Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Math Block Routine: Whole Group, Small Group, Math Stations, and Anchor Activities!

Whole Group Math Lesson
  First, I introduce our learning target for the day and then start teaching my whole group lesson.  I usually teach our whole group lesson using a Flipchart on the Promethean Board or model using manipulatives on my Elmo.  After modeling, I have my students participate in guided practice where they practice the skill using their white boards and dry erase markers as they are sitting on the carpet or at their tables.  
By having each student using white boards to record their answers, I know that everyone is engaged in the lesson and I can easily check for individual student mastery.  After my students demonstrate mastery of the learning target, they then complete their independent practice.  

Guided Math Small Group
 While students are completing their independent practice, I call up a math group to work at my table with me.  We do a variety of activities during this time.  Sometimes we play a math game that reinforces the skill they just learned.  
Other times, we practice solving a math task so I can guided them through the process or get a closer look at how they are solving the problem.  
No matter what activity we do in small groups, it allows me to work closer with my students to clear up any confusion or misconceptions they may have.  It also allows for more conversations to take place so they can explain their mathematical thinking to each other.    
  I love using my Math Pocket Chart Signs to help me organize my guided math groups and math station rotations.  I have four math groups so I have four math stations that the students must complete each week.  Each group goes to one station each day.

Math Stations
 I bought these colorful baskets for only $1 at the Dollar Tree.
I like to use math stations with math talk cards so students are able to practice using the math vocabulary they learned about with their partner.  
Many of my math stations are differentiated so they meet all of my students individual needs.  
I also have some favorite games that I got from Lakeshore Learning.  
I love using math games to help students practice math in a fun way!

I also love their interactive whiteboard games!  My students cheer every time they get to play one of these.  These games are also great to play at the end of the day.

Math Anchor Activities
  Once they complete their independent practice and math station for that day, they can complete an anchor activity.  I have four different colored boxes (I bought them last year from Target) labeled with my 4 reading groups so they know which anchor activities to complete.  Each basket contains extension activities to extend their learning.  I use a variety of anchor activities, but my favorite ones to use are called Activity Cards for Early Finishers from TheMailbox.com.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Take a Tour Inside my Ocean Themed Classroom!

I am linking up with Swimming into Second's Show Off Your Space linky party!
Here is a little tour of my ocean themed classroom.  First stop is my birthday beach.  I attach little crabs (from Trend) to the sand castles with each child's birthday on them.   
Next stop is my word wall.  As we learn our high frequency words we will be displaying them on our "A Whale of Vocabulary" word wall.
I display our learning targets on the front board so they can be easily referred to in my lessons.  It also allows my visual students to see what learning target we will be learning for each lesson.
After I give our spelling pretest, I write the spelling words on the board so my students can use them for their spelling station activities. 
I LOVE my Promethean board!  One of the teachers from my school was so kind enough to donate the cute ocean decorations to make it a little more snazzy! 
I have 14 jobs that I use regularly in my classroom.  My students do their job for the entire week and then get paid five sand dollars on Friday for doing their job.  I give out ten sand dollars if they receive a compliment from a teacher and twenty sand dollars if they receive a compliment from one of my principals. 
On Fridays I open up my "shop" and have students trade in their sand dollars to purchase different privileges and rewards such as a treat from the treat jar, treasure box, be the ocean king/queen for the day (they get to wear a crown), etc... (see below)

My class really looks forward to visiting the shop each week.  It also helps them learn how to count my fives, tens, and twenties, since they have to count their sand dollars prior to making a purchase.
Here is a picture of my behavior beach.  Students start on green everyday.  If a student does something really kind or helpful, they can change their card to blue.  If they break one of the rules, they change their card to yellow and then red after that.
Next stop is our math station chart.  This tells my students what math group they are in and what math station activity they complete for that day.
 They then choose their math station activity from their basket.  The hermit crabs are from Trend.
The last stop is my reading corner.  I keep this by my guided reading table so I can easily access my different reading comprehension games and activities.  The cute patterns are from Trend.