Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Quick 'Hello'

Hey bloggy friends :)  This is my last weekend before I return to work on Monday.  I can't believe the summer is already over!  I feel as though it never began :(  I have so enjoyed my time with my sweet young man who learned how to pee pee in his potty before his 2nd birthday.  That was quite an accomplishment for me :)  In celebration of the end of my summer break, we are leaving to go camping shortly after lunch today and will not return until Sunday afternoon.  We are taking the boat and we are going to have a blast! I can't wait to get back in my room and begin taking pictures to share.  This is the very first time that I will be returning to work without my room completely finished!  I've learned there are more important things in life.  Always take time for yourself... you deserve it!  Your room will always be there waiting on you.  We all know that never changes :)

Enjoy your weekend!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guided Math: Part 3

First of all, thanks for being patient!  Graduate school is really kicking my bottom these days.  I'm taking two courses this summer, and I think it's a little more than I can chew.  Do you ever feel like you bite off more than you can chew?  I do.. ALL THE TIME!  Anyways........

So, you may be wondering.........

What Do I Use as My Stations?

Well, I use a lot of different things.  When I started using stations in my classroom, I simply took our 4th grade frameworks from the Georgia Performance Standards and turned those into stations.  These are W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!!  I wish I could direct you to them.  The state BOE recently uploaded them to a secure sign in area where only Georgia educators can use them...  I'm sorry :(  If anyone in GA knows of a way to share these wonderful resources, please comment below.  A lot of my other stations are just things the other 4th grade teacher and myself think of.  Sometimes they just come to us and we are like, "we gotta write that down!"  Sometimes it's simple things and sometimes I'm pretty impressed!  Here's one the kiddos love:

  • For this station you will need an egg carton, two beans, and a recording sheet (I quickly made one on the computer).  In 4th grade, we focus a lot on multiplication, but you could use this idea for addition or subtraction.  You can draw one-digit numbers on the bottom of the area that hold the egg or you can cut out small numbers and glue them.  Students roll the two beans to get a two digit number.  They record this number as their first factor.  They roll the two again to get a second two-digit number, then they multiply the two.  They do this several times to practice multiplication.  You can use one bean or two according to your needs.
Here's another to help with money and estimating:

  • For this station you will need a local grocery store ad.  I usually visit their webpage and print it out in color and place in protective sheets.  Use the recording sheet.  Students should list ten items they would like to purchase.  Write the estimate for each item, how much they estimate to spend, and then find the actual total.  Remember to have them answer the questions comparing their estimate to the actual total.

I wanted to share a few things that I DO NOT do:

  • I do not use board games as a station.  These take way too long and the kiddos usually don't have time to practice the skill due to the time it takes to read and understand rules.
  • I do not consider drill & practice to be a station.
  • Worksheets or busy work are not stations.

Once I get back in my classroom, I am looking forward to sharing one station a week that I use in my classroom.  Here's two to get you started.  Remember that a lot of my stations can be adapted for younger grades, and all of them use things you can find around your classroom.  Most of these are stations I've created or my partner across the hall :)

Here is a Q & A about my stations (these actual questions were asked by my readers :)

Q: How many students work on a station at a time?
A: Two students work on a station at a time.  Maybe three if needed.

Q: Do you assign station partners?
A: YES!  This is important because these students will be working together during guided math time.  I also usually try to group 'like' abilities that way you don't have one person doing all the work or working ahead while one is left behind.

Q: Do you take your stations for a grade?
A: No, but I do require them to keep them in their math folder.  If I think a group isn't working and doing what needs to be done, I will check their folder.  I let the students know this.  Usually, the kiddos love the stations and are more than willing to do the work.

Q: Do you follow a station schedule or do the students complete what stations they need?
A: I do follow a schedule.  I've tried to have it where the students were responsible for their schedule, but I ended up having 2-4 groups that needed the same station on the same day.  At the beginning of a new unit (or new station rotation) I will assign each group a station.  Then, they just follow in order.  For example, if you completed station #7 today then you will complete station #8 tomorrow.

Q: How long do your stations usually last?
A: I have 15 minute rotations so my stations last 15 minutes.

Q: If a student doesn't finish a station, do you enforce them to finish it?
A: On Fridays I may allow time, but usually not.  Most of them have ample amount of time to finish them during the given time.

Let me know of any other questions you may have by commenting below :)  I'm looking forward to reading them!

Stay tuned, Guided Math: Part 4 will be coming soon!!!

Guided Math: Part 4
My Math Calendar

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Top Ten Linky Party

yGo Fourth! with Mrs. Owens is having a top ten linky party.  These are top ten things to know about me.  I am super excited to share mine since I'm sharing some news!!

Here we go...
#10: I L-O-V-E fountain coke :)
#9: I have three sisters- no brothers... my poor mom!
#8: I love painting and have actually sold a painting for $100!!
#7: I love McDonald's french fries.
#6: I love to shop, shop, shop... for anything!!
#5: I teach Sunday School to middle schoolers.... what??
#4: I love getting up early in the morning and drinking a nice warm cup of coffee.
#3: I have a camper and I love to use it!  Camping is probably one of my favorite things to do.
#2: I have a wonderful husband and a VERY energetic {soon to be} 2 year old.
#1: We just found out we are expecting a baby that is due February 1st :)  So exciting!

Head on over to Mrs. Owens' blog and link up :)
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