A place to share thoughts, ideas, gadgets, and giggles from my classroom. 💜

Guided Math Book Study Chapter 5

This weeks topic of study was on small group instruction.  Something I want to go smoothly in my classroom.  I know what I want and can vision it, I just have a hard time figuring out how to put it into action.  My problem with doing small group instruction is combining it with math independent group time.  
Last year was the first year that I tried out Math groups and small group instruction in my classroom.  I did math groups similar to Daily 5.  Aimee and I sat down before the start of last school year and decided what we wanted our Daily Math groups to be.  We decided that one of the rotations would be Math with the Teacher.  This worked out great except that when the students came to work with me, I found that our time would always run over.  Therefore, I couldn't meet with all the groups everyday.  On top of that, during my small group instruction was when the students completed the math practice portion of the daily lesson.  We use Envision Math.  I teach one lesson per day generally.  Does anyone else use Envision Math and teach one lesson per day (in second grade).  Even teaching one lesson per day, I can't teach every chapter.  
After a year of always running behind and trying to figure out how I was going to meet with four groups a day, I knew I needed to do something else next year.  Now comes new planning time with Aimee and I.  We actually just sat down and talked about how we want our math group instruction to flow.  While we still don't have all of the answers, and haven't even tested it out to see if our ideas will work, we both are thinking along the same lines, and trying to come up with a plan.  
We are trying to figure out when to do the practice part of the worksheet (lesson) for the day.  Does anyone else use Envision along with Math groups?  If so, I would love to hear from you.  How do you fit it all in, what does your schedule look like, etc.?  
We think we are going to try and combine The Primary Gal's Differentiation Workstation Plan, 

The Daily 5 (Math), and small group instruction to do our group work and workstation rotation next year (more info to come about this). We still are uncertain of what we are going to teach during our small group instruction.  However, we visualize doing differentiation during this time.  You can find a link to the Primary Gal's Blog Post on Small Group Instruction and Differentiation here.

Last year when deciding what groups to place the students in, I gave a STAR Math Assessment.  I place my students into small group instruction time based on their level from this assessment.  It worked out great, because I can spend more time with my lower level students, and less time with my higher level students.  The one thing I want to do next year, is take my higher level students to another level by challenging them during small group instruction time.  Any ideas or thoughts?

I look forward to reading everyone else's blog posts about Small Group Instruction.  You can check them out below and enter a giveaway!  Enjoy!

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Monday Meet Up: Facts About Me!

Click here to link up!
I'm linking up with the Teaching Tribune for Monday Meet Up! Here are some new facts about me!
 Fact 1: In Kindergarten, I was one of the first (not to toot my own horn or anything) to learn my ABC's forward. The teacher didn't know what to have us do while the other kids were still working on them, so she had us learn them backward! This is a fun party game skill, or to impress second graders;)
Fact 2: I grew up in the country, so I love being outside, and with no shoes most of the time! My favorite thing to do is ride the 4-wheeler. We have a lot of hollers and hills behind my dad's house. My cousins and I would ride all the time! Now that I live in town, the closest I can get to that is driving my Jeep around with the top and doors off. It is so relaxing, especially after a long day of school!
Fact 3: I only have three more classes until I am finished with my Master's degree! I love using technology in the classroom, if you couldn't tell! I would love to do more with it by teaching the teachers how to integrate technology into their lessons and daily activities. I am working on my degree through Ball State University and have had the best technology professors. They really have shown me different techniques that I never would have found on my own. I thought I knew about everything I could do with technology, but I was totally wrong!
What are some facts about you? Link up with The Teaching Tribune by clicking the link above!

Summer Stock Up: Behavior Management

Do you Dojo? If you haven't already, you should check out Class Dojo! It is an awesome online behavior management system that is fun for students and effective for teachers. To learn more about the basics of Class Dojo, click the monsters below!

