Monday, June 27, 2011

GREAT website!

So I have spent the evening watching every single one of these youtube videos on

If you have not checked this website out yet, you MUST! He has all sorts of great ideas for motivating your students, managing and dealing with behaviors, and fun little activities to help you teach while keeping it fun and educational!

You will NOT be disappointed!!! =)


Friday, June 3, 2011

Math Stations Party =)

I am sooooo excited about this Math Work station party! I am waiting til tomorrow to purchase the book (payday! Yippee!) and have been catching up online! I have loved the first 2 chapters so far! It's a bit reassuring b/c I have been doing math centers, and although I have A LOT of room for improvement, I have already got the routine started! 

I have to admit, I was slacking on doing my math small groups my first 2 years, but I plan on doing a much better job next year (with thanks to Debbie Diller and her great advice in this book!) 

My areas to improve:
 Model MORE before putting our materials in the stations.
Model how to correctly get the centers out and how to put them away.
Label my bins and baskets
Make my centers into STATIONS (looove this idea!)
Less worksheets and more hands on activities

Areas of strength:
Staying consistent with my math whole group and math station time =)

Here is how my stations worked last year...

Each child was put into a group of 3-4. Then they were assigned an ocean animal on one of my green tubs. In each of my tubs was an activity that went along with whatever math skill we were working on that week. I had a lot of problems with some kids getting work finished quickly- so I would send them to an "anchor tub" to work. It was usually a game or activity we have worked on previously in math stations.

But I love Debbie Diller's idea of having a place for each station in the room. So I will definitely be changing this up and using these bins for recess centers next year.

I have most of my manipulatives sorted in these bins, but want to purchase smaller bins from the dollar tree for some since there is a lot of extra space in these ones. I plan on labeling them as well!

Here are the anchor tubs, along with all our Lakeshore instant learning centers that we use from time to time.

My calendar/whole group area:

I do my small groups on the carpet b/c I don't have a kidney bean table. All my small group materials are kept in the green drawers and the small white ones as well. 

Close up of my calendar: We do this daily before math to review all of our skills each day. My kiddos were number wizards! =) They loved to tell time, name the coins, count the days of school, etc. Math is an exciting time in our class! B/c I LOVE math! =)

We use these flash cards to review number patterns. (I also have 10 frame ones to practice number sense.)

Were I keep our play coins for counting the days of school.

We use these links to practice place value during calendar time. We also make patterns with them! =)

Well, here is my answers to the checklist =)

  1. Materials used by the teacher first, then placed in the station: Yes, but I could do a better job modeling it several times before putting it in the station!
  2. Materials do not change weekly, but rather changed to reflect the students learning objectives:  I could do a much better job with this!
  3. All students go to stations daily:  YES!  Yay!
  4. Materials are differentiated: Whoops!  Need to work on this.
  5. The teacher observes work or meets with differentiated math groups: I will definitely work on it this year!''

    Now it's your turn! Link up with

    and share your ideas!