resources available for teachers and kids.  I was especially excited to learn about their Traveling Trunk program which gives the students a hands-on experience of "The Life of a Civil War Soldier".  The accompanying teacher's guide is rich with Civil War lessons, and would make great enrichment activities.  Here are a few examples:

If you go to Gettysburg, plan to spend the entire day there.  Don't miss the Battlefield Tour, the Gettysburg Museum & Cyclorama, Soldier's National Cemetery (where Abraham Lincoln gave the famous "Gettysburg Address"), and the David Wills House.  The sacrifice that both sides made in this beautiful countryside is palpable.  It is an unforgettable experience.  


Friday, July 27, 2012

Owls, Owls, Everywhere!

I'm linking up with Corinna at Surfin Through Second to share my new classroom theme this year.

About 7 years ago, I went back to teaching after being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years.  SO much had changed in that amount of time.  I often felt like a new teacher all over again.  

Picture this......no internet, limited word processing, tracing and cutting every border and letter for bulletin boards, blackboards and chalk, no copiers, classroom activities created on purple and white "dittos", more recess time, manually averaging grades, and integrating media meant watching film strips!  How did we ever cope?

The older I get, the more I realize how valuable my time is.  Creating a whole classroom theme is not for me.  Instead, I've used bright colors like orange, pink, lime green, and yellow to decorate.  I've always longed for a "ready-to-go" theme, but have never connected with one that coordinated with my color family. Until this year..............(drum roll please)..............it is OWLS!

Trend "Owl Stars"

Carson-Dellosa "Colorful Owls"
For the first time in my teaching career, I have found my "theme" and I am in love!   Aren't they adorable?  They are so bright and cheerful!  Also, it fits for both boys and girls.  I'm so excited!   I can't wait to get to my classroom and decorate. 

I guess I'm not the only owl-lover as I am seeing colorful owls everwhere.  If there's a colorful owl item, I've bought it!  Now, if I can only find colorful armadillos.....

Webkins Rainbow Armadillo

q Diane r

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Learning Carpet with a Twist

I love getting down on the floor and having group lessons with the kids.  They love to get out of their seats and I love how they perceive that sitting on the floor equals fun!  

I recently heard about a math product that would be great use in this environment.  It is called The Learning Carpet.  It is a 100 square carpet that is divided into 100 six inch squares.  When you think about it, the teaching possibilities are endless.....arrays, ordered pairs, graphing, patterns, transformations, area, perimeter, etc.  

This is where MY shoulder partners, who I call Mr. Yes and Mrs. No, enter into my conscience.

Mr. Yes:   I love it!  I want it!

Mrs. No:   But it costs $292.  Hubby would not be happy.  You       already spend way too much for things for your classroom.

Mr. Yes:   But it is so kinesthetic! Maybe the school will buy it for me.  

Mrs. No:  With 4 teachers on my team, it would cost $1,168.  It's not likely.

Mr. Yes:  I am creative.  Could I make one?

Mrs. No:  Hmmmm.  Let's see....  a white shower curtain with black sharpie squares?  A cheap rug with duct tape squares?  What about shopping for a fabric with a square pattern? I could make a mimeo.....no, that's not the same as getting on the floor.  Creating one would be a lot of work.

Mr. Yes:  Imagine how much the kids would get out of this tool.  It's summertime and that is what summertime is for!

Mrs. No:  That is true!  I'm going to do it!  AND,  The Learning Carpet website has an awesome guide you can purchase that has lots of activities to use in your classroom.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vacation and Giveaway!

Just a quick update to let you all know that I will be leaving Blogland (as I affectionately call it) for a little while.  We are going on a family vacation and I am looking forward to spending some quality family time.  Now, if I can only pry my boys away from their iPhones, laptops and iPads. 

But before I go, you've got to check out my talented teaching partner's 150 Follower Giveaway.  It includes some awesome prizes so please go by and check it out.  

I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

I will be stopping by on my way out of Blogland!  See you soon!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Time to Laugh, Award, and a Friday Linky Party

Let's start the weekend out with a good laugh!  This has been around for a while, but I still laugh when I read it.

How Do You Know You're A Teacher?
by Jeff Foxworthy

  1. You get a secret thrill out of laminating things.
  2. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line.
  3. You walk into a store and hear the words, “It’s Ms./Mr. ____________ "and know you have been spotted.
  4. You have 25 people who  accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another.
  5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under 25 minutes.
  6. You’ve trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day, lunch and planning period.
  7. You start saving other people’s trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom.
  8. You believe the Teacher’s Lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine.
  9. You want to slap the next person who says, “Must be nice to work 7 to 3 and have summers off”.
  10. You believe chocolate is a food group.
  11. You can tell if it’s a full moon without ever looking outside.
  12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, “Boy, the kids are sure mellow today.”
  13. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public.
  14. You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin.
  15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
  16. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own children.
  17. You can’t pass the school supply aisle without getting at least 5 items!
  18. You ask your friends to use their words and explain if the left hand turn he made was a “good choice” or “bad choice.”
  19. You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils.
  20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer.
  21. You understand, instantaneously, why a child behaves in a certain way after meeting his/her parents.