There have been some new updates to the Dojo since my first post about it. The updates are AMAZING!! First, Class Dojo now lets you rate how many points a positive or negative is worth. This is super awesome because we all know bullying is a much more severe action than talking in class. Now with one click, can take up to five points away from students when they are bullying.  I also have changed my talking in class, disrespect, and talking out of turn to more than one negative point. The ones with out the exponent are just one point off. 
Along with adjusting the negatives, you can also increase the number of points students receive for positive points! 
Last year I loved using Class Dojo, but I often forgot because it was not a constant visual. This year I am adding a behavior chart to work with Class Dojo. While searching on Pinterest (How did teachers do it before Pinterest!?!) I found this awesome behavior tracker from Chasity Gabrielson. It is also a freebie in her Teachers Pay Teachers store!
Click here to head over to TPT and get this awesome freebie!
The tracker is a month long, and uses the most popular behavior chart colors! Students can get points when they move their name up (or flip flop that) and lose points when they move their name down. Here is the chart I have for my room!

Guided Math Book Study Chapter 4

Chapter 4 of our book study was all about whole-class lessons.  How do you teach math using whole group lessons?  In this chapter, the author Laney Sammons discusses what can happen during whole group math lessons.  Whole-group lessons can provide a chance for teachers to present mini-lessons, students engaged in activating strategies, teachers reading aloud math related literature, setting the stage for the math workshop, conducting a Math Huddle, providing practice and review, or formal testing and assessments.

During Mini-Lessons, teachers should make a connection (from yesterday's lesson, with the ongoing unit of study, with the student's work, or with an experience outside of school), provide a teaching point (present and demonstrate), allow for active engagement (students try out a skill or strategy, students watch, students plan out loud,), and teachers link the lesson to ongoing student work (students turn to their own work and apply the teaching point).

1 point of interest from this chapter is students can complete KWL charts for math.  I haven't ever used a KWL chart for math that I can remember.  Have you?  Instead of the traditional KWL chart (K for what you know, W for what you want to know, and L for what you learned), in math it can be adapted.  The First Column can be: what do you know for sure, the second column can be: what are you trying to find out, and finally the third column can be Are there any special conditions in the problem?
Of course, you can come up with a name for this chart if you would like.  Any ideas or suggestions?  Maybe KFC Chart?

2nd Point of interest from this chapter is a topic of Word Splashes!  I really like this idea.  It is kind of like making a list of vocabulary terms related to the concept of study.  Teachers can put the list on the board as a preview for the lesson or unit of study.  Students can also use the word splashes as a review of concepts learned.  

During my math whole group lesson, I use a video to introduce the concept.  Before using the video, we do a quick review of the concept we are learning.  The video generally comes from BrainPop or our math series Envision.  After watching the video and demonstrating the skill, students practice a bit with me during the whole-group lesson practice time.  After practicing together, the students have a few minutes to work independently on the task for practice.  During this time, I walk around and assist or make notes of how students are doing.  After our mini-lesson and independent practice, students participate in independent work.  During this time, I pull out small groups.

How do you teach whole group math lessons in your classroom?  Do you have a math series?  Do you like your math series for whole group instruction?

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Bring Online Communication into the Classroom with Kidblog

Let's face it. We all love blogging! It is addicting, fascinating, and just plain fun to do!Why not let our students blog!? I found a site through working on my Action Research project for my classes that is just AMAZING! (If you don't feel like reading it all, their is a YouTube video at the bottom that I have made!)

Kidblog is a safe, secure site where students, teachers, and parents can blog. Everyone has their own individual password and the teacher is the one who sets everything up. Kidblog also gives your blog a unique URL so you can make it easily accessible. (You could just have it as a QR code!  It is a very similar set up to Blogger. When you make your account, you can add your students and print off parent codes. The teacher also controls what kind of access each person has. You can also control the comments that can be viewed. 

When each person logs in,they choose from a list which name they want to log in as. This was something I wasn't all too sure about because younger students are not as careful when choosing and the mouse tends to slip too. Usually on the sites we use, the students have an individual user name, but all the passwords are the same. Since they do not have to remember a username, I thought about using the generic password we often use at my school along with their mailbox number. This way if they do slip and accidentally hit the wrong name, they won't be able to log in because the mailbox number will still be different!
Once  you are logged in, the screen will show a list of all the posts available. The ones that are new are marked, I just don't have any new right now! A post I wanted to add to this list( and will add when I begin
to use it in my classroom) is a Help post. This would explain what to do when students are not
sure or they forget which button to push. The posts are actually student blogs of their own! Each student can also make comments on each others blogs. This is a great way to get students to talk about their story with more than one word answers, and everyone has the chance to get a say!
When students make their posts, the page is very plain. There are not a lot of distractions and absolutely no ads that will get them off the topic! I really like that the publish button is the only colored one. This way students will easily remember which one they will finish with! Before the post goes live, the teacher has the ability to approve it. This is a great way to make sure students are staying on topic. When I begin in my room, I am going to not approve posts that are not on topic. This way students will want to stick to the main idea so they get posted!

