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Friday, July 27, 2012

Preparing My Classroom for the Upcoming Year Linky Party

Sixth Grade All Stars is having a Linky Party that features advice for new teachers on preparing for the new school year.  These are the questions that each participant will answer:

 What is the greatest advice you received during your 1st year of teaching?
- Do you have a checklist that you follow when preparing your classroom (include the checklist)?
- What are some must haves in your classroom that you cannot live without (ex. items, books, posters, management strategies)?
- What is something that all teachers should have in their classroom?
1. The greatest advice that I ever received was to place a stack of 5 letter tray labeled Monday through Friday on the corner of my desk.
In these files, all papers to be used would be placed for the upcoming week, including envelopes used in collecting various "return to school" papers like a book order or picture money. By Thursday of the current week all lesson plans needed to be completed for the upcoming week. By end of day Friday..or before I went home, all necessary papers that were needed for the upcoming week must  be placed in the letter tray for the correct day. I can't express how wonderful it felt on Monday morning to walk into my classroom and know that I was ready for the upcoming week.
2. I didn't have a checklist when I was preparing for my classroom, but after I would set up my room I would "WALK THROUGH MY DAY" just like a student would. For example, when I entered the room, would I know where to place my homework, return  papers, and how to start the day automatically without direct teacher instruction? Was my classroom environment set up to enable students to do this?  I continued thinking and walking through the day... and I knew I was ready for my students to walk through that door the first day. I ALWAYS posted my time schedule and subject taught for each day. Kids like routines, and the time schedule would keep ME on schedule too.
3. Some must haves in my classroom were... some background paper on some bulletin boards, but NOTHING filling that space. That space would be filled with student work.  I also must plan my classroom environment to contain an area for my entire class to meet together (sit on floor) with a freestanding writing surface.
4. One idea that I used year after year was to place a opaque  plastic 9 X 12 sleeve taped near an exit doorway. In that sleeve, I placed a class emergency list with students names and a contact number to reach a parent.  That list went with me for every drill, assembly, and field trip.  Those were the only times it would be taken out of the sleeve - for one of these events. One year, an Epipen, in a manila envelope, was taped on the wall next to it, when I had a student with a severe allergy problem.  


Saturday, July 21, 2012

How to Automatically Receive My Posts by E-mail

Did you know there are two ways to follow the Multi-Grade Matters: Ideas for a Split Classroom blog?  You can be a follower, but the easiest way to be sure you never miss a post is to follow by email.

 On the right side of this blog you'll see the Follow by Email box.  Just enter your email and press Submit, next you will receive an automatic verification message and once you submit this you'll begin receiving my posts directly to your inbox!  What could be easier?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Guided Math Groups and Math Stations Together

While reading Debbie Diller's book, "Math Stations," I created this chart to show how I would introduce the stations and yet continue to teach math each day in a MULTI-GRADE CLASSROOM.
Many of the ideas would work in a single grade classroom too. 
Some teachers don't take the time to establish routines and the result is that the math stations do not operate smoothly as the students do not know EXACTLY what they are to do and what is expected of them.

I thought I would post it again, as many teachers are thinking about how to start next year and incorporate math stations or "centers" while teaching math in guided math groups.

The First 14 Days of Math Stations for Multigrade Grades 1/2 Using Everyday Math and Math Stations
     Mini-lesson 25 - 30 minutes
     Whole Group Everyday Math  Lesson: 30 - 40 minutes
This schedule is ONLY for the first 14 days of instruction.

Learning Outcome
Whole Group Everyday Math Lesson
Take one photo of each child for Management Board.

Complete the set-up of the Management Board for Day 2
Number Lines
1st/1.1  2nd/ 1.1
Introduce: Management Board .
Model: How to obtain materials and where math stations are located.
Model: Cleaning up a station
Students explore and learn how to obtain their instructional materials and where to go to work with their partners.
Students will know what is expected as they clean up their stations.
Management Board

Missing Pieces Box

Numbered clear plastic tubs
Everyday Math Games:
Monster Squeeze
Number-Line Squeeze
Teacher and students model and practice: “Turn and Talk”.

