Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SS Notebooking: Famous Americans

I am finally getting around to posting pictures of our Famous Americans unit. Today definitely left me with a headache as I came to the realization that I had a few girlfriend/boyfriend couples in my room. I had no idea that they were even there yet. Oh the knowledge that comes from reading passed notes! The drama that followed was unbearable, "We broke up yesterday but I know he still has feelings for me." WHAT?!?! However, after my "third graders are too young for boyfriends and girlfriends" spiel I did have some students say "ewww gross". So thankfully they're not all there yet!
Anywho back to social studies.....The way most of my lessons for the unit went were:
-Read page in text (This is their first year with a Social Studies textbook so they are super excited and love to look at all the glossy pictures!)
-Find definition/description of person on vocabulary sheet
-Brainstorm ideas for a brain picture to represent that person
-Independent or partner work in notebooks

Title Page & Table of Contents (This student loved to decorate every page!)
In the library pocket are famous American trading cards we made for every person we studied.

Trading Cards: Picture and name are on the front, 3 facts are on the back

Vocabulary/Brain Picture Page & KWL

George Washington CLOZE activity (we did this before reading)
3-2-1: 3 things I learned, 2 thing I found interesting, 1 question I have

Thomas Jefferson booklet and acrostic poem

Inside the Thomas Jefferson booklet

Lincoln Blanks-Fill-In, Campaign Poster

Rosa Parks Newspaper Article (The students wrote as if they were on the bus with her and were writing a column for the next day's paper.),
Interview with Thurgood Marshall (The students had to come up with 4 thick questions and answer them as they think Marshall would have.)

Movie Strip from MLK Jr.'s life,
5W (who, what, when, where, why) for Cesar Chavez

Holiday Grid, NB Rubric
The students and  I really had fun with this unit. I can't wait to teach it again next year so I can tweak and improve the unit. Image Map

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Guided Math Workshop & Differentiation

This past week I started math workshop in my classroom. We spent the first couple of days discussing workshop. For each center I introduced and explained what would happen there, the class created a we will/we won't list, and then we practiced. Below is the chart we created.
I split my class into 4 groups and I have 4 centers, so every student will go to every center everyday. The centers I have are:

-Guided Math: Students have small group math with me.

-Independent Practice: Students do independent worksheet/workbook work about 3 days a week, when the students finish their work (and on the other 2 days) students will work on write and wipe mats (pictured below)
I got these from the $1 aisle from Target over the summer. I also plan on putting worksheets into plastic sleeves (16 for $1 at Dollar Tree) for students to use as write and wipe assignments when they finish work at this station early.

-Computer/Promethean: I have 4 computers in my classroom and 7-8 students per group. When students get to this station they will split. Half of the students will go to xtramath and Symbaloo on the computer while the others play games or work with flipcharts on the Promethean.

-Games: One game we played last week was flashcard war. This game is played just like regular war but students must first figure out the answer to the problem on their flashcard. Some groups played this game with subtraction cards while other groups played with time, money, or multiplication flashcards.

How I Differentiate at Every Station

-Guided Math: My lessons are geared to student ability level. My four groups consist of below grade level, on grade level (split into two groups because I typically have the most students in this group), and above grade level. I pre-assess at the beginning of every new unit and regroup the students into either the Lions, Tigers, Sharks, or Bears. When I regroup the students I also change the level of every group. For example, if Bears were the below grade level group for the last unit, they will be the above grade level group for this unit. This is just so I can move my students freely without them considering any group the high or low group. I have several students who can get really frustrated if they aren't always in the high group or embarrased if the class knows they are always in the low group.

-Independent Practice: Each group has a color-coded basket. They know to find their work in their basket. This way I can make sure each group is practicing work on their level.

-Computer: The students must always start off the station with xtra math which is a free site that pre-assesses and progresses along with each student's ability level.

-Games: Each group has a color-coded basket. They find their game in their specific basket. If I want two groups to have the same game then I stack the two basket and put the materials inside. They know that if the bins are stacked then the materials are for both groups.


-Students have 15 minutes at every station and rotate counter clockwise when I ring my bell.
-Students start at the same center every day. This way, students only need to remember where they start and then just rotate through the centers.
-The below grade level group will always start with me and then rotate to the independent practice station.
-The above grade level group will always start with independent practice.

Below is our management board.

I would love to hear how you run math workshop in your classroom.
Image Map

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Math Workshop Symbaloo Site & Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday! Recently I debuted Symbaloo in my classroom and the students LOVED it! Below you can find the link for my Math Workshop Symbaloo page. I simply pulled up the site on my classroom computers and my students were able to choose a game or site to explore during their computer time. I organized my Symbaloo page by color so I could give my students more specific instructions (i.e. Today you can play any game with a pink square. The pink squares are addition/subtraction sites.) Feel free to visit and use. Please let me know if there are any awesome math sites you like to use.

[click HERE to visit my original Symbaloo post with a link to my Animal Adaptations webmix]


Don't forget my giveaway! I am giving away digital scrapbooking software for teachers who don't have photoshop but still like to create cute products. Click HERE to go to my giveaway post.

Image Map