The teacher can add media files for students to use in their posts! They have three options when adding media: computer file, URL, or media library. Everyone can access the media library. This is a super fun way to get students introduced to adding pictures or videos to their work.
There are also several different themes you can you to make your blog a little cuter! KidBlog does not allow you to insert your own theme, you have to use the ones they have created, unless you wanted to upgrade to the paying version.

So why would you want your students to blog?
I was hoping you would ask! ( I have been working really hard on my AR project!) Blogging will not only create a meaningful learning experience for your students, but they will also be super engaged in the task! Students always want to get on Facebook like their older siblings or parents to talk to their friends. This gives them a safe way to do so! Students will want to do well on their blog posts because their friends will be seeing them. They will increase their writing skills, vocabulary, and get more familiar with using a computer keyboard. 
*Gonna get professional for a sec!*
Let's face it, technology is not going away. Students are going to have to know how to communicate properly online. They will have to be able to e-mail their boss, fill out resumes, and prove that they can be professional. I want to start forming those good communication habits early. When students are posting that they have graduated, their post should NOT look like this...

Does that make you cringe as much as it does me!?!
I have created a letter explaining blogging to parents! All you have to do is stick your name at the bottom! 
Want to know how to get started?! Well, I have that ready for you too! I'm super into this blogging in the classroom:)

Click here for the parent letter!!
I also had to make a video about blogging for my class, so here it is! It was my first one ever, so I was pretty excited about it!

You Oughta Know About...Procedures

Hey there! Today I am linking up with Mrs. McClain over at Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for her monthly You Oughta Know blog hop. Other bloggers and I will be sharing things that you "oughta know" for your classroom.
I am going to explain my first few days of school procedures! 
First thing I do is make a list of things I want my students to know about being in my classroom.  To do this, I take a visual tour of my classroom. I think, " Okay, when students walk in, what do they do next?" 

On the first day, even though they are not supposed to bring supplies, they almost all will. I have the kids take their backpacks to their seat and empty them. They have Play-Dough on their desk to play with. They also have a piece of paper and pencil to write what they make. This gives me a chance to get that supplies put away or organized or just collected! We have announcements right away in the morning, so that will also give me some extra time! 

After collecting the Play-Dough, I take students on the same tour I went through to make procedures! Your room is going to be brand new to students. They need to get familiar with it! I am working on a Classroom Detective project for my students the first week. They will not only be getting to know their classmates, but getting to know their classroom! Since I am still new at this, I haven't figured out how to make it editable, but you can always put a white square over the words, and use a text box to add your own questions. If you know how I can make it editable and keep the backgrounds locked, please let me know:) 

  I am always so nervous with a new class. The kids just don't understand that teachers get the first day jitters too! I type everything I want to do out, word for word. You can check out my procedure list, just click on the notebook!
The part about my procedures that I always seem to forget is to practice!! On the first day, students usually line up perfectly. The next day it gets a little noiser and then the third day seems to be how the rest of the year will go. I always want to have kids sit back down when they do not line up the right way, but I always forget! I am going to work on remembering to keep trying over and over until they do it how I want them to. This will help make the rest of the year go smoothly. I am always checking Pinterest to see what kinds of other procedures I should start at the beginning of the year. Check out what I have found so far.
What types of procedures do you have in your class?

Click here for my classroom procedures pins!

Guided Math Book Study Chapter 3

Chapter 3 is all about using math-warm ups during Guided Math.  Math Warm-Ups are simple 20-30 minute math activities that students can do when entering the classroom in the morning.  These simple math warm-ups can be review of skills learned, enrichment skills for higher level students, or practice of skills working on during guided math.  

At our school, we adopted Envison Math.  Do you use Envison Math?  How do you use the program?  We generally make a packet of the chapter's daily spiral review and problem of the day.  Each day, the students come in, they complete the daily spiral review and problem of the day from the previous day's math lesson. This keeps the students engaged and on target to review skills learned and get ready for our new math lesson.
On days that we don't have a math problem of the day or daily spiral review, I love to use Sunny Day's Second Grade Common Core Math Magic Sheets.  

