Sunday, April 29, 2012

Math Work Stations: Spring 2012

I know I have posted about my math work stations before, but my classroom is forever evolving.  I change things so often that everything rarely stays the same year after year.

Here's the Spring 2012 version!!

{Hi there!}  Laura Candler @ Corkboard Connections is hosting an awesome linky party about math work stations.  I wanted to share some of my ideas about my work stations.  First of all, I have an awesome poster that I made.  I meant to take pictures of it, but I don't have any!!  ARGHHH!  Anywho, it's basically a poster that I created in Word and enlarged on our poster machine.  If I find it, I will link it here so you can see.  It basically has 4 rows and 4 columns.  Each row represents each group and each column represents each rotation.  I have 4 because I have a label for each one. I really only have 3 groups.  I have it laminated so I can write the groups in since I change my groups every week according to our assessments we take on Fridays.  Now to the fun part.... where I have pictures!

This is a picture of where my stations are stored.  The magazine holders on the very top of the picture are actually labeled with concepts like number sense, geometry, measurement, computations, 99 & 100 charts, etc...  This is where I store my stations I am not using.  The baskets on top of the brown bookcase are baskets where my students turn in work, one for each subject I teach.  The larger baskets on the shelves are where my stations are stored.  Each basket has a laminated label {station 1, etc} that is attached to the basket with two zip ties.  All of these items were purchased from

If students need additional materials to complete the station, I usually try to have everything in the basket.

 Here's a closer look at the station basket.  For each station, I use a pocket folder {with or without prongs... doesn't matter to me}.  On the lower right corner of the folder, I have a label that matches the magazine holder where it is stored.  For example, this station is actually a geometry standard so it would go in the geometry bin when not in use.  You can see how the zip ties hold the label here.  These have stood up to 9-10 year-olds for two years now!!

Here's the same station opened.  I have everything the students need to complete the station in the folder or in the basket.  In this particular station, students used copy paper to stamp several types of quadrilaterals.  Students then had to describe the quadrilaterals by their properties.

Here's another station.  For the stations that have cards {and there's a lot!} I have these awesome file folder game plastic storage pockets that I bought from The School Box years ago!  What's so awesome is they are SUPER sticky on the back.  All you do is peel the paper and stick these handy pockets wherever you need a place to store paper goods like cards.

Okay, I have been implementing math stations for 4 years now, and I still didn't have a system I liked for keeping up with which stations the students had completed.  I wanted a way so they could keep up with their own work and be responsible learners.  Then, I went on maternity leave and my long-term sub came up with this awesome idea!

I wish I could take credit for this, but I can't.  The students were doing this when I returned, and I fell in love with it.  Each child has his/her own hanging file folder in a crate {Wal-Mart always has these when school starts.  I think they are like $3.. I <3 them}.  My sub put their name on some post-it flags and tagged their folder that way.  Post-it actually has some self-stick labels that I am going to try next year.  I'm just not so sure the flags would stand up to an entire school year.  Within each folder, each student  has their station check-list and all their 'PROOF.'  Students must save all recording sheets, etc. from each station.  When the end of the station rotations are over {meaning when every student has completed each station} then everything in the folder will be collected and graded.  Each student should have a station check-list and a PROOF sheet for each station they have completed.  

The check-list is on top and some PROOF sheets are behind it.  These are all in one student's folder.  BTW- these are GREAT for parent-teacher conferences.

Here's a closer picture of the check-list.  Each station has the title of the station below the station number.  I use 9 stations because I just like the way the table is even with 3 rows & 3 columns... yeah, I know!  Leave me alone... I'm THAT kind of teacher! lol!  Do you notice the stamps?  That was also my sub's idea.  Who knew that students would enjoy stamping so much?

Beside the folders on the counter, I have a clear container that holds a variety of stamps {good job, super, awesome, etc.}.  I also have a scented ink pad {they love that it's scented} for the students to use.  Once a station is complete, the students must date the box where the station is listed and stamp it.  Then, they store it in their folder for the next day.

I'm pretty sure I left something out because I am also THAT kind of teacher!  I think I have finally found something that works for my classroom, and I am 12 different kinds of happy!

Let me know if you plan on adapting yours to include something from here.  I would love to hear from you all!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Product-Based Activity: Math Workstations

Hey, y'all! Since I went back to work after 12 weeks off for maternity leave it has been SUPER crazy! In the mean time I have also been working hard to finish my final research paper for my Ed.S. degree. Well, I am glad to say that I have survived my first week back AND completed all my work for my degree. My graduation is May11th and I am beyond excited to be done. The University of Georgia is an excellent school and I would recommend it to anyone! They have a great education program. I have always said that I would never go back for my doctoral degree, but I think I will.... In about 10 years! In the meantime, I plan on developing my teaching through professional reading. I also plan, in the next few years, to get my math endorsement, also from UGA.

 Anywho.... Since I have been back at work, I have been trying to find ways to challenge my upper math group. While at UGA, I also received my gifted endorsement which opened me up to new ways to challenge my higher-order thinkers. The kiddos were crazy, and I was going crazy! I knew I wanted something that would be LOADS of fun, and I knew I wanted it to be product-based. So, I came up with the idea that they would create a math product I can use in my station rotations for my upcoming fourthies.  I created a product proposal that they will have to complete and get approved by the CEO {me} before they begin creating their product.

You can download the proposal here....