Model: The difference between hearing and listening.
Students will learn that as mathematicians we are capable of thinking in many different ways and sharing their thinking with others.
Thinking and Talking with a Partner
  1. Partners use 6 inch voices.
  2. Partners take turns talking.
  3. Partners listen to one another.
  4. Partners respect each others’ thinking
Introduce the Slate Routine

Explain the Number Grid and it’s patterns
1st/1.2    2nd/ 1.4
Math Station Tub:
Teacher discusses how students have choices within one tub.
Teacher shows how materials are labeled to differentiate levels.
Model: Signals used to indicate it is time to stop and clean up, and signal to indicate to move to next station or to the small group teaching station.
Students realize that there are multiple activities to do with one math tub and those activities can be repeated.
Students will move to different activities quickly and quietly.
Completed math tub
Chart: How do we put materials away in our Math Tubs?
Auditory signal
Introduce the Pattern-Block Template
1st/1.2   2nd/1.4
How to Obtain Help
Model: “I Can” Chart
“Instead” box for the Computer station
Teacher and students will create the first “I Can” chart together.
Students will practice being adaptable and flexible.
“I Can” chart

Formative Assessment for 1st Graders: Use math master pg 304 to see what numbers they can all ready write. Challenge them to write their numbers to 20.

Introduce the Class Scroll to the 2nd Graders.
Model and Practice:
How to Use a Math Talk card to express their mathematical ideas.
Students will express their thinking using a math talk card as a support.
2 different “Math Talk Cards” for each group of 2 students
How to Use a Calculator
1st/  2.4          2nd/1.9
Represent your thinking through drawing, writing, Flip videos, and dramatizing.

Where to put completed work.
Students learn to record their thoughts in short video clips.
Students learn ways to represent their thinking, and where to put that completed document.

Flip Video Camera

Examples of students drawings, and writings.
Whole Group:
Odd and even
Tally marks
How to handle problems:
   Ask 3 and then ask me.

What will happen when students don’t follow the procedures.
Students follow specific guidelines to solve problems.
How We Can Solve Problems Ourselves
EM Games:
Penny-Dice Game
Addition Top-It
Rolling for 50
Rolling for 500 using a 400-500 number grid.
“Our Math Thinking “ Books
Students learn they are accountable for doing their best work at stations.
Book: “Our Math Thinking”
EM Games:
Play your choice of game
Introduce First Station:
Review and model use of management board, obtaining materials, correct voice level.
Choose one student to be your partner, and go through the entire procedure while “thinking  aloud about what you are doing and thinking”
Students will revisit how to maintain organized classroom math stations
 Looks like, Sounds Like, Feels like

One math tub of your choice
Whole Group:
Modeling how the teacher will be teaching the small group guided math groups.
All about Math Boxes using a teacher created math box page all about tally marks.
Continue to introduce another station.

Establish student accountability by modeling and posting an example of a completed student work product.
Students will learn mathematical ideas through independent learning.
Example of student work
How to play:
EM Facts Workshop Game that provides online practice of basic facts and computation.
How we share our experiences with our class members.
Students will engage in discussions and that they are accountable for their independent learning.

Reading books that relate to math such as counting books.
How to create your own math related book.
Computer Station
“Instead Box”

Students will learn a routine to cooperatively use the classroom computer.
Chart: Step by step directions to use the computer
Chart: Who is on the Computer Today?
How to read a number line on a thermometer
(After conducting an actual “Math Station”)
Getting back together as a whole group to reflect on what went well.
Grand Opening Celebration:
Beginning a station
Wrapped box that announces the beginning of math stations.

Chart:  What We Did Well
Administer the Beginning of the Year Test to both grade levels. Recruit a volunteer to read the test aloud to one grade level while you read the other grade level test. See if the volunteer will also help score the test.

My blog, Multi-grade Matters,  contains more ideas for Multi-grade and Single Grade Classrooms, as I am a Math Instructional Coach in my school district. 
Deborah Devine

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Using My Blogger Experience to Connect Parents with our Summer School Program

This summer I've been helping with our Summer School Program for incoming kindergarten students. Many of the students that are attending (about 250-290 of them) have never attended preschool. I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to help make a difference in young children's lives so they are more prepared to succeed in school. I have a minor in Child Development and I know how important early learning experiences are for children. Yet, I am excited about this particular program because we are trying hard to connect with parents too through a blog that I serve as the author.

Part of that effort is to create a blog to show parents the simple learning experiences that their children are experiencing and hopefully they will see how easy it would be to do at home too. Our community is involved in this program too.  You can see from this picture how excited the children were to talk to the local firemen. In the background do you notice the parents, older brothers and sisters that also came to watch the presentation too?

Here is a link to our Summer School Blog:

I'm proud of it since it is in English and Spanish!!!!!

So to all my blogger friends....last summer I created my first blog and blog posting....this summer I'm using it to connect home, school, and community!!!   Life is good.


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