These review all second grade skills that should be taught during math instruction.  I find that some of them are challenging for my lower level students, but together we review the skills.

Daily Math Stretches:  Math stretches are simple one question problems that can get the kids thinking and focused on math.  The book recommends doing a different type of math stretch each day.  

     Monday:  Number of the Day (ways to make the number ...)
     Tuesday:  What's Next (patterning)
     Wednesday:  How Did My Family Use Math Last Night? or other math questions
     Thursday:  ___________ Makes me think of.... (put a math concept in the blank such as fractions)
     Friday:  Data Collection (such as graphing or yes/no questions)

Mathematical Current Events:  To make your classroom a numeracy math rich environment, adding newspaper articles, magazine clippings, etc. about the topic of math is a great way to show students that math is all around us.  Do you ever do this?  Have you thought of doing this?  I guess I don't read enough newspapers or magazines to know about math in the current events.  However, I do read!  Lots of books!

Mathematics-Related Classroom Responsibilities:  Do you have classroom jobs?  Is of on them attendance taker or lunch count?  These are great ways to get students involved with math related jobs.

Calendar Board:  The board can contain a preview of concepts or review previously learned concepts.  The calendar board can contain  mathematical concepts such as estimation, graphing, place value, number lines, addition subtraction (days left).  The calendar itself can also lend a hand to patterning with the days of the month.

From this list, there are several things I need to work on.  One:  My calendar is pretty boring.  My student of the day puts up the calendar and writes on our whiteboard.  However, we don't really do much with calendar time.  One thing that I find difficult is the time restrictions we have in our classroom.  It seems like I just can't fit it all in.  Does anyone else have this same issue?  Aimee was really good about using our interactive whiteboard to do calendar time and make it interactive.  The students loved it.  I felt like it took forever!  I gave up on it after about 2 months.  Maybe I need to try harder next year.

I also want to keep a math board of some sort with terms, pictures, articles, examples of the concepts we are learning about.  This will give the students a visual of the concepts at hand.  I also need to do more math stretches in my room.  I am thinking this could be a simple activity done after recess!  Any thoughts on how and when you use math stretches?

Now on to Chapter 4!

Monday Meet Me!

I've linked up with The Teaching Tribune for Monday Meet Me! Head over to meet some other fabulous bloggers!
So Hi! I am Aimee..

I teach: This will be my second year in second grade! I had a good time last year with Cassondra and her maternity leave sub, Shelby. I also got to have several of the students I had last year, making it an even more fun, yet challenging, experience!
I have: My husband is pretty awesome. We have been married for one year and eight months! He is super helpful with cutting or hanging things for my classroom. I don't think I could do it without him!
I also have two dogs, Willy and Toby! They are awfully cute and VERY mischievous.
I watch: I am addicted to Netflix..I'm currently watching House..like right at this second..on Netflix. I love binge watching seasons of my favorite shows! 
I listen: I am a country music junky! I love the classics like Johnny Cash or Hank Williams, the legends like George Strait or the man Garth Brooks, and I love the new stuff like Luke Bryan or Kacey Musgraves.Not to brag or anything, but Chuck Wicks did touch my hand, so we are basically friends for life. HA! Nashville is one of my favorite destinations...and a great excuse to wear a skirt with cowboy boots!
Yes..I took a picture of my hand...
I read: Shorter books, I only can read longer ones if I am really into it. I read most of the Harry Potter books in one day in high school, but now a days it takes me months to get through a book. I love reading, but just don't take the time as often as I should!
I do: I would love to be crafty. I can do TpT items all day, but I would love to be able to make some of those anchor charts you always see on Pinterest. I am not crafty, but I sure try to be!

 Be sure to check out some of the other bloggers! Thanks for stopping by!