One of my newest followers has awarded me the Leibster Blog Award!

Many, many thanks to Olivia at Classroom Craft!  Olivia is a newbie, like me, so please stop by and visit her blog!  

Here are the details that recipients of this award must follow: 
1. Copy and paste the award on to your blog. 
2. Thank the giver and link back to them. 
3. Nominate five other bloggers and let them know by commenting on their blogs.

Here are the next five recipients of the Liebster Blog Award.

I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

Calling Plays in 2nd Grade

Where Seconds Count


Please visit these awesome blogs!

And now for today's Linky Party!

I am so excited about this Math Resource.

Problem solving is a critical skill for understanding and applying math concepts.  Analogies are a great tool to build problem solving skills.  They create connections between what is familiar and what is new.  Here is an example.

63 + 11   is to   60 + 10   AS   12 + 22   is to _____________

      How do you know? ____________________________ 

This analogy requires students to recognize the application of estimation and rounding.  In addition to finding the answer,
students are asked to think about and justify their answers, applying a metacognitive process that is so important to building a solid mathematical foundation for the future.  

This is a Carson Dellosa product and other grade levels are available.  Check it out for your classroom!

q Diane r

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Giveaway Results & Back to School Shopping

Last week I announced my Inspirational Giveway!  For every new follower I received through the 4th of July, I would donate $1 to Smile Train.  I am proud to say that I have 22 new followers!  I am chipping in a little more to make a $25 donation to Smile Train.

Thank you to all of you who were "inspired" to follow my blog!

Now on to one of my favorite things to do.......shopping!

The other day I went shopping for some “school” supplies.  I know…it’s kinda early.  But, we’re about to go on vacation and I was afraid if I waited until we got back, I may not be able to find the things I needed.  So, off I went.

Purchase #1

A few years ago, I started using this rolling hamper as our lunch basket and it was a hit.  Soon, all 8 teachers on our team were using it.  It’s perfect for 3rd or 4th graders. It has wheels, only requires one operator, and doesn’t take up much space.  I decorate it with decals from the Dollar Tree, and then add my name and room number in vinyl letters.  To keep it clean, I line it with a kitchen trash bag.  After five years one of the wheels broke, so it was time to get a new one.

Purchase #2

I’m so excited about a rug I found for my classroom at Office Depot (click  for more rug choices).  It’s perfect!  It's bright and colorful and   < BONUS!> has a geometric pattern.  Math teachers love patterns!    I mean, how often do you find a rug that matches your classroom AND can be used for a Math lesson…….all for $29.99!  Score!!! 

Purchase #3

I have a treasure chest in my class that I use to store classroom rewards.  The problem is that it isn’t a chest…..it’s a shopping bag.  I had a cardboard treasure chest a few years back, but it got trashed rather quickly.  So you can imagine how excited I was to run across this plastic container shaped like a real treasure chest at Walmart.  The best part is the price is right!  Come on down! I’m getting out my hot glue gun and decorating it with some fake jewels.   What a find!

Purchase #4

You never know what you are going to find at The Dollar Tree.  This trip was great!  Each of these items was $1.00!

Tickets – They are the currency in my classroom. 

Pom Poms (in my colors!) – I’m going to hot glue them to the end of dry erase markers to use as erasers.

Mini containers – I use these to store items in my anchor stations and to store number tiles (0-9) to use with Marcy Cook Number Tile Activities.  I also put a pair of foam dice inside and hot glue the lid shut. This makes a very quiet dice roller and the dice don't go everywhere.  

Bingo Daubers -  Daubers have tons of uses. I use them to make borders on Anchor Charts and in anchor stations to make arrays and fractions of a set.  The kids love to use them.

Clip Magnets & Pencil Holder - I can never have enough of these.

My last stop was Lakeshore.  I wanted to get a new owl set I saw in a catalogue, but I discovered that Lakeshore is having a "Back to School" Sale starting today through Sept. 2.   With that in mind, I left, saying in my best Arnold voice....I'll be back!  

Please comment and tell me about your back to school finds!  If you've blogged about it, leave me your link so I can visit!  Have a great day and stay cool!  

q Diane r

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