They are sooo excited!  Friday we started our proposals that are due by the end of class on Monday.  Hopefully, we will have the products completed by the end of next week or the beginning of the following week.  I honestly have not seen kiddos so excited about a project.  They immediately jumped right in and started sketching ideas and writing down plans.  I'm going to add posts about the progress. So far, we have worked on our proposals.  Here are some pictures of that process.  BTW- I put them in groups of three.

I can't wait to update next week!  I hope this is something you will be interested in doing for your students!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hello, Teaching Blog Addict!

Hello There!  I am SUPER excited to announce that I am the newest addition to Teaching Blog Addict.  You can check out my introductory post by clicking on the link below.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Giveaway Winner

Okay, I guess I totally dropped the ball on this giveaway.  Not only did I not promote it, but I'm days late announcing my winner..... sorry.  I've been so wrapped up in my grade school work that I don't have much time for many things these days.  I have two more weeks left, and I really don't know what I'm going to do when I no longer have school work to do.. WOOHOO!  I've been spending late nights working on my lit. review.  My professor has interest in helping me get it published in a math journal.  I love the idea, and it's something that is on my educator's bucket list, but I'm not sure I have the writing skills for it.  We shall see!  As I have mentioned before, it is about math vocabulary strategies, and I'm so going to share it with you when I finish because it has a lot of things that make a lot of sense as to why students struggle with math vocabulary.

ANYWAYS... off to the winner!

Alisha, I have sent you an email with your links to download your freebies!

Don't forget that in a few weeks I will have two giveaways for products that value $300.  I just have to get back in my classroom from maternity leave :)  BTW- next week is my last week off :(  I'm going to miss my Hudson James like crazy, but I sure miss teaching!

Have a great week!
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Grad School Devotion Time... yuck!

Okay, so my husband made me promise that I wouldn't blog or create anything until I finish grad school... which is only a few weeks away!  YAY!  I was super bummed, but I do have to finish my literature review paper.  I'm going to keep my promise... partly! ha!  My lit. review is over math vocabulary strategies to help students understand vocabulary.  The great thing is that these strategies can be used in any classroom.  So, since I am working on my lit. review, and I think the teaching of vocabulary is so important, I'm going to devote a page on my blog for my findings.  I'm gradually going to be adding to it when I can get a spare moment.  All of the strategies and things will be research-based so you know they work!!!!

I know some of you are {eagerly} waiting on the 1st grade vocabulary cards.  I am still going to get them together.  It just will not be until May.  My last class is April 26th and then I will be in full swing with the first grade wall set and my second edition of spring math journal prompts.  Until then... I will still be around wishing I was done already!  I tell ya, it's going to be a real miracle if I ever go back to school for my doctorate!  Maybe my math endorsement ;-)

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Common Core Vocabulary Wall Set: 4th Grade

First of all, YAHOO!  This is my 100th post!  I never knew that blogging would turn into #1- something I love, and #2- a complete addiction! :)

YAY!  I am SUPER excited about my newest product!  Why? you might ask!  Because I can use it in my own classroom of course!  I am so eager to print these awesome vocabulary cards, laminate them, and get ready to use them {probably next year}!  I use vocabulary cards with every unit I teach.  Currently, I use my closet door as my word wall.  You may have seen this picture before....

This is currently what works for me..... but not anymore!  Not since I've made this awesome NEW wall set.  It will look more like this.....a standard header with cards that correlate with the standard {they are also color coordinated too!}.

Right now, I just have these available for 4th grade, but I am planning on adding them for each grade level.  My next venture will be 1st grade!

You can view the 4th grade Common Core Vocabulary Wall Set in my TpT store by clicking the picture below.  In this packet, there are 5 circle headers and around 100 vocabulary cards!  Most with cute pictures :)

And... because I like a good giveaway (which I am also doing with my Spring Math Journal Prompts & Fraction Packet, click {HERE} for more info.)  I will give this away to the first two who..

1) blog about my vocab wall set with a picture (the one above) and a link to my TpT store and blog

2) come back to this page and comment with a link to your post. 

Remember the first two are my winners so be quick!

Lastly, I have an awesome giveaway that I have coming up.  It will be a few weeks before I get it together, but you don't want to miss it!  I will have two giveaways that are worth $300 combined.  It's awesome, and I am so excited to be a part of it.

2 Products
2 Giveaways
2 Lucky Winners

Here's a hint.... it's technology!

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Lesson Plan Binder

Hey There!  I'm going to make this short & sweet because I still have a lot to do before I go to bed!  I waited until the last minute to complete TWO assignments!  What is wrong with me and why do I always do this to myself?  For those of you just tuning in, I have been on an adventurous roller coaster called grad school since August of 2008.  From 2008-2010 I worked on my masters degree.  From 2010- May 2012 (YAY! almost there) I have attended the University of Georgia for my Ed.S. in ECE.  While there, I also thought of the crazy idea to get my gifted endorsement!  Okay, so I thought this was suppose to be short... that's what you are thinking, isn't it?

I found this file that I created many moons ago and wanted to share it.  How many of you use a lesson plan binder where you type or write your lessons into a custom made template for yourself?  I do, and I love it because I can add everything I need to my binder!  The file I am sharing are some things you can add to your binder to help you stay organized.  Since I use cute lil' fonts, I have converted it to a .pdf file.  Let me know what you think & enjoy!


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