Summer Goals

Woo-Hoo! My birthday is now 11 days away!! (in case you forgot) I have been thinking about what I will do with the rest of my summer. We are getting ready to build a new home, so that will take up a bunch of my time! I'm soooo excited about it!
Click here to check out the floor plan! We only made a few small changes!
I have some things I need to get done before we break ground. They may NEVER get done if I don't do it soon! ha! My goals for the summer are:
1. Organize the closets in my classroom
Like I have said before, I switched classrooms last year and just made stuff fit! Now I need to take it all out and just get rid of the items I just never used or would not ever use. After they clean our rooms, it is always such a mess! I can't wait to get in there and start rearranging and organizing!
2. Clean out my house and have a yard sale
Since we will be moving into the new house...one of these days, why not start getting the house cleaned up to show while I have the time! I want to organize a yard sale and use the money from it to decorate our new home! 
3. RELAX! 
Last summer, like many other teachers, I never took a break from doing school work! I was planning, laminating, cutting, creating, and decorating my room. I was about burnt out when the new school year started! This year, I want to take a break and relax during the summer. I get excited about getting ready for the new year, but I need to keep that excitement through the start of the new year. Or it could be an excuse for more pool time;)

What goals do you have for this summer?
A Classroom Full of Smiles
Head on over to A Classroom Full of Smiles to link up with your summer goals!

Guided Math Chapter 2

Chapter 2 discusses the importance of student seating and arrangements, material organization, student calendars or agendas, numeracy-rich environment, manipulatives, problem of the day, math journals, math vocabulary, graphic organizers, and math related literacy during guided math time.  

Student Seating:  Often Times, I keep my desks in groups or tables because I love doing group work and having my students work together.  I have a rolling 5 drawer cart at each table group for storage of art supplies, pencils, materials, etc.  This helps quickly when we need to find things.  Also, I have a meeting area with a while board and carpet for mini-lessons and whole group instruction.  During small group instruction, I have a small group table that I use to meet with my students.  I would show pictures, but because it is the end of the year all materials and desks have been put away for the summer.

Material Organization and Manipulatives:  I keep all of my materials stored in small tubs that can be purchased at the Dollar Tree or Walmart.  They are really inexpensive and easy to store.  My problem is that I don't have enough storage space for all of my tubs.  I need to be creative in how I store these tubs.  Any ideas?  

Small Group Area:  Students sit at a horseshoe shaped table for my small group math lesson.  During my math group when the students come to me, I have a 5 drawer rolling cart.  This cart contains all of the materials I will need for my guided math groups for the week. I also have one of these carts for my guided reading groups as well.  They work out great, because they are on wheels and can be easily rolled.

Large Group Meeting Area:  Students sit on a carpeted area by the Promethean Board.  We do our whole group lesson with either our Envision Math lesson video, or a BrainPop video, or both.  Does anyone else use Envision that does Math groups?  I am eager to see what you do whole-class lesson and small-group lessons using this series.

Rotation:  Students typically go to 4 stations a day.  Sometimes, we might not get through all of the stations and have to pick up the next day.  My group signs are in a pocket chart and say group 1, group 2, group 3, and group 4.  I tried to actually give the groups a name such as with teacher, at the computer, on Ipad, hands on, etc.  But I found that when I wanted to change things, the kids got so confused on what to do. So to keep it generic and simple I do group 1, group 2, group 3, and group 4.  I put up on a dry erase moving white board (with wheels) what the students need to do at each group.  They rotate through stations.  They spend about 15 to 20 minutes at a station.  

Things that I need to work on after reading this chapter are:  having a math board, calendar time, and math journals.  I have already starting purchasing interactive math journals, and hope to make some as well.  I am going to make one of my math groups next year a journal group.  I am still trying to figure out how to do calendar and  math board.  Any ideas?

Do you have anything to add about how you do math groups in your classroom?

Now on to Chapter 3?

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Techy Tuesday: Padllet

This week I wanted to blog about a website I learned to use last year during a Professional Development Course I needed to take.  The website/program is Padlet.  Have you ever used Padlet?

This is a video of one way you can use Padlet in your classroom.  I use Padlet in my classroom to ask the same question "Tell me what you learned today?".  I also have the students answer comprehension questions, I have my word wall on Padlet, I do a KWL chart on Padlet.

It is like an Online Post-it note site!  Best of all, this program is free!  Here is a link to my Padlet Word Wall Word Board!  My students use it to do various Word Wall activities with.  They love using the technology to find the words.
Crothersville Second Grade Word Wall Words

Do you use Padlet?  If so, how do you use it?  Do you have any creative ideas?  If you would like to link up your technology resources, we would love to see what you are using in your classroom (and how you are using them)!!  Link up Below!  Until next week, enjoy Padlet.

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